Since the success of my book, The Ghost of Africa, many have asked about other books I’ve written. Thirteen Months is one that is dear to my heart.
During our marriage Gwen and I learned many things about each other. There was seldom a dull moment. To onlookers it seemed our romance was effortless. But the truth is, it took work.
As newlyweds we had the same struggles other young couples have. Some of the difficulties seemed insurmountable and threatened to destroy us—but that was a lie from Satan. If he can make us believe that there is no hope, he’s won. But we don’t have to give him that victory, because above all things there is hope.
Hebrews 11:1 states,
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
In those early years, Gwen and I believed strongly in the “things not seen.” Although we were very much in love, marriage is sometimes difficult—but it’s worth the effort.
Gwen often spoke to others, especially young moms, about what she referred to as the “Marriage Pot.” The book Thirteen Months even has a chapter with that title outlining the specifics. I included a journal note that Gwen posted on the CaringBridge website one day after someone asked her what her secret was to a great marriage. I have included it in part here.
Gwen: We see marriage as a pot that each spouse puts into. When I do something nice for Don, it makes him want to do something nice in return, which makes me want to do even more for him. As you do these good deeds to/for each other you fill your marriage pot. Then when one of you hits a crisis, there is a full pot to draw from.
We’ve had our share of drawing from the pot over the years (crises) and yet our love grows and we still can’t get enough of each other, even after thirty-three years. Many friends have offered to travel to New York with me for my chemo treatments so Don can stay and work, but he won’t hear of it. He wants to be there for me. I couldn’t ask for more.
I need you to know how much your prayers are accomplishing. God is truly our Shepherd going before us, and our protector watching our backs. I know that your prayers have me surrounded. I was reading the passage in Mark 6 where Jesus walked on the water and scared the disciples. He said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Those words spoke to me personally, as if He spoke them out loud. I am trying not to be afraid and He is so faithful to remind me on a daily basis that I am sheltered under His wing.
Thank you for your love and prayers.
Pray for me and Don. We have so much to live for.
I’m his girl.
Those early years of building and nurturing the Marriage Pot seemed such a chore at times, but as the pot grew, so did we—more and more in love each day. Before long our uncontainable love caused romance to flourish. The trials we experienced were extreme, but they deepened our relationship far more than the good times.
Know this, we worked for our marriage, for our romance, for our love. In return God blessed us beyond imagination. Adventure filled our lives, and forged the bond between us that carried us to the center of God’s plan.
I miss her every day, but God’s plan is best.
Thirteen Months is available on Amazon.