Destiny In Bloom

Cry Now, Laugh Later …

Cry Now, Laugh Later …

posted on September 27th, 2010 / by Rebecca Gates / 57 Comments

Laughter is sometimes the best medicine. I LOVE to laugh, which is a very positive thing when life throws the unexpected and undesirable at me. It presents me with a choice to either cry and hold a grudge or to enjoy telling all my friends a new story about my crazy life while enjoying a good laugh at my own expense.  I find marriage to be full of … how shall I say this … opportunities to choose laughter.

For me it seems obvious that God enjoys a good time too. It seems like He is always pairing opposites together, like my husband and me.  Over the years we have begun to blend. There was a time when he was the biggest homebody, and I couldn’t sit still in our apartment unless it was full of people. I wanted to be where the party was.  Talk about friction in marriage! I remember in our first year looking forward to some super fun event happening at our church one night. I was thinking that surely Trav couldn’t get out of this one, but we ended up in a HUGE “discussion” about how we needed to meet with some couple having marriage trouble to minister to them. As ironic as it was for us in that moment with me yelling (I discuss loudly when pushed too far) that we could meet with the couple any other night, he wouldn’t budge. In fact, my young and passionate husband told me I was allowing myself to be used by the devil to steal from this poor family. Then he proceeded to try to cast demons out of me. (I can’t even finish this without chuckling.) That didn’t work out too well for him. Later, I found out that he talked to his super godly Dad whom I ADORE about the whole incident and my father in law consoled him with, “Oh yeah, I had to do that with your Mom once.” Laugh out loud!!

Most of my stories take place in the first few years of marriage. It’s only fair that I tell on myself now. Trav and I were living on a Bible school campus, and I was driving my super cute, perfectly red convertible with rims and race wheels. I loved that car, but Trav has always been very particular about cars. He doesn’t like them tarnished in any way. He used to be a little obsessive about it, but I am supposed to be telling on myself in this story. Trav was sitting in the passenger’s seat as I pulled up to our curb and gently ran into it. He responded just as I expected him to, “Why did you DO that!?” And what came out of my mouth next probably shocked myself more than my new spouse. Not, my proudest moment, but I turned and glared at him and hissed back, “ I didn’t F#@%ing do it on purpose!!”

His jaw dropped, and he looked at me as if I had just tarnished his Christianity by subjecting him to such filth. And then he asked, “Are you even SAVED??!!” (Here I go chuckling again.)

Some of our problems were solved after our first child came, since I now felt like I couldn’t leave the house with our new temperamental baby. But other problems soon arose. Now I had more responsibility, and my most precious need was not being fulfilled … sleep. I had to do all this stuff to take care of Isaac, and now that I was a housewife, I was expected to cook and clean too. At my request, we had never had his/her jobs before when I was working, mostly because I didn’t want to be domestic. But now my husband was taking off his shoes and leaving them all over our apartment for me to fume about all day. So one night after he was asleep, and I was up with the baby, I decided that instead of putting them away again I would hide them ALL somewhere he would never find them. I would teach him a valuable lesson.

Sure enough, I heard him searching all of his favorite drop spots in the morning while I pretended not to notice. I can’t tell you how gratifying it was when he came to me and asked if I knew where they were. I smugly asked, “Where do they belong?”

“What?”

“Where did you leave them?” I asked.

Still not catching on he says,” I don’t know.”

“Why aren’t they in the closet where they belong?” I asked again.

“Come on, I am late for work! What did you do with them?”

After I felt like he had suffered enough, I decided to get up and show him my hiding spot.

Did all that work? Nope. A few weeks later I was declaring a strike, and I refused to do anything until he promised to pick up after himself.  Then God gave me a couple more boys to pick up after and showed me how easy I had it back then. But He also gave me many more opportunities to laugh. Which, by the way, is the reason I started writing. I needed to turn the rough days of spills and icky messes into medicine to strengthen my joy. I could still be angry and tell these stories with a completely different twist that would make me look like someone to feel sorry for instead of someone who has made precious memories with my family. The words “good” and “easy” don’t exist TOGETHER in marriage. There are opportunities to grow, to overcome, and to laugh. We all just have to decide how we will tell our story.

