What Lies Behind Us and What Lies Before Us are Tiny Matters Compared to What Lies Within Us. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes God will use the most unlikely places or situations to teach you something about yourself. This is what happened to me in Ethiopia. I hadn't planned on sharing this but God laid it on my heart so here goes.
So I'm in Ethiopia focused on what God has sent me to do. After about four days I am thinking about my husband. Of course I missed him and the kids but this was a gnawing feeling and it wouldn't go away. Each day the "missing" him grows stronger. I am not understanding this. I have gone away before for much longer and have never had this happen.
Love doesn't commit suicide. We have to kill it. Though, it often simply dies of your neglect. Diane Sollee
One night as I lay in bed God speaks to my heart "Elaine it's not missing him that you are feeling it is what you have missed." Huh? I pray to understand. We still have a couple of days left in Ethiopia and I am still focused on our mission but underneath the focus I feel this sense of loss. Again I pray and tell God " I don't understand. Is something bad going to happen?" Now I can't wait to get home and see my husband.
The night before we are to leave I get it! God shows me what He wants me to know. That for the past few years Mike and I have taken the focus off of one another and made kids, church, the foundation and jobs a priority. Not good.
When Mike and I married we made a vow to one another that we would always work on our relationship. Yes, marriage takes a lot of work. We both had relationships before and had been burned but we chose not to focus on those relationships but to focus on us and make it work. We had a lot going against us. A lot. Most people thought we wouldn't last a year. I'm not going to lie, the first three years were tough. Extremely tough. I had a lot of trust issues and to be honest thought this guy was to good to be true!
A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers. Ruth Graham
We began going to church and our lives changed for the better. Oh, there were still arguments but they were fair arguments. Sometimes very loud, passionate arguments but fair.
Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side. Zig Ziglar
Then we got busy with life, kids, church and jobs. Our relationship would be tested over and over and at times in the eyes of the worlds we were prime divorce material. Sadly, we ignored the problems because we were to busy to take the time and work on them. Not any more!
I couldn't wait to get home,and tell Mike!
The day after I returned home I asked Mike if he wanted to go and get some coffee. As I sat and told him what God had laid on my heart he just looked at me. I mean he never took his eyes off me. I thought I had something on my face! I made my case passionate, short, sweet and to the point. When I was finished he smiled and said "You know what babe? God has been saying the same thing to me." I sat there thanking God. He was working on both of our hearts at the same time and we listened. Miracles do happen!
For wherever you go, I will go: And wherever you stay, I will stay, Your people will be my people, and your God, my God. Ruth 1:15
If you have never read the 5 Love Languages you need to. My husband is not romantic or very good with words. Mikes love language is acts of service. When he fixes something , makes dinner, buys groceries or builds something for me that is his way of showing his love for me. Once I understood that every guy is not Mr. romance it made me appreciate what he does even more. My love language is words of affirmation. This works out for the both of us. He does nice things and I let him know how much I appreciate it!
I know I have one of the good guys and I know anymore they are a rare find. I am so grateful that God brought us together.
I tell my kids "you must love the person more than you dislike their faults." No one is perfect and if you are looking for perfect you will be very disappointed. Only the Father above is perfect.
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I nver have to live without you. Winnie the Pooh