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julie portrait3BW[From Julie] Well, here we are at our last response to our question ‘What changes in your spouse have surprised you the most since you got married?’  Today we’re going to hear from Corrie Rose.  Corrie and her husband Don have been good friends of ours for many years.  We went to high school with Don at Great Lakes and when he married Corrie we made another terrific friend.  Don and Noel are so similar in personality that Corrie and I have no trouble understanding each others marital challenges.  It’s always nice to have a friend to talk to isn’t it.  🙂 We were so happy when they decided to move to the area in the late ’90’s so Don could teach at Great Lakes.  They continue to be very special to us and our family.  Their oldest son is our son Jacob’s best friend which is also wonderful to see.  I’m so thrilled that Corrie chose to contribute her thoughts to our blog as well as share her musical talent.  I hope you all enjoy her post.

JW

CorrieWhat changes have surprised me the most in my spouse since we got married?  I have to confess that I had some difficulty with this question at first–not that I didn’t recognize my spouse had changed but rather a lot of the things I initially thought of seemed, well, kind of negative. I didn’t really want to publicly paint a picture of my husband in a bad light!

For example, when we were first dating and in our early marriage he was a bit of a neat freak. That was an aspect I REALLY found appealing! Somehow in the midst of the craziness of life this is not one of his priorities anymore. Another bonus was that he was such a good conversationalist. Wow! A man who actually wanted to talk? These days he does a lot of talking for his work, so the last thing he wants to do when he gets home after a stressful day is talk–that is if we can even find an opportunity to talk in the chaos of a house with 3 children.

When I think back to the marriage vows we took, we did take them very seriously. We were so young though! I was 20 and Don was 22. I would get annoyed when people pointed out how young we were because I was confident in my decision. Honestly, though, I had NO idea what I was really in for. The beginning of our marriage was stressful. Don was still in school and I worked full time at a job that didn’t pay great. Money was tight and that was a great source of friction for us for several years. I think I had many expectations and we were both good at blaming each other for the things that weren’t going as planned. Don’t get me wrong, we have had some wonderful times and have been blessed in many ways, but the reality is marriage is tough! You can’t anticipate the curve balls you will be thrown and we have certainly had a few along the way. To complicate matters, Don and I are both Children of Divorce which, in one sense, made us that much more determined to make our marriage work. On the other hand, it has made it extremely difficult at times because, much to our surprise, some of the wounds and poor relationship strategies we experienced have crept into our marriage. Believe it or not, the baggage from our childhood has surfaced more in our 30’s than in the first decade of our married life!

So, all this to say that what I find the most surprising in my spouse since we got married is something that shouldn’t really be all that surprising in a way because it is what we promised to do. Knowing what I know now though it is amazing to me that……. HE LOVES ME JUST THE WAY I AM! He continually offers me grace and forgiveness, despite the changes that have happened for better or for worse. We truly are living out that promise. It is easy to take those vows when you are young and full of hope about the future. It reminds me of a line from a song called “Different Kinds of Happy”  by my favourite singer-songwriter, Sara Groves.

“Better than the promises is the day we get to keep them. I wish those two could see us now and they never would believe that there are different kinds of happy.”

For the most part you really only imagine the good things that you anticipate in life. It is easy for me to get caught up in his flaws and forget about the fact that I have many of my own. We are learning to go with the flow, enjoy the journey, and not focus so much on the destination. Now that I’ve gotten started I feel like I have a lot more I could say but I’ll leave it at that and share with you one more song that resonates with me—another Sara Groves song (tee-hee, my friends have heard me say this a time or two). Sara Groves speaks directly to my heart and soul and it just seems there is a song suitable for every occasion. She has a way of articulating what I feel in an unbelievable way!

Loving a Person by Sara Groves

Loving a person just the way they are, it’s no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we’re waiting
We need grace either way

Chorus
Hold on to me
I’ll hold on to you
Let’s find out the beauty of seeing things through

There’s a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It’s a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can’t occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free

Chorus

If we go looking for offense
We’re going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We’re going to find it

Loving a person just the way they are, that’s no small thing
That’s the whole thing.
Loving me just the way I am that’s no small thing
It takes some time
It takes some time
It takes some time

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