The beginning of November 2013 brought about a big occasion: The Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon. My husband and I had signed up to run it months prior and the weekend of the run was fast approaching. The half marathon was scheduled for his birthday and we thought it would be a super fun mini-vacation, as well as an awesome accomplishment to fly down to Florida and run this race together. My parents were on board as well. They planned on flying down and spending the weekend with us and cheering us on at the finish line. Hotel rooms were booked, my parents and I had scheduled our flights, my training was spot on. I was ready. The huge hiccup in the plan was that my husband, all of a sudden, thought this was a bad idea and hadn’t booked his flight.
In reality, the reason he thought it was a bad idea was because he didn’t want to see my parents. He didn’t want to face my parents. Who would? What do you say to the mother and father of the woman whom you have cheated on? I had already purchased my plane ticket, which led to a huge fight. If he wasn’t going to go, he didn’t think I should go either. Looking back, I can’t decipher or even understand that logic. I remember feeling horrible that I had gone “behind his back” and booked my flight. I apologized and cried for hours for not discussing my plans with him beforehand. By the end of the conversation I was convinced I had created yet another huge problem in our marriage and I slunk away to try and think of a way to ease the tension and fix my mistake.
Time certainly gives a gal perspective and the truth is, booking a flight to run a race that I had trained to run and had planned on running did not make me a terrible wife. What is terrible is that he didn’t hand over his credit card and book it for me, including the up charge for priority boarding. All this being said, he hadn’t booked his flight and I had no idea whether he was coming or not. My parents offered to let me stay in their hotel room, there was no way they were cancelling…this was happening.
Long story short, after much debate, he did book a flight down to run the race. He would fly down with me, but fly back immediately after the race (I always assumed this was to avoid more time with my parents, but I guess I’ll never know for sure). I was staying the original length of the trip. I don’t think I truly believed he was actually coming until I saw him get on that plane. The optimistic child inside of me just knew this was a sign. We would all sit down as a family and talk this thing out. By the end of it, he would decide our marriage was worth saving and my parents would understand that he was only human, had made a horrible mistake, and would agree to work on mending their relationship with him. Plus, this blessed reunion was going to occur at the happiest place on earth…how could it fail?
We flew down after work on a Thursday evening. My parents had already arrived by the time we landed. We checked into our room, had dinner at the hotel, and headed to bed without seeing my parents. It was late, and I knew no one was ready for whatever confrontation awaited them. Things were strained, but they had been strained for months, I was learning how to live with “strained” and make it my new normal. I knew the next day would bring the strength of my parents. I was exhausted on so many levels and having them there to help ease my burden was such a Godsend. If I could just continue to hold on and stay positive, everything was going to be ok.
We all spend a lot of time working to make everything ok. Refusing to give into failure. Accepting our circumstances. Choosing to bloom where we are planted. These are all lovely attributes. But, what I forgot for awhile, was that I was still a person. Still a child of God. Still worthy of respect and love. My blessing is that even when the one who promised to love me unconditionally for the rest of my life forgot that, God gave me parents with the strength to hold strong for the woman God created me to be. They never faltered, which is why I am still standing.
Isaiah 33:2 “Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”