Tag Archives: marriage

The Letter I Wish She Could Read

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To anyone who may read this – this is going to be a letter I write to my 7 heart old daughter Janet. She passed away three day before Valentine’s Day, 2016, after a three year fight with brain cancer.  I have no idea how long this will be, but I have so much on my mind. You don’t have to read it – but do please feel free. I am not going to edit or even change grammar or spelling errors because, frankly, I don’t want to. I’m writing on/from my cell phone, and so God knows (and so do several of you) that I’m probably going to say any number of things that might not compute! I love you all. Thank you for being here. And for all you love, support, thoughts and prayers! 
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Oh, precious Janet! I love you so much, sweet girl. I will always and forever #RememberTheLove. Like I told you before you took your final breath this side of Heaven, we do miss you like crazy – like there’s no tomorrow! But, just like I followed that up with this then, I will now say that we are okay. The reason we’re okay is because we have each other. We still have you here with us, just only in our hearts. 
I’m not going to lie – sweetheart. This has been the hardest I’ve ever felt. Some days are so much harder than others. You know what I’m learning? That’s just the way it is. I do know this, though. If you were able to, you’d give me a gigantic squeezy hug. You did those the best. You’d tell me it’s okay, and you’d wipe away my tears. I know this. Sorry. I’m just missing you. 
I’ve learned so much about myself, other people, life, and even God. I think you’d be proud. I hope so, at least. God knows I’m also not perfect. But I know you’d remind me how much you love me and no matter what, that wouldn’t change. I said that to you all the time – and you picked up on or, and knew when to say it to me. 
I’m so so sorry we couldn’t do more to save you. I know it’s not my fault. But I still wish. So much. I just feel so broken. My heart hurts so much sometimes. I hate this pain, and how much it hurts. But them I remember that it hurts so bad because we shared so much love. The love you shared with me will forever be in my heart. 
I’ve been listening to a lot of music. I know how much music meant to you. It makes me smile. 
Guess what else? If you were sitting beside me, I know we’d talk about this. I’m learning a lot right now, especially about God, and my faith. Also about love, and compassion – and this messy thing called messy grace. I learned so much about this thing called messy grace at an incredible place – a blog written by my friend Steve. There is also a really neat messy grace community Facebook group that are just a bunch of people that love people just where they are. That helped me too! They just love people really well, and they share so much of this messy grace with everyone. I mean it, Janet. EVERYONE! I bet that would make you giggle. Just all this talk about messy grace! Hehe. 
I wanna tell you a little bit about the things I’ve been thinking about and realizing. I’ve been telling Jeremy and James this, so I’d tell you too. 
I’m starting to see just how much God loves us. I’m finding out a lot about my own faith in God. I know, you’d smack my hand if I told you I wanted to punch God in the face some days. I’m not doing to lie, baby. It makes me so mad at Him sometimes because you weren’t healed here on Earth. But, I’m so so so happy that you got to meet Jesus. I know that even just hours before you took that last breath, you smiled because you knew it was almost time. 
Anyway, I’ve decided to live my life in a little bit different of a way. I’ve decided it’s time to own my faith. What that means I’d I know what things I believe, but I just realized I didn’t always know why. Do you understand? I know you do. I don’t want to have what’s called blind faith. I just mean that – you know, when a person is blind, they can’t see. Well, I don’t want to believe things with my eyes closed. I want to believe them for myself – not because someone else tells me to. It’s more important than that. 
One of the biggest things that my heart needs, and wants other people to understand, is love. Love can move mountains. I bet that would make you laugh – silly mommy. But live is such a big thing. I know you knew that though. 
The world we live in right now needs so much more love. One thing going on right now is so many people aren’t showing people love very well. I know, you would ask why, and it would make you sad. Baby, it makes me sad too. 
