For Better, For Worse.
My husband, who is a chaplain in the Army Reserves was gone for 3 months this summer. Now that the hubs is back and I’ve had more time to reflect on this summer, it has actually caused me to reflect even further. I’ve been thinking about all the stuff Michael and I have been through—pain that could have torn us apart. The pain of infertility, the pain of a miscarriage, the difficulty of my health crises (pacemaker and adrenal fatigue), the financial struggle, the pain of having a child you cannot fully connect with, and the difficulty of being apart for 3 months. We definitely learned a lot from these times, and had our hiccups, but overall it has brought us to such a deeper place in our love for one another. Why? Well, Jesus, He’s great about redeeming our pain. Also, we made the choice to commit to one another and let adversity grow us and not tear us apart—both individually and as a couple. Here’s my encouragement and tips for couples and this can be applied at anytime, whether you’re in a season of challenge and grief, or joy and rest.
1. Make the hard choice of seeking emotional health for yourself. See a counselor, talk to a pastor or mentor, dig deep and do the hard work your heart needs. Don’t be afraid to let Jesus and others into those places.
2. Have honest conversations with your spouse in these sensitive times. Be a person of grace and understanding. Practice healthy self-awareness in your conversations.
3. Understand that they will deal with pain differently than you do and there’s nothing wrong with that. We don’t all process and grieve the same.
4. Keep investing in each other. This can be hard when you're going through pain, we often forget about us, but it's key to a healthy relationship. Set aside time for one another on a daily basis and be as consistent as you can. Maybe your season doesn't allow for an extended period of time, but think of creative ways to still connect. Text, have a 10 second kiss each day, a phone call over lunch, or a handwritten post-it note.
5. Press into Jesus individually and together as a couple. Let Him grow you—not towards bitterness (which can happen), but a deeper place of trust in His love. We should always be growing and adversity has a great way doing that if we let it.