You’re standing there in front of the man you just promised to share your life with. He puts the diamond ring on your finger, and suddenly your life flashes before your eyes. You become excited for the future. The endless sleepovers with your best friend, the jobs you will have, the home you will buy, the children you will raise together. You love this man with everything in you, and you can’t wait to see little people running around with his DNA. You imagine nothing bad could ever happen. You are both good people; hard workers, loving companions, life planners, and you both love the Lord. This life you’re predicting is going to be perfect with this man by your side; this man as your partner.
“for better, for worse.”
“In sickness, in health”
“For rich, or for poor”
And in my case…
“For time, and all eternity.”
We vow to cherish our partners. To support them. To remain faithful; both emotionally and physically. To lift each other up in times of need. To be that one person who is constantly there. The one person we share our entire lives with.
Derrick and I have been married for almost 6 years now, and I can honestly say that because we have supported each other endlessly, our hard times were a little easier. I can’t imagine having to go through this life without him.
I look back on our life together, scroll through old pictures, and relive moments that stand out. Whether that memory I documented was something major or something small—I still laugh, cry, or smile as I scroll. I am amazed at our journey so far. I am in awe of all we have overcome together.
Something that really stands out to me as I look at these old photos, is that marriage is ever- changing. There will be times of great joy and happiness. Years of coasting, years of ease. There will be moments of hardship; unexpected situations that are difficult to endure. And there will be times of overwhelming sorrow. But through the ups and downs, through the pain and darkness; there is a light. We are reminded during hard times how deep, strong, and powerful marriage is. What are we promising? For better, for worse. In sickness, in health. For rich, for poor. Forever, by your side.
I have to say, the first few years of our marriage were easy. We spent all of our time together joking around, laughing, dating, going on vacations, supporting each other in our careers, planning for the future, and always looking ahead to even better days. The days were good, amazing really. We were busy with work, but we both had the same goals in mind and continued to enjoy each other’s company when we were able to be together. I started to think to myself, “it couldn’t get better than this.”
But it did get better; ironically, as it got worse. Maybe “better” isn’t the word. Stronger; we became stronger. In year 5 of our marriage, we struggled together. We were knocked down, but inched our way back up about a thousand different times. The days I spent crying, were the days my husband had strength. He lifted me up with his spirit and his love. Interestingly, the days he couldn’t find his strength, I had enough for the both of us. I didn’t know where the strength and comfort came from, but it was necessary for me to have it on the days he didn’t. And he never failed to be the strong one on the days I was broken. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but when one of us was struggling-the other was given peace, comfort, and strength. We could help each other. We were a team.
I know every married couple has their own individual struggles—every partnership has unique qualities. Our hardship, is that we struggle to have children. No, we don’t have a hard time conceiving. It is me. I have difficulty carrying our children to full term. Because of that, we have dealt with many hospital stays and we have experienced tragic loss.
We lost our beautiful daughter last year, after spending 10 weeks in the hospital. Months later, I became pregnant again with what we thought was our rainbow. We had plans in place for extra care during that pregnancy. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, our second child passed away in my womb before we even got a chance to know the gender, or give a name.
Derrick was with me both times that we heard those dreaded words;
“Nothing more we can do”
“We don’t know why this happened”
And Derrick held me just as tight the second time we heard those words; as he did the first time.
Derrick was my support & my constant during that 10 week hospital stay.
He was my light & my comfort, as I mourned the loss of our sweet Chloe.
He was my strength during those weeks I was anxious in the second pregnancy. Being pregnant after a full term loss isn’t easy, emotionally. I constantly struggled with anxiety and fear that something would go wrong.
And despite our pleading to the Lord every morning and every night for the blessing of keeping this child here with us, something did go wrong. Terribly wrong.
Honestly, I have been crippled with anger and guilt ever since we were told we lost this baby, too. And suddenly I can’t see children in my future; when that’s all I really ever wanted before. The traumatic loss of Chloe, followed by an early miscarriage, makes me feel completely abandoned. God, where are you?
But then, I look at my husband. I look at pictures of him at the hospital, on my bedside. I see the look of adoration in his eyes, even when I’m at my very worst. Despite the fact that I feel like a failure as a woman, he doesn’t see me that way. He never will. He loves me unconditionally. I can see it, I can feel it, I hear it every day, and I’ve been shown how much he loves me a thousand different times.
And suddenly I feel a rush of gratitude and I understand. God. You’re here. You didn’t abandon me or leave me alone. You placed this man in my life carefully. You knew just what you were doing. Thank you, thank you; for blessing me with my husband.
And even though I feel like I’m in a dark place right now, I can’t deny your love. Because I see your love in my husband’s actions. And I know for a fact that I am blessed.
For Rich, for Poor
Singer/Songwriter from Arkansas; with a passion & goal to create real music that speaks to the soul.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.