None of these stories were funny at the time. Sometimes I wondered how our marriage was ever going to survive. And I wondered if we would even be able to find happiness IN our marriage.  Haven’t we all had thoughts like this at times? Sometimes just holding onto hope and the fear of the Lord is all that gets us through lying emotions and hurt feelings. But pretty soon, if we haven’t given up on hope,  have held tight to our faith in God’s ability to make beauty for ashes, and have practiced forgiveness seventy times seven  AND MORE, we get a chance to sit with our spouse, laugh, and say “Remember the time…?”

Maybe you’re in the middle of a memory in the making. Nothing about what you’re going through right now feels funny and you can’t imagine how things are going to get better. The Lord wants to encourage you today that He is faithful! HE wants to comfort you and restore your marriage. He has a plan and a purpose for you and your husband, and He just asks you to trust Him as you continue to lay down your life to demonstrate godly, unconditional love to your spouse. Allow God to write out your story. Don’t give up before you get to the good part. It is coming.

I would love to see some comments with YOUR story. If you can laugh and honor your spouse with it, then share it. Sometimes the best encouragement is just in knowing that we aren’t alone in our struggles and that people do actually survive and overcome.

I want to encourage anyone who is reading this and has suffered a divorce that God’s grace is so big! It’s big enough to cover anything we have been through. Please don’t read this and let the enemy shame you.  I pray that His love wraps around you like a warm, fuzzy blanket today.

Rebecca Gates

Rebecca Gates

57 Responses to “Cry Now, Laugh Later …”

  1. Love it! A dear friend's father told Brandon and I at our wedding reception that the secret to a great marriage was to laugh together thru life. No matter what was going on we have to be able to laugh. That has carried us pretty far…Our life seems to be a comedy…of errors sometimes. But I would not change a thing. Great job here and OMG, "Are you even SAVED?" I think I woke my sleeping husband laughing at this one!

  2. Rebecca, this article is so funny, but filled to the brim with truth. I laughed so hard at the, "Are you even SAVED?" Actually, I think the laughter began at the F word flying out of cute little Rebecca's mouth. Hahaha!

    Laughter is such great medicine! My prayer is that those who are in those "not so funny" places will receive a little medicine today. I pray the Lord will change their perspective and bring change to their situation.

  3. Oh yeah, I remember those bliss filled days of early marriage, locking myself in the bathroom because I couldn't take the fighting anymore…. sooooooo happy God was there with us and saw us through! He does have a sense of humor doesn't He???? Thanks for sharing girl!

  4. Lol!!! This was great! I was told growing up that towels had to be folded a particular way to help with space in your linen closet. After marriage, I imparted my wisdom with Chad and asked him to please fold them that way. He never did it correctly, and I remember telling him that when he doesn’t fold the towels the way I ask, he’s telling me that he doesn’t respect me and therefor didn’t completly love me! OVER TOWELS!!!! Lol….12 years later, he still doesn’t fold them “my way”….but neither do the 3 kiddos helping. I’m just happy to have help!!

  5. Rebecca…you have such a gift of laughter! Thanks for brightening my morning!!

  6. R, you are one of my favorite people. :) I don't know which I love more–your humor or your honesty. Probably it's the combination of both. Thanks for living out loud.

  7. LOL! And Amen to that HEather!! I'm just happy to have a little help too. ;)

  8. Thank you so much Babs! You have such a gift for words and using them in encouragement.

    Here is what I know about you, you are a fighter, that combined with your commitment to the Lord makes you an overcomer. I love all the ways that we relate to each other. Love our growing friendship. :)
    xoxo

  9. Thanks V! I wonder how many of us would have been kicked off CFNI campus had they heard us through the vents. ;P
    love you

  10. Thank you Renee! I love that prayer! It is so my heart too. :)
    love you

  11. You and Brandon are the sweetest couple. I have been impressed with your marriage and how you team together to make your family work.
    xoxox

  12. OH. My. Gosh! that was the best!! I swear I nearly peed myself laughing! I am so glad to know that I am not alone with my 'funny' stories of those first few years… What a seriously awesome article, Rebecca- not only was it hilarious it was real and deeply true as well. I love you girl!

  13. Thank you Pam. I admire you so much! If I could make a platform I would put you on it so that everyone could learn and grow form you.
    xoxoxo

  14. LOL! What brand was that remote anyway?? I am thinking it was pretty good quality. You could probably turn this into a commercial for them. ;)
    love you!

