I’m pretty sure that when a couple is at the altar, declaring to be together “till death do us part”, they are not thinking of anyone else but the two of them. That makes sense. They vow to be together till one or both of them die. That’s definitely what I meant when I committed to doing life with my Kgabo. But what happens when someone else’s death threatens the health of your marriage? It’s inevitable that we will lose loved ones along the way on this path of life. If you think about it, if one of us passes on in a marriage, we won’t have to fight to be together anyway. I’m not being crass or insensitive; just making a point. This never really crossed my mind until recently. How do we grieve together? How do we comfort one another? Is our marriage solid enough to survive all the blows that bereavement can bring?
As a couple, Lord knows we’ve had our fair share of pain and loss. A month before we were engaged, we lost my sister-in-law. That’s one of the greatest stings I’ve ever endured, because I missed out on the opportunity to plan our wedding with her. She was the complete opposite of what most describe as a jealous sister-in-law, weary of her brother’s wife and the attention the wife can potentially steal. She embraced me as a little sister long before Kgabo proposed. We somehow processed the loss over the last five years. In different ways, at different stages… Maybe we’re still dealing really. Sadly, life doesn’t wait for you to figure things out completely till it rocks the boat again. I can confidently declare 2013 as our worst year so far as a pair. We lost my father-in-law, our gran and recently, our 13-year old niece in a matter of 3 months. Even the prospect of another pregnancy seemed to pale in comparison to the grief we endured. If there’s anything that’s upset the equilibrium in our lives, it’s death. The frightening part of it all was seeing us drift apart as we tried to navigate around the losses. I’ve had countless talks with God about it all. From asking Him to comfort us to yelling at Him for allowing us to go through all of these. From feeling like I’m slowly losing my mind to wondering how I can show my husband love in these confusing times. Then I remembered that “through sickness and health” also covers our emotions and spiritual well-being. My resolve suddenly rose.
And I started to remind myself of one of my most favourite and yet challenging scriptures. James 1:2-4 says that “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
It imprinted in my mind the reality that pressure will come and that we should use it to help us grow. That’s not an easy pill to swallow, but that is the truth. So we’re learning to trust God all the more as we encounter hardships. He’s forcing us to face our fears, flaws and shortcomings so that we can ultimately look to Him. We’re being reminded daily that He loves us more than life itself.
With this revelation, we’re taking each day as it comes. Some days are joyful, some are tragically painful and some are simply confusing. We allow ourselves to go through the emotions as we navigate the road to healing. But we’re definitely more secure that the Lord preserves our spiritual lives, and therefore we continue to have hope and a positive outlook on life.
Needless to say, we’re having an awesome third pregnancy - the best of the three! The Lord has blessed us with a move closer to our families and a new adventure to go through with Him. What the devil planned to steal, the Lord has returned to us with much joy! I can safely say we’re well on our way to the next level of strength and glory! So I pray that death will not hold you back or divide your marriage.
Be strong in the Lord so you can be strong for each other. God loves you and He loves your marriage!
Be blessed :)