by Kent Darcie
“I [Jesus] have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”1
Kathy and I said “I do” just over thirty years ago. Though we were young and naïve, we still figured there would be trials and sorrows. However, we never thought their source would be the husband and wife we saw in the mirror every day.
Marriage forges two worlds together—two individuals, two families, two histories, two sets of aspirations and dreams, and two ensembles of emotional baggage. Forging requires heat and hammering, but also subtlety as when one forges agreements. Perseverance is also needed to forge ahead
Our vows forged a person with divorced parents to an individual whose family had a thread of alcohol issues sewn in. Separately, these backgrounds can be challenging. Combined, most statisticians would predict a bleak outlook. Whether knowing this would have helped is irrelevant now. We jumped in unawares, and trials and sorrows came.
What do you do when your husband is angry and closed off? Where do you turn when your wife’s disrespect cuts like a knife? When hurts run so deep, tears won’t come anymore, is it really worth it?
The Psalmist wrote, “From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.”2 For years we took this scripture to heart. And slowly our 9-1-1 prayers were answered. Slowly, God helped us heal from our individual baggage. Then Kathy and I were free to forge the marriage He intended for us.
Thirty years after our first “I do”, before family and friends, we celebrated God’s faithfulness by renewing our vows. Our prayer is that you too will savor the wonderful joy that comes with perseverance.
1John 16:33 [NLT]
2Psalm 130:1-2 [NLT]