How can we have thankful, contented hearts when the circumstances in our lives are not what we had planned and when they lie outside our control or our power to change? 1 Thess. Be joyful always: pray continually: give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I have to admit there were several times I wasn’t thankful for my situations in fact, when I wasn’t allowing God to work in his timing I wasn’t trusting that God was going to provide and that he wasn’t going to work my situation out for the good. He is intimately involved with us; he works out his purpose through the events in our lives so that we may be conformed to the image of his son. I was lonely inside my marriage my heart was aching but when I was willing to reach out to God and his reassuring words he faithfully held me up. The Song That’s What Faith Can Do by Kutless gave me some inspiration: "I’ve seen dreams move the mountains hope that never ends even when the sky is falling I’ve seen miracles just happened silent prayers get answered broken hearts become brand new that’s what faith can do!!!"Our marriage was going through troubled difficulties, we were self-destructing I was in defense mode, we fought most the time, we attacked one another with our words. I was confused, embarrassed, and ashamed and felt guilty… I had a broken heart…. I learned quickly to wear a mask, I learned how to manipulate everyone around me, and convinced everyone that we had a great thing. I was busy trying to control and fix the problem, because I was impatiently waiting for God to do something. We both desperately wanted to make it work, and would constantly try and find temporary quick fixes. We were living a marriage of unevenly yoked and it felt like an uphill battle, of which I was exhausted. I began to push our communication and relationship aside because it was too difficult. And it was easy to do with three children,:with sports, school, recreation, and activities etc.etc. We filled our days, weeks, months with busyness, it wasn’t always bad, that was the confusing part, however we were burying our feelings and it was like a landmine when they would explode.. I was running; but who I was running from was God’s help, God’s grace and mercy, his forgiveness. I have always loved God but have had a hard time accepting his will for me and his control. Another thing I’ve struggled with is Finances, which in return would cause a lot of fighting, Mike and I had agreed to take the FPU class being offered at our church by Dave Ramsey. That was the start of our turning point. It gave us peace for a time, we started to connect and it started to feel right, we were finally going in the right direction. However, when the program was over our fears became reality, as we no longer had the accountability, and summer came and life grabbed a hold of us. We quickly were swept right back into our old habits and clung to the only thing we knew, or lack of what we knew… Another set back, another failure, I was emotionally drained. I had decided I was going to quit… The kids and I had a chance to go out of town, and we jumped on the opportunity because Mike and I had decided to separate but was trying to find the right time. Deep down neither of us wanted to but it was literally the only thing we hadn’t tried and I was done fighting. We were gone for 4 ½ days and honestly it was so easy. I had to come home and face reality that somehow our marriage had spun out of control, and I was loosing the battle quickly, I was deeply sadden that our 13 years marriage was going nowhere and I had to carry the burden that I no longer wanted to try. Mike and I had been through a lot: high school sweethearts, teen parents, loss of family members, bad back, emotional setbacks, failures among the many and was constantly reminded of how wrong things how’d gone, I had just wished God would intervene. That summer was one of loneliest summers for me; I wore my mask proudly, wept nightly and wished daily that something would change… To make things worse I tore my disc in my back and was in an excruciating pain. I remember the 180 band playing this song “I’ll praise you in the storm” I was sure by now God you would have reached down and whipped my tears away stepped in and saved the day but once again I’ll say Amen. As your mercy falls I’ll raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away. I’ll praise you in the storm I’ll lift my hands for you are who your are no matter where I am every tear I cry you hold in your hand you never left my side and though my heart is torn I’ll praise you in this storm..
A traumatic ordeal Mike and I had to go through years ago someone once told me If God brings you to the storm he will bring you out of the storm and I had to hold on to that promise that once again God was going to be there for me.. Mike and I barely made it through the summer, and as we were planning on going away for our 13th year anniversary a good friend came over to talk with me, she gave me two books, one called “Love & Respect” by Dr Emerson Eggerichs and the Love Dare, and the DVD “Fireproof” What I realized is he desperately wanted respect I desired to be loved. It was an endless cycle, no matter how hard we tried our lack of knowledge of how to treat one another was tearing us apart. I didn’t know that I was disrespecting Mike by my actions, which in return he wasn’t showing me love. I learned that submission to and love for him was an outgrowth of spiritual development and a close relationship with the Lord, You see God needed to work in me to prepare me for the blessing he was about to give. It was his timing and not mine, it was Gods will and not mine… God needed to change my conduct and give me a gentle and quiet spirit, (1 peter 3:1-3 wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands to so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of theirs wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives your beauty should not come from outward adornments, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight) I was constantly being reminded Do not pay back evil for evil, or insult with insult, be self-controlled, prepare your minds for action be self controlled. I was dependent on Mike instead of God, and God was showing me that Mike only knew to love so much because he didn’t have Christ in his heart. I was to look to God and not toward men because he wasn’t providing me what I felt I rightfully deserved. I had to lay all my expectations at the cross and release him from the burden of fulfilling me in areas where only God could fulfill. That weekend ended up being an emotional break through. Mike and I self counseled the whole weekend, read the books together, watched the movie. We had peace about where we were going, but once again I was puzzled as to why he still wouldn’t give his heart to the Lord. He did agree to do the love dare challenge, and in my heart I agreed to faithfully pray for him… The Power Team came to our church in October. They had such a great impact on our family, you could feel the holy spirit moving in ways that was unexplainable, and on that Wednesday our whole family went to the altar during the altar call, except MIKE.. I was excited for my children, but once again I was up against a spiritual battle. I was doing everything I was supposed to. I was praying for God to change me, to make be a witness- I left there feeling like Satan had stole my victory "The thief will come to steal, kill and destroy" That night I threw a temper tantrum and cried out to God in frustrations I shouted “I’m done!!!" I didn’t know how to pray for him, I was tired of trying, and feeling guilty.. I asked God to forgive me for not trusting him, I fell to my knees and wept.. In that dark, quiet place I remember hearing God say "Ask Me and you shall receive, seek ME and you will find knock and I will open the door" I had to lay down all claims to power in myself and rely on God’s transforming power, in that moment God restored my thoughts, I was a wife longing for something, that God had been saying WAIT FOR ME all of this time, and I felt like I needed to brace myself because something was about to change, I just had to be patient to persevere and wait for God.
The power team was there all week, and on that Saturday on Oct. 17th Mike gave his life to the Lord! We have been given the privilege to have the peace of God in our marriage and in our home, we have the access to his presence upon our lives, we have peace with God.. Instead of being hostile, angry bitter towards one another we have joy. Romans and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. God keeps pouring his love into our hearts for one another, for our family and for those around us, our thoughts have been transformed our marriage has peace, our two hearts our finally one. I couldn’t ever have imagine the true love that only God could place in our hearts for each other, full of unity, built with strength, grace, mercy forgiveness and LOVE! We will continue to have trails and tribulations, we will sin every day, but we are prepared to be receptive for what God has in store for us, and be ready to be obedient servants. God says Do not fear I’m with you, Do not worry I have it under control Do not run and grow weary!! We know that God has many blessings he will pour out. The path we’re taking is definitely unknown, God is opening doors for our marriage, but instead of running away from God we will sit and WAIT on God. Whatever you’re waiting for from GOD, is WORTH the wait!!!!