0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk, sponsored by nextTalk.org, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim Every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents’ cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter, visit our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
This is Kim today, and I’m here with my husband Charles.
0:00:39 – Speaker 3
0:00:40 – Speaker 2
Hello, I’m glad to have you back on the show.
0:00:42 – Speaker 3
Great to be here, thank you.
0:00:44 – Speaker 2
Mandy is often about, and we are doing a series of marriage shows on some really important topics that people have asked us about or that we have heard come up at a lot of our different conferences or different seminars, and so we got to do a show on sex. If you haven’t listened to that show yet, check it out. It’s really good about where do you put sex on your list of priorities. It’s important to have that conversation and it seems kind of funny because you’d like to be at the same place, but men and women a lot of times are very different, and so finding how you can come to that equal ground on that sex scale is an important conversation.
0:01:20 – Speaker 3
Oh, yes, very much so.
0:01:21 – Speaker 2
It was a fun show.
0:01:22 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I enjoyed it.
0:01:24 – Speaker 2
Another one that people ask about a lot or that we see come up in topics a lot of conversation is how do you deal in your marriage with major life stressors? Both of us are a little under the weather, so I have a cough drop, and so I might have like a lisp here and that’s why I don’t want to cough through the show.
But major life stressors, talking about being sick, illness, major illness, job change, moving those are some of the top stressors. Having children obviously Not a marriage or on a person individually, and what you do, how do you walk through that with your spouse? The best way that you can. We’ve been through a lot of different things, and so we’re going to share a couple of stories and what we learned through that, and hopefully that will be helpful.
0:02:06 – Speaker 3
I hope so. Yeah, and my congestion, I think, adds to the resonance in my voice. So I think this is going to be.
0:02:12 – Speaker 1
Give you some authority, you know what.
0:02:14 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I kind of have like a good sounding reverberation going on. Thank you to the South Texas allergies that are in the air or allergens in the air. So I appreciate that.
0:02:23 – Speaker 2
Well, for those of you maybe who have read Mandy Major, she wrote a story about my story or our story. I should say she did that on her blog and it was amazing. People from all over the world wrote to us and it was just such a blessing to hear how God, working through our lives, blessed other people. But if you haven’t heard that story, I’m going to give you the quick synopsis of what happened almost three years ago now. It was a regular day.
I was playing Uno with our oldest son sitting on the floor and I had this stomach pain and I was like this is weird and I thought it was a gas. Well, that’s some bad gas, you know. It was just I wasn’t sure. And so I got up and I was trying to walk around and it was getting worse and worse. And I went into our bedroom and my mother-in-law happened to be there, thank you Lord and I said could you go sit with the kids? And I went into our bedroom and the pain was increasing and getting worse and worse, to the point where I was having trouble opening my eyes and catching my breath and I was pacing back and forth and slowly, I remember things getting dark and going in and out and I was like I’m going to go in and out. Then I fell to the ground and was in this awful pain.
Well, at the same time, my mom was leaving work and my mom is not the type that pops by to say hello on a regular basis she wouldn’t always call first or we would have already planned something and she was driving down 1604, a major highway here in San Antonio, and she said the Holy Spirit, put it on her heart, go check on Kim. And she was like what? And it was just one of those moments and thank God she was obedient. She got off the exit and she drove straight to our house and she walked in and she found me on the floor in our bedroom. I was turning grayish and having trouble breathing and in this severe pain and she rushed me to the emergency room and, to make a long story short, it was a series of tests and ambulance rides and an emergency surgery. It ended up that my mesenteric artery had tangled itself up with part of my intestine and caused a whole bunch of problems. It was cutting off the blood supply basically to my body and I was dying.
0:04:41 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and I’ll never forget it, I’ve never felt so hopeless and so helpless in my entire life. Most of the time we talk about stress or stressors, we think about what are some solutions or what are some things that we can do to kind of lower that stress or alleviate some of the symptoms of it. When I walked into the ER and I saw you on the bed and the first thing you said was I’m not afraid to die, and that’s how I knew it was something that was unprecedented in my history, my life. I’ve never heard somebody say that to me. I almost lost my mother in a car accident when I was very young, but I wasn’t there when that happened.
