Aaahh...what an absolutely ridiculous, crazy week! The last 7 days have been...well.. pretty awful. I mean, I'm sure there have been worse days, and I'm sure we'll have worse days to come. However..
Trent and I's schedule situation just seemed to really wear on me this week, then there was an abduction and shooting (that ended in 1st degree murder) in our apartment complex, and to top it off, we had a fairly large problem with an in-law. To say the least, by the time we got to Marriage Conference on Friday night, we were both exhausted, physically (because of the in-law problem the night before) and emotionally because....well the obvious, *sigh*... I promise this post gets better!
(However not yet, lol!) Friday night, we had one session from 7-9 and after wards, we were supposed to take 10 minutes or so and talk with our spouse. And of course, we are at marriage conference, talking about marriage...we are going to have this honest, open, wonderful communication, right?? WRRONNGG. We both just sat there, tried to talk, but Trent was still upset by what had happend with our family the night before, and I was just feeling like giving up. So...here we are..downtown, in this beautiful hotel, we have this awesome view of the capital from our room. So..we go back to our room. I go to bed. Trent follows. We don't touch or talk or anything. Here we are--again--at Marriage Conference, and we go to bed feeling defeated.
Ok, now it gets better.....!!
Saturday morning, feeling a bit more refreshed and rested, we had a better time. I was still a little emotional (of course--woman feel, then act, then think). But one of the neat things that the speaker had us do was to write letters to each other. We had to pick one characteristic (which was attentiveness) and we had to write a letter and answer questions like, "When you do this I feel _____", "When you don't do this I feel_____" "Here are ways you do this well, or don't do this well". It was designed to (how I understood anyway), help us communicate. It was so funny, because the speaker said, "Ok go ahead and share you letters and don't be surprised when you husbands letter is 2 sentences and yours is 2 pages." HaHa, so true of us! And probably every couple in the room! So, we shared our letters and talked about what we had written. We didn't really "solve" anything but we decided to make it a weekly thing, to help us communicate, even when we might not see each other for a few days at a time.
Another thing that I was convicted about was keeping secrets (even the smallest ones), just to save your pride. So on the way home, I had to humble myself before Trent and confess AND ask for his forgiveness on something that I had labeled "small". But it was something that, if gone un-confessed, could have created big problems for us down the road.
And the last thing that encouraged me (well, there was more, but I don't think I have room right everything)...but I really enjoyed and was grateful for the speaker and his wife's honesty. He talked for almost the whole time about his mistakes and the struggles that they have went through. It makes us easier to go through rough patches when you know you arn't the only one. And also, hearing his honesty in his own mistakes, made me give my own husband a little more grace. Sometimes I forget that the things Trent and I argue about or struggle with are things that EVERY OTHER COUPLE STRUGGLES WITH. I can get too critical of him and think that when he messed up, he is the first man ever to....not know how to talk about his feelings, etc. But praise the Lord....he is just a man, and more so...we are BOTH sinners. And even better, we have a God that understands that and STILL loves us and helps us.
Which brings me to my very last point -----> LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH! Say what?! Yup, I said it, LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH!! We see romance movies and read books about couples that get married and say, "We'll just live on love" or "As long as we're together.." or the worse, "And they lived happily ever after" PuKe. Excuse me for being a pessimist, but it's true. Because in all of those statements, love is a feelings. That's how I have always taken it anyway. People say, "Our love will get us through anything", as if their love is this vile or magical juice that they drink and it somehow keeps them together. Today, Trent and I have been married a short 8 months, and already in that short time I have come to a halting realization that our "love" is not enough. Yes there are times of infatuation, adoration, and "in love" FEELINGS. But Heaven forbid, we (ESPECIALLY AS WOMAN) trust our feelings to direct our marriages. Our choices to love each other--our choices to respect each other--our choices to honor each other--and most importantly OUR GOD---those are the things that will create a glorious marriage.