There’s a part of me that almost wishes I had started blogging sooner. It feels a little like when you’ve watched the first 20-30 minutes of a movie…then something stole you away for the next 30 minutes, leaving you trying to piece the remainder of the movie together. But, what I’m having to remind myself is, this is not a movie, nor is it a book. It doesn’t have to be set up perfectly. It doesn’t even have to be sequential and most likely won’t be.
I’m kind of feeling like a vent might be coming on. I apologize up front if that’s what this becomes….
We brought Brooklyn home from the NICU on December 6th. The next day we went to her first appointment with her new pediatrician. We had no idea how blessed we would be by this man when we first walked into his office, but we definitely left feeling something special.
After they did the standard routine for a new patient, we sat down with Dr. C and told him about Brooklyn’s diagnosis and how we had decided we wanted to walk that out. Then he asked us if we would like some advice. I think we both answered, yes, very hesitantly. He said, “Take care of your marriage.”
Every week after that we heard, “Hang together”, a lot. And, some mini lectures about how incredibly high the divorce rate is for parents who walk through something like we were.
So, here we are 8 months later. And, those little bits of advice and wise warnings are all starting to make a lot more sense. For us, marriage hasn’t been the cake walk that we seem to witness from the outside of other people’s marriages. I guess that’s the beauty and the trouble when you mix two people who are complete opposites on every front, and then add a few dashes of stubborn, selfish and
stupid expectation…it can get a little messy.
At first, we just needed each other so badly that I think all the normal marital dysfunction was just kind of not important compared to all the other hurt we were trying to navigate through. We were both just trying to get through the day. As time has gone by and we start trying to relearn how to be married without the demands/distraction/JOY of Brooklyn’s care, things are starting to resurface. And, when they resurface it feels 100 times worse than before.
We are both hurting so deeply. And, when we hurt each other – no matter how trite it may seem – it hurts like crazy! I’m sure it’s probably a little different for both of us. But, a lot of times I feel like Adam is the only person on the earth that can understand my pain the most. Or, the only person who could possibly understand my love, longing and desire for Brooklyn. Sure other mothers who’ve gone through similar experiences can understand to a degree, but Adam is the only one who knows it with Brooklyn. So, when I feel disconnected from him whether it’s because I don’t feel pursued by him, or we had an argument, or whatever…I feel like I’m on an island all by myself. I feel so isolated.
She really was and is our bridge.
For better or worse, continuing on…
When conflict would arise in our marriage usually one of us would have enough strength to go to the other and make things right and process through how we got to that place. And, to be honest, 90% of the time that was Adam. Now, that we both feel hopeless in a lot of ways when something hard pops up in our marriage it feels so despairing, but neither of us have the energy on our own to go do what needs to be done. We need Jesus so badly here-and sometimes our friends when we don’t want to listen to Jesus. I told Adam recently after rehashing a fight that lasted far too long, and had really only been started from a simple miscommunication that I can’t wait for the day when we can just say I’m sorry, hug and spend more time talking about how much we really love each other and want to love each other better, instead of trying to go around and around in circles desperate to be understood. Which is really rooted in this lie that if only they understand why I was so hurt, they won’t do it again. That’s a bunch of bologna, they will! I will! And, we’ve been called to extend and receive grace every time.
Connection. Without the help of petty arguments, this is pretty hard in itself. We’ve never exactly been that couple that had a ton of stuff in common, especially when it comes to what we want to do. So, now that we have A LOT of time on our hands conflict finds us here. I think even the fact that we have time to spend together can set the tone to be…sad. We will always be able to connect over Brooklyn-the joys and the grief. But, we still feel so raw that it can be really painful to connect over this. A couple of weeks ago we sat together looking at pictures and crying together. Those are very connecting times but they can be filled with fear that we’re both going to fall into this pit of despair and we won’t be able to help each other out of it.
I’m tempted now to pull out all the blessing woven in and between these ‘complaints’. I certainly hear them and am working on giving them a louder voice, but today they remain kind of weak.
I do believe that God is ‘re-setting’ a lot within out hearts, and our marriage is no exception. At the very least, He’s giving us the opportunity to heal in a completely new and whole way. I feel that every day as he shows me the ways I have been bound up in my thought patterns and ways of being and doing life. This quote I found a few months ago is ringing in my ears….
Today you see only your loss, but then you will see how God used it to break the chains that had begun to restrain you.