I rolled over after another sleepless night and looked at the person asleep next to me. I recognized the same messy hair, jaw line, and stubly chin I had fell in love with…the way he slept, the sound of the silent but ever present snoring was all the same, but something was different.
For some reason I just didn’t recognize him….recognize myself anymore.
We were but two strangers that shared a bed. Two people who were trying to live in a world we once knew.
There was just one problem with that.
That world had changed. It had changed the minute we found out we were pregnant with two and brought one home.
It had changed the moment we were forced to pick out wooden boxes, and ceramic cubes to place the remains of our broken hearts into.
We had changed the minute he was awaken by my torturous scream one summer morning. As he desperately attempted to force his breath in to our precious daughter as she continued to turn blue.
Those things changes “Us.” We wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. They molded and shaped us into sometimes unrecognizable characters in an nightmare of a story.
And we thought we had made it through.
That the statistics and warnings were things to be worried about in the beginning stages. That the hard work had to be done in those first few heartbreaking month’s.
But you see the work doesn’t end.
Because the grief never does…
Marriage is a beautiful thing but it is also hard work. Add a dead child, or two into the mix and the hard work becomes even more of an uphill battle. A battle where you are already injured and mamed and the ability to keep going sometimes seems overwhelming.
A battle where you are left not knowing wether you are fighting against the enemy or each other.
I wish I had have known.
I wish I had have known that I could wake up a few years later and not recognize the man I married.
That I could have been prepared for the times we would find our selves in different places at different times.
Because you will.
Because it is unavoidable.
Because we do not grieve the same.
As a woman, grief left me feeling a failure, lonely, and broken.
I looked to my husband to “fix” me. To fill all those voids….and when his grief left him paralyzed and unable to do so, I blamed him.
He wasn’t able to anyways.
I was looking to the world to fix a brokenness only my God could fix.
I wish I had of know that sooner.
That I had of trusted God to fill me back up when I was empty. That I had have known to control my tongue and to be patient.
That I would have relied on God to fill my impossible voids and to tame my unrealistic expectations sooner.
So here I sit today.
Married but struggling.
Fighting but injured.
But I want to leave you with this.
When your grief begins to fade don’t let your marriage fade with it.
Talk, touch, share .
When your lonely. Look to him.
When your scared. Pray to him.
When your expectations are not being met. Listen to him.
As hard as it might be to hear they just might not be that important in his moment.
Today I am praying for you. For both of you.
That your marriage remains steady, consistent, and strong in a storm so large you cannot see the end.
That you use the changes to grow. To strengthen the chain that not even the enemy can break.
So that one day you don’t wake up to someone you don’t know, but that you were prepared enough to wake up to that changed, but perfectly imperfect man that you married not that long ago.
Surrounded by love, anchored in strength, and grounded in God’s grace.
I’m rooting for you.
You got this.