I am honoured to be writing a post for Dorothy Greco this month as part of the celebration of her new book Making Marriage Beautiful. It can be beautiful but not overnight. It takes work and determination. I wrote this post a few years ago, but it still encapsulates everything I feel about the journey we embarked on all those years ago.

Recently we celebrated a major anniversary – 45 years of marriage. The overwhelming feeling of joy comes from the fact that we made it! Through all the ups and downs, through all the pains, sorrows, frustrations, whether they were shared between us or whether they were caused by each other – we made it! We’ve loved, laughed, fought and been irritated beyond belief. Sometimes we thought that it was too hard… but it turned out that it wasn’t. The years have shown that although it wasn’t easy, it was doable … and we’ve done it!

We began with such optimism. We thought we would never be challenged in our love for each other… but we were, again and again. With each new challenge, each violent breach of the walls of our selfishness and self-sufficiency came the choice to become more resilient, more transparent, more willing to become ONE. And every time we made the choice to do it, another layer was added to the building of our ONENESS, another brick in the walls of finding our center in God and in each other.

Our years are like a string of pearls. The hard grit of our fears and inadequacies has been gradually coated over by the essence of forgiveness and the release of our egos, so that the other would be strengthened and enlarged. Slowly one pearl joined another, different shapes and sizes to match the challenges we’ve faced, and each has its own luster, won by the secret surrender of our hearts; all because love can truly cover a multitude of mistakes and failures.

We are the living proof that two vastly different, flawed and complex beings can begin as one + one and end up as One, without losing the individuality we were created in. For a man must leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife – and the two shall become One…

It can only happen by loving each other even when we feel lost and disappointed, loving when it seems our hearts might break, embracing even when we’re afraid to trust one more time, and continuing to love even when fear and shame demand that we protect our hearts in order to survive. Loving each other because we promised we would, and we will not break the promise.

Withdrawing is too easy, hardening your heart is too dangerous, looking outside the place of your oneness for comfort is catastrophic.

“Choosing to love as a verb—not a feeling—is how souls can remain free and still be tied together forever.”

Read the rest of the post over at: http://www.dorothygreco.com/make-marriage-beautiful/

 

Bev has been a senior church leader for more than three decades. Speaking internationally for churches and conferences, she is determined to leave a legacy of strong and effective leadership for the generations to come. She has mentored scores of leaders over more than 30 years and she would be happy to help you develop as a leader. Check out the options here: http://bevmurrill.com/coaching-plans/ She has a Masters degree in Global Leadership and is the author of two books – Speak Life and Shut the Hell Up, and Catalysts:You Can Be God’s Agent For Change.

An entrepreneur, Bev has founded a number of initiatives including:
Kyria, an organisation for women in leadership (www.kyrianetwork.com);
Cherish Uganda, an organisation for abandoned HIV+ children (www.cherishuganda.org),
Liberti Magazine, a magazine for Christian women in UK (www.libertimagazine.com)
as well as pastoring churches in Australia and UK, and mentoring and equipping leaders to plant churches across the nations.

Bev would be happy to speak for your church or event, consult with you on leadership issues, and you can contact her for leadership mentoring at bevmurrill@icloud.com.