marriage · overcoming hard times

Love & Marriage Blog Series: Overcoming Hard Times

I thought I would join in a little blog series about love and marriage and link up to a few other bloggers writing on the same topic. Rarely do I post about our marriage because there are some things that are meant to be sacred and really are not things other people {those not in our marriage} need to be privy to. I am not sure what all the topics will be for this series, but if I feel that it is something that would be interesting or helpful to others then I will post.

The first post {and it is too late to link up} was the “about us” post. Here is just a brief summary:

John and I met in college our freshman year and started dating a year later {2001}. Both John and I were members of the Greek system and therefore had many common friends and we were together a ton. We started dating at 19 and had a couple of rough patches in dating with a few little “breaks” but all in all we have always had a great relationship. After dating for almost 5 years John proposed in 2006 and then we were married a year later in 2007. There is your little back story 🙂

Now, on to the post topic: Overcoming Hard Times.

There seemed to be so many obstacles in our marriage the first few years. One thing would happen and just as we bounced back from that another thing would happen. It was as if our marriage was constantly being challenged. Looking back, now, I realize it was all a sign that we needed to get our marriage and our act together as a Christian couple. John and I both grew up in the church and both loved the Lord. We were, what I like to call, “in the closet Christians”. Neither of us really had a proper relationship with the Lord. We certainly prayed and believed, but we are nowhere near where we are today.

Obstacle #1: The day after we got back from our amazing week long honeymoon in St. Lucia John was fired from his job. Yay us! It all really worked out for the best because I did not really like my marketing job and I definitely did not mind not working for that company anymore. Our long term plan was to move to Atlanta at some point, but we ended up moving to my hometown and living with my parents until we could get jobs and we were able to save money. I certainly missed living in Valdosta – our friends, the great times we had…but it was nice to have a place to go while we got back on our feet. It was August when we moved and John got a job in October at Best Buy {which ironically was the same company he was fired from in Valdosta} and I started substitute teaching while looking for a more permanent job. In February I started working in the marketing/new business department of a local bank. Everything was going great! Both of us had great jobs and we were finally able to start saving to purchase a house of our own.

In July 2008 we discovered we were expecting our first child. We were overjoyed! Nervous, but thrilled! We had been living with my parents for about a year at that point and were definitely ready to have our own place, so we looked for a little, but found nothing we liked. The pregnancy was going great, jobs were great – finally we were headed in a great direction.

Enter Obstacle #2: January 15, 2009 – the day we found out our son’s heart was not longer beating and the next day we would give birth to a child that we would never be able to watch grow. I was 30 weeks pregnant and our entire world seemed to come crashing down. If you know me or have been a reader for sometime you know the story, but if not this post is a great start. Life was sad at this point and this was the place in life where my “in the closet Christianity” came out and I clung to the cross like no other. John and I both had a spark that made us search for a closer relationship with God.

Obstacle #3: The bank I work for is making cuts {or something like that – the first half of 2009 is a blur} and I am laid off with a little severance package. John and I see this as another setback to getting our own house.

A few great things happened – we went on a cruise, bought a house, and then discovered we were expecting again!

Of course we were prepared for other bad things to happen – like when the doctors thought something might be wrong with Heidi during pregnancy or during Harrison’s pregnancy when they found the 2-vessel cord.

I am sure there will be more hard times to come. The best part is that I know that John and I have a marriage that is faithful and strong enough to handle whatever is thrown at us. Several times in the past almost 6 years of marriage we have faced some of the hardest challenges that could ever be thrown at a couple.

I do not think there is any secret to why we have been able to manage with the curve balls thrown at us. One thing is we are very open with our conversations. I will admit that it sometimes takes a little bit to get those conversations started, but they are started. The “D” word {divorce} is never mentioned, brought up, or even thought about. Never is that even an option, so why even bring it up? Sometimes {obviously this is not the case for all divorces} I feel like people go into marriage knowing they really do not have to commit fully because there is a way out through divorce. It is what makes people not fight for their marriages and give up. I think all couples go through ruts or rough patches, but being able to work through those patches is what makes for a strong marriage. I feel that because of what we have been through is what makes our marriage strong. It is easy to say you have a strong marriage when you have not faced any adversities….

We are still learning and still growing in our faith, marriage, and ourselves as we take each new step in our lives. The best part is that when the hard times come again, and they will, we will be even more prepared because of the foundation we grew up on and the additions we have made to our present times.


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