Over the past several installments, I have been blessed to be able to share with you how the journey to God can be difficult and circuitous, but so rewarding when you realize the rewards of fidelity both to Him and to spouse.
I am sure that many of you, like us, have gone through many similar times in your marriage, or even more difficult. Michael and I do not set ourselves up as having gone through more than the next couple. We know we are human, and we are constantly working to become more One with God, so we are more One with each other. Perfect? Not by a long shot. Are we striving to become perfect? Yes, but not that we, of ourselves, can be perfect, but only by acknowledging our absolute dependence upon God do we make progress each day.
What held us together during this very, very difficult time? God. Who's hand delivered the graces to us from God? Our Blessed Mother. Why? Because she is our Mother, and we all need a MOTHERLY hand in our lives, whether we want to admit it or not.
My objective here has not been to relive the painful experiences of the past, but to show you that we have gone through more rough patches than are imaginable, and yet, twenty years later, our love is stronger, more sure, and more perfected, than when we first said "I do."
Is it this way because we were deserving of "special" treatment from God? Absolutely not. It was because God brought us all the way down in order to build us up again in His Will, not ours, and through our willingly obedience to Him, that He was able to make His Glory known in us, and through us, to others for His Honor and Glory, never our own.
The struggles of every day life so often cloud the marriage. As society expands, as morals slip, as virtue goes the way of the dinosaur, the stress on the marriage can be even more damaging. We were no exception to that. We dare not say that we're not immune to these stresses. But we have seen and learned that God does care about everything, every moment of our lives, and He has spoken to us through Graces, in Actions and Words about the Sanctity of Marriage, and the Sanctity of Life which Marriage begets.
My dear brothers and sisters, I do not share these things with you easily. I do so because the Holy Spirit asks me to. Why? I do not ask, I obey. I do know that it is not because I have anything special to offer, but rather the Holy Spirit wishes to work through me. I am more than willing to obey, for LOVE OF GOD!!!
Mike and I may well have been numbered among the number of increasing divorces. Yet, when we took our vows, we meant those words. In the stillness of our beings during these troubling times, we may have felt that we were hanging in there out of sheer stubbornness, but that wasn't so. Even stubbornness could not have kept us together through thick and thin. Only God can bring a couple closer together, closer to Him, through trials, and these trials, which so often overwhelm our humanity, may too easily break us if we do not turn all things over to God.
Our Blessed Mother was married. She knows what it takes to be married, and She is there for every wife, every husband, every child of the marriage, and through the tough times as well as the good ones. She cannot help but be there. As Mother of God, our Mother, she must and does care from the depths of her Immaculate Heart for us, because her Heart beats as one with Her Divine Son Jesus' Sacred Heart.
There is room in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts to understand sorrow, to comprehend wounds, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. If we had no wounds, if we had no blank spots to fill up, we would not need God.
In truth, we NEED GOD AT ALL TIMES, IN ALL THINGS, and when we realize this, when we turn our lives over to HIM, then it is His GLORY that begins to shine in us, and then through us, and it turns the page in our marriage from being two people trying to live in harmony, to one person who is not divided against but united in LOVE, because the LOVE comes from God and is of God, and causes us to LOVE HIM FIRST that we may LOVE ONE ANOTHER in MARRIAGE as He Wills.
I pray that in opening my soul to you I have not caused you to question the graces of God, and to lay no judgment upon me as either wife or mother. That is not why I opened my soul for you to see. I opened it up, that above all things, you may understand that God does comes to us through our weaknesses, and it is His strength which makes us strong and leads us to UNITY with HIM.
Let us, in Him, build Family as He intended from all time, before we tinker with His Work, and make a travesty of His Perfect Will. The confusion of these times is not from God, but from ourselves. That is why so many marriages fail before they have even begun. That is why so many enter into this august vocation for all the wrong reasons.
In the next installment we will delve into that in helping prepare our children for this lifetime commitment to God and their future spouse.
NEXT WEEK: Lesson Twenty-Two: Look before you leap!
For previous Lessons in this Series, see At One With God