Tag Archive: richard sumner


Romantic couple portrait photography

Wendy and I have been married since December 2004 but in some ways it seems so much longer because we have done so much since then, including immigrating (twice) and starting a business. And let me tell you, those are both very stressful, and stress is not good for a marriage.

I think that what I have realised about marriage is that it is not always a feeling but a choice. You choose to be married and you choose to make a marriage work. My wife and I have had some very difficult times in our marriage, some in the past and some right now, but there is a difference between the two. We didn’t handle the stressful times in the past very well, and it could have ended the marriage. Being in a foreign country, money running out, the work permit you were told (by officials) that you could get, you now can’t and you have to make a decision. Go to another strange country or go back to where you came from and give up on your dreams. This is not easy.

I went on to the new country and Wendy went back to where we came from, to get a visa. This time apart was not easy as we had taken the stress out on each other, and neither of us were in the best emotional place. This was a time when marriage was a choice and not a feeling. Having said that we have some stressful issues at the moment too, even more stressful that what we went through before, but our marriage is stronger than ever!

So what is the difference? Summing it up in a sentence will sound a bit cheesy and like a cliché , but I’m going to say it anyway. When you have a problem, remove it from in between you, and face it together.. We have a relationship with God, through Jesus, so we bring Him into the discussion too! When it is two of us and God against a problem it doesn’t seem that big, yet when it gets in between you and your partner, it seems much bigger than it is!

It also appears that you are facing it on your own as it gets in between the two of you, so you focus on the problem and don’t see how it affects your spouse. Separate yourselves from the problem, join with God, and fight it together! Previous people posting have said that it is impossible to mention marriage without children. Well I think it is impossible to mention our marriage without God, as He plays a major part, and without Him I don’t think our marriage would be so strong.

I can honestly say, even though we are going through what is probably the most stressful time of our lives, it is also the most promising. That is down to two reasons. We follow God, and we put our future in His hands. He promises that even though things don’t always go our way, He will work it for our good. And secondly, Wendy and I are a team. We tackle issues together, and we have made a choice to stick together and support each other. This doesn’t mean that the ‘feeling’ and love is no longer there, quite the opposite, I love her more now than the day we got married!

[For the next post on Marriage year 10 by Megan and Brenton Furniss, click here]

My name is Wendy. Myself and my husband, Richard, have been married for 7.5 years and I have been off contraception for 5.5 of those years. I only went to the doctor in October 2010, as I was not quite ready to face up to potential problems, and we weren’t financially ready for a child. I also told myself that we had not actively been trying (e.g. taking ovulation tests) and therefore perhaps it wasn’t an issue that I had not yet fallen pregnant.

The news came back from the doctor that I had polycystic ovaries. This is something not curable, but manageable. There are medications that I can take to try and boost ovulation. Also, losing weight is supposed to help with the symptoms. It’s a bit of a vicious circle, though, as having this condition makes it much harder to lose the weight!

The news hit me fairly hard even though I had been expecting it and had already researched the symptoms (an irregular cycle being the biggest indicator). There’s a big part of me that really wants to become a mommy and have Richard’s child, but there’s another part of me that’s not sure, because it is REALLY hard work and at that point in time it felt like this was never going to happen for me, for us. Anyway, we prayed with some family members and I felt God’s presence touch my heart. I walked away feeling a renewed confidence in God, after previously feeling very negative.

The following Saturday night we had an Encountering God worship evening at church with people prophesying over, and praying for, one another. Even though I was feeling full of faith, I was still hoping someone would have a word for me. A lady behind me (whom I’ve never met and who knows nothing about me) told me that God had a very special gift for me. She didn’t want to say what it was, in case she was wrong. I told her it was a baby and she immediately confirmed that was the word she had, and that it would be soon. She prayed for me and all of a sudden I found myself in tears (I tend to be emotional when I feel the presence of God).

I left the meeting feeling even more confident and excited at what God was going to do in our lives! The very next day my sister-in-law also had something to share. She gave me the verses Luke 1:36 and 45 “you are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said”.

Richard and I both never felt such confidence in anything before. It is wonderful to know that God clearly has a plan and purpose for our child if He has spoken through various people (including a dream a friend had). I’ve also felt very encouraged by so many dreams God has given me over the last couple of years about being pregnant or having a baby (usually it’s a girl). I’ve found out that by opening up about our journey, others have shared their struggles to conceive their children.

Several months passed and it took a while to get my mind in the right place, but for the past 8 months I have been doing what I can to prepare my body – I have started running again and we have both been eating healthily and lost a lot of weight.

My 3-year old niece was praying for us too (so cute!) and she told her mom that she thinks we have a baby now so she has decided to stop praying. Child-like faith is amazing! Just to trust in God as a little child trusts their father. Our faith in Him is something that we hold onto when doubts sometimes come to mind. We have watched the Joyce Meyer DVD “Battlefield of the Mind” and found it helpful to implement some of those teachings in our lives. Also, at homegroup recently we’ve been focussing on living on the right hand side of the comma of the verse John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life and have it to the full”. Our spiritual lives have grown tremendously over the last year. We don’t always get things right, but we are moving forward.

We have been working through a Christian book about blessings and curses and the power that words have. We prayed against any curses that may have been over us and repented of sin in our lives. Since that very prayer was spoken, my monthly cycles (and I’ve had 3 now) have returned to the normal length. They used to be all over the place, anything from 3 to 6 weeks long! We are praising God for this.

I’ve read up about the possibility of IVF treatment but I don’t think we would pursue this option. It is a costly and traumatic ordeal. There are also the moral issues to consider, such as whether or not to freeze embryos (as a large number of them don’t make it) and not letting any of them get wasted, because we believe that life begins at conception. Besides, as God said in Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son”. We are standing in faith and know that the time will come soon when I can say the words I’ve been wanting to say for so long: “I’m pregnant”!

I hope that our story and faith may bring encouragement to anyone reading this who is going through any kind of fertility struggle.

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