Perseverance in Marriage

Posted on June 18th, 2015

A testimony from the desert: the blessed fruit of perseverance in marriage
My marriage of over 40 years has been my “place” of stabilitas. I came to Christ in a little plywood stable that my dad built for my pony, a gift on my sixth birthday. For some mystical reason I felt God calling me that day, and I was awestruck by the subtle experience of the Lord with me there. I was seven years old, and from that point on HE has dominated my life, calling me over and over again to love, obey and worship Him.

In college, a small Southern school with a reputation for parties and good times, I briefly ignored the Lord and fell into a stupor of sloth and worldliness. It was during these few years that I married. I was only 23. My husband was a “good ole boy” with a love of sports and ambition to succeed in life. From the very beginning I felt that we had very little in common and that I had made a terrible mistake. Life was a struggle to communicate with him. In his mind I had no voice worth hearing. His work kept him away from home frequently, which I delighted in and, as well, grieved. Loneliness was always with me. I fantasized about having a different kind of man who would cherish me and enjoy me. My story is a common one that many women can relate to. I think that what makes it unique is that I am still married to this man.

Of course, I am leaving out many details, but I sought the Lord with all my heart all those years, praying for my husband and covering our home and children with God’s grace and protection. I never left the bonds of marriage, even though I contemplated it. In the nineties I attended several PCMs and began to seek the Lord’s healing for my troubled heart and spirit. I prayed the prayers that applied to me and waited for God to move. In the mid-nineties I experienced a severe depression. The disease of introspection descended into me, and I began a journey in darkness. My husband hardly even noticed that I was having a struggle. Depression is demanding, and I finally had to ask for help and ended up in counseling. My husband woke up to this trial of life and came with me. The result of several years of counseling is a long story, but we did begin to communicate better. I found my voice and allowed God to heal many childhood memories. God fought for me when I could not fight for myself–that is so plain to me now.

My two sons are grown men, and I have lovely daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. My husband has not changed much, but I have. Persevering has developed a strength in me that I often marvel at. We are content with one another, which is a miracle. I can protect myself and be a woman with intelligence and maturity. I feel different now than I did during all those years of hurting. I feel known, cherished and called. Your words about the Desert Fathers mean so much to me. I have longed to “go to the desert” and wait for or on the Lord. I see that my marriage is my desert, and, yes, it has been a howling wilderness occasionally. But it is also a lovely place when Jesus is walking with you. Thank you for writing so eloquently about these early ones who laid a foundation for us. Many blessings, in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Photo courtesy of Boykung at freedigitalphotos.net

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