THE MARRIAGE STORY…..

(Phil and I read this story the other day, thinking this happens much too often. We said, “this is blog material.” Since we have an extreme interest in helping couples work through their issues to save their marriage during difficult times, you can see why we emailed the gal who wrote it and got her permission to use it. Take time to read it, and just maybe you know someone or you might be that someone who needs this.)

THE MARRIAGE STORY….

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement, which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce, which had obsessed me for several weeks, seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down out side the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote; I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.– At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Written by Amanda Heflin Ray

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ITS EASTER WEEKEND…..

This morning I heard the Weatherman say, “here is your weather forecast for this holiday weekend.” That made me stop and think it’s more than a holiday weekend. I’m afraid if we are not careful we could get caught up in the world’s view of Easter, the bunnies, colored eggs and the new latest fashion outfit to “have” to wear to church this special Sunday. I’ve been there and I know! I want to have moments to reflect on what happened at the Cross for me and the fact HE IS RISEN and lives within me today this very moment…

I’ve enjoyed my friends sharing from their heart today, on Facebook. Let’s read some of their words…..

Karla said:
“The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame You carried it all and rose from the grave How great is the love, of our Savior.

Amy said;
“Wonderful, Merciful Savior…Precious Redeemer and Friend…who would have thought that a Lamb could rescue the souls of men? Thank you Jesus!”

Brandon said;
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” (Gal 3:13)

Darlene said:
“Greatest man in history, named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet he conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. ~ Re-post if you believe with your heart.”

Kara said:
“I can’t imagine what was going through the mind and heart of Jesus on this day over 2000 years ago! Thankful for the cross & the empty tomb!”

When you wake up this Sunday morning think about the empty tomb and the love He had for you and me. I think I will start my morning by singing “BECAUSE HE LIVE I CAN FACE TOMORROW”, you can join me if you like……

(An addendum to the above, just got this email, it is a must read to add here. Jonathan is another lifelong friend. We have known his sweet family for years and BTW he is one of my Facebook friends too, and it is posted there. He loves God and lives his life for Him, to say the least! Take time to soak these thoughts in)

This weekend: Remembrance and Celebration
by Jonathan Aman on Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 10:37am
This is my favorite holiday weekend. Growing up, Easter was a day of cantatas and getting something new and shamefully bright to wear to church. I was probably in high school before I started taking time to remember what we were celebrating. Even then, the majority of my focus for the weekend was on the music I was going to be singing on Sunday. In fact, Good Friday was really about the dress rehearsal for Sunday’s cantata.

Speaking of Good Friday, I don’t remember hearing much about it when I was young. Maybe it was because Baptists are so afraid of anything that resembles a ritual that they figured they’d let the Catholics and Protestants keep that day for themselves. I don’t know. I would have gladly taken that in a trade for “Sonrise” services (which you’ll never be able to convince me had anything to do with the Holy Spirit). But, somewhere along the line, I started taking some time on Good Friday for remembrance.

The last few years, Helena and I can’t seem to get our minds away from the weight of sin that Jesus experienced on the cross. The physical suffering He endured gets most of the play, but the emotional side seems even more unfathomable to me…if that’s possible. Can you imagine feeling the burden of the shame and guilt of all of your sin at once? Take that and multiply it by all of humanity. Now, imagine that your father is perfect in every way…your closest friend and ally…and he turns away from you in the midst of this physical and emotional agony. And that has brought me to this year. The Father.

Friday, around lunchtime, I began reading Isaiah 53. Here, I’m reading the passage that is probably the most famous detail of Jesus’ suffering, and all I can see is the pain of His Daddy watching all of this happen. I balled my eyes out reading verses 10 and 11, and needed a breather. I walked into the next room and watched Silas from a distance. He was watching Veggie Tales while doing his trademark fingers in his mouth and other hand twirling the hair on the top of his head (I’m fairly certain there’s a pic of him doing this somewhere on Facebook). And I stood there shaking my head and pondering how our Father purposely chose to unleash all of His wrath on His Son.

Later that night, we decided to read the garden and crucifixion stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible to Silas before bed. There it was again:

He knew it was time for him to die. They had planned it long ago, he and his Father. Jesus was going to take the punishment for all the wrong things anybody had ever done, or ever would do.

“Papa! Father!” Jesus cried. And he fell to the ground. “Is there any other way to get your children back? To heal their hearts? To get rid of the poison?”

But Jesus knew – there was no other way. All the poison of sin was going to have to go into his own heart.

God was going to pour into Jesus’ heart all the sadness and brokenness in people’s hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus’ body all the sickness in people’s bodies. God was going to have to blame his son for everything that had gone wrong. It would crush Jesus.

I’m not even willing to imagine being in that position. And He was in both. He was the Son bearing all of the agony that came with the cross. And He was simultaneously the Father watching that happen to His only Son. I know. It’s too much for us to comprehend. And it was all because He couldn’t stand the thought of being without me…and you.

That’s what Good Friday is about to me. It’s about remembering the cost, the sacrifice made for us. Yet, we miss out on so much if we stop there.

The problem of sin was dealt with on the cross, and that was taken care of forever. And I spent most of my life content with that truth…even though I didn’t really understand even that side of the cross. But, Sunday is where we live!

In John 10:10, why does He say He came? To give us life! He’s not talking about a dead man getting back his same life that he lost. The Greek word there, Zoe, is the very life of Christ. The finished work of the cross, including the glorious resurrection that followed…that made it all possible for us to obtain the life of the One who is perfect in every way, the One who endured greater suffering than man can fathom, the One who did it all because He only wanted to live if it was with and IN us. That life defines who we are. It’s something we can’t generate. It’s something we can’t recreate. It’s His. And it’s ours if we so choose.

So, to me, Good Friday is about remembrance of sacrifice. Resurrection Sunday is about celebration of life!