One thing going on is the LGBTQ+ community. I know, those letters sounds silly. What those letters are talking about are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and the plus is for all the other things in between. Lesbians are when girls like or love and want to marry other girls. Being gay is like the same thing, but with boys who like other boys. Bisexual is when a boy likes boys and girls, and also if girls like girls or boys. Transgender people are people who feel like they were born in the wrong body. They might be a person who was born with boy parts, but has always felt like that was a mistake. And even sometimes girls are born with a vagina, but they always feel like they were supposed to be a boy. Queer is kind of hard to explain. Not really, I don’t guess. It just means anything but straight. Straight people are when a man loves a woman, or a woman loves a man. But, when a person is queer, they can like it love anyone. The Q also can stand for questioning. For a lot of people, there is a time when they start to question and explore who they think are nice and that they might want to get to know better and maybe love. 
This community is in the news a lot lately. It makes me sad, and I know it would make you sad too. One thing that makes me sad is that people don’t treat people very nicely. I think you’d be super proud to help me with this next thing. I know how much loving people means to you. You would want to help me love people well. ALL people. 
See, you know we go to church. I have figured something out, sweetheart. Not our church, but so many different churches aren’t doing very well in how they love people. I know, you probably can’t understand that! It’s crazy! Cause, God wants us to love every single person – even if they look different, or live different, or if they marry differently. But so many people don’t love people like that. They only love the people they understand. It makes me sad about this LGBTQ+ community because they are very special too. The Bible does talk about homosexuality (that is when two people who are either both boys or both girls love each other and want to be a family) and says in some places that it’s wrong. A lot of churches even tell them that they can’t be a Christian because of the way that they love people. 
I’m going to tell you this. I don’t really believe that’s true. I know there are a lot of people who may not like that I say that. And they may not believe it. Some may even get mad. But, I think they can come to Jesus and all Him (like you did) to come into their heart and be a part of their life. What happens after that is between that person and God. I’m not God. (I know! That’s funny for me to say!) But, I’m not Him and I can’t really tell you how He will act or react. But what I do think is that He will love them very well. You know how I feel about God, and when people want to know Him more. He welcomes people right where they are. That is what I think. 
I want to help people, all people, even in the church to love all people well — not just the people that they agree with. See, I’ve told you this so many times. As people who love Jesus, (we call them Christians or Christ followers) we are asked (by God Himself) to be like the hands and feet of Jesus. Kind of like if Jesus was here, we should act how He acted. Even to people we don’t think deserve love. When Jesus was alive as a person on the earth, He would be deleted with so many people. He loved people well. He would even hang out with really sick people, people who would break the law, and even really mean people. Just like I told you a lot, Christians need to act like Jesus because sometimes we’ll be the only Jesus they might ever see. We need to act like him, and treat people like He would. It makes me so happy when people really do that. 
So, I just think everyone, even and especially Christ followers, need to be known by how we love people, not by all the things don’t like. It’s all about the love, and I hope so many more people can start to #RememberTheLove. With ALL people. 
Janet, I love you more than The World – to the moon and back. Your Daddy, James and Jeremy also miss you so much. We all do. People we’ve never even met love and miss you! Oh, and I was looking at some special notes that your friends from school wrote to you when you were here, and even some notes from every single kid in the first grade work you. That miss you so much too! Evie. I know how much you loved her. I do too. Her whole family is just amazing. Every time I see Evie, I get a great big squeezy hug. She always tells me how much she loves you, and misses you. Do you know how happy that makes me? I’m so happy she likes to give me hugs. Oh, did you know, she cut off her pretty long hair so she could donate her hair to another little person like you were. I know why both of you got along so well. I hope that we can stay friends with her whole family, forever. Me and Jeremy got to go with her to get her hair cut. I will share pictures here after I make sure her mommy doesn’t care. 

