Giving up or pushing through it..what will it be?

I am a big ball of emotions tonight as I write this. It is not surprising to the world to see another marriage end, especially on national television. Ryan and I watched the famous show about the family with twins and sextuplets tonight announce they are separating due to the problems they have been having for months in their marriage. It is both sad and disappointing to me, but frustrating as well. I had naively hoped they were going to work on it, seek counseling and say they were hopeful. I guess that is not the choice they have made. None of us has the right to judge them, but we all feel for them whether it is genuine concern or all out anger and inapporpriate lashing out. The heart of the matter is the state of their marriage. I listened to comments like "I am hear for my children, and what is best for them is the most important thing to me." What about your marriage? When did that take a backseat and at what point did either one of you think it might be a good idea to start working on it? We are all guilty in our marriages of getting busy with life, children, circumstances out of our control taking over. So at what point do we stop and listen to the warning signs? You know, the signs that start out as a mild flicker, but by the time it gets spinning out of control it is a bold, flashing red light. At what point do we decide to throw in th towel, and how bad does it have to get to make the decision it is not worth fighting for anymore? Every marriage will face struggle, it is guaranteed. So do we choose to ride it out, work through it and learn from it? Every life experience has a lesson to learn, so do we choose to really experience it or walk away and give up? I have been reading in Judges today about Gideon, and his remarkable story of God using Him in incredibly difficult circumstances. Despite where he came from, his own opinion of himself and the state of the Israelite people's faith at the time, God chose to use Him and deliver His people. God can make the impossible possible, and He wants to help us. But, we have to be willing to admit we've screwed up, that we need Him and that we need one another. A marriage is not is 100-100! We should strive to be the best we can be for our spouses, and not get hung up who does what for whom, start the list of comparisons that is sure to end in one way alone: anger, bitterness and resentment toward each other. Why is it so hard to let go of our pride, our selfish agendas, our need to keep track of every little thing good and bad. It would appear to be built into our nature which sucks, cause sometimes I really wish I could just power down like a robot. It is exhausting and not worth the time and energy wasted. Looking at my life and my marriage, I find that I am relieved, convicted and inspired all at the same time. Relieved that we have come this far (almost 15 years) when it could have ended. Convicted to be a better wife to Ryan than I have been so far. I know I have room to improve--don't we all? Inspired by the truths we have learned from God along the way that echo in my ears even as I ponder what we saw play out on the show tonight. God has not moved from His throne, and He has promised us a plan--Jeremiah 29:11. How good is He?! He is too good to us, and we don't deserve it. I will go to bed tonight with a heavy but thankful heart. Ryan, I love you more today than ever, and I look forward to many more days with you. I am not giving up, and you cannot get rid of me!
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