Ahhh, marriage… Tis so much more than that beautiful white dress, the romance of a honeymoon and those sweet moments of snuggling on the couch.
Marriage also includes challenges, growth, conflict, and on days when all of those things are present, sometimes hamburger helper for supper.
Before I dive into today’s blog post on marriage, I have a disclaimer: First of all, the following story is not a “wawhoo-they-have-a-great-marriage” story. It is actually a “wawhoo-we-worship-an-incredible-God-and-we-are-so-thankful-He-is-the-center-of-our-marriage-and-yes-we-still-have-a-long-way-to-go” story. Also, I am not a huge advocate of airing “dirty laundry” in public forums like a blog for all the world to see, but this was such a remarkable testimony to God’s faithfulness that I couldn’t NOT share. (Plus it’s not really that dirty of laundry anyways.)
Oh, and a bit of background for those of you who might be new to this locale: My sweet hubby Brandon is a drill sergeant with the United States Infantry. We have been married for two wonderful (and educational) years.
A couple of weeks ago was “FTX” time in my husband’s training cycle as a drill sergeant. FTX stands for “Field training Exercise” which is code for “let’s go do profound infantry things out in the bushes for a week so these boys can officially be soldiers.” As a wife, sometimes I think FTX actually stands for “Frequently a Time of Exasperation.” But I digress. So he left for FTX with the intention of coming home at least one night out of the 4 or 5 nights that he would be in the field. However, due to some new “rules,” this theory was flushed away on day one… I took it well (thanks, Jesus!) and prepared myself for a week of flying solo.
That was Monday. By Tuesday morning, his phone had died, because someone didn’t take his wife’s suggestion to make sure it was fully charged on Sunday night “just in case.” (I’m a huge advocate of communication.) So, the week wore on with no way to communicate– not a half-second “I love you” text or “Yep, still alive” text. I spent my time working and hanging out with Jesus to stave off loneliness and attacks by The Enemy.
Long story still long, my dear husband was planning on being home mid-day Thursday ish. I went to work. And came home. No sign of him. No word from him. I started on supper, confused, a wee bit frustrated (seriously, it wasn’t bad at this point.) I was making a simple, homemade version of hamburger helper (not out of the box, but very similar.) As I was working over the stove, my phone rang. It was my husband. My heart flopped with glee! Finally!
I answered and he sounded exhausted. I excitedly asked if he was en route homeward. Negative. My heart sank. My frustration with his job in the army grew. It had been a rough day (ok, week) for him. But as we talked, my womanly (pregnant) hormones took over. I could hear my voice rising as I stirred supper faster and faster. Brandon asked for me to pray for him– for patience to make it through the next several hours, with his co-workers, with the entire situation. I snapped back at him “Um, I HAVE been praying for you. ALL WEEK.” (Classy, I know. Sigh.)
His voice cracked as he said “No, seriously, Sharita. I NEED you to pray for me.”
My heart switch flipped. The tears were rolling as I dropped my spoon on the counter and headed to the living room. I knelt down on my knees, leaning on the couch. I started to pray. Out loud. On the phone.
Guess what? Jesus. Showed. Up.
I learned that it is impossible to be ticked off when you are legitimately in the presence of God. I prayed for us with my beloved on the other end of the line. By the time I got done, my heart was lighter. My tears had stopped. His voice sounded stronger.
This post is not to say that our marriage is perfect (it’s not) or that we have it all figured out (we don’t.) But it is a testimony to the power and presence of God… How do you invite Christ into your everyday life? Has He shown up and shown out lately? In what ways? I love to hear from you… Leave your comments below.
I praise God for His incredible faithfulness. What could have been a knock-down-drag-out-pouty-tearful-unChristlike moment in our marriage turned into a sweet, redeeming memory of focus on God and love for each other with a simple prayer that all started with Jesus… And hamburger helper.
Jesus is OUR helper,
“I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.” ~1 Corinthians 7:29-31 MSG