Love beyond lockdown

Ezra and Victoria Kabali PHOTOS/COURTSEY

What you need to know:

A UK-wide poll of 2,000 people at the start of Covid-19 lockdown found 23 per cent who said it was placing pressure on their relationship. This stress was seen globally. That said, there is hope that relationships will thrive in 2022

One of the things that stood out during the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic was the increasing number of divorces and separations globally.  .Covid-19 lockdowns forced couples to finally really spend time with each other and get to know each other more than before. Unfortunately, many relationship did not make it. In 2022, many look back at the pain yet look forward with resilience to make their marriages better. Joan Salmon, had a chat with some couples who share the lessons from yesterday and the resolve of staying committed to each other.

Ezra and Victoria Kabali

As a newlywed couple, Ezra and Victoria were glad for the lockdown because it gave them the opportunity to know each other better. “Spending all this time at home, we were able to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We were also able to plan how we want to see our marriage grow and intentionally apply certain principles for our marriage to thrive. On top of that, we were able to learn to do things together such as watching movies, laundry, and washing dishes.

The cherry on the cake was the ability to pray and study the word of God together. Evenings and cool afternoons were also a blessing because we went for evening walks around our new home area,” Ezra shares.

Save the beautiful moments, the Kabalis experienced a major blow when Victoria miscarried during the second lockdown. “At that time, Victoria was expecting our baby but it was really challenging to access medical care hence losing our baby. It was extremely tough for us, more so my wife and she was understandably inconsolable. Thankfully, God’s grace pulled us through. We are also thankful for the great neighbours, pastors, and a great couple that had also gone through the same who kept encouraging and praying with us,” he shares.

Victoria is glad that after mourning, God blessed them with a bouncing baby girl, turning their tears into unending joy.

In 2022, the Kabalis plan to intentionally communicate more, love, forgive, be faithful and appreciate each other, every day. “We are committed to valuing one another as important team players on this journey if we are to make our marriage beautiful. Additionally, we are committing all our plans and our marriage to God, to start and end everything with Him,” they say.

Ezra adds that they look forward to creating more time to pray, study God’s word, travel together for vacation, and do sports activities together.

Ps Dennis and Harriet Odoi

Ps Dennis and Harriet Odoi

When the lockdown was instituted, the Odois received their children home but were low on resources and had no idea how to make it through the next many days. With that giant before them, they let their knees touch the ground, praying and fasting like never before. “2020 and 2021 were years we fasted like never done before. We testify that we saw God at work, touching friends and different churches which enabled us to have beyond our expectations to the point of giving out food to the rich and poor,” Dennis shares.

The couple and family also drew closer seeing that Dennis and Harriet believe in family and spending time with their children. “Coming from a violent family, where all I saw was hatred; my mother was belittled, abused and hated, I knew it was not what I wanted. I thus resolved to do differently from my father,” he says.

Therefore, any time he has with his children, he intends to spend it well. Moreover, he had sown this seed from their childhood where he personally dropped and picked them from school until they joined university. With that, they developed a good relationship. “They also grew up knowing and loving God so the lockdown helped us start a series of teachings where we learnt and grew together, allowing everyone to ask questions yet also giving us an opportunity to make peace and correction. We also looked at it as a time to bring hope to the neighbourhood. For instance, bringing hope in homes where there were tensions,” Dennis says.

The end of lockdown was closely followed by a downturn in the economy. The cost of living keeps increasing while the income remains the same. This has resulted in unmet needs in families leading to tensions and stress.

“I am not immune to that because in this period, more so with the general financial squeeze I see my wife struggling and she cannot help but complain. Rather than be rough, hard or tough, I let her express her frustrations. That is also because I am meant to provide and where I fail, I accept my shortcomings. In such times, I remind God that He is still God regardless of the situation and a provider and I ask Him to provide,” Dennis says.

Harriet shares that she is now at that point where she feels out of place in her parents’ home or homes of friends. “As much as I would want to visit and spend say a week to relax, after a few days, I yearn to return home. I now know that my address is my husband’s home and my commitment must be there. Hence my resolve is that I will work, trust God and improve my home to make it what I desire for us,” she shares.

Amos and Evelyn Bakka 
 

Amos and Evelyn Bakka

Marriage during the lockdown was beautiful for Amos and Evelyn because finally, they had quite some good time together as a family. “Granted, when you are not accustomed to being together all the time, there will be some issues with one another but generally it was nice,” Evelyn smiles.

With everyone noticing the other’s weaknesses and mistakes, some days were worse than others but the Bakkas were able to make it through the lockdown stronger because they always put God at the centre of their relationship. “That is how we were able to overcome,” Amos says.

In 2022, the couple plans to foster commitment through accountability, proper communication with one another and also getting accountability partners; people who can speak into their marriage. “We plan to get more outing dates and plan more times together to build an even stronger bond between us,” they share.

Being accountable

The end of lockdown was closely followed by a downturn in the economy. The cost of living keeps increasing while the income remains the same. This has resulted in unmet needs in families leading to tensions and stress. “I am not immune to that because in this period, more so with the general financial squeeze I see my wife struggling and she cannot help but complain. Rather than be rough, hard or tough, I let her express her frustrations. That is also because I am meant to provide and where I fail, I accept my shortcomings. In such times, I remind God that He is still God regardless of the situation and a provider and I ask Him to provide. We also keep making friends all over and God uses some of them to come through. I have also been forced to go beyond the normal to ensure there is food on the table, school fees and bills are paid,” Dennis says.

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