“All that I had planned, dreamed and desired to have in a marriage had been stolen by endless doubt, harassing questions and ultimately Scott walking away from God. He had become my prodigal husband. We were now a house divided, not a home of unity…”
Words from a post I wrote a little over a year ago titled “My Prodigal Husband“.
Words that still rang true exactly one month ago today…
But MAY I SHOUT a little here at BraveGirl Community today?!! Because…
MY PRODIGAL HUSBAND HAS RETURNED HOME!!! He is REALLY HOME! Can I get an AMEN?!!!
So they began to CELEBRATE .-Luke 15:24
Friends – I would love for you to praise the Father for His goodness and His faithfulness for what HE has done! I am in awe of His relentless pursuit of my man.
God NEVER gave up on him.
And can I just say that if you are reading this and you are in the wait for your prodigal to return, you’re in the wait for that miracle, you’re in the wait for that answer to a long awaited prayer…We SERVE a GOD who is Faithful and who is ON TIME…even when we don’t understand. I wrote a post titled In The Wait as I longed for my husband to return. I hope it encourages you and reminds you of who our God is.
My “wait” has been a 10 year journey and I have experienced every kind of emotion and heartache imaginable. And I can tell you, with confidence, that I would not trade a single day. Because without each and every trial- I wouldn’t have grown or known Jesus like I do right now. The fruit I am experiencing in this moment is priceless. It’s a sweetness of the Father lavishly loving on His children…It’s a contagious laughter that had been stifled by the lack of joy in my home…It’s a feeling of UNITY where the enemy THOUGHT he divided and conquered…
JESUS is the way maker where there seems to be NO WAY.
Below is a video of my husband and I having the privilege to share a small part of our story.
I pray it will encourage you wherever you are and whatever you may be going through to remember the relentless pursuit of God and that our Hope is in Jesus ALONE. He WILL NOT stop pursuing the one…
DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.
Scott and Cheryl share a part of their journey. Click here to watch: https://vimeo.com/225758712
Your Sister In Christ,
Insecurity is an absolute Robber.
It steals joy.
It removes peace.
It dulls vision.
It stops dreams.
It creates fear.
It destroys relationships.
It hinders WHO YOU ARE in every way, shape and form.
Insecurity stops us in our tracks. We will sway to the left or to the right removing our focus on the straight path before us.
The first part of John 10:10 says,
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy”
BUT hear the good news…
Your God LOVES you.
You are ENOUGH.
You are WORTHY.
You are CHOSEN.
You are HAND PICKED by your God.
He is molding YOU, shaping YOU and forming YOU into his likeness.
Insecurity causes a false belief of who you are. Throw it off and RUN with Jesus! You were made to be secure in Christ and Christ ALONE.
When that revelation penetrates your heart and you know his truth, you can be SECURE. CONFIDENT. FEARLESS. ALL…for Jesus!
March 8, 2007-
A time when the world seemed to stand still in disbelief that she was gone.
It was 10 years ago today that my sweet momma went to meet her Creator, the lover of her soul, her precious Jesus (as she would call him). In one month of time, my mom went from what we knew to be a healthy 62 year old, to a victim of stroke and to find cancer in various parts of her body. I was pregnant with my second daughter at the time, with just about 3 weeks out from delivery. Only one month…one month…and she was gone. Today I don’t share with you my grief or my sorrow, but the unexpected joy that I recall from the loss, the life and the love I have encountered in these past 10 years.
I lived 5 hours away from my mom and I was pregnant, sick and very much waddling around at this point of pregnancy. But I was determined to go and be by her side. I remember walking into that hospital room, locking eyes with her eyes, only to have to remove myself before the flood of emotion and fear overtook me. She was not able to speak due to the stroke, but she had eyes and a touch of her hand that spoke volumes even in the silence. I collected myself together and went back in to spend time holding her hand…No words exchanged…and really none needed in that moment.
The hospital flooded with friends and family coming to visit and pray over my mom. We gathered to lay hands on her believing in the miraculous work of God and healing over her body. My dear sweet friends from five hours away drove to see her only to bring some laughter to the stale hospital room. RyRy, as we call him, grabbed a hospital rubber glove only to blow it up and make obscene funny noises that brought a half smile to my momma’s face. It may have seemed inappropriate at the time…but man did we need some laughter for our souls!
