Monday, November 7, 2011

A new thing.

I am sitting on my couch watching my sweet 9 week old sleep in his swing with my Bible open to my right and some hot chocolate to my left. In this moment I am exceeding grateful for my God and the journey he has had my family walk over the last 3 years. I remember 3 years ago not being able to fathom any good coming out of our situation. I looked around me and all I could see was destruction. Destruction of our home, our family, the student ministry God had entrusted us with, friendships, the lifestyle we knew, the security I felt, and the church I called home. The first night I found out my world had changed I drove to Atlanta to stay with my brother and his family. I barely remember the 3 hour drive. I remember being so thankful to God that Emma Kate slept the whole way (even though it was not her normal sleep time), and we arrived there safely even though I had not slept in 28 hours.

I remember being in their guest bedroom that night with my mind racing and my Bible open. I looked up every verse on divorce I could find! I wrote in my prayer journal begging God to protect Emma and the students at WWBC. I remember the Holy Spirit reminding me of my favorite name of God which is El Roi The God who sees. It was 3:00am and I knew I needed to sleep but every time my eyes closed they went places they did not need to go and my mind raced. I told God how much I needed His Word. I told God I was going to close my eyes but I believed even in my sleep His Word could minster to me. It must minister to me or I did not think I would survive. I closed my eyes with my hand on the Bible and had the best 3 hours of sleep I have ever had. I woke up and searched scripture again. I was desperate to find my way out but still be in God’s will. What I studied over the next few hours would be the glue I needed to stay in a marriage that was broken and with my limited vision beyond repair. It was in those hours I read about the “exception clause” and how God stated he put it there because people had hard stubborn hearts. I read how God hated divorce. I was comforted by the verses on justice and consequences for sins , and moved by a covenant keeping God who never lets me go. The Holy Spirit reminded me of things I learned when I studied covenant in the Saturday morning Bible study I attended. It only took one person to uphold a covenant. If I wanted to be like Jesus (and not hard hearted) then I would keep my covenant as Christ keeps His with me regardless of my sin.

I would love to tell you that because God had confirmed in me His desire for me to stay in my marriage that it was easy to do so. However, it was not. It was one of the hardest things I had to do. Not because I did not love my husband or believe in him but because it required me lay down my pride. My family’s situation was announced from the pulpit and our life was on display for all to see. I knew from the very beginning that there much more at stake then just the survival of my marriage.It was HARD. It was HUMILIATING. It was UNFAIR. It was UGLY. It was DEVASTATING. I wish I could say that I handled it with grace but I did not. I struggled. I struggled with my own sin of pride. I struggled with God and why He would ask us to walk down this path. I questioned MANY DAYS if I should stay. However, our God was so faithful and tender to me. It has been 3 years and we have had some speed bumps along the way but God has done an INCREDIBLE work in our lives and in our marriage.

I have the privilege right now of walking beside several women who are currently walking down the path I had to walk. It has been an honor to see God redeem my hurt by allowing it to minister to them. I have been reminded several times how far we have come and how much God has healed because they will ask me how I felt about something and I honestly cannot remember. In my journal from those early days I wrote “God I know that you said you can bring beauty from ashes. Right now I only see a bunch of stinking ashes set on fire by hell itself. I am trusting you and believing that I will see beauty and that I indeed will experience Psalm 126:6 “He who goes out weeping carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” God has been so gracious to us and has redeemed our mistakes. I am thankful that we serve a God who never lets us go. He has given me immeasurable more than I can ask or imagine. I only asked for survival and at the time thought I was asking a lot! He not only gave me that but allowed me to experience Him in a new way, restored my marriage to something better than it has ever been, and gave me firsthand knowledge of His grace that is sufficient. We have been singing a song the last few Sunday's at church that I are a few words:

"Kneeling on this battleground
seeing how much you have done
Scars and struggles along the way
But we can say never once did we walk alone."

God is currently doing a new thing in our family. I will not write about the former season anymore on this blog unless I feel God strongly urging me to.
The old no longer defines us.
The chapter is closed.
What was intended for harm God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done (Gen. 50:20).

God has written the story. May He receive all glory and honor for the ending.