Monday, November 2, 2009

Chapter Two: The Honeymoon?

In the summer of 1999, Shane and I were married in a candlelit ceremony in the church I had known since I was a little girl. The next morning as we arrived at the airport, we were told that I couldn't board the plane without my marriage license (which was thirty miles away with my parents). My parents, who had been so anxious about our marriage were very gracious and seemed happy to bring it to us. We boarded the plane just in time. The day Shane and I came home from our honeymoon, he had to leave for ten days on the road with a known country group. I was setting up house - or apartment, rather - working and getting ready to start my senior year of college. The first few months could not have been better.

Four months into our first year of marriage, in October of 1999, we learned that Shane's mother's cancer was back after being in remission for almost six years. We were hopeful that surgery and chemotherapy would restore her body, but when the doctors opened her up, they found cancer throughout her abdomen. The next ten months of our new marriage was consumed with loving my sweet mother-in-law and seeing her ushered to the door of heaven in August of 2000.

That October, we were excited to learn that I was pregnant with our first child. I graduated college that December and immediately began working full-time as a graphic designer. In the back of my mind I hoped to come home full-time to be with her, but didn't think it would be possible. Her arrival was quickly approaching so we began trying to order our lives. After church hopping for a while, we agreed to proceed with joining the huge church where we had been worshiping, only to find they didn't have "membership". They offered a "welcome to [our church]" class so we began attending.

Growing up in a Methodist church where the people were truly sweet, and the messages were even sweeter: a few anecdotes tied together with one verse here or there, I was simply ignorant to matters of doctrine. I believed the Bible to be true, but never had been introduced to "doctrine". Thankfully, my husband had grown up in a solid Baptist church and recognized some essential biblical truths were missing in the church where we thought we'd be raising our children. One night, Shane came home from work and declared that we needed to find a different church. Normally, I would have retaliated, seeing how I was two or three weeks away from delivery and wanted this aspect of our lives to be set. I had admired Shane's spiritual convictions and ability to defend them from the day I met him, so I managed to listen to his reasoning and completely trusted him.

That week a friend invited us to a new Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) church in the area. We were welcomed by their warmth and astounded by the clarity of their doctrine and passion for the gospel. We had no doubt that's where God had led us.

The following Saturday I delivered my daughter, Maddie, by c-section and we began our new journey as parents... So everything should be happy now, right?

Still dealing with the loss of his mother, my husband became distant. His work in the music business was becoming less and less dependable. Our hearts -and wallet- would often break over the ethics of the Christian music industry. Shane began a pizza delivery job to make up for lost work. Ten weeks after delivery, I went back to work, heartbroken each day as I left my new baby daughter with a sitter. The burdens I felt grew greater every day as I pretended all was well. My hope of raising my daughter full-time was fading. I began to have thoughts that I knew weren't healthy for a marriage and I was scared. We could barely afford baby food and were beginning to use credit cards just to buy groceries. I thought I was alone. I didn't feel I could confide in my family because I didn't want them to be right about the struggle they said I would face as the wife of a musician. Shane was sinking into depression, and our two year marriage was drowning. After taking Maddie to the sitter, working all day, picking her up, feeding and bathing her and putting her to bed (all while Shane was at home barely getting out of bed), I simply told him "I'm having thoughts I don't need to be having. You need to talk to someone."

I had all this new found doctrine - doctrine I had always believed, but never had been able to articulate. I believed that God is sovereign over all, but I felt forgotten. What good was all this theology for my situation? Well, I tell you, it drew me to the cross where Christ saved my life and saves me still.

Stay tuned as I fill in the gaps and connect the dots for His perfect story of my life.

1 comment:

  1. I wait eagerly! I love hearing your story, Andrea. Thanks for sharing it with us!