Marriage and Toothpaste (Blog)

Marriage…toothpaste…bonds…whitener…cracks…sparkling…protection.  I bet you never thought marriage (or just relationships in general) had so much in common.

I’ll never forget when I was 19 and dating a young man who I was sure I was going to marry.  He said to me very prophetically, “What if you squeeze the toothpaste in the middle and I roll it up from the end?”  My thought was, “That’s what you’re going to base a marriage on?”  Looking back, I guess he wasn’t far off.

Marriage is hard.  I recently had rotator cuff surgery and Jay has been sleeping upstairs to help my arm heal and let me get quality rest.  I’m sure most women might say, “My husband wouldn’t do that!” It takes sacrifice.

Let’s talk a little bit about sacrifice, a subject I know a lot about.  I talked with two friends this week who are suffering from sacrificing a loved one.  One said, “This horrible roller coaster never ends does it?”  My other friend expressed how everywhere he looked, he now sees babies because he just lost his baby grandson.  He said, “There are times I just have to go to the car and let it go.”  Sacrifice and suffering.  There are so MANY more out in my friend space that are suffering from sacrifice during the holiday season.  We’ll be honest, it’s just not “Happy” Thanksgiving or “Merry” Christmas.  God hears us and He is there to comfort when friends just don’t understand.

This world hurts my heart.  It takes so much from us.  I was searching the scripture last night to help heal my heart and God led me to Acts 1:7.  “He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.'”  Wow.  Even though this word was directly from God, it had so much healing for my heart about Trey all over again and for Collin.

I had someone ask me recently, “Are you reliving Trey all over again?” I told them yes. (And oh, I miss my buddy so much.)  For those that do not follow me on Facebook, Collin has a cyst on his kidney that has changed from a year ago which they realized at his last checkup in late September.  He had been complaining of flank pain and it was exactly in the area of the cyst in the kidney.  Dr. Sara said, “Trey should not have died from pancreatic cancer, so we are going to treat this as rare and be cautious about this.”

The good thing about the cyst at this time is that it is not showing any blood flow to it indicating a tumor or mass.  Collin goes back to St. Jude on December 6 for a MRI, sees Dr. Sara on December 7, and sees the kidney doctor on December 8.  At this time, because of Collin’s inability to focus and stay on task, he is homebound with school until further notice. I truly believe my Collin has been through more than he needs to bear.  Hear me when I say, they have not said Collin has cancer.  But just like Dr. Sara and I were talking, they also told us at one time that Trey did not have cancer also.  So my mind is all over the place.  I just can’t imagine where Collin’s mind is going at this point.  But, I come back to the scripture.  Romans 8:18 “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”  I have to keep putting my trust in His word.

Needless to say, with all of this on my plate, I have been squeezing the toothpaste in the middle and it has hit the ceiling, the fan, and all four walls.  Jay said to me one day, “Do you want me to talk to you the way you talk to me?” What a slap in the face I deserved.

Marriages (or relationships) are…

  • Complicated
  • Ugly
  • Joyful
  • Struggle
  • Satisfying
  • Unique

And I’ve just named a few that Jay and I have experienced over 25 years.  So is toothpaste. Jay and I have actually had a conversation about this recently.  He bought some whitening stuff and it tastes like I just emptied baking soda in my mouth.  But you have to suffer through the taste to gain the benefits of the toothpaste.  Marriage is the same way.  You have to walk the road of the trials in order to reach the end together, stronger.  Some don’t make it.  I can CERTAINLY say, since Trey’s death, we are an exception.

I am blessed to have the husband that I do.  This week I called in my stress and outrage and said, “I have had it, that’s it! I just want to leave and never come back!” Have you ever said that? Maybe? Or thought it?  I’m not sure what he thought, but he listened and as a result of my stress, he took action.

The anxiousness, stress, and worry robs a marriage and family of what God intends for a faithful, reliant relationship with Him.  No marriage is perfect.  I picked up on this on the way to the Carrie Underwood concert when we had the radio on The Message and I told Jay to change the station.  Collin agreed because all The Message is about is sad songs.  It let me know that he related worship music to sadness.  I am certainly guilty of that for the last four years. But WE have to choose revival.  Just like Chris Conlee said at the Highpoint service Sunday night, WE ARE REVIVAL.  That hit home with me.  I want to BE change. How can we BE the REVIVAL or the CHANGE if we don’t allow the Holy Spirit in to work?

I can only be that by letting God take stress and worry. I have to make decisions for myself, get on my knees and pray for my family.  All the preaching in the world to my child is not going to get him to church or change his work schedule (or even get him to clean his room!).  It won’t make my marriage more affectionate, stronger, or longer.  Got to let go. Only Jesus.  Only Jesus.

So while I’m still grieving through the holidays, and people are screaming about all their peeps being home, I just want to strive to be toothpaste for Jesus…bonded, sparkling, and protected.