I was in school and to see you going through that and for the doctors, what they told me was just unbelievable. I mean, the physician at the ER told me that this is usually what takes people. Your condition at that time had an over 90% mortality rate, and the reason why you weren’t being operated on is because there were no doctors in the area that were willing to take on your surgery because of such a high mortality and high litigation rate, and so at that point there’s really was nothing else I could do I? Just? I called as many people as I could and I just said pray, pray for Kim, she’s not good. And people say like, was there anything else I could do? I was like no, just pray.
The kids are okay, they’re with their grandmas. They need to pray and let God provide, and God provided and it was such an amazing series of miracles that happened after that. Of course, at the time you’re going through it and your body’s going through some amazing changes Like I don’t think I ate for several days. Going into that surgery and then the immediate recovery with you in the hospital, people started asking where I was and why my skinny, weird looking brother had my kids around.
0:06:32 – Speaker 2
You looked homeless, I did.
0:06:33 – Speaker 3
I looked really bad. I think some people had mentioned I think it was I had to take because our youngest got sick, like right after, because she started to have to drink formula.
0:06:44 – Speaker 2
I was breastfeeding our baby at the time and then they had to switch her to formula to keep her alive.
0:06:49 – Speaker 3
Right. So here you. You are the primary caretaker. I am so bad at running a house, it’s not even funny.
0:06:55 – Speaker 2
We have a newborn baby in two littles.
0:06:57 – Speaker 3
And so, like my kids were literally eating egg waffles breakfast, lunch and dinner and my newborn baby who had been basically rejecting formula that somebody had given us, we were nice enough to have a family kind of donate, some very, I guess, like top of the line formula I don’t know, but it doesn’t compare with mother nature’s goodness. But she got sick so I was having to take our kids in to the doctor. You were still in the hospital recovering. I mean, we were praying for so many things to happen and the body was shutting down, you know it was such a major stressor in our lives that it was something that we had never experienced.
We hoped to never experience it ever again, but it was a doozy.
0:07:41 – Speaker 2
Yeah, it was. They had to reconstruct my insides basically, and I’ve had to have subsequent surgery also. That was major. They had to reconstruct all of my abdominal wall and all my muscles to create basically a new stomach and a protective barrier. So I am part bionic.
0:08:00 – Speaker 3
Yeah, you have like this crazy Batman six pack.
0:08:03 – Speaker 2
It’s funny. If only you could. It looked like that. That would be awesome. That’s what I tell people Like. If you touch it it’s hard as a rock, but it looks like I’ve had three children. That’s the sad part.
0:08:14 – Speaker 3
You look amazing, considering I’m just thinking about you know the past. Like nine years you’ve had three children, two of them were C-sections. You’ve had a major like abdominal surgery and you also have had a major abdominal repair from that surgery because the first surgery was such an emergency that we knew that there was going to have to have subsequent things after that. And the thing that of all the major things that you’ve gone through, you look amazing.
0:08:36 – Speaker 2
You really do, and this is why I love you.
0:08:38 – Speaker 3
Oh, I mean, it’s just I mean, you saw what happened to me. After three days I turned into some homeless man.
0:08:44 – Speaker 2
He’s a homeless man coming into your house again.
0:08:46 – Speaker 3
Yeah, like why is a homeless man taking care of your children? That was only after three days and you’ve had like these and I didn’t have any surgeries. I’m just trying to. You know, I can’t even shower myself, you know. So.
0:08:54 – Speaker 2
That is so funny. Well, you know, the thing is with any, whether or not it is a huge major life experience like that which, praise the Lord, was a miracle on so many different fronts. Just like you said, charles, I’m so thankful to be here and get to see my babies grow up and spend my life with you and just to serve the Lord. The things that come out of these major life stressors, like a move across the country or a job change or a health issue, a lot of times are behind closed doors because people say, oh, it was a miracle, you’re alive. But then there is the mental anguish and repair that comes and that takes sometimes years because it’s a you kind of have PTSD. There’s some post traumatic stress that comes with these major life changes and that has to be addressed and dealt with, or else it builds up and it comes out in different ways. There’s also an adjustment that needs to happen, and I think that was probably. There’s the short term adjustment that you have to be willing to do.
And then there’s the longterm like a new norm that has to be created on how you live your life. And then there’s also the way of life that might change Like. For me, going through something like that gave me a different view of life and what’s important and what’s not important. And that’s a big thing when you’re in a marriage and you’re together with your spouse and you’re going in one direction and you feel the same way about money or you feel the same way about discipline or children or whatever it might be.