You always knew how much you were loved though. So these special people like here in your page (who I love so so much too) also pray for our family all the time. I know I’d make it somehow, but you being in Heaven is even bearable because of all these friends and all the people who love us, and who pray for us. I know that makes you happy too!
I guess I will stop writing now. I want you to know how much I love you, and I always will. I miss you, baby – but I’m smiling now. I’m so happy that even though you were here with us on earth for only seven years, I’m so proud to be your mommy. You James and Jeremy make me so happy. I’m smiling right now because I remember so many really happy and special times. I love you! Forever!

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When The Storms Rage

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The storms outside seem to curiously match the storms raging in my heart.

When the temperature is steadily near 100°F and you look up at the skies – noting  clouds and sun everywhere, from the direction you’re departing — to gaze in wonder at the darkness you see ahead.

You wonder how so much beauty is about to collide with so much darkness.
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Back to the temperature watching. You note the temperature gauge on the dash of your car says 101°, and you wonder what the dark clouds ahead of you means. You get to your destination, and it is sunny and bright outside. As you complete your purchases,  you note the atmosphere seems to be at war. Instead of the bright and sunny calm, you now see the darkness pushing it’s way through. You watch the trees swaying in the choppy wind. As you prepare to walk out the door, the rain gets dumped on the sidewalk in front of you. You decide that you enjoy the rain, and walk to the car calmly. You remark that you’ve never experienced such large drops of warm rain.

You realize that what you are observing in the atmosphere and surrounding locality is almost a mirror image of the emotions and struggles you seem to have within the depths of yourself. You shudder as you question what the storm brings next.

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So back to the rainy mess and storms raging outside the car that you’re finally safely inside. You start the car, and take a peek at the temperature gauge again. You believe your car (or perhaps the sun)  is also depressed – as you watch the numbers steadily fall. With amazement, you are captured by the fact that, just moments ago, the gauge said 101°, and now reads 74°F.  Yes, the war in the atmosphere, and the warm, but cooling rain blanketed the area, and the temperature dropped in kind – 27°, to be exact.

The crazy, and somewhat violent, unsure weather conditions – though the storm short in its existence – ushered in a peaceful calm – unlike the unruly heat bearing down on us moments before. It was initially an uncomfortable coolness because we were so used to the blazing sun. Our rain-soaked clothing made the cool feel cooler. But, as we adjusted, we recognized the comfort in the unexpected, but new situation.

I am realizing the similarities in my life right now. As I was pondering these things, a dear friend asked how I was doing. My response shocked her – but of I’m being honest here, it also shocked me. I had the following to say:

I’m okay, I guess. I’m just struggling. My heart is shattered, my faith is crumbling, and my life seems to be falling apart – but hey, it’s all good!

So, there you have it. My life – in pretty much all areas – is swaying around like some stormy weather and swirling in some choppy winds. I can only hope and pray to see a similar calm that followed this storm.

My life is so uncertain right now – with health concerns, spiritual concerns, sexuality concerns, marriage concerns, sexual and physical traumatic concerns, and the list goes on – these are simply some of the most pressing. Not all are with me personally – but closely related or surrounding my family.

With this upcoming week will come potential challenges that, honestly, I cannot even comprehend. What does all this mean? Nothing I can share yet. Mostly because I don’t know. As time and circumstances change, I’ll unpack the feelings and emotions that come along with the changing weather.

These changes will perhaps usher in a new season of life – a season with protected and safely calm winds swaying all around. The troubling parts may remain, but the hope is in my ability to successfully navigate the brewing storms with transparency and authenticity. You see, I aim to represent life with reality, not with rose colored glasses that say all is well with my soul. When life is troubling, and even seeming to spiral out of control – it us imperative to keep on fighting – to be real and allow the world to see that life isn’t always easy — but during those times, hope is the strongest force in the universe at times. If hope is lost, the will to live can just as easily fall to the wayside as well. That ultimately means that hope rests in our own hands. We must choose to always remember it still exists, even when it seems elusive.

My hope and prayer here is that other people can see strength in my story – even when I don’t feel it exists.
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365 Moments Of Gratitude – Thankful For A Love and Marriage Worth Fighting For, Especially Today

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Today is Valentine’s Day. There are so many things worth fighting for in life – love being paramount. Love is such a special thing – and celebrating it should take place year ’round — not just on this day. However, since today is a day in celebration of this, I wanted to talk about love a little bit.