Nurses would comment how precious or kind my mom was-though she couldn’t say a word. They would come to change an IV, give a dosage of medicine or make her bed comfortable, and somehow, just the touch of her hand on their face brought them to tears. All I can say is they experienced the love and kindness of Jesus through my mom. Her actions spoke louder than words in those moments. She loved to laugh. She loved people. People loved her. One of my favorite memories of that month was my husband staying the night at the hospital with her. Like I said, I was pretty big and prego and the hospital chair wasn’t going to work for me. So my man said he would graciously stay in my place because I so longed to stay with her. Again, no words were exchanged. But I remember him saying, “I did what I know she would love…I read to her from her Bible.”
I will never forget gathering with my siblings in the stairwell of the hospital to discuss my mom’s current status-and at that moment realizing things were most likely not going to get better-but we were still believing God for big things. I am the youngest of five siblings -and I am sure they would all agree -my mom spoiled me rotten. But hey, I was the baby…so of course I was! So even though my mom was in the state she was in, I selfishly wanted her to immediately get better so we could get back to “normal” life. I would stand next to her hospital bed and she would lay her hand on my belly. I would remind her that she needed to get better to help me finish all the things she was sewing for my nursery -things she had just been helping me decorate a few weeks prior. I would remind her that I needed her to stay so that she could meet sweet Payton. I reminded her that I NEEDED her…and so did this grand baby. I knew things weren’t going to change, but I wanted it so bad. Time seemed to last forever that month and yet it seemed so incredibly short all at the same time. She soon stepped from this fallen world, releasing all pain and suffering and walked into the light of Eternity.
One month from her departure from this earth-we welcomed our second Beautiful baby girl-Payton. And can I just tell ya-weeping may last for the night, but JOY comes in the morning. And that is what this baby represented…JOY in the midst of sorrow and grief. A tangible expression of the goodness of God wrapped in this incredible and beautiful 7lb baby girl. When I think about God’s timing of it all, how I wanted to be angry that my mom would never meet her this side of heaven, I couldn’t help but be so overcome with Joy. There was significant timing for her birth-for many reasons-but for such a time as this. It was one of the greatest distractions that kept a blanket of peace and joy in the midst of heartache. I remember feeling that the presence of my mom was in the hospital room as Payton made her way into the world. This baby girl is now about to turn ten in a few weeks and boy is she the spitting image of yours truly. My mom would defintely say I am paying for my raisin’-but Oh she would be so in love with this girl. A girl full of life and love for others…A girl who is as messy and scattered brained as her momma….A girl who jumped up on my bed at the age of five insisting that she wanted Jesus in her heart.(She had been asking at that point for almost a year). A girl, who I know, God has BIG plans for -she’s confident, she’s a warrior and she desires to see people healed everywhere. Her Gigi, my mom, would be so incredibly proud. And can I just tell you, the story only gets more beautiful from here…
Momma Sharon (or that is what we have come to know her as) a woman who is a tangible gift from the Father to my family. A woman who came into my life only a few years ago only to bring an unexpected Joy. (Do you see the theme here?) You see, the day I met Sharon was at VBS through our church. And within moments of meeting, I will never forget my words to her, “I know this may sound weird, but you look just like my mom.” I proceeded to stare and then asked her to take a selfie that I quickly sent to my siblings! I couldn’t believe the resemblance. Sharon and I formed a pretty quick relationship which turned into a bond that I can’t describe. Her mannerisms, her handwriting, the way she gets on to me like my mom and even deals with my dramatic self-it’s really quite unreal.
But the thing I am drawn most to about Sharon, that is most like my mom, is her absolute Love and honor for the Lord…She loves Jesus with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind, and all her strength. She pours truth into my life, into my husband, and into my children like only a momma can. She goes to battle in prayer on our behalf only like a momma can. She encourages, listens and soothes a wounded soul, only like a momma can. I am constantly in awe of the goodness of God through my relationship with Sharon. She will never replace my sweet mom but when I look at my 10 year old daughter and I say “Do you want to know what your Gigi was like-look at momma Sharon.” She gets to see a glimpse of what it would be like. The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways. His ways are higher, His ways are better and His love exceeds them all.
