From Broken To Blessed, This Is Our Story

 In the past few weeks, I have felt an urging to intercede on behalf of biblical marriage. My heart has been so heavy at the thought of so many marriages that are broken and on their way to complete destruction. The enemy of our souls has set out on a war path to destroy biblical marriage. Why would he want to do this? Because the effects of divorce are so much more than just 2 people “falling out of love” and moving on with their own lives.

If the two of them have children, they are indeed affected by the divorce. Their stability, self-worth, routine….everything about their lives is affected.

In an article I read, it explains it very well.

Here is the link:

 http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2000/06/the-effects-of-divorce-on-America

When you get divorced and break “soul ties” from the one you have vowed to love forever, it obviously affects your soul. There is also a good article that explains this pretty well.

Here is the link:

http://www.divorcehope.com/breakingasoultie.htm

Divorce also breaks the heart of God.

One last article I want to share and if you don’t read any of them that I have suggested and you are living in a broken marriage and thinking about divorce, PLEASE take time to read the following article.

Here is the link:

http://www.gotquestions.org/God-hates-divorce.html

Here is a small clip from that article, just in case you didn’t have time to read it…

Marriage is a picture of the covenant God has with His people (Hebrews 9:15). A covenant is an unbreakable commitment, and God wants us to understand how serious it is. When we divorce someone with whom we made a covenant, it makes a mockery of the God-created concept of covenant relationship. The Church (those individuals who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord) is presented in Scripture as the “Bride of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9). We, as His people, are “married” to Him through a covenant that He established. A similar illustration is used in Isaiah 54:5 of God and Israel.

When God instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden, He created it as a picture of the greatest unity human beings can know (Genesis 2:24). He wanted us to understand the unity we can have with Him through redemption (1 Corinthians 6:17). When a husband or wife chooses to violate that covenant of marriage, it mars the picture of God’s covenant with us.

Please know that I am not just rattling off a bunch of “advice” as someone who has never experienced the pain of a broken marriage. I never thought I’d share what I am about to share, but I know that the Lord has spoken to my heart to give our testimony. The testimony of how HE took the pieces of my own broken marriage, mended it, and made it a blessing.

Though it is a hard thing, to open your life up and share the real struggles that you have faced, I believe that if more Christ-loving believers did so, we just may see more unbelievers start believing! This God that I love and live for is a personal God who loves each of us and He deals with real-life issues. He will come to your broken life, right in the middle of the mess that is your life and save you, just like He did me!

It is my desire to be real and authentic and so even though sharing this is very hard for me to do, I pray that someone who reads our story will be encouraged to fight for their marriage and share their story of what God has done in their own marriage!

As I begin my testimony, I invite you to “read and see what God has done, His awesome hand at work in our marriage, fixing all the broken pieces of our lives… when we finally gathered them up to bring them to Him. He is GOOD!”

My husband and I got married right out of high school. My 18th birthday was in April, his in May, we graduated in June and got married in July!

a2d2b-unity

We lit that Unity Candle on July 13, 2002, our wedding day, as a symbol that our 2 separate lives were becoming 1 unified life, not really even knowing what it meant.

I couldn’t wait to become his wife and start our life together. We had a cute little “cracker-jack box” of an apartment that we rarely spent time at. We both worked full-time jobs and after work would go spend time with family and friends. We would get home late, most days in time for bed. We don’t have a lot of memories in our first place because we weren’t there much and I truly do regret that.

We were both working and making money so we just kind of would spend a little here and a little there but soon learned the hardship of paying our own bills and buying all of our own necessities. And so… after LOTS of over-draft fees and arguments, we would wait till pay-day just to find that we were in the same predicament again and again. He was working in construction, very hard physical labor, long hours, in the burning hot heat and in the freezing temperatures. I was working at a Chiropractor’s office doing desk work and shipping out orders all day. He would come home physically wore out. I would come home mentally wore out. Our finances were strained, we were exhausted and frustrated with one another and slowly growing apart.

In October, 3 months after we were married, we found that we were going to be parents! We were so excited!!! It was a dream come true for me. I couldn’t wait to be a mother. We lived on the adrenaline of excitement for a time, but then of course as life happened and the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy kicked in, we had more “loud disagreements” and stresses.

We’ll fast-forward a few years…

 By now, we have bought a house, a mini-van, had a couple of babies and I’m now a “stay at home mom and wife”. There were doubts, fears, and guilt flooding my mind and I began to fight depression.

