After returning from our honeymoon yesterday and running the errands on our to-do lists, my new husband and I settled down in the living room to reminisce over the past weekend and the past few years together. We both chuckled and admitted if our relationship could be successful then clearly there is hope for most all relationships.
Truthfully, Devin and I hated each other for probably a solid year of our relationship. His constant business and lack of attention to my emotional needs left me feeling lonely and drained day in and day out. My rude behavior and attempts to control him showed him no respect and slowly began sucking the life out of him. We both saw a break-up in our not so distant future.
Life together was bitter.
I remember watching him walk up the driveway one warm late summer day in 2016. Though everything in my flesh fought it, something in my spirit fought harder and sighed quietly, yet firmly to myself, “I’m going to make the best of this for however long it lasts.” Finally, only through Christ working in me, for I myself am not strong nor selfless enough to do it, I began to respect him. I stopped suffocating him in a futile attempt to get the attention and love I desperately desired from him. Though it went completely against my narrow thought process at the time, when I gave him space and respect, I grew to be someone he wanted to be with; without feeling forced, he desired to love me.
In about another six months to a year, our life together became sweet.
Everyday has been a fight for each of us. Some days, we feel the battle raging through every ounce of our bodies. It’s hard putting deer heads on my walls when I was so proud to have a “game free home.” It’s hard for him to not get irritated when I call him 5 times because I’m continually forgetting to ask the question that I actually called him about. It’s not easy for me having a strong personality to let someone with a passive personality be the leader in my home. It’s difficult for him to correct me at times while I am still learning to take correction gracefully. Some days still feel bitter.
But, I have learned, the more bitter days we push through, the sweeter the days become.
There was a point where I could not look at Devin without a scowl on my face. But in the past months, more often than not, I catch myself grinning at him in adoration and pride. We worked through a lot. We are continuing to work through more. Because we hurdled our rough year, he was able to be my rock as I went through more rough points this past year. Our relationship survived what would have killed it at one point because of the bitter moments.
Even in our wedding story, something sweet came out of something bitter.
We had no intentions on getting married this year: until three weeks ago. I received notice I needed new insurance. I knew I could get another plan of my own for a year but it would be exceptionally more than I was paying. I knew with my farmer’s paycheck I couldn’t afford that. I knew I’d have to get married sooner than anticipated. At first my heart broke as my plans all went down the drain. It felt so bitter. But as I talked to Devin and he was so willing to marry me, even excited to marry me, things became sweeter. I assumed a three week wedding would be awful, but things fell into place much better than normal things in life ever work out. So many people have said it, and I firmly believe, this marriage is blessed by God and His hand was on us as we planned this wedding. From the alignment of the schedules at the salon, to the rental of the church, to finding rings in the case in my exact size, to getting Devin’s dream ring in on time to surprise him, to burgundy napkins that made my OCD heart happy, to the overwhelming peace I experienced through the whole three weeks, I cannot give credit to all this and more working out so perfectly to anyone but God. He turned a bitter thing into something sweet. The wedding itself was more fun and meaningful than I could have ever imagined. My heart is overflowing.
Though it seems wrong saying it, I look forward to the future bitter obstacles we will conquer as I have learned, every bitter thing is sweet.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can standinback-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken.”