  15. Hi Rebecca! I had no idea the other day, I was sitting beside SUCH a gifted writer!! Wow! Thanks for sharing this amazing, cute, hilarious, full of TRUTH article. seriously, we all need to know these are moments to look back and laugh….and not give the enemy ground. I mean, the "Are you even SAVED," comment, just made me FALL out- cause let's face it, we've ALL had those moments!! Thank you for encouraging women about marriage, but also being transparent to see that YES-marriage requires transparency, grace, and even laughter to grow! Hugs- Kerrie Oles

  16. Thank you Kerrie!! It takes one to know one. ;) Don't forget my book on Thursday! ;)
    xoxo

  17. This was great Rebecca! I just reposted it on FB. You put a big smile on my face today as I know you are and will continue to do for others as they read and keep reading the joys and sometimes sorrows of our beautiful lives. Thank you for totally blessing me and others with many smiles! Great love to you and blessings in all your joyous and not so joyous moments! ;-)

  18. Thanks Andrea!! :<3

  19. "Sometimes just holding onto hope and the fear of the Lord is all that gets us through " Amen !

  20. Hilarious!!! I totally loved it! Thank you for sharing, I can't tell you how many "laughing moments" I've had in my marriage. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one.

  21. O Rebecca….. u just continue to bless me and give me such hope. Sometimes I think only I had the toughest times early in my marriage and everyone else has this bliss because they are such great people and sooooo in love with each other. It's so good to know that there are others too who had moments like we did and many "discussions". I love u and ur openess.

  22. hehe this is so great! I love how well you can remember these moments and now laugh about them. My problem is I can't ever seem to remember them so they are super funny to me cause it is like you are talking about a totally different couple!! I love how easily the Lord allows me to forget things and move on. And I love how you use those same things to help others!! (hug hug kiss kiss Big kiss Little hug kiss kiss hug hug Little kiss)

  23. Eric and I often say that Ray and Deborah on Everyone loves Raymond remind us of ourselves. But we too have just learned to laugh- sometimes even in the moment! Like right now for instance- I just came downstairs to see Elias with a tube of my lipstick and he has it all over his face and all over the wall- i laughed as soon as I saw him. It's just a wall and that's why there's Magic Erasers. I had to take a pic and send it to Eric it was so funny!! Love you R!!

  24. Ok – I don't normally take the time (I know, bad) to comment on all the great articles on DIB – BUT OMG, so stinking hilarious. I'm laughing WITH you so it's ok, right? ;) Thank you for being so transparent. I love the story of hiding the shoes – so devious…I am always leaving my shoes around the house and strangely Jason always knows where they are…wonder if he's trying the same thing?!

  25. There's no way we are the only ones. This thing has been happening as long as there has been marriage. I bet Sarah in the bIble was like, "Abraham, remember the time you told everyone I was your sister so the king tried to keep me? Yeah… that was hilarious!" LOL!

  26. Love your message and enjoyed reading the comments. It's great to read that I'm not the only one who get's a bit loud when I have conversations with my husband…I always say it's the Italian part of me, loud voice & hands moving all over the place. Your blogs are such a blessing & you are such a talented writer! I also enjoyed your Studio G article.

  27. Natasha I can't imagine you being anything but sweet!! Love you,

  28. Oh yeah Nicole, Kids just add to the comedy. ;)
    love you!

  29. Thank you Amy!! You always make me smile too. :)

  30. That is great wisdom. :) That you for your comment. :)

  31. That was awesome Rebecca! I loved reading that! So encouraged that I am not the only one that has had "those moments" and that God's grace is SO big even now when we have them!

  32. Love your honesty. Have had a few of those "are you even saved?" moments myself. None that I feel safe enough to post on here, but a sweet reminder of how far we've come in 30 years. Every year is a treasure! I love DIB!

  33. I KNEW that little glimmer in your eye had a hint of mischief to it! There's just something about our early years of marriage that are unique and memorable…sometimes in a scary dream kind of way.
    I remember telling the Lord, when Madeline was a couple months old, that I didn't see how it was going to work out with Chuck and I. Chuck had parked the stroller next to the pool during a pool party. I totally lost it….I wonder what brand of hair dye I was using then? Oh thank you Jesus for Your patience! love ya!