So in the midst of loss, new life and love, I find an unexpected Joy in all three of these stories. Stories and lives that are weaved together through the Father’s hand and His good plan. Today I celebrate the legacy of Colette, my sweet momma, a woman who taught me to love Jesus with all that I have… A woman who I know can’t wait to greet you and me as we make our way into Eternity. (I use to tease my mom that she should have been a Wal-mart greeter-I am pretty sure thats her job in heaven). Someday, she will meet this beautiful daughter of mine and I’m sure share stories of what a rebellious child I was and how much she reminds her of me. And she will meet momma Sharon, maybe share a coffee and thank her for loving her girls on earth.
Jesus-I am overwhelmed by the unexpected. Thank you.
There is a phrase in the “Christian verbiage” that I have seen and read many times. A phrase that I myself have even quoted. A phrase that is not a negative term at all. But a phrase that has left me at times wondering what does that even mean? That phrase is “I’m chasing hard after Jesus.”
Now, I understand that some people say this phrase in reference to pursuing and going after the things of God. But for me, sometimes it can feel exhausting, leaving me on a continuous cycle of never being close enough to Jesus. A feeling that I have to “chase” him down in order to find Him…chase Him down to fellowship with Him…chase Him down to know and experience His presence. This phrase has made me feel so distant from my Jesus and honestly…I don’t like it. But let me clarify, I don’t particularly like it because of where I have been in this season with God.
Just a few days ago, I was home trying to have some much needed quiet time. I am a mom of three kiddos, my youngest being a boy who is, lets just say-HIGH ENERGY. Bless him. So quiet time is particularly heavenly and precious to me. I am sure some of you mommas can relate. This particular day they just happen to all be at school. I had high hopes of spending some amazing time in the word and quality time with Jesus.
I have found myself in a very spiritually dry season. There are days that it feels like Jesus is a million miles away. It seems like no matter what I do, no matter what kind of quiet time I have, no matter how much I worship…that I’m not “chasing hard enough after Jesus.” And there it is again…that phrase. I sat on my living room floor trying to get “into” my quiet time. I read my same devotional. I listened to the same worship songs that seem to usher me into His presence. I recited scripture in my head that I absolutely know to be true. And all of a sudden…I lost it. I shut off my music, closed my bible and told the Lord “I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to TRY to make something happen. I don’t want to TRY and manifest something about who you are…I just want You. Please-I just want You.”
I KNOW that the Lord is honored when we pursue Him. He desires us to dig into His word, studying and allowing the word to wash over us-bringing life, healing and a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and who we are in Him. I KNOW that in Psalms it says, “Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!” I KNOW that we are to go into the secret place with the Father and commune with Him. I KNOW these things are important…but it felt empty. My worship felt hollow. Getting into the word felt like routine. And that great devotional-it just wasn’t doing it for me. It felt like Jesus was not within my reach. I was “chasing hard after Jesus”-or so I thought…I had chased until I just couldn’t chase anymore.
What I realized in that moment is that I had forgotten one of the most important factors about being a daughter of the King- I am FOUND in Him. You see, if you and I are on a constant chase…that means no one has been found. And while we are absolutely supposed to chase hard after Jesus in the pursuit to be transformed more and more into His image, we first REST knowing that we are FOUND. I was trying to follow all my same routines to get Jesus to meet with me. I felt exhausted, tired, frustrated and honestly ashamed. Has it worked in the past in how I have done my quiet time? You bet. Have I experienced the Presence of Jesus in a very real way when worshipping Him through those songs? Sure I have. Has spending time in the word refreshed my spirit and at times jumped off the page and into my heart? Oh YES! But sometimes… I think it’s ok to abandon it all for a moment. To stop and simply tell Jesus -“I simply want You. Help me.” Again, I am not saying we skip all those important aspects of growing in Jesus for a lengthy period of time because you can’t know Jesus without knowing His word, worshipping Him, seeking Him and loving Him. But I believe Jesus wants a fully surrendered heart to Him, a heart that says I want to know you deeper…I long to be in your presence, more than I want to check off my daily Christian duties.