And then someone has this major life experience and suddenly their thoughts are different on those things. That’s a conversation.
0:10:33 – Speaker 3
Yeah, that’s. You know we’re good friends, not good friends. We’re fans of the Dave Ramsey system and the financial piece. You know, the gazelle steps to intensity and debt freedom and all that stuff. Let’s just say, some of that went out the window at least especially on your side of things, after you had kind of gone through this. And so here I was thinking we were kind of like still on that same path, and then you had this completely different outlook, even though we went through the same thing together.
You’re the one that had the surgeries. But you know, here we are I’m thinking, yeah, let’s just kind of okay, we’re going to get back on track and you’re just like, well, you know what you know. After what I’ve been through, I think you know maybe not so much, and so that was an interesting conversation to have and I’ve had to slowly kind of come along with that as well and really kind of see, you know, yes, being financially prudent is important, but it’s not the most important thing. You know, and we’ve been able to find some balance with that. You know, in recent years and months, as we kind of have seen like you know what really is important here.
0:11:34 – Speaker 2
Well, I think the thing is, whether it’s money or whether it’s parenting or whether it’s just your lifestyle, things are going to change after a major life experience as a married couple. And so I’d say number one is reconvene. Reconvene like meeting, and what I mean by that is, no matter what it is. You need to kind of have those conversations that you had in the beginning of your marriage or that you know you’ve been having all along and thinking you’re on the same path, and just kind of have a check-in Like how are you feeling about this? Do we need to get some counseling? That was one thing that I would say.
A year after surgery, I was on the phone with a dear friend and I just broke down crying and I realized I had not really dealt with the fact that I almost died, like I had spent all this time recovering and trying to get healthy and strong enough to, you know, pick up my baby and just do normal things like walk and, you know, cook and that kind of stuff. I spent all that energy that I had not really walked through. Oh my goodness, I almost was not here. And so you really need to reconvene, check in on all fronts and reassess your marriage and your situation, to make sure you’re back on the same page again.
0:12:40 – Speaker 3
Yeah, because I was really just trying to make sure that the house kept moving forward. Yes, Right the kids.
Right like I, needed to maintain a certain level, for, you know, the kids needed to eat, the house needed to be clean. I still needed to go to work eventually, and I needed to make sure all these things were in place. I didn’t even have a chance to really process everything either, and so when you came home, there was another. After your surgery, you were able to recover enough to be at home, and the subsequent months following even that was a lot of transition we still needed to talk about. Can you have somebody? How much can you lift? Can I help out with this? Do you want me to help out? Is this good, is this bad?
There was a lot of things that were going on, just the. I mean, man, it was just such a wild time to kind of you know, keeping the house together was an incredible amount of stress that I was not ready for. It was not something that I kind of wanted to handle it myself, but I realized very quickly that I couldn’t, and so I was very open for people to come over and help with dinners and meals, and, man, did the blessings just pour out? It was just evident from like day one. I mean, meal plans were being put together, people were coming. I didn’t even know who these people were.
0:13:56 – Speaker 2
People were just taking our kids and bringing food.
0:13:58 – Speaker 3
Yeah, they were like, hey, you look like you need some time off. You know, you look like let me take your kids for a little play date to McDonald’s or whatever you know. Or you know, hey, I made this casserole, you know. Or I’m like, who are you? You know, who are these people coming to my house? And it was just a friend of a friend, of a friend who had prayed and had heard, and just, you know, just because they love God and they love others, that they wanted to serve in some way, and you know, to witness that I always, every time I get a chance to tell like your story, I do it because it’s such a testimony you know, to like real life miracles and it was such an amazing time, although, like going through it at the time, it was not so amazing.
But you know, looking back on it now, gali, I don’t know if there was ever a time in which you know God was more present than during those months. You know, like you know right, you know during your surgery and, of course, like the months after that.
0:14:51 – Speaker 2
I remember when I woke up from surgery and I saw the doctor and he said you are a miracle. You should have died. And my first words were God. It’s the first thing I said when I mean, I had a breathing tube, but that’s what came out. And those are the two points that we need to make, whether it’s a huge life change like that, or maybe stress at work, or maybe challenges with your kids. God yeah, default to God. God yes.