I am truly blessed to know love. First and foremost – love from the creator of the Heavens and the Earth. To experience even a fraction of His love has enabled me to reach out and love others in a way I didn’t always even understand myself. It’s hard to reach out in love when you don’t fully grasp it yourself. God’s redeeming love is life-changing. His love has opened my eyes to see things in a different light. My marriage, for example. It isn’t perfect. (I’d like to meet the couple who says theirs is!) However, it is something worth fighting for.

Learning to reach out in love, and to see things through eyes not just my own – priceless! I think that is key – allowing yourself to look through someone else’s eyes. When you do not agree or even understand another person’s point of view, do you even attempt to see both sides of the coin? Do you want to know how or why they feel how they do? I have seen interesting things happen when I take the time – and I really mean make a concerted effort – to care enough to see both sides of the conversation. It makes a difference.

I’m thankful to God for helping me reach out in love – today and always.

365 Moments Of Gratitude – Thankful For A Legacy Of Love

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Today would have been their 68th wedding anniversary. My Grandmother and Granddaddy shared something beautiful together – LOVE. These two were such a beautiful example of love and family. My Granddaddy passed away eight months ago, and I miss him so very much. To live an entire lifetime in love with another human being – priceless! I thank God for giving me such wonderful examples of standing beside the love of your life – through the thick and thin. I know their life wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it.

I am beyond grateful for the legacy of love that my Granddaddy, together with my Grandmother, has left us as an example.

**For those of you who pray, I’d like to ask you to pray for my Grandmother always, but today especially – as she is missing the love of her life on this special day. I know he was everything to her.**

Marriage Is Worth Fighting For, Part 4: Prayer For The Standing Husband

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Marriage is something I find myself passionate about. Being united in such a strong bond of faith and love is one of God’s many gifts to humanity. He created marriage to be a lasting, lifelong experience together – not as something to escape from when times get rough.

I do want to mention something I have said before in this marriage series. If you are divorced, or going through a divorce, I do not judge. Instead, I love. Divorce is something that sometimes happens, and is unavoidable in certain circumstances. I understand that. I do not look down on you for any decisions you have made, are going through, or have gone through in the past. Our experiences in life can either break us down, or strengthen us. I pray for your strength in the midst of this, or any other trial you may face.

Men, thank you for taking the time to read this. If you serve and have a faith in a God larger than life, I urge you to continue doing all you know to do – serve the Lord, and lead your family in His ways. If you find that your spouse is not on the same page of music you are with regards to faith, I pray you will not give up. God’s got this. I urge you to continue seeking the face and heart of God. He is faithful, 100% of the time. Even though His timing is not always our timing, it is perfect.

If you would like to share your story, or ask for prayer – please feel free to post in comments below or send me a message via my “contact me” page. I’ll look forward to connecting.

Very similar to yesterday’s prayer for the standing wife, I’d like to share the prayer for the standing husband:

Prayers For Standing Husbands

Dear Lord, You know my heart is broken, that I have a troubled spirit, and a longing for Your comfort and the answers I seek during this time of despair. So I thank You for Your Word assuring me that from the very beginning You created my marriage as a one flesh covenant relationship, saying that what You joined together, no one should separate, and that You hate divorce. And thank You for Your promise to heal my broken heart, and bind up my wounds, that You will comfort me as I mourn, and that You will bestow on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Thank You, Lord, that instead of shame or disgrace, I will rejoice in my inheritance, that I will inherit a double portion in my life, and that everlasting joy will be mine, as You restore my marriage, which Satan came to destroy. I thank You that in accordance with Your Word, I can approach Your throne of grace with confidence, and receive mercy and grace to help me in my time of need.

Thank You for Your promise that all things are possible with You Lord Jesus, and that You, and You alone, will give me peace that transcends all understanding. Thank You for the assurance that no wisdom, no insight and no plan can succeed against You. And thank You for having ________’s heart in Your hand, and for directing her heart like a watercourse wherever You please. Thank You for assuring me that she can not plan or understand her own way, because You are the one who determines and directs her steps.