Scott had been trying to find a job that was less demanding, so he had a few different jobs trying to find what was best for our family. He decided that he would start “on-line schooling” to gain a degree, hoping it would help us in the future. So, at this point, he is working through the day and in the evenings doing school work.

I was keeping busy with the babies and the house but started to feel a resentment toward my husband. We were growing more and more distant and hardly had a conversation unless it was about our babies, bills or something that had to be discussed. I knew that he had been exposed to pornography at a young age and because I wasn’t getting much affection from him, I worried that he had fell into the temptation that many, many men struggle with. In the back of my mind I wondered if he felt stuck, if he felt regret about marrying me, if he would actually stick it out. I felt neglected, unloved, and taken for granted. I had myself convinced that he didn’t really love me and that we’d be better off separating. When he would try to show affection or give me attention, I would pull away from him. I would think to myself “I don’t have to live this way, why am I settling for this, I could still leave…”

I am ashamed to admit to you that I hardly whispered a prayer during this time. I was so consumed by the mess of my life and making sure that no one could tell that our “perfect little family” was falling apart.

 I felt isolated and alone. I finally built up the courage to talk to him. He denied having fallen into temptation but I just didn’t feel sure of it. The evening went on and we talked about the many broken pieces of our marriage and considered divorce but we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t what was best.

Looking back, I know that God protected us from such a damaging decision. I will never be able to put into words my thankfulness for that!!

All the while these things were taking place, we were attending 4 church services a week at our church and tried to be very involved there. I always looked forward to being there and was always hopeful that I would receive just enough to get me through till the next service.

My friend, let me pause here for a second. I just want to tell you that this is not the way that God intended a relationship with Him to be. Church is an added benefit of being a Christian, it is not the sole source of being a Christian.

I loved church, it made me feel hopeful and happy, even if it was for just those few hours. What I didn’t realize was that loving church is not the same as loving Jesus!

Looking back, I know that I loved the Lord in the best way that I knew how at that time but He was getting ready to reveal more of Himself to me through the brokenness of my life.

I had never really reach a place in my life before that I felt like I couldn’t “fix” it on my own. I was in that place at this point. I would cry myself to sleep. I was so miserable and confused. I would experience moments of “happiness” but there was never really any “joy”. I knew that the only real source of JOY was from the Lord. I began to pray, just a small prayer at a time. Real, genuine, messy, small prayers… Prayers like, “God , I don’t want to get out of bed today. Life hurts too much. Please help me.”

Friends, when we are real with God, He is real with us! It wasn’t over night that things changed, it has been a process, but God showed up!

He spoke into our lives one night at a camp meeting through a preacher we had never heard of… “Stop Going Through The Motions, Stop Trying To Love One Another Without First, Truly Loving Me!”

marriage

I found myself down on my knees, crying out to God. First in thankfulness that He had come to me, in all of my misery and mess and then, in hopefulness that He would help us. Late that evening, kneeling under a tree, with tears running down my face, I felt hope… I could feel HIS love shinning through the broken pieces of my life and though I didn’t know how He would do it, I knew that if I put my full trust in Him He would put the pieces of our marriage back together again.

heshines

As God began working in my husband and I, individually as well as together…it was not an easy road to walk, it was HARD! My husband confessed that he indeed had fallen into the temptation of viewing pornography and asked me for forgiveness. As hurt as I was, I knew that God was revealing so that we could start the healing. God had also revealed to me, my wrong attitude and disrespect toward him, the man whom I had vowed to love through better or worse. I was not a submissive wife (that’s a whole other blog, people don’t quite understand the meaning of biblical submission). We both had our list of faults and had to work through them as the Lord led us.

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

The most important thing that we learned is that God has created marriage be a mirror of His covenantal relationship with His people. He tells the husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He tells the wife to be submissive to her own husband. He gives these commands for a reason. Marriage isn’t about finding “the one” who will complete you, honestly…that is called idolatry…only God can complete a person. (Lesson learned)

Marriage isn’t solely about our own happiness but more about His holiness.  God isn’t against our happiness, He’s a good God and if we keep His ways in our marriage, we will indeed be happy!

I’m telling you from experience friend, there is hope! This is our story…we were broken… but now we are blessed!

