Tuesday, July 31, 2018

As Far as I can Remember

This month we should’ve celebrated our nineteenth anniversary. My late husband and I got married on a cool summer day back in 1999. I was twenty and he was almost twenty six. I was ready to pop our firstborn when we celebrated our second anniversary. We found out we were pregnant with our second one right before our fourth anniversary. Our last baby was born right after our ninth anniversary. And I became a widow before our twelfth anniversary.

It has been a long seven years being apart. I miss him daily. I miss being married to him. I miss having a life-partner and a best friend. I miss watching my children grow up with a dad. I miss having the family of my dream.

For those of you who have been following me, you have witnessed how God has carried the children and I through the valley of grief, put our hearts back together and grounded our feet on His unshakeable love. I am grateful for where we are right now, the kids are growing imperfectly well. Yet sometimes I find myself daydreaming of how our lives would be if he was still around, how my marriage would be if I were still married.

There are so many things that I am grateful for and there are several things that I wish I would do differently. So, if I ever invented a real time machine, these are three things I wish to do differently:

1. I would sweat over small things less. 
Whether it is a hectic or slower day, picking up after someone else is nobody’s favorite. So when I found dirty socks and sweat-drenched-t-shirt laying around on a hot above-100-degree-summer day while the kids were cranky, the house was a mess, and the dinner was far from ready, those stinky socks and t-shirts suddenly had the ability to make the day and our “discussion” even hotter! Boy, I wish I would just pick them up, throw them into the laundry basket and spend the rest of the night laughing at silly jokes.

2. I would embrace imperfection more.
I used to be a perfectionist and being a stay home mom, I strived to make sure the kids were always in good shape, the carpet was vacuumed regularly, the laundry was done, the sink was clean from dirty dishes, the house was organized before we ended the day. By then I would be able to sit down in peace and enjoy the rest of the night. During my grieving season, I came across Brene Brown with her book “The Gifts of Imperfection”. The book changed my life for the better. I have learned to be content when I see messy living room, messy desk, messy bedrooms and choose to BE there with the kids. Somehow I have the ability to look beyond the imperfections and value what really matters, the quality time, the conversation, and the funny stories.

3. I would forgive quicker and stay grateful at all times.
Sometimes It is a challenge to remember that husband and wife are two imperfect human beings with flaws and shortcoming, especially when they’ve been together for a while. So many times my late husband and I had unrealistic expectations toward each other (such as to read each other’s mind), we became disappointed when they are unmet, and forgot to forgive ourselves and each other quicker. We complained and forgot to realize that it was a blessing for us to have each other. We became upset and forgot to stay grateful for beautiful things God has done in our marriage.

Friends, please don’t get me wrong, I am not living with regrets. I know there is no way for me to turn back time, so I am grateful and content for every gift of season God has given me. Now, allow me to share three things I am grateful for:

1. We made a great team up in raising our three children. My late husband was a family man. He loved our family very much that he was willing to invest his time and energy for our children. I was given a privilege to stay home but whenever he had the opportunity to pick up the kids from school, to pick up groceries, to change diapers, to give the kids a bath, he would do it. About three years before he passed, we had the privilege to move our business to our home. Having to work from home, he spent A LOT of time with the kids. My youngest son was just born at that time and he got to spend full three years with his daddy. For this, I am beyond grateful.

2. We had the opportunity to serve God and others together.
We met each other in the church, grew in loving each other in the church and committed to love the church and all the people in it. I still remember how we would strap our two young daughters in their car seats early Sunday morning and take them to church for a worship practice. His heart is always for other people. His compassion and care was the fuel for serving the community. This will be a heritage of faith that my children will carry for the rest of their lives.

3. We made a lot of memories together.
Road trips were our favorites. Now, I love to share some silly stories from our trips to the kids. They were young at that time but somehow the kids remember and complete each other story from our memories of being together. Sometimes we would go through old videos and photos and left with unending laughter. I am glad we spent A LOT of time together (plus took a lot of photos and videos).

Friends, our twelve years of marriage was far from perfect. We made a lot of mistakes. We failed each other countless times. The reason I am sharing this hard-to-write post with all of you is because I want you to know that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage so stop chasing for one or creating one but instead give yourself wholeheartedly pursuing one another and things that will last forever. Things that will inspire generations to come, things that will be passed down from one generation to another.

Friends, if you are currently on a rocky road of marriage, I suggest you to pray, seek God and Godly counsel. God’s design for you is to stay faithful to your covenant and to raise up mighty generations for the glory of God’s name.

Thank you for allowing this widow shares a bit of marriage advices. This post is based on my memory as far as I can remember.

Always remember that God loves you and your spouse.

For His Glory,

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