September 19, 2011

a reality check

If you stopped by here yesterday, and read the poem I wrote, you are probably thinking, well, aren't they the perfect family with the perfect little life?

I'm sorry if I lead you to think that. I'd like to be completely real about life when I write, but if I were, I'd either lose your friendship because you'd see what a nasty little person I can be, or I'd embarrass certain other people in the family, which I don't want to do.

So, here's what I can tell you. We've been married 27 years. The first 17 were hard. I'm not going to list everything now, but trust me, we've had our share of struggles. Through it all our friendship was good. We knew how to stick together and nothing really came between us. Things came at us, but not between us.

On the other hand, the last 10 years have been more difficult than I care to think about. It seems like nearly everything we've gone through, (and it's been more than the first 17 years combined) has come between us, and we've had to work at being friends, work at loving each other, work at forgiving, work at trust.

Two years ago we went through a fun year. Something so big came between us we barely spoke to each other unless it was necessary. For a year. We weren't even out of that tunnel when we hit Last Year. The Year to Beat All Years. I hope. Mike turned 50, #3 graduated, not one, but two sons got married within 6 weeks of each other and my back and left leg turned traitors and abandoned me. But, God is faithful. He promises in Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.

He used those outside circumstances and my weak, wobbly body to show us how much we actually need each other. We are close and friends again, which is always nice when you have to sleep in the same bed with someone.

As for parenting? Hmm.....what can/should I say? Like all parents, we've had our share of sibling rivalry, messes, giving emotionally or spiritually when it felt like there was nothing inside to draw from, and bad attitudes. In many ways it's been on the job training for both of us and we've had to take it one day at a time.

There have been times when we've wondered what we did wrong. How did we lose his respect? His friendship? Will his heart ever come home again?

There have been times when all we could do was go to God and dump a boy in His lap. "God, he's your problem. You deal with him. You teach him. Please do whatever it takes to make this boy what You want him to be. We can't do it, Lord. You have to. Please?"

We've had to surrender and let go and God has proven Himself capable and faithful.

So, now you know. We are not the perfect family with the perfect little life. We are a weak, stumbling along, bumbling along little family with a perfect God holding our hands and I'm sorry if I gave you any other impression.

Sometimes life reminds me of a roller coaster. You strap yourself in and off you go. Up, over, down, around, each phase a surprise. The "up" side of the ride is your chance to catch your breath, rest, get ready for the next curve, the next surprise. Yesterday's poem was written during an "up" phase in our lives. The last ten years have been rough and I think right now God is giving us a chance to rest and catch our breath, to rejuvenate before the wild ride begins again....

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