Why I Proposed to My Girlfriend At the Foot of the Cross

But what if there were tough times? How would we respond? Would we be prepared to endure suffering for each other, for our marriage, for our family?

As it turns out, we had to face that question in a very real way right after getting married. We wanted kids yet struggled to conceive for four years. We suffered through surgeries, tears, insensitive comments, and more tears.

Sarah’s and my children: John, Elizabeth, and Michael; Easter Sunday, 2016

Suffering is an Opportunity to Express our Love for What Matters Most

That we’ve been blessed with three amazing kids since then is spectacular. But the gift they are is not the first gift we received. The first gift was the opportunity to suffer for them before they even arrived. Because what is greater in life than giving all you have—your very self—for those you love?

Sarah’s and my suffering for our kids was very imperfect. It is very imperfect still. And probably a heck of a lot more suffering will be required as time goes on. All I can hope is that when it is, I’m able to see the opportunity it presents for reconfirming in the most concrete of ways what matters most to me.

But here’s the thing. It’s not just in grandiose acts like proposals or struggling with infertility that we can express our love for what matters most in life. In fact, it’s not primarily in such acts.

Rather, it’s primarily in little, day-to-day acts. Perhaps you forgo something you’d like to buy in order to save a little money for your family. Or perhaps you set your busy schedule aside to spend time with a friend in need.

We—Christians and non-Christians alike, of course—are presented with countless opportunities each day to live for what matters most. Many such opportunities are easy and fun. Some, however, make hard demands on us.

The question for you and for me is: when suffering is required of us to live for what matters most, can we take one step toward receiving it as an opportunity to express, in a profound way, our love?

In what ways have you been invited to express your love through suffering? 


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Brian McAdam
Brian McAdam
Through his blog, www.brianmcadam.com, Brian helps others have more time and money for what matters most. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America. He serves as the Director of Formation at FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Colorado and are blessed with a daughter and fraternal twin boys.

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