Ignoring a problem in marriage? And WW Linkup!

Ignore or Explore

If you don’t know this about me already, you must know that I am always looking at what the metaphor for life might be that God wants to teach me.

The graphic above is a photo of the piece of glass that lodged downward into my left hand last Thursday. I was trying to get the topper off of my Christmas tree—standing on a stool—when I heard my freezing dog barking out in the yard. I knew I needed to get her back in, so I quickly jumped down. Unfortunately, I turned my ankle—dropping and breaking the glass topper where my hand also landed as it braced my fall. I saw a gash and knew I needed to do something quick!

So what did I do?

I did what most moms would do . . . I cleaned it, sealed up the bleeding with some super glue, then wrapped a gauze bandage around my hand so that I could finish my job.

All day Friday it kept bothering me. So I would scrape off the super glue and try poking around in there with a sterilized needle. I just couldn’t tell if anything was still in there, though. So I would bandage it up again and go on with life.

On Saturday morning I decided to ask an expert, so I called to ask a nurse friend of mine what her opinion was. She told me to spray peroxide and sterile water into the wound to force any foreign objects out.

After I did this, I rigged a magnifying glass up and took another probing look at it. It seemed like there was something I hadn’t noticed before. So I sterilized my needle {again} and, to my surprise, I felt like something hard was in there! But I couldn’t get it out with the needle, so I sterilized some tweezers to extract it and “lo and behold” I was able to pull out the lovely shard pictured above!

Here’s where the metaphor for marriage and life comes in . . .

First of all, I knew something wasn’t right about that spot. My hand was trying to get my attention by pushing that object/problem to the surface. Very often we don’t like the way a problem in our circumstances or in our spouse’s attitude continues to grab our attention—often discouraging us.

But what if God was using those issues to get our attention to do something proactive like “pulling a shard of glass out of our hand” . . . Or facing a hard conversation in marriage, or “eating some humble pie” by apologizing to our mate, etc.?

What if we just continued to ignore it? <Shudder!>

 

Second of all, I feel like God was very intimately involved with the piercing of this piece of glass.

Think about it . . .

God made sure that those bits of glass fell in just the right formation so that I did not have other cuts and so that the piece that did cut me went in “parallel” instead of horizontally—where it could have cut precious ligaments and tendons. I have no issues with bending or using my fingers—for which I’m very grateful because of how much I use them here and in my job.

I’m so grateful that God watched over me even in what seemed like a chaotic moment.

In the same way,

It may not be “pain-less” but it is His perfect will that will result in completing that “good work” He began in you and your spouse.

Ultimately, you have a choice. You can ignore it or you can explore it with the help of the Lord guiding your steps toward growth and healing.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:6

 

What situation or conflict are you trying to ignore or let fester and how’s that workin’ for ya?

 

What steps do you think you need to take to address the conflict proactively?

 

 

If you’re interested, let me know how I can pray for you and I promise to do just that, my friend!


 

Joining with my friends at Works for Me Wednesday, Wifey Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Wholehearted Wednesday, Whimsical Wednesday, and Simply Said Mom.

Now it’s time for Wedded Wednesday …

Check out our new WW button!

Find our other WW button code and guidelines here.

Messy Marriage

And don’t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find me, the more traffic I can send your way!

  • I really like this post. I love finding spiritual truths in such examples!

    • Thanks so much, Aimee! I appreciate your kind words and for your participation in the linkup too!

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  • Gaye @ CalmHealthySexy

    Hi Beth – Happy New Year! I hope you are doing well.

    • Hi there, Gaye! I hope you have a Happy New Year too, my friend! I am healing up just fine. But you can pray for the website. It’s having technical difficulties if you haven’t already noticed. I don’t know how to fix the “errors.” Google has alerted me of the problem (which I’d already noticed), but the troubleshooting guide is like decoding Chinese! 🙁

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    First – I’m glad you’re OK. I have several pieces of palm tree in one of my feet – from 1990 – and they work themselves out from time to time.

    There are certainly issues in my marriage that I’ve chosen to ignore. But I am trying to turn it to the good, by letting go of any bitterness associated with them. Not always easy, but the more I work at it – and pray about it – the easier it gets. (Working at it consists of trying to see it from my wife’s point of view, with empathy, instead of using that perspective to figure out how to shoot holes in her ‘argument’.)

    Even with the best will in the world, there are some things in a marriage that simply can’t be repaired to full function. An analogy is my right arm; I fed it into a wood planer several years ago, and turned all the muscles on top of the forearm into hamburger. The surgeon did his best, but I have about 50% use. Nothing I can do will improve that, but 50% is better than nothing.

    So it is with some issues in marriage – “tolerable” isn’t necessarily something to be sneezed at. We’re exhorted to Go For The Gold, and to look at anything less than a win as a loss.

