As I sit here starting to write my article on Intimacy, I am reminded again of how much I am blessed to be a part of this community and to have Mary as my sister in the LORD and fellow woman on the Journey.
I have been touched, inspired, encouraged, and reminded again and again of the Goodness of our God through her posts and the open sharing of her heart, especially last week as we came together to celebrate her anniversary.
When you bless Mary, it blesses me through the overflow. Thank you for your love, prayers, comments, and various gifts of encouragement you sent through your words last week.
Thank you, Mary, for who you are and what God is doing through you.
I am halfway though this series about Marriage and Chronic Illness. The topic this week is one that will be hard for me to address in only one article. Because of that, I plan to split it up into two articles, one published tonight and one published next Monday.
Please feel free to leave a comment or send a message to us on Facebook, letting us know your thoughts and concerns if this is a struggle in your marriage relationship. I am praying for you as I write tonight.
Intimacy – just the word can make people squirm or sit up and take notice. To be honest, I don’t feel that I am the most qualified to speak to you on this subject; what I do know is that I can share from my heart and from my experiences. I pray that I can point to to the Hope we can find in God for all of our needs. So, with that out of the way, here goes!
To me, Intimacy can center around the closeness we have as man and wife in all areas of our relationship: mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Each aspect isn’t separate from the other and each feeds or takes away from the intimacy in the other area. When we neglect connecting on any level, it affects our intimacy as a whole and we start to feel a disconnect.
Marriages, even Christ-centered, God-honoring ones, aren’t immune from trials and struggles. Building intimacy in our relationship with one another takes time, effort, humility, and unselfish service. When you deal with physical illness and the stress that comes with it, it’s very hard to continue giving the time and effort needed to keep things running smoothly in life and in your marriage.
Intimacy - or the lack thereof – can be the barometer to what is a temperature change in your marriage. Sometimes you can’t put a finger on it, but you know that the pulse of your shared heartbeat is slowing down. You are left with a choice – what are you going to do about it?
Here is part one of my story….
When Randy and I got married, I was already a mom from my previous marriage. We were building a new family – - with a little one - Miss K@ – already in our family. It was an exciting and stretching time for all of us. My first health challenge came within the first three months of our marriage. Our Honeymoon Baby, conceived during our first month as man and wife, was lost to miscarriage at only 8 weeks or so.
We went from the excitement of marriage, to the unbelief at a positive pregnancy test that first month, to soon learning that our child was with God. Miscarriage causes a great many struggles - – and I sunk into a deep depression at being unable to carry that pregnancy. I also had to deal with surgery and recovery and the complications that came from it within a very short time after losing our first child together.
A year later, I was on bed-rest, carrying the Singing Peach. Week turned into months which turned into almost the whole pregnancy requiring me to be off of my feet, rest, and not do anything too strenuous. The same protocol was followed with my next pregnancy, with the Boy Scientist. If you know anything about bed-rest and pregnancy, it can definitely keep you from certain activities with your husband and being able to take care of more than just your own needs for a while. It’s such a blessed and hard time to experience.
So, childbearing was behind me – I was 30 years old – and looking forward to regaining my health and raising my family. For the next three years I suffered from one issue to another. One hospital visit to another. I won’t share all of the details, but I was unable to be the wife I wanted to be for my husband in the physical realm of intimacy in marriage for many, many months. I wasn’t healthy, I was not doing well, and our time together was very limited as a result.
When I was 33, I made the difficult decision to have a surgery that could help alleviate some of my issues – - – I ended up with three procedures at the same surgery. Recuperation was hard, I contracted a hospital super-bug, I was on major antibiotics, and it was all I could do to take care of the day to day things as I, again, tried to rebuild my health.
Things started improving, slowly. I started losing weight, getting stronger, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - – it had been a dark tunnel for a very long time. I wanted to be able to keep up with life, with my kids, and have the energy and strength I needed to be the wife I felt my husband deserved. I was working hard with that goal in mind.
But then – last August I ended up in the hospital with what I consider a physical collapse. I had a very slow pulse, very low blood pressure, and I could barely move. When I look back at it now, I guess you could say that my body was trying to send me a message: I am not well AND things needs to change!
I won’t be able to go in to all of the the details today of how I have been carried through this new season of more physical challenges – - I can only write so long – - you can only read so long – - but I will say that God has led me, protected me, comforted me, and given me the ability to continue to build my marriage, in this time, through His Grace and to His Glory.
Please join me next week as I share how you can build intimacy in your marriage, no matter the challenge, with the LORD’s Help and His Grace.
Please leave a comment (or send a message on the Unwrapping His Grace Facebook Page), letting us know how we can be in prayer for you this week.
I also welcome your input in letting us know what topic you would like discussed in an upcoming installment of Marriage Mondays on Unwrapping His Grace.
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To God be the glory,