crazy 8's

yesterday was our 8 year wedding anniversary. wow! I can't decide if it feels longer or shorter ... probably longer since we've been through so much. I feel accomplished in a way; it's great when you can actually learn from your mistakes and get on with your life. our marriage is probably our greatest testimony, a true miracle of what only God can do.
I'll be skipping some of the details and give you the shortened version - sorry!
we started out like all the others, with high expectations of each other. for our first 5 years, we were constantly expecting too much and assuming everything. we didn't communicate, and it literally tore us apart. we each felt perfectly justified and so neither one of us would change. we were perfect in our own eyes. and oh boy, the words that left our mouths! it was nasty, it was completely inappropriate and disrespectful, it was abuse. it did more than scar, it made gaping wounds in our hearts and brought complete distrust between us. he got short-tempered and angry, I got resentful and heartbroken, crying non-stop.
by our 6th year of marriage we split up, not once but twice. after the second time, we were ready to sign divorce papers. only two reasons why we didn't; no money to do it but more importantly, we had Sam. I did lots individual counseling, we tried couples counseling, nothing was working. our hearts were so hard and numb. the only thing I could cling to was I knew in my heart of hearts that God would not have given us Sam if our marriage was going to fail ... even though this happens to couples all the time. everything else about us was up in the air, but this is the one thing I KNEW. this year was VERY difficult, everything was so volatile and that made it scary.
it's not so ironic that during this time we were not in church at all. I started attending before hubby did, but eventually he came too. our church at the time (zion worship center) was able to help us tremendously. we got connected with great people who genuinely wanted nothing more than to see our marriage healed; more than we did!! over time we realize how far, far, far, far, far God was from the center of our relationship. as much as we would say we believe in Him and His Word, we never actually applied it to our marriage. duh, right? God went to work on us, as individuals, and then as a couple. we were able to take responsibility for our part in the abuse. our hearts were healed and we were able to forgive each other. truly amazing.
this time last year was exciting, we were able to renew our wedding vows to each other on our 7th anniversary. we figured as dead as our marriage was, we needed to start over in every way. I wish I had some pictures of that night to post. we took pictures, but they're just not digital.
the way I see it, God has used Sam to save us. our problems didn't come out into the light until we became parents that first time. I used to feel just awful about the possible effects this would have on Sam in the future; how much would he really remember? but since God gave me Hebrews 1:14, specifically about Sam (I think I posted about that before), I'm at total peace about it. I believe Sam was our angel, literally here to save us. so in our 7th year, or sometimes I think of it as the new and improved 1st year, I became pregnant with baby #2. we had fallen in love again and God blessed us with Eli.
I am more than happy to say we haven't gone back to our old ways. we put in a lot of effort to be a team, to talk it out, and to be responsible everyday. we've incorporated prayer into our marriage and that alone has helped incredibly.

and to the girls who know the details ...
Morgan, have I ever really thanked you for all you did for me? THANK YOU!!!! you are an incredible woman of God and I was blessed to have you as my mommy. :) you were always looking out for me, making sure I stayed on the path God was lighting up for me. it's no coincidence we got connected. I truly value what you have done for me, and it's something I will never forget. I hope I can pass on the same blessing to someone else someday.
and to Laura, thank you for being you. you're very sincere and honest, and I always felt your compassion. there are many things you said to me that came at the perfect time, just ingrained in my mind forever. it's no coincidence we got connected either. I appreciate every hug and prayer from the both of you. I love you girls, you helped me change my life forever.

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