We will be praying for your marriage!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

“His Testimony”

Wow, where do I start?  My wife and I decided to put into words our journey together thus far.  There are many marriages today struggling on the verge of divorce, and many people have completely given up on marriage altogether.  Our hope and prayer is that we may offer this into the Lord’s hands to be blessed and broken to feed a few, if not many!

We hear from countless people that we have the “perfect” marriage, that we have the “perfect” family.  What does that even mean?  We have come to see that the “perfect” does not exist, especially in the context of marriage.  The truth is that people are messy, we are messy, our marriage has been messy.  Through it all God has been faithful!

Much has already been said by my wife, so I will simply add my perspective as a man and husband.  I fell in love with Rachael very young and knew early that I was going to marry this girl.  I did just that in 2002 and it was all wide-eyed and head first.  Let me just say to young men who have recently said “I do”, get ready for the most difficult but most rewarding thing you will ever encounter!  Life was good, we had ups and downs, we had kids…1..2…3 girls……and finally a boy!  But somewhere in between, it happened…

I fell into sin, the sin of not loving my bride as Christ loved the church, the sin of not praying, not reading the scriptures, the sin of being a dis-engaged Dad, and finally looking at pornography.  Somewhere in between the kids, the bills, the stress, a young early 20’s “perfect” church attender, teacher and preacher would let down his guard and break the heart of his bride.  The great preacher JC Ryle said “men fall in private long before they fall in public”.  Men, seek to watch over your heart in private and cultivate a deep prayer life.  This is vitally important!

As a man I have battled with lust, I dare say I’m not alone.  This is the prime vice that is used on men, especially young Christian men that desire to live a godly life.  Never believe you are untouchable, that you cannot fall, but learn quickly you MUST be dependent on the Lord.  Now, this happened several years ago and God has since worked marvelous wonders in my heart and home and we have come a long way.  Our God is a healer and restorer!

I went through bouts of depression and guilt during that dark time. I would think to my self, it was only a couple of times, it’s ok.  The human heart has an amazing ability to justify sin.  For a while in our marriage I walked in a daze of spiritual lethargy.  I had confessed to God, I was truly sorry, He had forgiven me…wasn’t that enough?  Over the course of the next couple of years God would convince me that No… it wasn’t enough, the secret that I had kept hidden in my heart had to be revealed to my wife.  Just as I had repented to God, I must now repent to her to fully restore our relationship.  God would whisper to my heart “you must tell her”. After weeping and praying before the Lord it was as if He had took control of me, I came right into our bedroom and knelt where my wife sat at the end of our bed and said “I’m sorry” and confessed all to her.

What happened next was nothing short of amazing, the burden lifted and the peace of God flooded into every fiber of my soul.  My lovely wife said nothing, she just put her arms around me and cried and then said “I forgive you”.  Men, if you find yourself harboring secret sins, confess them both to God and spouse and you will find grace!

Now we are in a much better place today, all due to the grace and help of our Lord! God has renewed a love between my wife and I that is deep, rich, and growing day by day!  As I look back on our journey, God essentially has accomplished two great things in our hearts…1) He has crushed our idols and in the process crushed our fake ideas of Christianity and who He is, and 2) Shown us the glory of Himself in Christ and the Gospel…this is the answer to all of life’s problems!  He alone can give weak men who will not lead, the spiritual backbone to do so. He alone can restore and sustain marriages. He alone can call us to a life that is pleasing and honorable to Him!

Our prayer and goal for sharing our story is that marriages may be strengthened and families helped to the glory of God!  Men, below are some scriptures that helped me, I pray for an Isaiah 6 experience for each of you, that we may be humbled and see the Lord high and lifted up!

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

Isaiah 6 whole chapter

Ephesians 5:22-33

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “From Broken To Blessed, This Is Our Story

  1. Reblogged this on Pilgrim in Progress and commented:
    A very important post that my wife and I wrote together. We felt the leading of the Lord that it was time to share “Our story” of how the Lord brought us from broken to blessed! Our prayer is for others who are experiencing difficult times in their marriages to be encouraged by our testimony and to find complete healing and peace in the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow is all I can say. This is very powerful. I am so very proud of the two of you. I know it took a lot of courage and obedience to write this. God has truly blessed you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am proud of you both!! I know it was tough for you guys to make your lives an open book. But that’s what makes you awesome! There are so many marriages falling apart and this was very helpful. I believe God has given you both the right words to help open others eyes and hearts to him. Just remember It doesn’t matter what people think of you it what God know! 😉 that k you both for such a great encouraging blog.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s