Marriage: Its Worth Fighting For

Thursday, October 27, 2011 12 Comments A+ a-

This post is not directed at any one person or situation.  It’s a topic that’s been heavily laid on my heart lately.  Be it the Sacred Marriage study or other reasons, I need to write this post.  And before anyone tries to second-guess my motives or my intentions, I only put this out there for myself and because of my need to write it.

My sisters and I have alluded to the fact that Allison’s battle with anorexia saved our family.  And it did.  In every way possible, Allison’s disease forced our family to take drastic steps to fix some major dysfunction.

Allison’s disease was the result of several different reasons, pieces of a puzzle.  Our great-grandmother had died, years of having a hard time making friends, eating lunches and playing alone at school, and our family life.  In a household where she couldn’t control circumstances, fights, emotions, or her environment, she turned her need to control something… anything… inward.  From the time I was 12 years old, until we were forced to family counseling when I was 20 year old, it as a hard home life.  The details aren’t necessary, I don’t need to explain every fight or words that were said, or some of the memories we still have.  That’s not the point of this post.

The summer of 1999 was a breaking point for our family.  Allison’s eating disorder had been around for a year at this point, we were all living separately.  Never in our eight years of tumultuous family life had any of us felt as alone and isolated from each other as we did during that summer.  It truly was the closest thing to hell on earth.  It was “make it or break it” time.

We’ve mentioned a family week that takes place for everyone at Remuda Ranch, another prerequisite to bring Alli home.  It was during that week that walls were torn down, emotions and hurt laid bare before each other, and raw honesty was shared within our family.  It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done… and the first step towards healing.  Not just for Allison.  But for all of us.

Its been mentioned that some may be envious of how close our relationship is as sisters.  And we are close, sometimes unhealthily close.  They’re my best friends.  This, my friends, is the result of facing the fire together and coming out stronger.  (Hang in there, I’m bringing it back to marriage in minute.)  When you go through an experience like that together, you can’t help but become stronger and closer on the other side.  Its like when 2 strangers go through a horrific experience together, like 9-11 or a plane crash.  A bond is formed when facing dire circumstances, because you survived TOGETHER.

This is marriage, folks.  Its not all romance and flowers, it ebbs and flows.  And even when its at its worst, fighting for your marriage IS WORTH IT.  You must have the bad to appreciate the good!  If you can face the worst thing together, just imagine how strong you’re going to be on the other side.  If you never know bad, how can you appreciate the sweetness of the good?!

Watching Allison go through her eating disorder, experiencing the absolute pit with my family, was one of the hardest experiences of my life.  Its an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  But… if we hadn’t gone through it, I can only imagine where my family would be today.  If it took THAT to fix my family, to make my sisters and I as close as we are, then it was worth it.

About a year after we started family counseling, my parents called all four of us girls together.  They had this huge piece of paper, folded up like a scroll.  As they unfurled it, they discussed all that had happened during those last two years.  They apologized for the mistakes they made, what they’ve learned as a couple, and told us they were ready for a new chapter in our family.

The paper was a marriage covenant.  And there, before the four of us girls, they pledged their vows to do it better.  Dad signed under the Husband side, Mom under the Wife said, and the four of us signed as witnesses.  It still hangs over their bed to this day.

8 years.  It was a long, hard 8 years.  But they fought for their marriage and gave us a new legacy. 

I’m so glad they did. 

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

12 comments

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Ashley
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7:51 AM delete

Love this!! Such a great testimony of your parents and such a tribute to the strength of your family! : )

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Courtney
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8:08 AM delete

Oh Jenn... I'm sitting at my desk with tears in my eyes. You worded this so perfectly! It really makes me appreciate everything we went through and where we are now. I'm so blessed to have you as my big sister and the family that we share!

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Ashleigh
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8:54 AM delete

This post really touched my heart. Our family went through a very bitter time for about 8-10 years and it was very hard. My dad had an affair and couldnt decide if he wanted his family or his gf. He finally picked us and it took about 8 years to remedy the situation. It sucked. THanks for posting this. It helps me realize that people do come out stronger. And that helps me believe in my marriage even more.

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Timmarie
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9:18 AM delete

I am so happy that you shared this, and even happier for the covenant your parents made.

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11:30 AM delete

I don't think you know how much I needed this post.
Really.
I don't even think I can put into words.
I'm not married but I would say that the mister and I are going through the hardest time ever.
I told him yesterday that we aren't going to be able to make it through this. That there's been too much hurt, too many hurtful words slung, just too much.
To me it's devastating and makes me feel like we can't do it.
How are we ever going to get over the hurt and this hard time?
But there has to be a way right? Because at the end of the day - the hard times when the wonderful times worth it.
I think that both people have to be committed to this. Forgiving and forgetting will be a huge part of our healing...
Thank you for the post. You give me hope.

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Christine
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1:34 PM delete

Wow Jenn. You made me cry. Again.
I'm so thankful for the "story" God has given us. I'm even more grateful for parents that were willing to fight to come out stronger on the other side. And I had forgotten about that day that they signed their covenant. What a testimony to all of us!

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Michelle
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3:13 PM delete

Check out the title from Beth Moore's latest post Jenn...crazy you guys were thinking of the exact same topic! I saw hers first and then went to your blog and just thought you were talking about hers... but nope! God must really must have laid this topic on a few hearts the last few days! Thanks for sharing!

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Becca
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8:11 AM delete

I ran across your blog from Jenna's Journey and I'm so glad that I did.

A girlfriend of mine is struggling in her marriage and I forwarded this post to her. I am so thankful for women like you who live their life out in the open, helping others. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Pamela M
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10:10 AM delete

Thanks for sharing - I love this post :o)

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12:39 PM delete

My family has been through a lot of the same things - I think it made us closer, too. My sisters are my best friends. Thanks for sharing!

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Kat
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9:12 AM delete

Wow this is a truly honest, wonderful post. There are a lot of things in life that I dont think I'd wish upon anyone 5that did result in some greater good. My husband and I were married for just over a year and he fell out of a window and broke his neck. The road to recovery was a very long one, but it bonded us in ways I didn't know we're possible and showed us both that if we could get though that, we could get through anything.

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Dareth
AUTHOR
7:14 PM delete

Such a beautiful legacy! Our God is so faithful that if we are willing to walk the hard roads His way, the blessings will be beyond our belief.

I love your family and am so proud of each and every one of you for your commitment to Him.

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