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Jan 21 2013

Marriage Monday – The mutual blessing that comes from being “real”

He is my Strength and Portion, Forever.

It’s hard for me to share my deepest fears and open up to a huge group of people. I am such a private person in so many ways.   I don’t have any trouble being real, honest, and very expressive about my struggles when I feel comfortable with someone; I thrive on encouraging  and supporting hurting people in prayer, and it’s during those times that I share my story of Grace.

I also love being able to share my thoughts on God’s Word and focus on Him – - – but, I write today to share with you how God has done a work in my marriage about choosing to be real and opening up in Perfect Trust to my husband.  I pray it encourages you.

 

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I had a hard time opening up to people even as a child.  As a perfectionist, I hid my true feelings from those around me and convinced myself that I was always OK… even when I was hurting inside.  I didn’t know what it was like to have a safe person affirm my feelings.   I was driven to prove my worthiness and value.

God did a work in my heart and in my emotions after my first husband left me.  I cried out in prayer to the LORD – and  He became my Everything, my Lover, my Healer.  Through His Grace, I made a decision to forgive my ex-husband and start rewriting the dysfunctional messages that had taken root in my heart with the Eternal Truth of who I was in Christ.  I found contentment and healing  in my relationship with God; I wasn’t looking for a anything else to heal my wounded heart and give me the unconditional love that only He could give me.

God blessed me with a second chance and redeemed what had been lost to me  I walked with joy into the calling of wife, mom, and homemaker when I married Randy 11 years ago. We have faced many things in those years, but  through it all I have learned to trust Randy and lean on him, knowing he’s going to be faithful to me. He affirms me as a wife, mom, and fellow Christian sister in the LORD.  He works very hard at work and at home to provide for our family; he is a man of commitment and character.   I am truly blessed.

 

11 years together – November 2012

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2012 was a year where God got my attention and sought to bring me deeper into intimacy with Him and my husband….  It was a year of struggle, of loss, of my life being shaken up, never to be the same again.

I am currently facing many unknowns as I see different specialists to determine a diagnosis for physical issues I have right now.  I have been pushing forward, believing with my whole heart that God will take care of me – - – but,  I shut off many of my emotional reactions to each new thing I was told, trying to be strong for my husband and children.   (By not reacting to it and not talking about it, maybe it isn’t really happening, right?)

In shutting off my emotions and trying to battle through this alone, I was shutting out my husband’s access to being a support and blessing in my life as only he can be.

It wasn’t intentional, but it was a reaction to protect our hearts from the pain of walking this new journey.

Yes, I was struggling and hurting, but my heart wanted to protect my husband from my burden.  What I didn’t remember was that anything that was affecting me was going to affect him.

I could see in his eyes his fear and sadness as I pulled back and away from him.

I withdrew into a cocoon of prayer and isolation.

I was walking at an arm’s length from him during this time: he could see me emotionally struggling, but couldn’t really touch my heart. And I couldn’t touch his either.

~~~~~

For so long I had lived under the lies of I don’t have needs, I don’t have limits, I am always “fine” … even when everything was crumbling before my eyes.  I was creating a wall of false self-sufficiency around my heart, a fragile wall between us where I was working hard to forget that Randy was also in pain.  I knew he was longing  to reach out to me in support – - –  but I didn’t want to acknowledge his pain for fear that doing so would open the floodgates of emotions in myself as well.  The thought was overwhelming to me.

We still communicated, but we talked about the facts: schedules, doctor appointments, and symptoms.  He was there to hold my hand in the hospital and before I had a procedure.  He has been and will continue to be my greatest support  - – - but, I felt like something vital was missing.

 

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I turned in prayer to the LORD –   and, He answered me:  I was missing our special time of prayer and spiritual connection that had gotten neglected over the years as family life got busy.  I desired to hear my husband’s voice being lifted in prayer over me again, and to have time each day to connect on a deeper level by sharing our hearts with one another, even if it was going to be painful for both of us.

God prompted me to bring this up to Randy, but I was scared that he wouldn’t be able to handle thinking that he had somehow failed me when nothing could have been farther from the truth. Right around this same time I had been reading a book for a book review for my other blog.  (I just love how God works!)  In it, the author describes that a husband can handle hearing feedback from his wife as long as she remembers that his primary need from her is her unconditional respect.

So, I took a deep breath one night when the timing felt right… and I shared what was on my heart, keeping in mind that my attitude and words should show him honor and respect to keep the lines of communication open.  I simply shared how I missed our prayer times, connecting each day, and started sharing our hearts and emotions with one another.  We cried, connected, and prayed together.  The wall had crumbled… and I let him back into my heart with both arms.

Why had I tried to protect him by keeping so much to myself, carrying this overwhelming burden when God had given me a husband to be my greatest support?  By shutting off myself to him I was  shutting off the blessing of having my husband support, show his love, and bless me in my need.

~~~~~

We don’t know what the future holds and what we may hear from any future doctors, but I am grateful that this time has grown in me a need for a more intimate, genuine connection and transparency with my husband.  Above all, I am grateful to have been given a deeper understanding of how much Grace is there for me in my need.  His Grace is more than enough and I trust my future to my Lord….

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To God be the Glory,

Gina Marie

Linked up with Making your Home Sing Mondays at Mom’s the Word I love to hear

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About the author

Gina Marie

Gina is thankful to be on the journey of Hope to be found in the LORD and His Word. She is blessed to be married to her precious husband Randy and to be the full-time homeschooling mom of three kids: one teen girl, one pre-teen girl, and one son still in the single digits. Her days are full and she is always trying to keep up with the details, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. When she isn't writing here, you can find her at http://ginaweeks.wordpress.com/.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.surrenderedlivingnow.com/2013/01/21/marriage-monday-the-blessing-that-comes-from-being-real/

  • Tandis

    So sorry to hear about your illness. I will stop now and pray for God’s hand to heal and guide the Doctors as they treat you.
    A Godly husband is a treasure. It sounds like God has given you a wonderful gift in your husband.

    I really liked the advice from the book about…”the author describes that a husband can handle hearing feedback from his wife as long as she remembers that his primary need from her is her unconditional respect.”

    ~Tandis

    • Gina Marie

      Thank you so much, Tandis, for your prayers and uplifting comment. I will pray with you for God’s healing upon my body,

      My husband is such a loving treasure – I am blessed beyond words by his Godly love for me.

      Remembering to have respect in words, tone, and attitude towards my husband in showing my love to him as really helped me learn better ways of being a wife since I didn’t have good role models. Praise God that we can learn new habits and change family dynamics!

      To God be the GLORY!

      Gina Marie

  • Nan

    Gina, this is beautiful! I loved where you talked about replacing the dysfunctional messages with God’s truths. That is so right on for what we all need to do.

    I can understand your need to be strong, I get that way too. I tend to like to be in control and in the past I would shut out my emotions in order to satisfy my need to be in control and “not crumble” and be strong and that is not healthy.

    Now I often find myself doing a sort of Scarlet O’Hara thing and figuring “I’ll worry about that tomorrow.” But really, I think it’s just me trying to trust the Lord and remain in the moment and not worry about “tomorrow” and the possible pain I will face from my diagnosis.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

    • Gina Marie

      I am so grateful for you leaving a comment, Nan, and sharing from your heart in this.

      I can relate to much of what you wrote here; know that I am praying for you as you also walk this road.

      May each of us learn how to walk in Truth and Faith in the LORD’s love for us, one day at a time.

      Gina Marie