After the Tree book project

Marriage Week Musing

There has never been a successful first marriage in my husband’s bloodline, and there have been very few in mine. Yet there we were, thinking we could make something out of nothing. The only way we could combat the mystery and confusion and darkness of marriage was with light, and the light of which I speak is the Light of Christ himself, because, as the gospel of John tells us, “the light shone in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” As we peer into our pasts of darkness and brokenness, we do so ignorantly— short-sighted and childishly personal. When God shines the light of truth on our past, however, showing us the connecting threads of our disjointed histories, a peace settles over us, a surrendering of our wills. I understand now that I could never “make” my marriage work. When I saw and heard about the curses, the affairs, the separations and divorces, the abuse, the fear, and the heartbreak that dogged our ancestors, I threw up my hands in surrender: How in the world could we conquer all of that? All I could do was lay my marriage down on the altar, asking God for his guidance, asking him to show me the way: to grace, truth, hope, charity, mercy, and love. I am asking him to bend my stubborn will, bridle my tongue and transform my heart.

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