Deeper and Sweeter

I could write several statistics saying there is no way Tim and I should still be married. We married young and then became parents at a young age. We both came from divorced families (generations of divorced families actually), and we lost three of our five children — all by the time we were twenty-three years old.

Yet, we are still together, loving each other and the God who kept us through it all.

My husband and I are not a perfect example to be held up for display. Indeed, our path to the beauty we experience today was once covered in tattered ashes of brokenness. It has been a messy journey, and we often didn’t “do it right.” We are truly bathed in God’s grace.

We share a love today that is deeper and sweeter because of where we have walked. It is true that our God does “make all things beautiful in His time.”

If you are facing trials in your marriage, due to grief or other struggles, here are just a few words of wisdom we have gleaned:

1. Respect each other’s need to grieve differently. If at all possible, do not do things that may bring pain to your spouse. At the same time, do not deprive yourself of doing the things you feel you need to do to honor your baby your way. Find a way to honor your baby that also honors the feelings of your spouse.

2. Find time to laugh and do things that you enjoy together. Grieving is hard, heavy work. Find some time to keep it light.

3. Keep life as simple as you can. Try not to take on too much for your family schedule. Protect yourselves and each other from extra stress or things that may bring unneeded sorrow.

4. Find ways to honor the memory of your baby as a family.

5. Communicate with love and respect.

6. Take comfort in physical affection. Do not turn away from each other, but turn toward each other.

7. Pray together and for each other. God is able to mend your broken hearts and keep your marriage together. Guard your marriage and bathe it in prayer. You may feel too weak to pray sometimes. That’s okay. Saying “God, help me . . . it hurts too much to even pray” is still a prayer. It’s been a prayer of mine many times.

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
~ Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 ~

{ Excerpt from pgs.166-168 of the book, Sufficient Grace (Comfort Publishing), by Kelly Gerken }

You can purchase Kelly’s book here.