0:15:21 – Speaker 3
I think that was the hardest thing for me was to have that vulnerability again. And it’s not like I wasn’t a Christian, you know, at the time it wasn’t that. I’ve never thought about that before, but I was just so used to handling all the other stressors because I had grown up in a divorced household. I had moved so many times as a youth. You know, parents divorced when I was seven and like a bomb went off in my family. So, like my two older sisters split, one joined the Navy, one now lives in India, but she joined the airline. You know my dad is in Hawaii, my mom and I moved like all over the place. We were constantly moving. So stress was something that we were just kind of used to living in and I was used to kind of just dealing with it.
That was norm. Yeah, that was my norm. It was a relative high level of stress, I guess, like kind of growing up, and this was the first time that I wasn’t able to kind of like deal with it and then just like, really just rely on God for that. And so that is a huge takeaway, you know, from what we went through was you know, don’t have to wait for those huge life changing moments to just sit back and rely on God for that, to rely on Him for all things you know, not just the small things.
0:16:18 – Speaker 2
If you’re just not tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim today, kim and Charles every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630,. The word nextTalk Radio is listener supported. Everything we do here at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through donations To support our organization. Go to nextTalk.org and click on give. We’re talking today about major life stressors within a marriage and what that looks like and how to walk through those. You know, one of the things that we’re talking about right now is Keeping each other focused on God. Whether it’s a huge thing like a life-changing medical issue, like I had Gotta, keep each other focused on God because it’s so easy to go deep down into this place of despair or feel completely stressed out, so that’s really in the marriage sense and then also setting that example for our kids.
Yeah so important for them to see us turning to him when we are stressed and when we are overwhelmed and when we don’t know what to do. Turning to him first. That’s where we go. And then also we touched on allowing your others to see you be vulnerable. You know, in your marriage you have to be vulnerable with each other and then also taking that outward and allowing those people in your church or around you, in your neighborhood, in your you know your community to Embrace you and to love on you and to help you through that and to pour wisdom into you a place where you can break down and cry Outside of your marriage too, and allowing your spouse to do that. You know, encouraging them to reach out to others for help and be Vulnerable is really important when you go through these huge life stressors. Now, a lot of people can’t relate to almost dying the medical thing, but job change and job stress is almost every marriage.
0:17:59 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I think there was a time not too long ago where I had never experienced being personally attacked at my job and it was so foreign. I had never and you know I wasn’t like a high stress kind of job. I could see if it was like a cutthroat sales, you know, if it was like a stockbroker like Wall Street or something like that, somebody kind of you know Trying to climb ahead of you for commissions or something like that. But hearing him a teacher, you know, not too long ago, and I had a superior at the time, someone that you know was like ahead of me and kind of oversaw me, was was just straight up like lying and I didn’t know how to do with that like I had.
I honestly had really kind of caught me off guard. I was kind of like why would somebody? Are we not understanding each other? You know, it was so foreign to me. I’d never had anybody treat me like this at work and I didn’t really have anybody to really go to because this person was a superior. They kind of had the ear of our Superiors, you know the principles, and everybody else above us and it was just a really odd and and it led to a very stressful point at work, where you know I would come home and Just be like look, I this, this really isn’t for me. I really feel like God telling me to do something else. I mean, I was looking, you know you were completely defeated.
0:19:15 – Speaker 2
Oh yeah, it was awful. It was so hard to watch and I know there are people out there who can relate when your spouse comes home and they are just empty and you don’t know what to do, like how can I help, what? What can I do to fill this person back up and how do I fix this for them? And you can’t.
0:19:34 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I mean you were very. You allowed me to vent. I think was like the biggest thing, because I didn’t have anyone to really go to At work because everybody was really busy, or the people that I needed to talk to didn’t really have the time or want to hear what I had to say or didn’t believe me, and I just kind of felt like Literally, I felt like I was on an island.
0:19:53 – Speaker 2
It was a bizarre experience.
0:19:54 – Speaker 3
It was. I felt like I was, you know, just kind of like on my own out there and you know kind of felt, you know I don’t know it was just it was such an odd time for me, but being able to come home and and share, well, I was going through Just being like and not providing like advice. I think that was really helpful because I know, like your, your first thing was protecting your family and you’re like well, let me go talk to you know the next.