Please teach me how to express my faith in love, because Your Word tells us that unfailing love is what everyone desires. And I ask You, Lord, to work in me to will and act according to Your good purpose, to make me the husband You want me to be. I believe You and I am Your disciple. I want to understand and live according to Your teachings, because then I will know the truth and the truth will set me free. Thank You for Your Word, because it is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. You are my refuge and my shield, so I put my hope in Your Word.

Since faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, please show me how to live by faith and not shrink back so You will be pleased with me, because I know it’s impossible to please You without faith. And thank You for Your promise that whatever I ask for in prayer, and believe, I will receive. Please teach me to walk by faith and not by sight, because Jesus said that according to my faith it would be done to me. So, Lord, I ask You to please give me the faith and patience necessary to inherit what You have promised.

Father, always remind me that I’m not to live by the standards of this world. And even though I live in the world, I can’t wage war as the world does. The weapons You give me to fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. They are mighty weapons that demolish the arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of You, my God, and the covenant of my marriage, so please help me take captive every thought and make it obedient to You, Christ Jesus. I will not be afraid, for You are with me. I will not be dismayed, for You are my God. Thank You for strengthening me. Thank You for helping me. Thank You for upholding me and the covenant of my marriage with Your righteous right hand. Thank You for making anyone who is incensed against me and the sanctity of my marriage as nothing; that they will be ashamed and disgraced. Thank You that anyone who contends with me or wars with me and comes to destroy or put asunder my marriage, is as nothing, as a nonexistent thing, for You, the Lord my God, hold my right hand, telling me to “Fear not, I will help You.”

Teach me to ALWAYS rest in the confidence I have in You, because Your Word tells me that it will be richly rewarded. Help me persevere so that when I have done Your will, I will receive what You have promised. And help me keep Your commandments and do the things that are pleasing in Your sight, so I’ll receive whatever I ask from You, including the restoration of my marriage.

I boldly ask for faith enabling me to speak to mountains and make them move, and the confidence and assurance that nothing is impossible for me. Thank You, Lord, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and That with You, nothing is impossible, including living my life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, even during this time of trouble, which You promise to turn into a gateway of hope. And thank You that Your Spirit intercedes for me, Your saint, in accordance with Your will, and that You are working all things together for my good, because I love You, and am called according to Your purpose. I thank You and praise You, Lord, that Your thoughts and plans for me and my family are thoughts and plans for our welfare and peace and not for evil, that give me hope in our final outcome. And I thank You, Lord, that I can be still and know that You are God and that You will be exalted in all the earth, and in heaven, and in the restoration of my marriage.

And thank You for the comfort of knowing that even though my wife may have other plans in her heart, from You comes the reply of the tongue, and that the Words that come out of Your mouth do not return to You empty; that they will accomplish what You desire and the purpose for which You sent them! And thank You for the assurance that You honor and uphold the covenant of our marriage that was made when You witnessed our marriage vows, and that YOU will defend it against the treachery of unfaithfulness, divorce and remarriage.

For all this I ask and give thanks in the most precious and powerful name and authority of Jesus Christ, my Lord and savior. Amen.

Marriage is Worth Fighting For – Part 3: Prayer For The Standing Wife

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Sometimes, the most heartbreaking thing in a relationship (especially a marriage) is when one partner has put their trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior while the other spouse has not made the same choice. Today, I will focus on when a woman enjoys salvation, but her husband does not. (Men, not to worry – you will not be left out — tomorrow will be about men standing in faith for their family while their wife does not share the same faith.) When a woman focuses her eyes on Jesus to lead and guide her and her entire family, it becomes extremely difficult if she and her husband are not in agreement. Often, it will be determined that they cannot agree on many things – how to raise children, what television or movies to watch, what internet sites are okay or not, if pornography (in any form) is okay, etc. If a woman believes in the Word of God, and follows after His heart, she will likely see things very differently from the views of her husband. This can be detrimental.

