Tuesday, March 13, 2007

IOW--A Three Stranded Marriage

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Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

These were the verses used as the basis of our wedding invitations and ceremony. We chose to focus, from the very start, that we could not be "everything" to each other. Maybe it was that we were "older" (I was 27) when we got married. We had lived away from family, as adults, for almost ten years. So, there was a sense of how to cope with life, and trust in God for the ups and downs of life, before we got married. The foundation was set and we were going to build on it.

That sounds great in theory and planning. Practice, on the other hand, was more difficult. We were married in November. In April, German moved to Alabama to take a new job. I stayed in Washington to sell the house. I was miserable. I was a newlywed with no husband. And I was angry...with German, with well-meaning friends who kept asking how I was, with the lousy housing market, with German's old job, with German's new job, with God....you get the idea. I knew in my head that God had blessed us with the job and that He was working out His plan. But I was not resting in it. Nightly phone calls were miserable. German was not making me happy--and I let him know it. By September, the house had still not sold and the decision was made we couldn't do what we were doing any longer. A young cousin of mine agreed to watch the house and feed the cat daily--and I left for Alabama. It was a difficult six weeks of learning to live together, again. But the amazing thing was....German still did not make me happy. I was still miserable. I was focused on the house not selling, us being in temporary housing, and the mountain of things that would need to be done when we moved. I wanted to look for a job, but until we were settled I couldn't (my car was in Washington for one thing). I still was not trusting God with the move.

The house did eventually sell. We moved into our home in January. We found a church. I found a job. But the most important thing I found during that time was a knowledge that my new husband could not meet all of my needs. I learned to trust God and His timing during that year. I begged him that I would never have to do that again. But a few years later, I would find myself putting German on a plane to move to England without me. I would stay with friends while being there to sell our house. But this time I did it with a peace of understanding that my emotional and spiritual needs would be met by God and when He allowed it I would join German. What a difference the move was! I feel certain that this scene will continue to replay in our life, but God is constant and wants our best. When I trust Him with that, then, and only then, can German and I meet each other's needs.

"One of the secrets to a happy marriage is remembering the source of our joy, which is not one another. The source of our joy is the Lord. Yes, we share tons of joyous moments, but we don't expect, let alone demand, endless joy-filled moments from each other. "
~ Liz Curtis Higgs ~
from the devotional: Rise and Shine

Darlene is hosting "In Other Words" this week. Please join us here.

photo credit: www.morguefile.com; mervynjenkins


Denise said...

Well done, enjoyed your thoughts.

janiswrites said...

Learning to turn to God instead of our husbands is sometimes difficult, but well worth the effort. Thanks for sharing with us! Blessings!

Jennifer said...

Miriam Pauline-What a beautiful testiment to the way opening ourselves up to God can change a hardened hard and make it new. Your story shows how we need to stick in their through the tough times. Marriage take work and commitment. How wonderful that you have turned to God to strengthen yours!


The Preacher's Wife said...

This is one of my favorite scriptures...wonderfully applied!

Good to meet you...

Darlene said...

I love how you showed that even when you got what you want you still hadn't found the joy you were hoping you would. It's the same with so many things in life, the "if only's..." never complete us like we think they will. Good illustration.

Crystal said...

I really enjoyed this post...thanks for sharing!

eph2810 said...

Thank you so much for sharing, MiPa. Yes, we put high hopes in our marriages, but only One can see us through the difficult times.
I know when we moved to the US - it was the hardest thing for me to do, but I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do...

Blessings to you and yours.

Guinevere Meadow said...

Wonderful story! It's so liberating for me to see how many other women have experienced this.

Tami Boesiger said...

Aren't you glad this happened early on in your marriage and not ten years later?

Bonnie W said...

Thank you for sharing your experience so honestly. It never ceases to amaze me how even though our experiences and circumstances are different, women share the same emotional reactions. He uses the stories of others to minister to our hears and create a healing, strengthening bond.

Mike said...

Love that Two Are Better Than One verse.

Have a great Tuesday (and Wednesday, too!)


Laurel Wreath said...

It is amazing once our focus is on God, how situations lose the "stress" that comes with it. God is so wonderful like that, he says "just turn to me and I will carry you."

Loved reading about your journey, so many young couples can learn from it.


Tina said...

Thank you.

wendell said...

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and also about you.

Christine said...

This story is such a powerful witness. Even though you knew what you wanted to do you couldn't put it into practice (sounds a lot like Paul!). God works through us over time and the rewards are wonderful! Blessings to you and your marriage!