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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Growing in Holiness

Sara: As I’ve mentioned before, some days being pregnant is SO difficult. Whether you believe it or not by reading this blog, normally I’m not a complainer, so sometimes it is hard to be honest with myself and Justin about exactly what I need. Sometimes that’s an extra nap, a cookie, or just my can of Diet Coke in the mornings. And I realize the pregnancy isn’t just hard on me – my tiredness, my irritability, and my out-of-control emotions are hard on Justin as well.

Recently, we had dinner with some good friends, who recently had their second child. Since we’ve become pregnant, I feel like Justin and I have joined an “invitation only club”: the club of parenting. We’ve gotten a lot of great advice and talked to a lot of great people throughout the past seven months.

However, what my friend “Emily” told me struck me. Emily said that no matter how many people we talk to, nothing can truly prepare us for parenthood or how hard it is going to be.

As I pondered, I realized how true that has to be. Marriage, families, and children are supposed to help us grow in holiness. Obviously, Justin’s and my marriage is different than any other marriage. We both bring unique strengths and weaknesses to our marriage.

These strengths and weaknesses will be magnified when we have a child to care for. In fact, some of these strengths and weaknesses have already begun to appear with my tiredness, my irritability, and out of control emotions.

Recently, Justin and I have started working on relaxation exercises to help me through labor. I know Justin is a physiologist (one who studies exercise) but most of the time, his expertise doesn’t relate to me specifically, unless it’s attempting to convince me to eat more vegetables or exercise more often. For the record, he’s been successful with both of those goals during this pregnancy.

However, because it doesn’t directly relate to me on a daily basis, sometimes I don’t appreciate his expertise as I ought. As we began working on our relaxation exercises, I was very impressed both with how patient Justin was with me, and also his tenderness and gentleness in helping me learn the techniques and exercises. It’s truly amazing, after nearly a year of marriage, at times to look at Justin in wonder and realize just how truly lucky I am that of all the women in the world, Justin picked me to marry.

One of my priest friends recently told me, “Enjoy. You were made for this.” And I (and we) were made to be parents to this child, and raise him (or her) to know and love God with all his (or her) might.

And despite the challenges of marriage, children, and family life, I know I’m the luckiest woman in the world because we’re running towards heaven and holiness for ourselves and children together.