Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What God Hath Joined

I think we've known since the moment we were pronounced: no going back. What [...] God hath joined together, let not [wo]man put asunder, and we know He joined. We can never doubt His joining; we prayed for God's blessing and watched His swinging wide the doors to our union. 

God went to a good bit of trouble just to get Jim and I in the same stateEven in the hardest, most challenging times, we haven't been able to forget the miracle of it: how--in no time flat--God made possible the nearly impossible. At points it would've been easier to doubt, but we've never been able to doubt: God joined.

As people who love God, then, and cannot doubt His joining; as people who love one another; as people who love our children...quitting has never been an option. The only option has been to live (ever after) happily, unhappily, or somewhere between.

One would expect love to make happiness easy to come by; it doesn't, necessarily. One would expect persistent unhappiness to be born of some huge infraction (addiction, adultery); it isn't, necessarily. So many ways to sin against one another, and "little sins" can accumulate and become fertile ground for resentment: a sin that leads to even more sin. Nothing snow balls like sin. I'm not telling you anything you don't know.

Jim and I spent six sessions with a counselor, but (long story short) our insurance company paid for the second half of the sessions only upon our appeal. We haven't yet found the will to switch to a counselor approved by our insurance company.

In the meantime, we've made halfhearted attempts to follow the reflective-listening process our counselor taught us, and interestingly, we've experienced a bit of a breakthrough. (Pity it took so long; I blame our lackadaisy.) It happened because Jim said: "Your hurt doesn't come across as hurt. It comes across as anger, and I go immediately on the defensive." It happened, too, because I was in the right spirit to receive those words. (I give the Lord credit for all of it.)

As I considered Jim's words, I knew he was right. Not only does my hurt come across as anger, but many of my negative feelings (disappointment, fear, frustration, etc.) come across as anger. The anger is real enough; I become angry that I'm hurt, disappointed, fearful, frustrated, etc. But all Jim can perceive is anger, and--because he doesn't think anger is warranted, and/or because he's unwilling to help me with a problem when I'm angry--the problems persist or even grow.

I've been shooting myself in the foot for so long.

In case you're wondering why in the world I'm writing/posting this, I mean only to encourage. I'm not trying to make my story yours. (Only you know where you are, and why, and how God is leading you.) I'm just sharing: inside of my own marriage, love hasn't made happiness easy to come by; yet, I don't think hard always means wrong or not worth saving. Also, even recently, I've thought: we will never get past ___. But then (like that old cliche about its being darkest right before dawn) we've gotten past, like, four ___s, and all at once.

I love him. For the first time, I'm taking seriously the spirit with which I approach him. It's helping.

Photo by Heather Causey


  1. don't know if you get my comments when i respond to the email post so putting here. first, jim is looking fine!!!! so happy for all of ya'll.
    second, and I am fairly certain someone has told you this in the past, but as a refresher, and check it out from other sources, anger is a secondary emotion. it usually is as a result of hurt, of not getting our way, of not having our needs met, of our expectations getting dumped on once again.

    if you start analyzing and thinking about it, you will realize it...when you scream at your kid and grab there arm after they almost walked into the road in front of the car, it is not really anger, even though it seems that is what it is and looks like what it is, it is panic, relief, fear, etc. first.

    figuring out what the first emotion is helps to defuse the anger...boy, if i could only practice what i preach all the time. having your significant others realize that is what your anger is a result of is also helpful. your attitude in taking seriously the spirit with which you approach him is huge.

    by getting to know you through your blog, i just want you to know how much i enjoy you, even in our total oppositenss!!!

  2. Oh Brandee, I thank the Lord that you two are in a 'growing' good place. This makes my heart happy. I have been wondering but also didn't want to pry.

    Love it all, fighting for what the Lord gave to you is always going to end in blessing.

  3. That's a beautiful family picture, and it's so good to hear real stories of real people who go through real challenges, yet have a REAL God who can help make real good things come out of our imperfection.

    (Bonus for using "real" five times in one sentence...)

    Blessings to you!

  4. hey good on you for seeking you know my wife and i went through some challenges a few years ago...its not hard...and its not something that will go away you have to deal with it....

  5. oh Brandee..I think it might go back to "that fairy-tale ending" we're led to believe comes to those princesses (that try hard enough to be one) at some time in our relationships. But what we end up with is frustration and disappointment (reality) instead! And it's a pretty big blow.

    Thank God, HE is there at the end of that realization to helps us! You are so blessed to have a man who is willing to get counselling with you and try makes things work. Not all men do, they don't think they are the problem (and maybe they're not!) but it takes two to make a relationship work! {{hugs}} and prayers to you as you seek to be renewed by God's Spirit to be the best wife for your man. XX