Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Most Valuable Thing

I thought in honour of Valentines Day it would be a great opportunity to tell you about a very special person, my husband Randy. I wanted to take the time to honour him and let you know what a wonderful guy he is.

Before I start I wanted to say that the thing about writing a blog is it may give the impression that the person writing has some kind of expertise in the subjects written about. There are plenty of educated people who are experts and have important things to say about faith, marriage, parenting and life in general....but I am not one of those experts. I am simply fumbling my way through, learning some things along the way, usually the hard way, and writing it down as I go. I wanted to say that before I brought up the subject of marriage..... I am no expert.

Marriage is a complicated thing isn’t it? A good marriage can be the most life giving, absolute source of joy. Is there anything more wonderful than being genuinely known...all the really good stuff, and the really bad stuff and being loved unconditionally anyway? A bad marriage can be the complete opposite, destructive, crushing, debilitating, life draining. What makes a marriage good? What makes one bad? I hear people asking all the time what the secret to a great marriage is. I’ve heard many answers like, good communication, not going to bed angry, being quick to forgive. These are all great things but I just don’t think you can boil it down to a formula, there are not 5 easy steps to a great marriage. I believe there are principles for sure, but every individual is so different, every marriage is so unique there just can’t be a formula. Its like saying “have faith is 5 easy steps”, or “follow this formula to understand grace”. Marriage, like faith and grace is simple yet complicated, there is a mystery, an intangible, illusive kind of quality to it that can’t be easily put into words.

The divorce rate for couples with special needs kids is really high....I’ve heard several different statistics, 65%,80%, 90%, I’m not sure which is the most accurate but regardless of what the number is, its just too high. The incredible stress it puts on people and marriages really can take its toll. There are countless women and some men too who have been left to raise their special child on their own. I simply can’t imagine being left to carry the load by myself, but it is done every day by some very brave people.

I have been so blessed to be able to share 22 years of my life with one of best men there is. Randy has loved me through some very dark days. He has been the love of God to me when I couldn’t see it, when I was unable to, he tangibly was Gods love. When I was struggling with the darkness of depression, trying to cope with life in some destructive ways, Randy honestly, unselfishly and patiently loved me through them. He didn’t give up on me when it would have been really easy to. He has been an example of patience, serving and unconditional love. Parenting our special needs son has certainly increased our stress but we have also grown together through the challenges.

I know I am making him sound just too perfect, of course he isn’t (sorry honey).....our marriage certainly isn’t perfect either. I think that's where a lot of people get tripped up, the expectation of a perfect, fairytale marriage. Think about it though, when you take two very flawed individuals with lots of baggage and issues (we all have them) and put them together in the same house to live together, you think there aren’t going to be issues?? It has taken alot of hard work, and investment. We are all a work in progress and so is marriage. I just thought I would share with you, the reason why I’m functioning today is because of a very special man that I am so blessed to share my life with.

I love that the most valuable thing in the world ~ relationships ~ real ones, can’t be bought, you can’t put a price on them. They take work, effort and invested time, but the payoff is priceless.
Ask yourself what you can do today for the people you are in relationship with ~ marriage, parents, children, friends ~ to make their day brighter, their load lighter. 

                                                               My sweet husband and I


  1. Loved this, Nadine! And knowing Randy as we do, we couldn't agree more. But I have to say... Randy is pretty blessed with HIS life-partner too. You guys are the epitome of patience and grace (ever-so-slightly flawed, of course). =)

    We love you both and are so proud to not only call you 'family'... but also, to especially, call you 'friends'.

    xoxo Ron & Ann

  2. Well said! Raising a special needs child can bring enormous stress into a relationship and a family. People don't always love unconditionally. I think that is the one lesson, that if learned will carry you through the darkest of days.

    One of the biggest blessings of a special needs child is that you face unconditional love head on. In many cases, especially early on, you are not getting the "normal" expressions of love from your child, so it can seem very one sided. This goes against what we may have been taught love is. In society, unrequited love very often portrays that person as a loser, that didn’t know enough to move on.

    In a family when faced with a special needs child some choose to leave as it doesn’t fit their “norm”. For those that stay they are blessed with a very special lesson in unconditional love, that not only reflects in the parent child relationship, but also strengthens the spousal relationship, and our relationship with others. It is a true picture of how our Father can love us unconditionally.

    In your January blog you quoted Mother Teresa, another of her quotes that I love is…“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” It works in reverse as well.