  34. Well thank you Anna for taking the time to commit. Tell Jason to put a bucket by the door for shoes, it sort of helps. ;) And yes, we are laughing together.

  35. Melissa, I was laughing so hard my kids came over to see what was so funny!!! Love you!

  36. This was totally hilarious! I feel like such a dork when I think back over the years of my marriage and the things I've said and done. I'll just say that my husband should get an award for staying married to me — especially through new babies and sleepless nights! …. Oh, and my tech support calls. ;-)

    I love your transparency and the humor you tell your stories with. Love you!

  37. I LOVED your article. It is fun to look back and laugh at those times. One time when I got sick of my husband constantly leaving his close all over I put them all in the covers on his side of the bed. I loved all the stories because they are funny now and because they make me feel like my marriage is normal. :)

  38. LOL! Yes I know about Italian. Travis is Italian.Thank you Suzanne for your encouraging friendship!
    <3

  39. Thanks Mandy! :)

  40. 30 years is inspiring to me Sandy! Thank you for setting the example and showing those around you that lifetime marriage is possible and a blessing.

  41. And that is why we get along so well Denise…except for the part about getting angry and working harder. ;) Thank you for your fun comment!! love you

  42. I blamed my loosing it on hormones, but you definitely caught me on the mischief thing. ;) lOve you Kristin!

  43. Thanks Natalie!!

  44. I am going to get you your very own Christmas tree!. I love you, thank you for your encouragement.

  45. Thanks Joanna!! xoxoxo

  46. My favorite marissa comment ever!! Thank you love you!! And cracking up at the thought of you guys saying the sinners prayer again! LOL!

  47. LOL! What brand was that remote anyway?? I am thinking it was pretty good quality. You could probably turn this into a commercial for them.

  48. Thanks for sharing this gimpse into your marriage. it's no doubt something that is no doubt something that anyone who ismarried can relate to..
    Love the realness..
    So awesome to see how the Lord can be glorified through our weaknesses and humanness..
    love it!

  49. This article is so authentic, I loved that about it. Thanks for sharing, I think we have all had those moments in marriage. You're a very talented writer, I'm glad we met the other day and I can now read this blog : ).

  50. Halarious. Thank you so much!!!

  51. soo funny!! absolutely loved reading this post! and yes, i laughed OUT LOUD several times….thanks for being transparent and sharing your journey with us….you and the writing you do are a blessing…much love, beth

  52. Rebecca! YOU. SO. CRACK…… Me up! Thanks for being so open and making me laugh. Needed it!
    Love you girl Marian

  53. Rebecca, you are too hilarious! Love that you can laugh and how God has given you the grace to do that! Us, too! I thought I was such a NICE person UNTIL I got married and had kids… all the junk rose straight to the top, and out of my mouth!! I even threw a plate once…
    Love you!

  54. ok- I think this is one of my favorites from you!!! I could just picture you on the morning of Trav being late for work saying, "Well, where do they go?".. OMG-This post had me cracking up!! And I can just picture Travis when you said that F bomb.."Are you even saved?!!" I love how you offer hope through your humor. Rebecca, you are truly blossoming into SUCH an amazing writer… Love you and thank you for making me laugh out loud..literally! xoxo

  55. Rebecca, this article was INCREDIBLE!! Your wit, humor, and wisdom shine through! Thanks for giving us all a good laugh and reminding us what marriage is all about!! Thank you!!

  56. Thank you Rebecca!!! I needed this today. Really appreciate your honesty and the perspective you gave. "Opportunities to laugh" is the perfect way to put it!!! Thank you again, really timely for me today. Lord bless you and your marriage.

  57. You know, newlywed-dom is the same at whatever age you marry. My husband and I married when I was fifty years old and he a wee bit older. We have been married for two and a half years at this point and most of that early wedded 'bliss' you describe has been worked through and we are floating along on an even keel.

    There are just so many things to learn about a person when you are 'forced' to live with them twenty-four-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week… We also have to learn to notice issues that we had no part in creating and how their past has an effect on our present. I chuckle at your choice of words and recognize being in those same places – even recently. Yet, I know that God is there to guide me if I just lift myself up to Him. Thanks for giving me a mirror and providing smiles.