“At 56 you have lots of stories, but this one is definitely a favorite. This is a story about how God moved in my life and in my marriage, before I even spoke a word. I had accepted Christ when I was twelve, but I had no one in my life to feed and nourish that walk with me. I got married. My husband and I grew up in different churches, so we kind of bounced back and forth to each church. About 2 years into our marriage, it exploded. I had screwed up my marriage. Growing up, we raised ourselves. My dad passed away of a heart attack when I was just 4 months old, and my husband Chip’s mom passed from cancer when he was in middle school. Nothing was truly wrong with me except that I had an orphan spirit.I never knew how to identify with God as my Father because I had never had one. Growing up, we kind of just figured out what to do and how we should be raised, but we never truly identified with God as our Father.  The day that my orphan spirit met his orphan spirit is when everything changed. Doing life on our own was fine for a while, but after the first two years of marriage, this mentality really caused a lot of issues in our marriage. I wasn’t getting what I thought I needed at home and our marriage was suffering. By what the world says, we shouldn’t have made it– and they were right. However, the difference with our story is that God was in the midst of it. Not once in our struggle did we think about divorce. Not once in our marriage did we end things and rekindle later. We kept sacred places in our marriage, not because we loved each other an insane amount, but because we remembered the promise we made. Now, this decision to stay together had nothing to do with us and everything to do with allowing God to rest in our covenant. It was because of Him that we had the desire to do whatever it took to make this work.
This truth about God still remains today: God loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us as we are. Even when you’re not chasing after God, you can’t be too quick to forget that He’s chasing after you RELENTLESSLY.
My marriage was restored as we got plugged into church, as we read the word, as we prayed together. Chip and I fell madly in love through this process and we now are more like honeymooners. God became center of our lives and has remained there for many years.
Friends, I want to encourage you with this: you don’t have to have your perfect in order to come to know God, and that’s so true of my story. You may not have it all together, but with God you have it all. If you turn what you’re going through to God, He’ll turn everything around. Trust Him, lean on Him, and most of all, believe that He will stay true to His promises. Let Jesus’ love and grace take over, get plugged into your local church, spend time with God-given community, and your life will never be the same.”