If you are, or anyone you know is in this situation, please do not give up hope. As hard as it may seem at times, I would encourage you to love your husband. No matter what the situation, show him love. Does he always deserve it? No, absolutely not. Do we deserve to have our sins erased as far as the east is from the west? No, absolutely not. The issue here is – a marriage is a union of two people, and should be grounded in and based on love. If he is not doing his part in this equation, it can be difficult – but does not make it any less necessary for you to do the right thing. Believe me – I know it isn’t always going to be easy, but it IS always going to be worth it.

A good friend of mine shared a website with me recently. It’s about faith and marriage restoration. As I was browsing the many amazing resources available, I came across the following prayer. It is a prayer for the wife who is standing in the gap for her husbands salvation. Women, if this is you – or if you can relate in any way, take the words of this prayer and make it your own. Take the words, pray over them…then do it again every time it is on your heart.

Men, tomorrow you will find a prayer for the standing husband.

If this is you, I encourage you to reach out. Talk to someone. Talk to your pastor. Talk to a counselor. Talk to a trusted friend. Essentially, talk to someone – and know, you are not alone. You can feel free to post in comments below or contact me via my “contact me” link. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Prayer for the Standing Wife

Dear Lord, You know my heart is broken, that I have a troubled spirit, and a longing for Your comfort and the answers I seek during this time of despair. So I thank You for Your Word assuring me that from the very beginning You created my marriage as a one flesh covenant relationship, saying that what You joined together, no man or woman should separate, and that You hate divorce. And thank You for Your promise to heal my broken heart, and bind up my wounds, that You will comfort me as I mourn, and that You will bestow on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Thank You, Lord, that instead of shame or disgrace, I will rejoice in my inheritance, that I will inherit a double portion in my life, and that everlasting joy will be mine, as You restore my marriage, which Satan came to destroy. I thank You that in accordance with Your Word, I can approach Your throne of grace with confidence, and receive mercy and grace to help me in my time of need.

Thank You for Your promise that all things are possible with You Lord Jesus, and that You, and You alone, will give me peace that transcends all understanding. Thank You for the assurance that no wisdom, no insight and no plan can succeed against You. And thank You for having ________’s heart in Your hand, and for directing his heart like a watercourse wherever You please. Thank You for assuring me that he can not plan or understand his own way, because You are the one who determines and directs his steps.
Please teach me how to express my faith in love, because Your Word tells us that unfailing love is what every man desires. And I ask You, Lord, to work in me to will and act according to Your good purpose, to make me the wife You want me to be. I believe You and I am Your disciple. I want to understand and live according to Your teachings, because then I will know the truth and the truth will set me free. Thank You for Your Word, because it is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. You are my refuge and my shield, so I put my hope in Your Word.

Since faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, please show me how to live by faith and not shrink back so You will be pleased with me, because I know it’s impossible to please You without faith. And thank You for Your promise that whatever I ask for in prayer, and believe, I will receive. Please teach me to walk by faith and not by sight, because Jesus said that according to my faith it would be done to me. So, Lord, I ask You to please give me the faith and patience necessary to inherit what You have promised.

Father, always remind me that I’m not to live by the standards of this world. And even though I live in the world, I can’t wage war as the world does. The weapons You give me to fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. They are mighty weapons that demolish the arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of You, my God, and the covenant of my marriage, so please help me take captive every thought and make it obedient to You, Christ Jesus. I will not be afraid, for You are with me. I will not be dismayed, for You are my God. Thank You for strengthening me. Thank You for helping me. Thank You for upholding me and the covenant of my marriage with Your righteous right hand. Thank You for making anyone who is incensed against me and the sanctity of my marriage as nothing; that they will be ashamed and disgraced. Thank You that anyone who contends with me or wars with me and comes to destroy or put asunder my marriage, is as nothing, as a nonexistent thing, for You, the Lord my God, hold my right hand, telling me to “Fear not, I will help you.”

