So strange that it would be one of the first things they told us.
Stranger still, perhaps, that this is what continues to stand out in my mind. Out of all the things that the doctors at the hospital shared with us, that this statement would be the most memorable.
“Most parents who give birth to this kind of child end up in divorce. We just thought we should prepare you for that.”
It was like hearing two pieces of devastating news.
As if one wasn’t enough.
The first news was that our sweet baby had suffered a massive stroke before she was even born. She would likely never walk, talk, or know us as her parents – if she lived at all.
The second was that our marriage would not likely endure the tragedy of it all.
More news than a couple should have to take in at one time, wouldn’t you say?
Basically, “This is the beginning of the end.”
I glanced over at my husband with desperate grief and fear in my eyes.
But he wasn’t having any of it.
No way, Babe. We’re not going to take the “likely” path, you and me.
We serve the God who continually surprises us with the unlikely. The God of miracles. The Restorer. The Redeemer.
And He is more than able to hold us together.
So how did we get through the years that followed? Those pressure-filled, emotionally, physically, and financially draining years?
The grace of God.
Grace from Him and grace for each other.
And you can cling to that same grace as well—in both the good times and hard times.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~ Heb. 4:16
The Power of Grace to Hold Your Marriage Together
Grace that offers compassion. When the other person is weak. Sometimes I was too tired to see straight. Or even talk sweet. He overlooked that snap because he knew I wasn’t “myself” from fatigue and worry. And I tried to do the same for him.
Grace that doesn’t keep a grudge. He said things that hurt my feelings or made me feel like he didn’t really understand. He let me down and didn’t always hold up. And it was the same here. But we knew we needed to let it go and not let bitterness settle in.
Grace that goes the extra mile. At times each of us had to give more than we had—and certainly more than “our fair share”. We couldn’t keep records or simply take turns. We had to learn to give . . . and then give some more.
Grace that accepts the gift of others. Grace also comes in the form of support from friends and family. We can’t do this by ourselves, but recognize that we are needy. We are part of the body of Christ for a reason and were never meant to walk alone (More here: On Why It Is So Critical To Connect With Friends).
Grace that doesn’t give up. No matter how dark some days were – and especially the nights – we refused to give up. We believed God had us in His hands, even when the situation seemed impossible. You are in those same loving Hands.
So, yes, our marriage held together. By God’s grace, we will be celebrating twenty-two years this Friday!
She is a miracle. While it’s true she never did learn to walk, she can definitely talk…and talk. She calls me mommy and says how much she loves me.
She prays for us and for this blog. Every day.
And so in a very real sense, she prays for you too. All because of unlikely grace. Powerful grace.
The same grace that is available to you too.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~ Eph. 2:4-7
CHALLENGE: Before you can extend grace to others, the best place to start is with the preparation of a pure and tender heart. Pray, asking God for wisdom and guidance in this area. Think of how God’s grace has impacted your life, and acknowledge the areas where you have been forgiven.
Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I will be offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over see each one of them!
- Darlene Schacht of Time-WarpWife
- Courtney Joseph of WomenLivingWell
- Ashleigh Slater of AshleighSlater
- Jennifer Smith of UnveiledWife
- Sheila Gregoire of ToLoveHonorandVacuum
And here’s what you have to look forward to . . . .
- September 1 – Embracing Grace
- September 8th – Embracing Change
- September 15th – Embracing Your Differences
- September 22nd – Embracing Unity
- September 29th – Embracing Friendship
So mark your calendar and join us each week as we all share on these very important topics in marriage. And be sure and invite any friends who might be blessed by this event as well.
Looking forward to seeing you on Mondays!