This is almost eight years later. The smiles you see on our faces are real and the joy is there. But it did not happen blissfully and overnight for us. Thank God. I look back to our beginnings and shake my head. I had no idea how to change the world, God knew this, that is why He radically changed mine. These eight years have proven us, and what God means to us, more than all the fifteen years of simply knowing each other ever could. There has been nightmares where we really did not know if we'd have each other in the future; there have been emotional roller coasters with our kids that made us hurt more than our broken marriage. There has been loss, much pain, and a nearness of Christ that we would have never experienced any other way. In eight years Christ has seared our bond and we truly live a three cord strand. He has been our glue, our healer, our guide, & our strength. Here's the truth:
It may be a great love story but Christ will always be the ultimate love story! You put that cross, that sacrifice, that blood, that agony, that forgiveness, that heart, that love right smack dab in the middle of your story & it is swallowed up in victory. There are things you walk through with someone that make you know there could never be another; there are testimonies that go so deep you cannot share them, but both of you know. There is a dark place you both have walked to with Christ. Those times you and your spouse don't know each other anymore, are the times you seek to know the only one who is worth knowing. How else does God make two, one? How else does God lay two self centered people down and raise one soul walking hand in hand?
Our "first years" have most definitely not been common, but God knew I would otherwise drown in shallow waters. Had we had a normal beginning with all the pleasures of seeking to make us happy, we'd die. Die spiritually. Somehow in the uncommon, quite young, dark beginnings I found my soul mate, and the creator of my soul. God used our past, our marriage, & our children to radically wake us up to Him. It may not have been the road we talked about for ourselves--but God by His great mercy saw fit to take us another route; one a little more steep; a little harder to climb; a little foggier; and with a much better view.
I do not claim to have all the answers but be encouraged here. There is nothing too far out of reach that God cannot restore, heal, cover, cleanse & make new. There is no pain too unbearable that He cannot ultimately take. There is no wrong done against you too big that He cannot give you the power to forgive.
I have recently been thinking of Shad- rack, Me- shack & Ab- indigo. Three Hebrew men thrown in the fiery furnace, heated seven times hotter than normal. The only thing burned off of them was their bonds. The son of God in the midst of them, they walk out free. How casual we take these testimonies. How small we see our God. Have you come to a place to see Him as He really is? Over all, in all and working through all. If we really saw God in control of all, would our faith not stir a little, and would we shake the water off from the shallow, safe end and follow Him to the depths. Do we trust Him with something small as our relationships, and even bigger, our lives? Or our kids' lives? What a relief if we saw God as those in the early days did; Sovereign and mighty to save! Why is faith a shield? Why does faith literally protect from fiery darts? But here's the thing...i can't just choose to have faith in faith itself....I need my eyes opened to who i'm actually serving. There's a mighty big difference in having faith and having faith in God! The true living God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the God I long to know. The God of the Bible who has graciously made Himself known in so many small areas of my life; I want the faith to know Him in bigger.
What about you? How has He held out His hand and asked you to walk out of the shallow waters of life & follow Him to the depths?