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marriage truth

Today listening to Family Life Today and hearing young Jennifer Smith speak, and my thoughts turned to wow you have no idea what the devil will throw against you to break your marriage.

Mark and I have been together now just shy of 29 years.  Those years have been wonderful and hard, filled with blessings and disappointments.  We have learned from, leaned on, and completely fell apart in front of each other.

Our second date – Mark said “You are the woman I am going to marry.”  Do you have any idea at age 18 how funny I thought this was, I got a case of the giggles and still bust into giggles just thinking about it.  Yet here we are after all we have been through, after all we have seen, and I don’t think for a second that it was just chance that we met in the first place.  God’s hand was in our first meeting and has been with us each and every step of the way.

When we tried our hand at raising pheasants, God was our cheerleader saying you can do this.  But we missed a contract deadline and loss everything we had put 5 years of hard work into making.  We had two beautiful daughters and wanted more children in the worst way, yet we had 4 or 5 miscarriages and one being so bad I almost lost my life.  Yet again we found ourselves blessed with a child this time a baby boy and oh where our girls excited. The day he was born rocked our world in a way no parent wants to hear.  Your son has a tumor and its cancerous.  Four long months back and forth with specialists in Fargo, and chemo, and surgeries, our miracle boy is healthy and has been for the past 15 years.  So now besides all of that we had several job changes, one job that my husband was meet at the front gate by the sheriff saying he would be escorted in to retrieve his personal belongings and then escorted off property as the whole property was seized by court order.  Yep, we did not get two weeks of wages when that one happened, yikes we still had payments to be made, and two little ones to feed.

We lost loved ones along the way, family, friends, and wee little ones. We lost close friends to suicide, and had to be the rock for family left behind.  Then just a short 5 years ago we lose Mark’s dad, and our world came to a standstill.  Mark looked up to his dad and he was in a way Mark’s best guy friend.  I know when you lose a parent you don’t expect to just go on, you take time to grieve and then you pick up the shattered pieces of your heart and go on, only thing Mark didn’t he went into a dark funk that I tried and the kids tried to get him out of, and when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, the unthinkable happens, Mark thinks he is not in love with me any more…SAY WHAT!!!  I could have been pushed over with a feather, that was a very dark year, we struggled not only for our marriage, but our home and finances were put into overdrive.  But over the last year to two years we have paid off close to $16,000 in bad debt and are working at rebuilding our relationship to new levels of love that even we did not know we had for one another.  God has been there every step of the way.  There were months that we never prayed together, yet we knew each other was in the word.  We just take each day for what we have, and thank God He has blessed us with another day to pour grace, forgiveness, understanding and love into each other and those around us.

So bless you ms Jennifer Smith and your husband Aaron.  May you continue to bless others with your outreach and if you ever need a solid shoulder to lean on – come find me and we will pray for each other.

Your Sister in Him,

Julie Bethel

AKA : Gingham Chick



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