Marriage Testimony – Part 1: From the Valley to the Mountaintop

Far from being experts, we hope to grow right along each of you as we delve into different topics on marriage. We are about 10 months into our wedded life, so we are still babies when it comes to this stuff. We thought a good place for us to begin would be to share our testimony of our marriage and relationship.

It all started for us one fall night in 2005 in Natchitoches, Louisiana. A mutual friend of ours was hosting a party. I (Cody) was there with my brother Andrew, having a few brews near the dance floor. I say near, because I really do not enjoy dancing all that much. So near was as close as I got to the dance floor that night besides when I had to use the restroom. Liz was a transplant from New Orleans where she would have been attending Tulane, but Katrina had just recently hit in August. She was there with 2 of her roommates, and loves to dance, so she was having a great time with them. I noticed her right away, I have no idea if that is what they call love at first sight, but there was just something about her that was different.

It was a small place, and I was standing next to the bar, which was just adjacent to the dance floor. It wasn’t too long before Liz walked near me to refill her glass with a little red wine. Me being the suave person I am, I asked her what she was drinking. She told me it was wine, and asked if I would like to try it. I said sure, and took a small sip. What follows is the stuff of legends. This has to be why she fell in love with me. I told her, “this tastes like blood.” (Liz thought “It was very strange that wine tasted like blood to you, or more that you actually said that out loud, I didn’t really know what to say and just went back to dancing. I didn’t want to be like, “Really? That’s weird.” and maybe embarrass you or something because I could tell you were just being sociable and very polite. I think it’s actually more embarrassing that I was probably drinking the most horrible wine that actually did taste terrible.”)  I know, once you stop swooning we can continue.

We started dating shortly after Christmas holidays, and were together for the next four years of college. We didn’t follow the Lord at this time, we lived for ourselves, selfishly pursuing whatever felt best to us at the time. We loved our time at college, we met many great friends and had good times. But something was missing from our lives, and our relationship.

In 2009 we graduated college together and moved to Austin, TX. Our relationship started to stagnate at that time. We each had hurt the other in different ways, and it was very hard for us to let that go. We were both very selfish, immature, and just not ready to take that next step. I am so thankful we didn’t think that getting married at that time would have magically fixed everything. After one year of living together in Austin, around 2010, we split up. What followed was a very sad year for both of us. (Liz says, “This was probably the worst time I have yet to experience in my life. It wasn’t just the break-up but the years that led to it as well. The steady decline to where we found ourselves. Everything hurt. I was very confused about a lot of things and felt a heavy burden of guilt and shame, anger and bitterness. It was all consuming and yet I masqueraded around like I was indifferent to my poor choices and the hollowness I felt inside. I didn’t want to admit that I was lost. It had been going on for awhile and the year we were apart only magnified it. Now, I wasn’t just alone in my sadness but I was also alone physically, in an apartment all by myself. I hurt myself and others that year.To sum it up perfectly I can only use the phrase: “Ya’ll it was really bad.” “)  We felt empty inside, but we didn’t have any idea what was missing. It’s easy to show a happy face to people around you, while you are incredibly lonely and sad on the inside.

Fast forward 4 years.

We are joyously married to the love of our lives. Everything isn’t perfect, but we have  been equipped and are constantly striving to equip ourselves to deal with things as they come. Our relationship has not only been renewed and redeemed, but continues to strengthen to a degree we didn’t think was possible.

What happened?

God did.

To be continued…stay tuned!

 

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