    But sometimes just showing up is the biggest victory of all.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/01/welcoming-combat-veteran-home-five.html

    • Yes, you are right on that, Andrew. I plan to go in the direction of “woundedness” in marriage and relationships in the weeks ahead and very often wounds are beyond repair for various reasons. I totally agree about “showing up.” It truly is a victory that should not be minimized or left unacknowledged. I have such admiration for those who persevere in their marriages regardless of how their mate responds. One of my best friends is going through a situation like that–like yours in many ways. But I do want to be sure not to confuse simply maintaining the “status quo” because you don’t want to rock the boat with persevering! And, honestly, I run into more “non-boat-rockers” than spouses who are truly persevering in incredibly difficult circumstances, like yourself. So I tend to focus on what I see are the masses issues. Thanks so much for adding to the discussion, my friend and I do hope you are feeling less pain and persevering in God’s grace.

  • Nan

    Awesome post and great convicting questions! The analogy is a good one, because if we let things fester in our marriages (or any relationship), it can cause a greater pain and just poison the relationship when we really should be healing it. It’s much better to have a little pain now than a lot of pain later.

    Also, I am extremely impressed (and slightly horrified, lol!) that you dug it out of your hand. Ouch! Also impressed that you superglued it. I know that is what it was made for but still…..impressed! 😉

    When I was 19 I was barefoot in a lake and stepped on a broken bottle in the water. I severed the artery in my foot and bled like a faucet, lol! There “happened” to be a policeman nearby (thank the Lord) and he applied pressure to the bottom of my foot, and tied a tourniquet around my leg so that I wouldn’t bleed to death before the medics could get there.

    The glass not only cut right through the artery, it also damaged the motor nerve and the lateral nerve. It was a very serious injury, obviously. And all from glass! Had major surgery that day, lol!

    Anyway, your story brought that to mind. Thanks so much for hosting today!

    • Wow! Now that sounds like a wound! Really puts my tiny shard into perspective, Nan! I’m so glad that policeman was nearby and helped you! That was a total God-thing too! Thanks also for your encouraging words, my friend!

  • Mary

    First I have to say “Oww!” I love the question what am I trying to ignore or explore. As hard as it is to admit, I will ignore more often than explore if this saves me from confrontation or a difficult situation that cannot be solved easily. This is happening right now in my work place. There is so much about education that I am not agreeing with but since this is my last year, I am becoming rather complacent. Who knows-maybe I will have one last push to saying and making a difference before June! Thank you for getting my brain moving this morning. Hugs friend!

    • I agree, Mary, we must choose our battles on many fronts. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with every little snag I encounter in my relationship or in my life. But some things continue to surface over and over–those are the things I want to explore and let God “pour” His grace and healing into. Thanks for your sweet words to me, my friend! I always love seeing you hanging out here in the linkup and comments! 🙂

  • I hope you continued to heal up quickly after getting the glass out of your hand. You made my stomach tense up and turn and my mind swirled with memories. Bleh!! I ran through a glass door when when I was 13 😛 But I kept reading and I loved how you brought out the metaphor in our marriages. I will think about this today. I know I will as your picture was vivid.

    Thank you for hosting today!!

    • Yes, it’s been healing quite nicely, Judith. I feel like this story of broken glass is one that many can relate to (see Nan’s comment below). I didn’t even think about it causing discomfort for people to read. I just feel like there’s always some truth God’s pushing to the surface in our lives–often through pain to get our attention! I’m glad you stuck with the entire post to get the meaning behind my metaphor. And you’re quite welcome on the hosting–fellow blog-hopper! 🙂

  • JosephPote

    Oh, I love good metaphors, too, Beth…and this is a good one!

    That’s a relatively large piece of glass to have lodged in your hand. Glad you found and extracted it!

    Digging around in relationally sensitive areas to find root issues…it’s tricky business, isn’t it? Exploring my own heart under the magnifying glass of the Holy Spirit seems always worthwhile. Exploring my spouse’s heart…though sometimes necessary, is almost sure to touch a few nerves…which is never pleasant.

    It is yet another area of life where I find myself once again praying the serenity prayer…seeking wisdom to know the difference between the need for serenity to accept the things I cannot change or the courage to change the things I can.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

    • Yes it was a big shard–totally shocked me that I was walking around with it in my hand for almost two days! And here I thought I was doing the smart thing to seal it up quickly with super glue! ha! My nursing friends are all horrified that I used something so unsterile to seal it up too. But to the truth of the metaphor, well, I do not mean to say we should meddle in any way in the shards that are embedded in our spouse’s hearts and lives. Although I do not want anyone to shy away from sorting through those messy moments if there’s a good mingling of God’s grace and truth to get them through. However that “mingling” is tricky. So it’s always a safe bet to get a Godly counselor in the mix–sort of like it would have been better for me to go to the ER and get that wound attended to professionally! 😉

  • Beth, it is amazing how God teaches us through the daily occurrences. I love what a lodged piece of glass ended up teaching >> “God is orchestrating events and circumstances to bring about the best result for you”. And He works personally, individually, and intentionally in each of us. Great post!

