Recently I was out with my children on a Saturday morning. We went to visit Daddy studying at Starbucks. When we pulled in, I noticed a Mom and her son sitting in the cheery sunshine right in the car next to us. On our way out, as I was loading everyone back in, I realized they were still sitting there...no crime in that, just a bit unusual. They seemed cloaked in an awkward silence. But then, as I swung around to climb in on the other side, I heard a loud, hopeful voice booming across the parking lot-"Hi Clint! Hi! Hi! Are you hungry?"
And then I knew. I just knew.
It was his father. And this was a drop-off.
You know what I'm talking about-the drop-off. Mommy and Daddy don't want to see each other so they meet in some generic parking lot to exchange the very image of their shattered love, their son.
The realization hit me like a dead-weight. And my heart broke, right there in front of Starbucks because this sort of thing has become so normal for most people.
First I thought about the father and the pain he must feel over not seeing his own son on a daily basis. I could hear it in his voice...he missed his son so much. Then my mind flashed over to the son who probably feels caught in the middle and how much he must miss his Dad. Then I thought about my own sons and daughter and how they long to see their Dad come through the door every evening. What if that just ceased to be? What if he just stopped coming home at all? What kind of devastation would that cause in their little souls? And then I thought about the mother and if it was difficult for her to make ends meet. I don't know the statistic but, I've heard it said many times that divorce is the hardest, especially financially, on women and children. For all of the "rights" the women's movement fought for regarding no-fault divorce laws, you'd think they would have realized how negatively such a practice would affect women themselves!!
In a matter of moments, these thoughts ran through my head as I started my car. And I grieved for these people I didn't know and for those I have known who have been affected by divorce. Not one person is ever to blame in these tangled situations. Everyone hurts.
I'm not sure why it struck me so deeply at that moment but it did. After I pulled myself together, I glanced back in the rear-view mirror to the rosy, smiling faces of my four precious children and I knew. Marriage is worth it. Sure it can be hard. Yes, I have to let go of myself.
But in that moment, I was reminded that I'm an adult and there are a lot of people who are invested in how I love their Dad in the good times and in the bad.
I better make it count. I better not let things slip.
But most of all, I must remember that when the hard times come, for they surely will, there is forgiveness and that true forgiveness manifests itself in having the courage to "let love cover it."
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8.
We all need this because we ALL fail. And even when I think I'm doing well I must ask myself, what kind of spouse am I being? Am I supportive? Am I loving? Am I respectful?
We can't buy into the lie that we have to fight for our rights or not "lose ourselves" in marriage. We've already lost ourselves in Christ. We don't have any rights anyway.
Even under the best of circumstances, marriage takes all of our dedication, courage, strength and perseverance. But it's worth it.
I am Nikki Dauphin, wife to Steve since July 2002, and mom to four boys and one little girl. Currently my husband is pursuing his PhD in mathematics, so as you can imagine, with five kids in tow, there are many adventures to behold! I'm learning how to raise a brood of boys and one precious princess, be a homemaker, how to be a lovely wife to my handsome and dashing husband and how to love those around me. Stop and stay awhile. Family stories, recipes, musings on life and lessons I'm learning are all a part of this blog. I love the life I've been given and thank God for His many blessings.
Steve-My amazing, fix-it, brilliant, math-loving, puzzle-solving husband is a Math PhD student pursuing his graduate degree through Colorado State University. He is also a Year Round Graduate Intern for Sandia National Labs researching and working on projects related to national security and preparing for his dissertation. We met at Cal Poly, SLO and were married in 2002. Seriously, he's my best friend.
Isaac-Laughter. My precious firstborn. Blue-eyed, blondie, logical, lefty. Particular, orderly, courageous, funny, and intelligent. Sees the world in patterns, numbers, colors and shapes. My first son. My joy.
Caleb-Brave. My mischevious secondborn. Brown-haired, coal-eyed, soldier. Needs explanations about how the world works. "Mathy", inquisitive, architectural and mechanical. Silly, passionate, tough, long-suffering and smart. My second son. My love.
Joshua-Saved by the Lord. My irreplaceable thirdborn. Bubbly, gregarious, social and playful. Loves to be surrounded by his family. Cuddly, kissable, chubby and charming. Life of the party, full of joy, overflowing with humor and laughter. My third son. My light.
Elliana-The Lord Has Heard. My long-awaited daughter. Petite, dark-eyed, beauty. Strong, coordinated, cheeky and spunky. Sharp as a tack and a flitting socialite. Loved by every member of her family. My fourth born. My only daughter. My treasure.
Nathan-God Has Given. My fourth son. Yet, it never gets old. My youngest little gift. Gentle, strong, sweet, angelic. Blonde and light-eyed. Littlest of them all but full of life and love. My fifth born. My littlest man. God's given. My gift.
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