Close your eyes and think of your favorite island. Where is it? What memories do you have of your time there? White sandy beaches, fruity drinks, and the smell of the ocean. An island is a marvelous place where the sun is shinning, the surf is fantastic, and the sunsets are gorgeous. My most memorable island experience was when I got to spend 3-weeks on the big island of Hawaii. Nothing short of amazing.
The island I’m talking about in this post doesn’t resemble the perfect island experience. I’m going to talk about the isolation island. That island we are on when something bad happens in our lives. We have an argument with our spouse, lose a child, have severe financial issues, etc. In our mind we are the only one going through such an issue even with 6.6 billion people on the planet. Joy, love, and happiness is happening all around us, but we are isolated and alone.
Alisa and I have been on such an island.
On December 14th, 2004 we lost our second child, Andrew, when Alisa miscarried at 18-weeks. It was a low and dark day for the both of us. The joy and anticipation of a child had been stripped from us. Friends and family were around to support us during this difficult time, but we were alone, separated from our Heavenly Father, wondering why us? The days, weeks, and months that followed were some of the toughest in our marriage. Alisa and I had difficulty talking, being around each other, or even parenting. We went through the motions of marriage and parenthood, but the fog was so thick we couldn’t see. The pain was deep. I stuffed it away so as to not have to deal with it. Alisa went into a mild depression. We should have sought help, counseling, therapy, something, but didn’t. Instead we did nothing. We existed in a house together, but that was about it. Satan had us where he wanted us, alone, secluded, and afraid. We were on an island.
The old adage that time will heal a broken heart is true in this case. We needed time to process the loss, but we also needed time to get back on track with our marriage. A couple of months after the loss of Andrew, Alisa and I made the decisions to get off that island. It was tough, but we began by sharing our hurts and pains, listening to one another, and encouraging each other to be the best person we could be. It worked-slowly. On November 29th, 2005 the joy and happiness returned when a beautiful baby girl was born.
It’s time to get off your island and experience the fullness your marriage has for you. Make the effort to connect with your spouse even though it is tough. Recognize that whatever is causing the isolation is not going to go away with the snap of your fingers you are going to have to put forth effort to rekindle the spark, the enthusiasm for your marriage. Now is the time to get in the boat and start paddling toward a brighter marriage.
What’s your isolation island? Are you ready to leave it?