I sat on my floor and I cried. I told the Lord I didn’t want to chase Him anymore. I didn’t want to strive to try and know Him more. I simply want to be with Jesus.
I immediately thought of Psalm 139:7
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
And right there in the middle of my living room, tears flowing down my face, I once again remembered…I don’t have to chase Him down or strive to be close to my Creator. He is right there with me, whether I feel it or not. I cannot EVER be away from His spirit. I don’t have to do enough, be enough, worship enough or study enough because ultimately I am FOUND in Him. While I know the importance of being enveloped in the word of God, soaking up the Joy of devotionals that speak volumes and singing the lyrics of powerful worships songs, I believe sometimes God would rather wreck our spiritual check-list, tell us to lay it aside and simply tell us, “Remember…you are FOUND in Me.”
There is a song by Jesus Culture called Your Love is Fierce. There is a particular part in the song that says:
You chase me down, You seek me out. How could I be lost when you have called me FOUND.
You see, thats how I envision this whole chase thing…JESUS is in pursuit of you and Me. JESUS chases us down, woos us to the Heart of God and declares that WE ARE FOUND and WE ARE HIS!
So I want to ask you today…where are you? Maybe like me, you find yourself chasing hard after Jesus, but on an empty tank of endless routine and obligation. But sweet sister-you can rest-because the chase is over…you have been Found.
Author Aliyah Lauren Jacobs of South Africa interviews BG Christy about what we’re doing at BraveGirl Community. Listen to the audio podcast by clicking the link below.
Special thanks to Aliyah for highlighting BraveGirl Community!
Aliyah Lauren Jacobs is passionate about story telling. She loves to challenge and breathe new love and life into the hearts of those listening as she shares the forgotten stories about the women in the Bible and on the peripheral of history. God has called her to tell these stories and encourage women to stand up and pursue their birthright in the King of Kings. Aliyah also teaches, preaches, is a woman abuse therapist, abuse researcher, gender equality advocate and performance poet. Learn more about Aliyah by visiting her website: http://laurenjacobs.co.za and her blog: http://setapartwarrior.blogspot.co.za.
It’s the end of Thanksgiving and I am traveling back from an incredible weekend of family fun, belly laughs and of course… endless amounts of ridiculous food that is sure to add on those awesome lbs (insert eye roll emoji). And as we are traveling home- I couldn’t help but reflect on something so sweet. So pure. It’s the joy that radiates from my four year old son who is currently in the back seat staring out the window with a huge smile.
We just passed through a tunnel on our travel home. My son laughed with anticipation as we approached the tunnel laughing all the way through to the end. To him, its almost as exciting as if we had taken him to Disney world, accept this thrill only last about 45 seconds. Lol! And It happens every time we go through that tunnel… it’s pure joy.
I am currently on a face book fast, putting social media aside to focus on my loved ones.
I have only been on this break since right before thanksgiving. I am seeing things I haven’t seen in a while. I am watching, gazing, taking in and enjoying the moment. And my son, well, he has something special. A contagious laugh and a smile that simply leaves me undone at times.
You see, my four year old hasn’t yet had to deal with the harsh parts of life like you and I. He hasn’t dealt with things like rejection. He hasn’t yet been wounded in the deep places of his heart. He hasn’t struggled with hard issues, broken relationships or fears that will rob him blind. He hasn’t had Joy stolen by the loss or betrayal of a loved one. He hasn’t dealt with not feeling good “enough” or the unending insecurities of how he looks. He views life through the lens of innocence, loving EVERYTHING from a new 99 cent hot wheels car to embracing EVERYONE he meets with a big hug (and yes- this includes strangers!)
He simply is full of Joy.
You and I can have that same kind of Joy, you know? Because REAL Joy is not measured by our circumstances, by our people, by our worldly value or worth.
It is measured by Jesus.
The authentic, one of a kind, never ending Joy giver. He is our Joy!
Joy was born in the person of Jesus Christ.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11.