Teach me to ALWAYS rest in the confidence I have in You, because Your Word tells me that it will be richly rewarded. Help me persevere so that when I have done Your will, God, I will receive what You have promised. And help me keep Your commandments and do the things that are pleasing in Your sight, so I’ll receive whatever I ask from You, including the restoration of my marriage.

I boldly ask for faith enabling me to speak to mountains and make them move, and the confidence and assurance that nothing is impossible for me. Thank You, Lord, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and That with You, nothing is impossible, including living my life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, even during this time of trouble, which Your Word promises me You will turn into a gateway of hope. And thank You that Your Spirit intercedes for me, Your saint, in accordance with Your will, and that You are working all things together for my good, because I love You, and am called according to Your purpose. I thank You and praise You, Lord, that Your thoughts and plans for me and my family are thoughts and plans for our welfare and peace and not for evil, that give me hope in our final outcome. And I thank You, Lord, that I can be still and know that You are God and that You will be exalted in all the earth, and in heaven, and in the restoration of my marriage.

And thank You for the comfort of knowing that even though my husband may have other plans in his heart, from You comes the reply of the tongue, and that the Words that come out of Your mouth do not return to You empty; that they will accomplish what You desire and the purpose for which You sent them! And thank You for the assurance that You honor and uphold the covenant of our marriage that was made when You witnessed our marriage vows, and that YOU will defend it against the treachery of unfaithfulness, divorce and remarriage.

For all this I ask and give thanks in the most precious and powerful name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen

Marriage Is Worth Fighting For, Part 2

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Marriage is not guaranteed to be easy. I am a living breathing testimony of this. What marriage is, however, is a union (built on love) of a man and a woman who [should] enter with the acknowledgement that they are binding two lives together as one, for better or worse, until death do they part. The truth of the matter is that we, as human beings, have a habit of allowing life to take over, and not always prioritizing the things in life that matter the most. We allow ourselves to become busy, distracted, and at times overwhelmed. In any relationship, but especially a marriage, this can be detrimental.

Another challenge in a marriage (and the primary topic of today’s post) is when a couple does not share the same faith. Maybe I should have said the same level of faith. I’m not talking when one spouse is Baptist, and the other Methodist. I’m more talking about when one spouse has faith, and puts their trust in God – and relies on His guidance for their life and their family — all the while the other spouse has not come to know the same faith in God. As you may imagine, this can put stress or strain on a relationship. When one half of the equation does not equal the other half, confusion will occur. Things may be very clear to the believing spouse, and the non-believing spouse may just not get it. (Whatever the “it” is in the equation.) In such cases, frustration ensues.

If a person is not grounded in faith, it may be difficult for them to maintain the same morals and values their believing spouse has. What may be especially difficult in the relationship if both go into the marriage as being non-actively believing and then one spouse comes to know Jesus. The one non-believing spouse may now feel alienated, wondering why things have to change. They may liken a new faith in Christ to a negative connotation because it is something they do not understand.

As is with anything unsure or not understood, they may even resort to abusive behavior – physical or mental. This is not okay, and should not be tolerated. If you are ever, or know anyone in this situation, please seek help. At a bare minimum, seek marriage counseling, and if warranted, seek emergency services. Your physical health and your life are more important. Even in the midst of these extreme situations, God is capable of bringing healing and restoration. God’s healing hand reaches out, and can touch even the hardest of hearts.

The entire thought process I’m trying to explain in further detail is that it’s imperative that two people in any relationship, especially a marriage be on the same page. Two lives form as one. If on different wavelengths, things will not work well. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus, and Jesus at the center of your relationship.

If you are in a marriage where your spouse does not share the same (or any) faith as you, not all hope is lost. Again, for the sake of this blog post, I will continue with part 3 soon.

Know this, friends – if you are reading this and can identify with any part of it, you have my prayers and encouragement. Do not hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment or my “contact me” page. I will be happy to listen, talk and pray with you. This is not something you need or have to walk through alone. Be blessed, and know that hope is real…and it is for you!