My husband and I celebrated our 41st anniversary this week. Forty-one wonderful years. We were sealed in the Oakland Temple and we have four beautiful daughters and eight amazing grandchildren. We are just a normal couple and we have gone through the usual ups and downs of a life spent together. About 3 ½ years ago, shortly after I was called to be Relief Society President, my husband stopped attending church. It was the result of years of struggling and trying to build his faith. It was so painful that he finally decided to stop attending church in an effort relieve some of the pressure. This has been a good decision for him, he feels so much better without the constant inner struggle of trying to reconcile things about the church and God that he just doesn’t believe.
In this unplanned situation we both experience little challenges that are new and different:
- I miss sitting in a pew with him and having someone to share what I see and hear at church
- I miss attending the temple together and each year celebrating our own sealing
- I miss co-ordinating my outfit with his tie
- I miss the conversations we had between two believers
- He worries about being a disappointment to me
- He struggles knowing that I believe things that he doesn’t, can’t accept and doesn’t agree with
- He doesn’t like watching me struggle with my own questions (some of the same ones he did)
We continue to have the most amazing life together. We hold hands, we walk, we garden, we talk, we laugh. Each of us truly love being with the other and our relationship has never been stronger. We have more candid conversations. We talk about things that were always off limits, we work together. We are truly partners in everything.
I don’t know what will happen after this life, but for me – the believer – it’s been an increased time for faith that God is truly in charge, that nothing has gone wrong, that this is part of the plan. We are both on the path we need to be on. It feels amazing to know and believe these things with every fiber of my being.
Have you ever had a time where your life didn’t turn out the way you had planned on? What made it work for you?