Sunday, April 3, 2011

In Sickness and In Health


Click above to begin following Lyryn's redeeming love journey with her husband Jesse.

Marriage is different for everyone.  What I can tell you works for Jason and I may or may not work for you.  All I can tell you is what I know from our experiences, and hope that you can take something with it to benefit your own marriage or relationship.

Jason and I have not experienced the rough patch that you will learn about through Lyryn's journey.  We have not endured a time that we were unsure if our marriage would last.  However, we still fight for our marriage every single day.  If you have experienced any type of rough time during your relationship or marriage, you can benefit from Lyryn and Jesse's testimony.  I urge you to follow along as they share one of the most intimate details of their marriage and how God played such a huge role in taking a broken man and a broken women into a beautiful family.  The only way I know how to support Lyryn and Jesse's decision to open up about fighting for marriages is to open up as well and share how Jason and I have recently learned a new lesson on fighting for our own marriage

Jason and I chose to write our own wedding vows, so we did not recite the standard "in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health..."  However, when we said our vows to each other, we vowed that we would never let anything break us.  Over the past 7 months, we have endured our first true test of things that can often damage a marriage.

A large change in a daily routine can shake anyones solid ground.  Our first minor earthquake came the day that we discovered that Ethan was coming into our lives.  A few weeks later, I was so weak and fatigued that left my husband no choice but to take my load and carry it along with his.  I would feel so guilty watching my husband work 40 hours a week, make dinner, do every ounce of laundry, do all the dishes, bathe the dog, clean the house, and tend to the yard.  He never complained, he never fussed, and never questioned my inability to help him.

Into December, we were still struggling to balance my guilt and Jason's abundant work load.  We discovered my heart problem, and Jason immediately dropped everything and rushed to my side.  He refused to let me fall into my pessimistic ways and consider the possible loss of Ethan.  He also refused to let me believe that I would die before leaving Nashville.

Jason and I had never endured true sickness together.  We have nursed each other through colds and stomach bugs, but we had never faced a true medical emergency.  We have always been there for each other, but true crisis can show a different side to a person.  As our first true crisis in our  marriage, we had to make our choice to hold hands and endure this crisis together, or to cope individually and allow the enemy separate us.

The morning of my surgery, I looked over at my husband asleep in the worlds most uncomfortable chair and marveled that he hadn't left me for a second.  I was in a great amount of pain (from all of the ivs, blood draws, urine catheter, and monitors) and couldn't move comfortably.  My CCU nurse brought in supplies for me to wash up, and left the room for privacy.  I began to attempt it myself, and began to cry because I couldn't move.  My lower half was SO swollen and hurting, I told Jason I would just try again after my surgery.  I felt dirty and gross, but it was going to be completely impossible for me to do it.

Instead of holding my hand and allowing me to cry, Jason kissed my head and took the supplies from me.  Without another word, my precious husband made me comfortable and cleaned me up himself.  He sweetly washed me up, brushed my hair, and changed my pjs.  I continued to cry, unable to explain to Jason why I was crying.  It wasn't until many weeks later that I was able to explain to Jason that I have always known he loves me, but it was that moment of my true weakness that he showed me that he loves me the way God wants him to.

3 weeks post the original surgery, we were tested again with yet another surgery.  Again, Jason did not leave for one moment.  Immediately upon my arrival back to the CCU from the surgery, Jason began to sweetly rub my head.  Completely nauseous and in a fog, I smacked it away and told him "That's sweet and all, but stop."  I'm still teased for it!  Jason didn't allow it to phase him, he knew what I meant.

Upon returning home, Jason continued to endure my load and his load of work and stress.  Estimates of hospital bills began to roll in, and I had been taken off work.  Afraid and upset, I cried multiple times for the pure guilt that MY problem became HIS problem, and OUR financial issue.  Finally, Jason smacked me (figuratively, not literally) back into reality.

I wouldn't hesitate to take on those burdens for him during a difficult time, so why was I so shocked that he was doing this for me now?  I will probably never know, but I must say that every ounce of our marriage was held together by Jason during those few weeks.  I felt so uncertain, so insecure and so afraid.  I was waiting to watch him run the other way with full force.  It would have been so easy for him to say: "I so did not sign up for this."  Truthfully though, he did.  When he promised God that he would stand by me no matter what, he signed up for every bit of my past and future, just as I signed up for his past and future.

Jason and I finally came together to understand that HIS problems are MY problems, and MY problems are HIS problems.  There are no more individual problems-we impact each other.  We chose this when we chose to get married.  Although I was still filled with uncertainty, Jason never once considered to allow these issues to become MY problems.  Likely, we will one day face HIS problem that will become OUR problem.  We fight our individual struggles together, which is how we fight for the marriage we want and the marriage God wants us to have.

No matter what your struggles may be, or have been, in your marriage, I hope you follow Lyryn and Jesse's series to know that you are NOT alone.  Often times we hide our marriage struggles to the world and feel that no one else has to work hard to keep their marriage strong.  Although my blog won't be entirely dedicated to this series over the next month, you will also hear about it again from Jason and myself to continue to show our support in their journey to promote protecting your marriage.


Brittany Ann said...

Amen amen amen! People always ask me (single people) how hard it is to be married and think of someone else.

But in situations like this, it's the best. Marriage is supporting each other and NOT having to endure life alone. We shoulder our burdens together. That, alone, gives me respite and more faith in my marriage than anything I found single.

Lyr said...

Thank you so much for supporting us in this!! You are a true friend!

Erika and Jason said...

This is beautiful Paige. Made me cry:-) This is what marriage is definitely about!

Brittney Gomez said...

Thanks so much for sharing! It is awesome to hear about other couples who stick it out through their struggles and know God has a better plan for their lives. Eddie and I are actually on a leadership team for Family Life ministry and had a meeting today in Louisville about a conference being held this fall. If we get a chance to head to Bowling Green this summer, we will have to meet up so I can tell you about it. So happy to hear your pregnancy is going better!