I came to marriage at the ripe age of 38 years old. I did not meet my husband at church, through friends or by bumping into him in the grocery store. Our meeting was arranged, so to speak, by ChristianCafe.com.
Our courtship lasted two and half years when he proposed with a bouquet of red roses and white lilies and a simple and sweet diamond ring.
Six weeks later we married. The glow of being a newlywed surrounded us and six months later, I had another glow about me. I was pregnant.
This is how fairy tales are made. Boy finds girl. Boy marries girl. And a baby is on the way. And so it was for us. That is until we were told there was a problem with the son I was to bear. His doctors stated his lungs weren’t growing properly and the general consensus was he would not live past birth.
So begins the trial. A couple, very much in love, find themselves facing the first major trial of their marriage. This where you find out what you are made of…in the midst of trial. When I lived in South Florida, I evacuated when a certain hurricane named Andrew came to my area. Upon returning, I heard the story of a restaurant on the beach. When they re-opened the restaurant, they found all the ketchup bottles had exploded from the pressure of the storm.
In this midst of my storm, was my bottle of ketchup going to explode?
Throughout my pregnancy, my husband and I would talk, sharing our feelings and encouraging one another to trust God no matter the outcome. It was our faith that drew us together. Would our faith keep us together?
After our son was born, a nurse approached us and shared that couples who have a special needs child end up facing difficulties in marriage and some even end in divorce. The words bounced off us. We knew this would not apply to us. We were too busy praying together and leaning into each other to believe otherwise.
As newlyweds, we were still discovering how to be a couple. We had our disagreements, misunderstandings and general arguments but they did not undo us. We would pray and forgive each other understanding that ultimately, we were on the same page.
Even today someone will tell us special needs parents are at greater risk for problems in marriage. But, we weathered the storm. There were times my ketchup bottle exploded but we handled the trials together. Could it be because we are older and wiser? Or, could it be our faith in God, in marriage and in each other remains strong?
And, yes, we still have the occasional disagreement but it never lasts long. It’s funny how I thought my marriage wouldn’t have any arguments. But that’s a topic for another day. So, we have exceeded the expectations that special needs parents separate. Our son, has also exceeded the expectations that he would not live past birth. He is now ten years old. I guess you can say our family beat the odds. Is it possible? I’d say yes. Through it all, our faith kept us together.
Written By Evelyn Mann
Author, WIP, A Miracle In My Living Room