"Through sickness"

"Through sickness and in health", those are the words spoken when you commit yourself to someone. No one really knows what that means until you face "sickness". I never thought much about it. It seemed obvious that a marriage would just remain through "sickness". But the reality is is that sickness is hard. This last year with Matt has been nothing short of difficult. Our communication has been challenged. Our emotions have been on an all time high which means we react differently. The unknowns have challenged us and even scared us at times. Matt and I are completely different personalities so of course we will face what life throws at us differently.

In the last few weeks I have made new friends and one of them is a guy going through a divorce. He told me that his marriage didn't last through "sickness". Sometimes sickness becomes so hard that it causes a marriage to fall apart. It got me thinking even deeper on the vow I made to my husband. I made a promise "through sickness and in health." Don't get me wrong, I have broken promises, I have not loved well in the last 13 years but I made a promise and intend to follow through. I choose him to love, forgive, laugh with, and so much more daily.

In the last year "sickness" has been the daily battle with Matt, but I also realized Matt has chosen me through all my anxiety and depression. He is one to see the good in every circumstance. He is always finding the fun in every season. For me, my battle of seeing the world through anxiety and depression at times can wear him down and become frustrating to him, yet he chooses me. The journey for him to learn to live with me in love hasn't been easy but he chooses to and I am so thankful. 

Marriage is hard without sickness, but I never knew that sickness could affect a marriage in whole new ways. It has brought on new challenges but if you allow it, it strengthens you. It even teaches you more about yourselves as individuals. 

As I step back I look at how I have grown and I become really encouraged.  I have learned how much more capable I am to pursue and accomplish dreams and ideas. I have worked harder then ever. I have carried more on my shoulders then I realized I was capable of. I have learned to communicate better. I continue to learn how to better deal with my anxiety and depression.  I have stepped out of my personal comfort zone and in that I have made new friendships, went on adventures that I would never have gone on alone and more. I have grown to love who I am and I also see areas I can grow in. I have learned to love deeper. Again, I have to emphasize that I have really begun to really love who I am, what I love and I am more confident that I have ever been. It feels really good to see the growth.

There has been so much growth in my marriage. Though its not been easy, Matt and I have grown. We are closer. We have learned more about each other. We have seen God remain faithful to His promises to us. We have learned how we can better love each other. We have learned to communicate in ways we better understand each other. We have had to support each other in news ways. It's been humbling. We have learned that taking a day at a time is all we can do. We also have learned new things about each other.

I have also had to help teach my kids about how life throws different seasons our way and that we need to do each season well. I don't know how many times I had to remind my kids that "dad is in pain, we can't do that right now." I have had to hold them when they cry because watching their daddy in pain hasn't been easy. It's been a beautiful thing to watch them pray for their daddy. Each of them have chosen to be okay with this season and try to make the best of it. Matt spent months on the floor laying down and the kids would lay with him daily. For the most part my kids didn't complain but understood that we have to just love and find the good in each day during this season. So as a whole, I believe my family is stronger!! I am proud of my kids. It's been a beautiful thing to see them adjust to what is before us with so much grace and love. 

Though "sickness" was thrown our way, we have also experienced so much good. We ("we" meaning us and our friends who are part of the business) opened our shop in a new location and its been amazing. We are about to launch online! We have made new friends and are thankful for the friends who have remained by us through this season. We have grown so much. So much good has been thrown at us even though our days have been challenging! This blog continues to grow and I am thankful! 

So here’s to choosing to love through sickness. Here’s to learning to take a day at a time. Here’s to choosing to find the good in the difficult. Here’s to learning more about what you are capable of. Here’s to stepping out of comfort zones. Here’s to learning to receive help in the hard seasons. Here’s to learning to communicate better.

Shout out to our dog Lemon who has helped Matt to continue facing each day! 

My dress is from one of my favorite shops who makes ethical clotjing, Shop Doen

These earrings have quickly became a favorite, Hello Zephyr

Photos: Katie Lively