Friday, December 19, 2014

"Till Death Do Us Part"

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the taking of our marriage vows. It was just a simple ceremony, here in our cozy little home, with just our five children and hubby's pastor in attendance.
To be honest, I never would have imagined, back when I was a preteen, teenager, even in my early twenties, that I would have been divorced twice, married three times. Frankly, I often feel ashamed to admit the fact that I am in my third marriage.

After all, it says in the Bible: "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." Matthew 5:31, 32, KJV.

Each of my marriages began with the vows, stating, "Until death do us part." But then the first two marriages ended in divorce...the death of the marriage.

Recently a couple of my online, homeschooling friends lost their husbands, suddenly, unexpectedly, to death. Now they bear the title of "widow." Now they find themselves thrust in to single-parenthood. Now they struggle each day with waking, breathing, walking without their life partner, trying to fall asleep in an empty bed.

Yes, I've felt these feelings, too. It's hard to be the only one to make the decisions for the whole family. It's hard not to have that partner to "bounce ideas off from." It is hard to breathe. It is hard to keep living, to keep hanging on to Jesus with every last ounce of energy you have. But you discover a strength you never knew was there, a strength only God can give.

In October, I sat next to my mom, held her in my arms as she wept, while we watched my dad give up on his fight to live. Yet we prayed. She prayed God would change my dad's heart, give him the strength and courage to continue fighting after all. We also prayed that God's will be done. Even though we listened to my dad say his good byes to his children and grandchildren, we clung to hope that God would heal him after all.

Today we are thanking God that He saw fit to preserve my dad's life, that He still has a work for my dad to do on this earth, that my parents' marriage of 58 years has not yet come to its end.

I've realized that there is more closure when a marriage ends in death than when it ends in divorce...but I would not wish either kind of death-to-a-marriage! Both end in unbelievably heavy hearts, heart break, and single-parenthood. Even hurt, and anger.

To close, I'd like to share a passage from God's Word: "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, KJV.

May the Lord give you strength, peace, comfort, at this incredibly challenging time of the year for anyone who has lost a loved one during the holidays.

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