My husband and I thought it was going to be easy.

It’s that time of year when we plan on paying off debt that accrued the previous year and dream of taking grand vacations with the leftover tax money.

He had Stubhub pulled up on the computer. I passed by to toss a dirty dish into the collection that was now tempting to overflow onto the counter. A brief pause in front of the sink gave me enough time to think about loading the dishwasher. Curiosity killed the cat and I decided the dishes could wait until I was ready.

I softly walked toward my husband and silently peered over his shoulder. I quickly recognized that Cubs logo. I had already been scheming up a juicy plan to send him and the oldest boy to Chicago to see their favorite team up close and personal. I wondered if I had been talking in my sleep? He was right on target as he double clicked on stadium sections to check pricing. I stepped over to the chair at the table and proposed the question that I had left hanging in the air above his shoulder. “Whatcha doin, honey?”

He tends to get engrossed. Sometimes it feels as though he purposely stalls on an answer in order to receive the proper reaction. Maybe if he waits, the suspense will make the reality more pleasurable.

He paused a moment, then laughed.

His laughter was the equivalent to a humor me moment as he scrolled through sky-high ticket prices.

My heart threatened to sink because my husband is a bull. I spoke to my tenderness. I had to jog my memory of all of the lost opportunities sought to surprise my man. His personality is one of humble measures. A guilt-ridden soul that claims to deserve nothing. He is a generous character who enjoys dishing out kindness. However, for me to reciprocate the favor would bring destruction to his sense of pride. I believe the wall he stands behind has lived too many years. He can no longer escape through the invasive ivy. Not only has it blocked the light, but it has all but strangled his hope.

We continued our conversation with cheers and jeers as he maneuvered the cursor through the seating sections of the stadium. Seven hundred dollars brought out remarks of disbelief. We joked about being able to afford such a luxury and wondered about those who could. Section 10, row five. We looked at each other with pleasant surprise. The pricing was very much reasonable for the view offered from the stands. Again, the excitement in the air was extinguished by a realist’s point of view.

But oh, how I dream!

I pray and dream and wonder. I suppose this is why they say opposites attract.

Often my husband and I find ourselves filling in the missing pieces of each others thoughts and feelings. When an emotional bridge aims to burn, love and understanding smothers the flames.

Just as Satan would, he prowls. He hunts and plots a demise.

He crouches in the corner of the narrow opening of hope and light.

He strikes.

My husband checked his email later that evening. The message of a financial disappointment came through.

I was in the hallway sorting laundry when I heard the heart wrenching remarks that prompted me to question his anguish.

A setback to say the least.

My hopeful heart tried to smooth over the reality of the news. I recognized the feelings that were working their way up from the pit of my stomach. I pushed them back with Scripture that spoke of God’s sovereignty. “All things work for the good of those who love Him,” I repeated to myself. My forced smile came toe-to-toe with absolute disgust in the face of my husband. I was determined not to let this unforeseen incident steal the joy of my eager heart. I reminded him how God had worked this out once before and He is faithful to keep his promises. Yes, it wasn’t what we had expected, but there is always hope for God’s children.

Sometimes we play the game of “It Could Always Be Worse”. I am consistently player number one. I start off by offering up a scenario that would put us in a much less favorable position than that in which we find ourselves. Player two then shoots down my best efforts of reprieve. We continue back and forth until surrender is forced by feelings of lack of empathy. Round two is where we remember how satan roams around in these events. We make an effort to laugh and then move onto Round three: the solution.

It is certainly true that with God, all things are possible. Without a marriage centered around His word, I can confidently say that we would not have made it this far. Christ has been the deal breaker in any attempt to undermine our marriage vows. We cannot deny the Scriptures that have held us together, especially in those early years.

Marriage is a lifelong learning experiment and I get the privilege of being yoked to a stubborn soul anchored with tenderness and mercy.

When Satan aims to harm, God will redeem for His glory again and again.

Allow Jesus to be the lifeboat of your marriage and let humor plot your course.

Laura Hurd

 I am a stay at home mom to two beautiful boys, my youngest having been diagnosed with Autism. Our family motto is that the little things are the big things.