We were married almost five years ago. In five years, a lot has changed.
The boys and I moved to Southern California from Washington.
We “blended our family” – meaning Mick living with a wife and kids for the first time, and the boys/me adjusting to going from a family of 3 to 4. Good times for all.
I gave up my career and gratefully started staying home with the boys.
We started homeschooling.
We had several miscarriages.
Mick’s 32-year-old younger brother committed suicide.
We got an Autism Spectrum diagnosis and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder diagnosis for my oldest son. (see here) And a few years later, an Sjogrens and Lupus diagnosis.
We got a Dyslexia and Processing Disorder diagnosis for my youngest. (see here)
We changed churches, twice.
We moved, twice.
And, we got a dog – I wanted to end the list on a more happy note.
Needless to say, it’s been busy.
So much change and pressure and newness. So little time.
Mick and I were both 36 when we got married. He and I are from the same town. We went to the same elementary school and high school (That’s another post entirely. I will divulge here that I had a huge crush on him back then and he didn’t notice at all. He may never live it down.). We share a common upbringing, and with that, a sense of tradition and purpose that I love. We both came into this marriage knowing that it would not be easy, but we also thought we had it all figured out. We thought we were ready and prepared for the hard times ahead.
We were wrong in
many all of our assumptions. Our expectations of each other, the boys and ourselves were way off. Initially, we pridefully plodded along for months, sure that if we just stuck to our initial “plan”, everything would be right.
We loved each other, there was no doubt. But life was so much more than we felt equipped to deal with. It was so much more than what we had discussed and planned for. We turned on each other more times than I care to admit – blaming the other for not being able to make it easier, or better, or at least not as bad.
Many experts say that the divorce rate for parents of children with ASD is 80%. (Thankfully, more studies are showing it is closer to 65% although I am not sure how encouraging that stat is either!).
So, you know, there’s that. No pressure or anything.
You know what? I don’t care about any of it.
Because, despite all of the above, here is what has also happened to me, by God’s grace, in just five short years.
My husband has graciously worked hard to provide for us in whatever way he can.
He held me and cared for me when I was overwrought with the excruciating pain of a life threatening miscarriage, and the emotional loss of not being able to have a baby together.
He wiped my tears when I couldn’t stop the post diagnosis crying – twice.
My children have grown to love, respect, and revere as a father a man they only knew as Mick just a few years ago.
He has endured countless wrestling matches, and “just one more time on the trampoline”, and never getting to watch the show that he wants to see, and playing video games made for 8 year olds, and no clean pants in the morning, and the bank account being depleted by doctors appointment after doctor’s appointment, all in the name of love and commitment and marriage, and fatherhood.
Despite our failures and faults and egos and pride, God is making him into exactly the husband he wants to be, and the one that I always dreamed of.
The God we serve, is greater than any statistic, any list of problems, or any medical drama.
And He loves us.
God has graciously woven us together, through every single trial. More importantly, he has done so in a way that has shown us that this isn’t about us and our plans. It is about Him.
His plans, please hear me, are so very much better than anything we could have imagined.
Our love and commitment is stronger, because of the trials and hardships. The sense of being “all-in” is palpable.
We both agree –
These have been the most amazing and fulfilling years of our lives. We wouldn’t trade a single thing.