Stretching Into Love

I post pictures of date nights with my husband, but it doesn’t mean we are all smiles.

Nine years and I’m still trying to figure out how to live with a man.

And like life and mothering and pain and pieces of happiness, such is marriage.

I love my husband because I choose to. Sometimes I feel it, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes we don’t even like each other.

Sometimes we really like each other.

We are tangled together in this mess of marriage, figuring it out week to week. When it’s really hard I remember that, Lord willing, on our 50th wedding anniversary we’ll look back and say, “I’m glad I did this with you, this life.” It’s hope.

Hope holds us together.

Hope gathers up the broken parts so they don’t stay on the floor.

Hope is the push.

Without hope, we live in the dark; we live stale. We live mediocre.

And so we pick this thing up called love and we try to stretch into it, even though sometimes we don’t fit.

We keep trying.

We remember that this skin is temporary and there is so much more than what’s in front of us; more than our desires and our aches. There is more.

Let’s find it.

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  • http://www.redemptionsbeauty.com/ Shelly Miller

    I titled my post Wading Into Love this morning so I hopped over here when I saw you on my Facebook thread. So thankful for your honest voice here, hope is truly what keeps me going, in all areas of life. Because He has never given me a reason to doubt Him.

  • Jenn

    We are tangled together in this mess of marriage, figuring it out week
    to week. When it’s really hard I remember that, Lord willing, on our
    50th wedding anniversary we’ll look back and say, “I’m glad I did this
    with you, this life.” It’s hope. <— this brought on the tears! So glad you wrote this post. I am so blessed to journey through this crazy life with my husband. So blessed to overcome what seems like the impossible with him.

    Blessings to you and your hubs!

  • http://danisejurado.com/ Danise Jurado

    My husband an I just celebrated 26 years… When our daughter got married last year, my husband was in the middle of making the father of the bride speech, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I jumped out of my seat and ran up and kissed him!!! I was thinking of all we had been through, and we made it to such an amazing mile stone!!! hope, hope and more hope continues to see us through :)

  • Stacey

    We have also been married for 9 years, and I can totally echo this post. In fact, today’s and yesterday’s posts were exactly for me… I know it.

  • Beth Williams

    My husband and I have been married going on 9 years. There have been a number of days when I cried and wondered why I got married in the first place. Then we have a speical day like yesterday–he does a lot of hugging. Tells me he loves me and promises to change a few things.
    We even had a mini date night–played a game together, cooked supper & watched a movie. He returned to the man I knew when we married after 10 weeks of dating.
    Hope, God and lots of prayers have helped sustain us during our marriage journey!

  • http://www.facebook.com/diane.h.roark Diane Hill Roark

    I enjoy reading your blog. My husband and I have been married 28 years. We were teens when we married. We have had 5 children including a special needs child (with 17 brain surgeries) and two adopted children from overseas with extreme emotional trauma from being abused. Life is always difficult and we don’t always agree but I am still with him because I have no doubt that GOD PUT US TOGETHER.
    http://recipesforourdailybread.com/2012/07/31/god-cares-about-our-worries/#more-8518
    Blessings, Diane Roark http://www.recipesforourdailybread.com

  • Sharon

    Thanks for making me feel normal! Married life can be such a challenge sometimes. I’m glad to know it doesn’t mean something is specifically wrong with my marriage. It’s just the way marriage is.

  • Lauri of Pasadena, CA

    Amen…30 years married!
    – Lauri

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715145607 Gloria Cottrell Phillips

    This couldn’t have shown up in my inbox at a more perfect moment. I was staying home from church with my kids because we were all sick (well that was what my main excuse was…but really I was quite upset with my husband). Then I read this and well needless to say the boys and I got ready in 20 minutes and were actually to church on time. I think I’m going to have to save this email and read it often as a friendly reminder.

  • Julie

    Thank you for this. Very timely and encouraging.

  • Liz

    Your honesty is so refreshing and encouraging! Thank you!!!!!

  • Emily

    Such a blessing to know I’m not alone. I love my husband but I am happy to know we are not the only couple out there that sometimes doesn’t like each other. Your words give me renewed joy in our happy life.

  • http://twitter.com/MommaKnows Dawn

    Oh. YES.

  • Piper

    This time of year it is tough to actually have time to sit down and have a conversation with my husband. We get so wrapped up in the “to do” that we fail to stop for a moment to give each other the time of day. I am doing my best to be intentional about stopping during the day to give my husband words of encouragement, sending him a text with scripture, praying for him or thinking of the positive instead of the negative. The selfish in me tends to seek control of everything, but with God’s help I can let go of things when they don’t seem to go my way. As wives we must hang on with all our might, the enemy is looking for ANYTHING to divide our marriages and our families!!

  • http://twitter.com/Vaderalman Mark Allman

    I enjoyed reading this. I understand that my wife does not like me sometimes. I do not like me sometimes either. Love is a choice not a feeling. The feelings are presents to our souls from each other.

