This was the question posed to me a few days ago by my counselor. I was pouring out the hurt in my heart and she looked at me and asked, “What if it never changes?”
I was dumbstruck. Hurt.
I have been on this journey for nearly 7 years. That may seem like a lifetime to some and only a few days to others. But as anyone knows who has experienced a sex-poor or sexless marriage – any amount of time is too long.
That question got me thinking, though. What if it never changes? What if I have to live out my days in this sex-poor marriage? What if it becomes completely sexless? What then?
I recently read an amazing book entitled “Surfing for God“. I encourage you to get this book. While it is written to a male audience struggling with porn, it is full of truth concerning addictions and ways we anesthetize our hearts. Kierkegaard said, “”When the tranquilizer wears off and the analgesics of busyness and distraction lie beyond our reach, we have no other option than to face our inner worlds. In the twenty-first century there is no task more difficult, no spiritual discipline more painful, than learning to be still. But there is none more rewarding.”
As I became still, I realized that my heart was full of anger and bitterness. Not just because of the sex-poor marriage I had found myself in, but because I was married to man who hadn’t met my expectations in so many ways (I had wanted to marry a pastor…he isn’t. I wanted to marry a perfect, shining knight…he isn’t. I had thought I would have amazing sex every day…I don’t). I became still and found that my life as a stay-at-home mom seemed like so, so much less than I had thought it would be when I committed to take this path (I have a master’s degree! What am I doing here??!). Being asked the question, “What would you do if your sex life & husband never change”, made me stop in my tracks. It made me look deeply at my heart.
In “Surfing for God”, Michael Cussick wrote something that struck me to the depth of my soul. He says that in his counseling practice he often hears men say, “I want to be a man of integrity”. His response is this – “…most of the time we think of integrity as exhibiting good morals, having strong character, and diligently obeying God’s commands. Actually, these are all consequences of integrity. Integrity itself – taken from the Laten word integer – means to be whole. Just as a whole number is known as an integer, a whole man is known as a man of integrity.”
When I read these words, a deep cry arose from my heart – “God! I want to be whole!”
This blog is simply one way I am answering that question. “What if it never changes?” I am praying for wholeness in my marriage. I am praying that my husband would see & respond to my needs. I am praying for sex and connection. But, if I never see the answers to those prayers, I am determined to be whole. I refuse to be embittered by the traps the Enemy has laid out for me.
In 1873 a man named Horatio Spafford stood at the bow of a ship crossing the Atlantic. He was going to join his wife, who had travelled with their daughters to England ahead of him. On their crossing, the ship had been struck and sank in 12 minutes. All four of their daughters had died, and the last memory that Anna Spafford had of the wreck was of their baby girl being torn from her arms by the waves. She had sent a telegram to Horatio that tragically stated, “Saved alone.” As Horatio was called to the bow of the ship, he was told that they were passing over the site where his four daughters had died. He went to his cabin and penned these now-famous words:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Dear sisters, will you join me in this hope? That no matter what happens in our marriage beds, we will be found, at the end of our days, singing “Even so, it is well with my soul.”
I cannot tell you how much I pray for you all. God brings you to my heart & mind throughout the day, and I lift you up to Him.
Grace, grace, grace to walk this journey.
May we all be whole.