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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BANKRUPT WITHOUT LOVE

Last month, April 21st, marked our 7th anniversary.  Seven is a number for complete.  Seven is also statistically a number of years when many couples bail out of their marriages.  The seven year itch, they call it.

“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.” Tom Mullen

We started out like two love birds going through our honeymoon phase with stars in our eyes that blinded us to our differences. Offenses rolled off, so easily ignored; we were so hopeful.  Nothing it seemed could change the way we felt about each other.  People just shook their heads and grinned, thinking that soon the day would dawn, when we would hit the wall.

“Marriage is not just spiritual communion, it is also remembering to take out the trash.” Joyce Brothers

So, the day came when I found a note on the bed and heard through his scrawled penmanship, the things he could not say to my face.  Things that rubbed him the wrong way.  Pop, went the bubble of my dream world.  Just a few days before our first anniversary, too.

Finally, after a while of talking things over, we saw each other in a new light.  No longer the crystalline glow, but a dull ache of somber tenderness and hurt.  I had asked not to be put on some pedestal.  I am only human like he.  He always looked up, but now he looked down.  We both felt like new cars after 5,000 miles with scratches and dings.

It took some time to get over our initial disillusionment, but the sooner the better.  Floating on clouds can only last so long, and then the real ride begins with honesty, forgiveness, and starting to seriously get on with the business of getting to know this other person that I pledged myself to.  One day the saint, the next the fallen, then nervous laughter together as we realized the false paintings we'd created of each other.  We stood back and began take long looks at each other; interwoven with lots of conversation, and we came to the realization that there was more to this marriage package than either of us had bargained for.

“A relationship is like a house. When a light bulb burns out you don’t go and buy a new house, you change the light bulb.” Unknown

After previous failed marriages, temptation crept up to whisper, "Bolt and run!"  It would be so much simpler to be off alone without the complications, the misunderstandings, or the grief of the death of our honeymoon.

 Lacing up our hiking boots we stomped and climbed then descended through the years. Up and down, around and over we climbed a dangerous trail.  Drop offs on both sides, forests of problems that seemed to increase, rather than to go away or get solved.  Until... we realized that neither of us needed to be fired from our union.  Instead, we desperately yearned to band together.  The area of weakness that we each saw in the other were enough reason to hold on and hold out. I saw what I needed in him and he saw in me the very thing that would set him free as well.

When we refused to throw in the towel over the useless squabbles that got nowhere,  we bent to pick up discarded pieces that when we took the time, found that they fit into stunning new designs that delighted us both.  Our original pledge to become one is a promise we still honor.     

“To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart – about a finger’s breadth – for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule.” Marnie Reed Crowell

Now, here we are, two uniquely gifted individuals.  We have reclaimed our team.  We understand the value of each others' strengths, but now we respect the need to take time to stretch or venture out at our own pace.  Sometimes we work at it alone, and sometimes we join up for joint endeavors.

I have a new regard for him and he for me.  The glow is here, warming our hearts.  A clearer insight allows us to anticipate promising adventures ahead. 

Hope fills the sails of our emotions.  Faith is the sturdy rudder that keeps us on course.  Love, well, love is the ocean we skim across, the breeze that stirs around us, and the joy that fills us as we finish our story.

I Corinthians 13:4-8A (MSG) Love never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.  Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.  Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first," doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.  Love never dies. 

Read more about our adventures as we prepare to head to the mission field in Central America.  Follow us for immediate updates.
http://www.missioncostarica.tumblr.com 
 

#love  #love story  #anniversary  #love chapter  #I Corinthians 13
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