I don't think it's a coincidence that we find ourselves going through the biggest struggle in our marriage shortly after having attended two marriage seminars. We came away from those in such a good place. We got so much out of that time together.
I have two thoughts...
1. God was preparing us.
2. Satan didn't like what he saw.
Admittedly our own actions precipitated this whole thing. But, God saw this coming, even if we didn't. And I believe he was trying to give us our best shot. And Satan, well, he's never happy to see believers growing in their faith and, frankly, he's an opportunist.
Whenever we've been faced with a challenge before it would bring us together. Even if previously we'd been at odds, when something came along that threatened one of us or our family we would tackle it as a team. But in the past it had always been something external, something that happened to us, not something that we caused ourselves. That's what has made this time different. And that has been the biggest struggle. Instead of a common conflict uniting us, this has been dividing us. It has driven a wedge between us. There's this chasm with Michael on one side and me on the other. We built a rope bridge across, but it feels shaky and uncertain. It's scary to even attempt to cross. And there are times when we wonder if it's best to just stay where we are, rather than risk losing everything...because that's what it feels like, that we might lose everything. The problem is that we weren't meant to tackle this alone, my husband on his side of the bridge and me on mine.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
Text messages from earlier today...
me: Hi. I'm sorry about last night.
M: I love you.
me: Sometimes it feels like nothing is going to be okay ever again.
M: I know what you mean.
me: How do we fix it? Can we fix it? Is it hopeless? Is it over?
M: Prayer and hard work. I have to believe yes. No. Not unless we give up.
me: Do you want to give up?
M: Never, as long as you are with me.
me: I'm always with you, for as long as you want me to be.
M: Thank you for standing with me. Without you I'm weak, lost.
me: I'm sorry I haven't been very strong for you. I've really been struggling.
M: See, that's the weird thing. I don't need you to be strong. I just need you to be there, with me. You are my strength, not your strength.
me: Together we're strong. With God we're strong. We need to remember that, not lose sight of it. Satan wants to tear us apart. He wants to destroy us, our family. We can't let him.
me: I love you. I need you. I don't want to go through life without you. I'm just scared.
And that's where we find ourselves.
It's hard to forgive. But, it's harder not to. It's hard to trust. But if we don't trust then what are we left with?