    • I feel like God is always tapping me on the shoulder these days, Joanne, and showing me another way He’s in control and working things out for my good. I hope that same faith-growing perspective rubs off on all who come by here. Thanks for your kind words to me, sweet friend! Be blessed!

  • So glad you didn’t get seriously hurt, my friend! Great metaphor for marriage. Love how God is always teaching us. And those sensitive areas that bother us will never go away completely until we do the hard and sometimes painful work of getting to the root of it all and then extracting the darkness lodged in our hearts by pouring in His light and love. Thanks, Beth. Stay safe 🙂

    • Yes, that’s so true, Sheila. I think you know that because you’ve done that hard work of extracting what is painful and hurtful from your life. Now you are enjoying the fruits of that labor as you enjoy a blessed relationship with Michael! Thanks for your continued support and encouragement here, my friend! Have fun making those snow angels too! 😉

  • Mary Flaherty

    Ouch! Wonderful analogy! I love that “you can ignore it or explore it.” I just kept wondering why you didn’t seek medical help sooner! Thanks for sharing, and for hosting!

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Mary! Always good to see you here in the comments. And yeah, that’s what a lot of people were asking me. I just feel so overloaded most days that the thought of going to the ER for a cut seemed frivolous and time-consuming. I know, crazy, right? Well, I’m glad God protected my hand even though I was stubborn and foolish enough to minimize a dangerous wound. 🙂

  • Candy Reid

    Excellent analogy! I love how, if we’re willing to listen, God speaks to us in the “every day” moments. Loved the line, “You can ignore it or you can explore it…) I shared one of my own analogies with you this week (Boundaries & Life Lessons) and I seriously think it’ll be one of those lessons that my children will never forget. I’m thankful that God is willing to speak to us right where we are. And, I’m very thankful you weren’t hurt any worse! So glad you didn’t continue to wait before getting some advice. 🙂 Thanks for hosting!
    ~Candy

    • Yes, God is such a personal God! He is always trying to speak into our lives, if we will just listen, Candy. Thanks for linking up here and sharing your wisdom with our readers as well. It’s great to know that we are all in this messy life together but have a loving and powerful God to guide us through!

  • I can relate to this! Over the last year and a half, God has been asking me to remove a “shard” that I didn’t even know was there. He is good! Big hugs to you, my friend!

    • Really? I’m sorry to hear that, Becky, but also glad that God is using my metaphor and I’m sure a whole lot of other signs of truth and grace in your life to guide you through that painful extraction process. My prayers are with you, sweet friend!

  • This is so true and practical. I am learning to be more open about my fears, hurts, pains… Holding them in sure does bring on some rottenness. Thanks for the analogy Beth.

    • Truly it does, Ugochi! Things get infected and spread like cancer when we don’t walk in the courage and boldness of our Lord. He goes with us into those battles that are more of a “fighting for our marriages” than fighting in our marriages. Hugs to you, my friend!

  • Wow what a great way God shows us things! For me personally I have learned that if it is something that is on my mind for more than a day I need to talk to my husband about it. I give myself a little time to let my emotions settle and pray. Then, if I am still uneasy I talk. Sometime I might even send a text that says we need to talk later that evening so I can’t back out of it. This waiting a day thing and then talking doesn’t happen often, but I have had to implement it before. It works good for us.

    • Yes, that’s a great rule-of-thumb, Cassie! We tend to ignore it, even if it crops up again because we think ignoring it keeps it at bay. But nothing could be further from the truth! It sounds like you are very wise and proactive about dealing with your hurts. I hope your husband knows how blessed he is to have someone as intentional, authentic and restorative as you are!

  • Spouse Dates

    That is a great analogy, Beth. And thought provoking. There are certainly some problems that can fester and cause much worse problems if not addressed. I also think it is important to discern between having a problem focus and a solution focus. You made me think of how John Gottman talks about conflict resolution. Some conflicts need to be resolved, while others need to be managed – it depends on the type of conflict and how deep it runs. So it can be with problems. Some, like the glass in your hand, need to be solved or things will get worse, a lot worse. While there are other types of problems that will eventually just go away, maybe even quicker if we let them alone. The gash in your hand being an example. The gash too is a problem but probing in it once the glass is gone would be a bad idea. That should be let alone to heal. An analogy like this, you could get a lot of mileage out of it. Love the life and truth you are sharing, Beth! Blessings, Steve

    • Great insights, Steve! I want to explore more in the direction of wounds and toxic baggage in the weeks ahead, so I’ll probably be steering away from those issues that simply need time and prayer to heal. But yes, that’s certainly true and something we all need to weigh when considering if the problem is “our own problem” or a “marriage problem” that runs a deep and destructive path. Thanks for stopping in to encourage and weigh in, my friend!

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