Emma Talks Marriage

The first few months were HARD. I was very ill. It was some of the darkest months of my life. Concerning expectations….he won’t know unless I tell him. Love is patient.

We choose transparency. We don’t always share everything, (’cause that’s a lot of information!), but we try and share the hard things. The uncomfortable things. The important things. We share our temptations and sin and help each other establish healthy boundaries. We hold each other accountable. This is easier said than done, but with practice it gets easier. We’ve had some time to practice. (:

Some of our hardest seasons have been chronic pain. Painful intimacy. Infertility. Pregnancy loss. Through it all, we held each other and cried. We prayed together. We laid hands on each other. We didn’t loose hope.

Infertility, being barren, longing for a child is more painful than any physical pain I know, and I know physical pain. Intimately. I would hope with every fiber of my being and then be reminded with every negative pregnancy test that I was broken.

A doctor once told me I was young and could live my life without kids, “So don’t get yourselfworked up – there are women who would do anything to be in your shoes.” My infertile shoes! I was broken. And then there was a random cashier who asked if I wanted kids and my heart sank.

I once cried when a stranger said “it will happen in time” TIME. Time was my enemy. I hated it. It disgusted me. You see, I struggled with painful periods my whole life. The pain would become worse with each passing month. I was advised by my doctor to see a specialist and consider “my options”.

I did. I was diagnosed with endometriosis as well as adenomyosis. I was told surgery would probably help, but wouldn’t “cure me”… Best case scenario, I could manage or “cope” w/ surgery and prescription strength drugs for pain. Hopefully conceive and eventually heal from years of scar tissue.

We spent some time praying/searching for alternatives to surgery and while I found some treatments to be helpful, I was still suffering from debilitating pain. Full hysterectomy. That was my last resort.

I didn’t feel right about stripping God of any possibility of healing me, so I waited. We waited and cried and waited and prayed together. Shane applied for family medical leave to care for me as needed during the first few years of marriage. It was unpredictable. The pain. Those we’re the darkest years. The pain mixed with infertility.

There was a correlation on a physical level and a spiritual level. My heart longed for a child of my own. I had loved many children as my own, but it wasn’t the same. My arms were empty. My heart was empty. And while everything in me seemed empty, I would loose a little more of me with each passing month. Shane was silent. I needed to be held and he knew it. I needed to be comforted without hearing “it’s going to be ok”, and he knew it.

He just held me. We cried a lot. I stopped praying, but he didn’t. He must have had a great weight on his shoulders. He knew how “broken” I was, he understood the longing of my heart. He too was broken. His dreams of a JOYOUS marriage and of growing a family together were not in the cards for us (or so it seemed).

I said it before, but truly, those were the darkest years. The unknown. The fear of the unknown. And then a decision that would be made. A decision that would determine “our fate”.  A hysterectomy was scheduled the year we experienced our first miracle, (pain free intimacy) followed by our second miracle, (OUR SON).

 

I think that’s exactly why I feel truly thankful for everything. I realize hope and the fruit of our faith in Jesus. Shane would pray for our family, believing when there was nothing to believe in (nothing outside of Jesus). He’d say, we believe in miracles because of JESUS. I lost faith so many times. And when I thought God heard my prayers, our prayers, we lost our first pregnancy that we knew of. So painful.

The worst thing you could say to someone experiencing infertility or pregnancy loss is, “it will happen in time” or “maybe it’s not supposed to happen at all”. Shane was silent. He knew how deep those words cut me by the pain in my eyes. He just knew. I knew he knew.

He said nothing, but I love you. 

I love you and I wouldn’t change anything.

We were selfish too. Willing to throw in the towel, give up so early in our marriage. I pushed Shane away. It was such a difficult time. I wanted him to be unfaithful to me so I’d have a reason to leave, to file for separation or worse. He was tired of being pushed away. He was hurting so much. We were hurting so much.

Can you imagine? Being newlyweds and wanting to cry tears of despair when people complimented you? If people knew. I mean, here we were (churched, even involved in a newlyweds small group), and we’re secretly plotting the end if our story, before giving it a chance to begin!

We pushed each other away, hoping to protect ourselves from further pain only to discover a painful life without each others love and support.  We know pain intimately, we know each other intimately as well and we know our love for God and God’s love for us is enough. 

He and I re-dedicated our marriage to Jesus and we continue to re-dedicate it daily! Transparency! This is where we’ve seen God truly do a work in our lives! Individually and as a couple. God is so incredibly patient with us! What a piece of work!

I say all that to say…we don’t really know anything, do we? We don’t know each other’s hearts the way God does! He knows our hearts! How incredible! Healing is incredible both physical and emotional! For me, healing began from the inside out.

The good stuff in marriage is—

Transparency. Try it!

When you hit rock bottom, HEALING.

LOVE! It’s possible to grow more and more in love!

Our marriage is a grand adventure! A comedy show! A roller coaster ride! It wasn’t always this way. As I said above, the beginning of our marriage was HARD. My husband tells me I’m beautiful everyday. I didn’t believe him at first because I believed the lie that I was broken. Over time, I’ve healed both physically and emotionally.

I want girls to know that—

Love is patient and kind and so many things, but it isn’t silent. If you experience pain in your relationship, whether it be physical or emotional SPEAK UP. Your husband won’t leave you. That’s a lie. He won’t love you any less. That’s also a lie.


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