  • Gin

    This month marks 17 years of marriage for my husband and me. It’s been such a mixture of laughter, love, tears, trying, adjustment, re-adjustment, and overall–blessing. Loved this line: “I’m glad I did this with you, this life.” That’s just how I feel. in HIM who loved us 1st, Gin

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathryn.downey.94 Kathryn Downey

    I am just now married a little over 6 months, and I’m sitting in Panera this morning with a couple tears rolling down my cheeks because of how deeply everything you wrote struck a cord with me. I don’t talk about our struggles to anyone because I feel like we shouldn’t have them so early on but it is nice to know others go through it too. And I definitely lean all my trust into the hope that “one day” we can look back and say wow, I’m glad we finally made it through.

    • Charley Me

      The first year is often the hardest-it certainly was for my husband and I. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll get through it, have wonderful times, have times that are worse than now and then it will be good again… the key is to keep trying.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190847707 Chelsea Honili’i Koanui

      Me too, Kathryn! I’m only 2 months into our marriage so i really thought something was wrong…:(

  • http://twitter.com/4HopeJoyPeace Hope Joy Peace

    Thank you for this honesty, especially as it pertains to love and marriage. I’m not married but strive to love better. And I recently realized how powerful “hope” is – especially from a biblical perspective. It’s my favorite word. Thank you again!

  • Sara

    Married for over 2 1/2 years so far…
    We all need to hear that other’s marriages aren’t perfect all the time. We see others and think it looks so easy, why can’t it be with ours? Outside apperances, as you said, dont often reveal whats going on in a marriage.
    It’s a learning our mate each day. Loving them most importantly.
    I told myself before I got married that my main goal was to ensure I loved my husband as best I could and let him know I do love him.
    We take them for granted a lot too. I do.
    Recent example:
    My husband was helping me with my math homework the other day, he spent a lot of time explaining it to me. Then he asked me, “Does that make sense?” I told him, “No, I just wanted to get though that homework problem.” I basically was showing him I didnt apprciate the fact he was trying to help me understand it. Unfortunately, this caused friction. He sarcastically said, “Glad I could help,” and rolling his eyes and my sarcastic reply, “Sorry I am not as good as you are with math, it just doesn’t click in my head.” (I am really bad with being sarcastic if I dont hold my tongue)
    Few days later when I was working on my math he walked over to me and kissed my head and said he loved me. He said he was there if I needed him for help.
    These are the times I am thankful for such an understanding husband.
    Anyways, it was a small issue but non the less, one’s that happen throughout marriage daily. Main thing is we need to be clear and grant forgiveness for the smallest of things.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190847707 Chelsea Honili’i Koanui

    Thank you for this post, i needed to hear this. My husband and I have only been married for almost two months but I feel everything you just wrote. i thought i was the only one who felt that way. But i too choose my husband daily. And i pray for us daily. i want us to go the distance and not be a sad statistic.

  • Becca

    I really liked the way you worded that : “Hope gathers up the broken parts so they don’t stay on the floor.”
    I have seen that time and time again, in both little and big things. Lately, in my sexuality. God is the Healer, and He’s the Sustainer….do we really believe that? :)

  • http://twitter.com/stop4chocolate Lisa

    Love this post Sarah Mae!! Marriage is quite a journey and it really is work, but so rewarding! Hubs and I will celebrate our 20-year anniversary next month!! :) Hugs to you friend!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.j.hill.31 Amanda Johnston Hill

    My dear,

    I’ve been married for almost 13 years, and after law school and birthing babies and being rich and poor and lonely and mad and elated and so in love and jumbled up inside, it’s all comes down to this – marriage needs a deep fertile soil. Like the parable suggests, weeds can choke it out. Thorns come. The sun comes baring down and makes it seem like an empty wasteland. But that love and promise is planted deep, so in the hard times you can pull water from underneath the earth and keep on going. God plants our marriages deep. We just have to water them and keep hacking at the johnson grass. we talk and forgive and pray and somehow we ease out the thorns and the harvest comes. And when it does it’s so sweet – richness running down our mouths like watermelon juice – and we think “yes. This is what God intended of marriage.” Keep on hacking at thorns.

    Amanda over at http://www.hillpen.com

  • http://amamacollective.blogspot.com/ Jenna Guizar

    Thank you for your honesty. It is so nice knowing that in most ways, we women are the same in our struggles and our hopes. Thank you thank you.

  • Christina Medei

    A beautiful reminder! We have been married almost 9 years and together nearly 10. Our marriage fell to pieces in year 8. It was over, the damage was done and I was certain I had completely lost my husband to another. I never prayed and begged God like that before. Thru desperate praying and showing love to my hubby in that very difficult time… God brought him back to our family. Hope! Hope is what got our family thru it. I used to brag how perfect our marriage was but lets all face it… it’s hard, we have to love sometimes even when it feels impossible. We have to choose to love with the hope that with a new day comes a fresh start. Our marriage now is stronger than ever!

  • timmseyk

    I’m pregnant with bubba number two and have been physically ill for almost a month and feel absolutely worn out. Today I just wanted to end things with my husband as I feel so unloved by him. I didn’t know it would be quite this hard at times!