Why Marriage is a Crapshoot.

A while ago I was sitting at a wedding shower visiting with an old friend of mine while the beautiful young bride was opening her treasures. After a moment or two of silence, she leaned over and whispered “Is this hard for you?”

I flashed back to when we were dating. So young. So full of hope. Potential. The courtship. The late night conversations. God Talks. Future Talks. The laughter. The answered prayers. His proposal. The ups and downs of planning a wedding and merging two lives. The beautiful shower. The pre-marital counseling. The greenlight. Friends praying over us and for us. God being the center and having hard conversations. We were building the love and intimacy that starts with dating, builds with engagement and strengthens in marriage. Only ours never strengthened. There were undisclosed secrets that kept us from bonding. When the foundation blew out within six months of the wedding bells ringing and marriage didn’t fix the hole from his childhood, instead of turning to God and doing the work, he just went numb. And I spent the next 4.5 years turning myself inside out in hopes of bringing back the boy I had fallen in love with. I figured I must have broken us so I had to fix us. Thankfully, God sent some wise counselors to speak truth into my heart before it died forever. And in a story for another day, I was rescued, redeemed and restored.

I paused for a second,

“It used to be but not anymore.”

“We had all of this,” gesturing towards the community of women celebrating this lovely bride-to-be.

“Every marriage starts with the same potential. In my case, two people who loved God and loved each other.  It’s just there is no guarantee that both people with continually choose to follow God. And there is no guarantee that both people will be willing to do the hard work it takes to stay married. So it’s kind of a crapshoot. And that’s what terrifies me. You have no control that the other person will keep choosing you…or God.” I smiled and kind of shrugged.

We went back to sipping our sweet tea and quietly observing the “oohs and ahs” as present were opened.

And then to my surprise she leaned over and said, “You know, you’re right.”

“There is no reason that B and I should still be married. We got knocked up in high school, lost a child to illness, and have another that struggles with addiction. We didn’t become Christians until later in life and have been through all kinds of hell.”

We continued chatting but that conversation has stayed with me.

And today, as I was typing this post, a friend responded to a text I sent her earlier congratulating her on the news that she was having another le petit bebe. (Don’t worry, I won’t skip her baby shower) And I started thinking about how pregnancy and delivery is a crapshoot. You can plan and prepare and try to do everything right but sometimes things happen that are beyond your control. Devastating things. Earth shattering things. Life-altering things.

There are so many aspects of life that are absolutely and completely out of my control. Uncertainty is constant.  And that terrifies me. Especially because I have crashed and burned at so many things. But what I call a crapshoot is actually a trust walk. It’s me asking, “Papa Grande, are you really good? Do you really care about my life? I know you love me but do you actually like me? Can I trust you to take care of me? When the disappointment is excruciating and the rejection feels so fresh will you be faithful? Will you keep your promises?

 

And I can say without a shadow of a doubt, the answer is yes.

 

He has been good because He is good. He cares about my life. He really, really likes me. He actually thinks I’m pretty funny. He has always taken care of me. He has and will always be faithful. He has kept every promise. It’s who He is. It is in His nature. And the same God who loves me, adores you to. And all the things He has been to me, He is to you.

Larry Crabb say that in everyone’s life, some dream will shatter. Something you thought you could count on won’t come through.  No one leaves this world unscathed. And whether you believe God allowed it or ordained it, He could have prevented it. And you have to make peace with that God*. That is what the last six years of my life have been about. Making peace with a God whose plans are different than mine.

And as crazy as it sounds, I wouldn’t trade my story for anything. It has made me who I am today. One step closer to the best version of myself.

I started this blog out of obedience because I feel like the Lord is writing a beautiful story through my life and I’m supposed to share my journey. It has been six years since everything shattered. I have been rescued, redeemed and restored. It took work, surrender and wise counsel but I know my heart is whole.

And as my friend Robin texted me this earlier this week,

“You are whole. Jesus did that for you and in you. Live like the woman you always wanted to be because, honey, you already are that woman. “Jesus said, ‘Daughter you took a risk trusting me and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!’” Luke 8:48

l’ll be honest, healing is not for sissies. It takes guts and courage and faith and brutal honesty. But it is so worth it. As my hero Wanda Beth says, “Time doesn’t heal all wounds. God does. Time will tell.”

If you can relate to my story in any way, know that you are not alone. And that God is good. He is involved. And He especially fond of you**.

Love, Love, Love

 

The Girl Who Lives in My Head

crapshoot: (n) something that has an unpredictable outcome

PS This is not a theological stance. It’s a girl working out her faith with fear and trembling before her God. Grace and Peace to you.

*This is a rough summary of what I got out of Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. An amazing read if your life has fallen apart. If everything is going well, you will want to burn it. At least I did when I read it the first time.

**This is something my friend RJ taught me.

3 comments

  1. YES!!! Such wonderful beautiful honesty. That’s all he asks of us. And I love that – time doesn’t heal, God does. I use that a lot. No, it wasn’t supposed to be this way, but it is and God is still in the midst and I think you’re right, you are supposed to tell your story. Sometimes the hardest things we have to go through aren’t only for ourselves, but so that once we grow through them, once we’re not quite so raw, once we can look back and see God’s fingerprints all over that mess, we can share, and encourage and love each other through that next hard thing.
    Keep writing, I love it!

    Like

  2. Leslie! This is beautiful. I love it… And having never been married before, I totally agree. Marriage is a crapshoot. The only reliable thing is God. We plan and we expect and we work towards things, but in truth, God lays the path. And God’s there on that path the entire way.
    Thanks for sharing this sentiment. I feel like too many people are unwilling to admit this. Love you! So glad you’re writing!!!

    Like

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