0:20:17 – Speaker 2
I was like a crazy person in my head. I was imagining almost had to kind of take you back.
0:20:21 – Speaker 3
Maybe I should have shared some things with you, I was gonna show up and you know, just crazy cuz mama bear comes out right, even for your husband I think that was and that was really sweet and I appreciated that too. I didn’t need that, but but we also had some really good conversations about. You know what does this mean? You know, moving forward. You know, and we look back on it now this was a.
It was a great opportunity to go back to school for me to get a master’s in and administration and to kind of be more of a solution Then to be and I had, you know, thought about getting into sales, I had thought about getting into some other things, had some friends had gotten into some other jobs After leaving teaching and they were making tons of money and they’re like, oh, you had crushed this, you would love this, and. But I always felt that, you know, really felt called to be an educator, yes, or to be in public schools especially, and to, and really just kind of like, you know, lend myself over to, you know, that community, and so I didn’t really feel right.
0:21:20 – Speaker 2
All those other opportunities and, you know, silver years later it really worked out to be the best thing ever, you know you know, we at nextTalk, our whole thing is open communication is really the solution To all the things that are a challenge in our society yesterday, today and and in the future.
And then this is a perfect example of that. But it looks different when you’re going through this huge stressors, when he was coming home from work and it was just For men especially, so much of their identity is in their career and in their work. And when they come home and they’re feeling defeated and feeling frustrated or angry or like they’re not living out their purpose, it’s real easy to want to fix it as a wife or to want to Give advice and all of these things or. But really being quiet was the best open communication that I could provide for him being a sounding board and then also being, you know, they say, iron sharpens iron. You know, biblically that was kind of that, that end point to all of our conversations, like listening and hearing him out, letting him vent and work through all of that and then again pointing him back to God right but God, what is he showing you here?
What is your role in this experience and how is he trying to refine you and reminding each other through that that nothing happens for you know, just for no reason at all, and I think that was one of the biggest lessons that came out of that for us is, no matter what the stressor is or the situation, there’s a reason you’re there and there’s something you need to learn and remind each other to look for that right.
0:22:59 – Speaker 3
You know, absolutely, and I think even the just because the, the stressor, is removed, doesn’t mean that the new stress is not gonna is going to go away. You know what we found out was you know God was really leading me into this new career path, and so that meant me going back to school. You know late nights On the computer a lot, and so kind of being a little bit not and still working full-time. You know that put more stress at home as well. You know, and and so that was another thing to kind of be Ready for that next step, to go into it together. It was really important. But you know when, when we felt like it was something that God was really kind of working on our hearts I’m telling us to do, as soon as it, as soon as it came into, as soon as God provided that vision for me, it was like yes, like both of us said yes at the same time, yeah, and it was so easy to go through the next level of stress.
Yeah because we knew it was Providence, we knew that was God’s providing us for us to go through this, you know, and it was kind of like one of those things like, and especially with you know you’re recovering from your surgery, god wants you to be the mother to our kids and the wife to me, because God knows what happens when you’re not around In our house and God’s like, oh yeah, no, we need to make sure that. You know Kim is still mama and and how important that is, you know. And so God’s gonna provide, he’s gonna remove certain things, he’s gonna, you know, provide those other things for us to kind of keep moving forward and and that’s really yeah, it just being open and being vulnerable to receiving those Stressors, with the upcoming blessings, is something that has taken some some time and some some patience and some vulnerability To really get and I think that kind of makes the last point that’s so important, no matter how big or small the stressor is is again Talking about what is our new norm.
0:24:42 – Speaker 2
When things change, you have to come up with a new norm for your family. You know when he went back to school what does that look like in the evenings and how do we adjust. And constantly talking through that, because if you’re not, then you’re on different pages and frustrations and unnecessary stress come into the picture on top of the stress that you’re already navigating. So Some takeaways for when you’re going through major life stressors in your marriage Adjust to the new norm, whatever it might be, continually talking about it. Our job is to keep each other focused on God, mm-hmm through that before and after it, and allow others to see you vulnerable, except help, allow people to be a part of your marriage and your family to get you through that All right. Well, we are praying over you and that there are not any huge life stressors in your life right now. Thanks so much for tuning in today.
0:25:32 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am On am 6 30 the word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and podcast at nextTalk. Or are you ready for the next time?
Transcribed by https://podium.page