40 Day Challenge, Day 31: Trouble

poe graveBegin with the Prayer of Abandonment.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once observed that every marriage goes through a moment of crisis, a moment that transforms honeymoon bliss into a deeper, more satisfying kind of love. For some, it’s a death or prolonged illness. For others, it’s another kind of family crisis. A couple of years ago, Craig and I faced a chasm so deep that it ultimately drove us to seek help, a weekend retreat called Retrouvaille.  If you ever find your marriage floundering, please consider looking into this unique marriage support resource.

Bottom line: I know what it’s like to be so overwhelmed that the thought of crawling into bed and staying there until life took a better turn was an appealing one. Over and over that Simon and Garfunkle classic would play in my head:

When you’re weary, feeling small.
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all.
I’m on your side when times get rough and pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.

During that awful year, more than once this song became a lifeline for me … In Art Garfunkle’s pure, high tenor, I heard the voice of God.

In all likelihood, this approach wouldn’t work for you.  When trouble strikes at the heart, the healing balm takes a unique form from one person to the next. A Bible verse. A soothing cup of tea in a favorite porcelein teacup. The embrace of a loved one — which, in an ideal world would be one’s husband.

But what if he is just as embroiled in the trouble? Or what if he is the cause of it all — unwittingly or deliberately? What if the trouble you are facing is painful precisely because he is the one in trouble, and there is nothing you can do to change the circumstances or fix the problem?

Even so, the crisis is not the end of love … but only the beginning, so long as you both hold on, trusting that it is not the end of the story, but only a chapter in the book of your lives.

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