Joy is such an incredible gift to those who belong to Him and the power to choose joy comes from the Holy Spirit. God’s word clearly shows us that joy is an action choice we make because we follow Jesus Christ. The action can result in an incredible, tangible feeling – but they don’t always follow each other.
I believe that you and I can miss out on that gift because we are overloaded with our circumstances, weighed down by our troubles and we are striving to just survive. We don’t stop, listen, look, taste and touch the joy that may be right in front of us…Kind of like me observing my son. We essentially throw away a treasured gift (a free gift might I add) aside while we sit in our misery when Joy can be found right in front of us. Right in the presence of Jesus.
I want to encourage you to turn up some worship music, make a list of thankfulness and praise or dance if you want to! Come into the presence of God and experience His gift of Joy that is waiting to be unwrapped by you. Take a moment to Stop. Listen. Look. Taste.Touch.
Feast on the fullness of Joy that Jesus longs to give you.
If you’re struggling to do that, then I ask…
What might you need to remove or set aside to experience this kind of Joy? What is stopping you from pursuing Him and living in His presence?
Last weekend, my family and I attended an event full of loud music, excitement and intense cheering. My three (almost four) year old was so excited, clapping and cheering as he gazed at all the incredible scenes going on around him, dancing, singing, cheering, shouting, and music that was so loud you could feel the beat shaking the floor beneath you. He LOVED the atmosphere, the intensity, the fun …and then…as if someone snapped a finger hypnotizing him…he crashed. He fell fast asleep, drool and all, as the event continued on in its’ excitement and decibels.
He was sitting in my husband’s lap when he faded into dream land, and praise God that he was, because he’s a BIG boy. My arms could never have sustained my son’s weight when he’s in his deepest sleep. It’s like holding massive amounts of concrete. NO joke!
But here is the beauty of what I want to share with you about that sweet moment. When the event was over, my husband gently got up trying not to wake him from his sleep. As I watched him carry my son from the auditorium all the way out to our car…I instantly saw a glimpse of our Father. The. Father.
The Father who carries us when we are weak and burdened.
The Father who carries us when we are so overwhelmed and cannot take another step.
The Father who carries us when we are beyond fearful of what’s ahead.
The Father who carried the sins of the world so that you and I can be forgiven…Eternally.
He’s a Good Good Father.
It’s His nature, the very being of who He is.
My son didn’t have a care in the world. He was enjoying deep sleep because he was SECURE in the arms of his daddy. As hard and long as the walk was for my husband, he was determined to carry his son ALL the way. What a beautiful picture of how Jesus looks at His children and says,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
He longs to be good to you and carry ALL your burdens ALL the way…if only you will let him. He doesn’t care about the heaviness, the hurt, the uncomfortable or how long it takes. He is a GOOD Father who longs to embrace His son or daughter simply because He LOVES you.
He is a Good Good Father…a good daddy…there is no one else like Him. Let him pick you up today, take your burdens and carry you through…All the way. He is waiting to do just that. What burdens are you facing today? Will you let Him carry them…and you?
This past week, I sat down with a dear friend who set me straight. She is a friend who speaks truth even when it’s hard. An iron sharpens iron kind of friend. We all need one (or two) like this. It’s good for our souls…whether we like it or not.
Lately, I have been running high on emotions and strong opinions have been flying out of my mouth and I didn’t even realize it.
My dear friend listened as I talked to her about “my opinions” and the realization that my heart was in a mess. She gracefully listened and when I was done she said, “You need to stay in your own lane.”
And there it was. Bam! (And ouch)
“STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE?”
Everything inside of me wanted to defend myself and not take full ownership of my pride, my control…my sin.
I genuinely do love people, especially those I am close with and I desire God’s absolute best for them and their lives. I don’t want them to stumble and fall. I don’t want destruction and sin to overtake their lives. I don’t want to see them go down a path that God never intended.
It’s NOT MY LANE
I AM NOT GOD.
Ladies – I know I am not alone here. And sometimes it comes out in very ugly ways. How many of us are covered in frustration because we believe we know what’s “best” for everyone else around us? In fact, we know better than they do about their own lives, right??!
I have been trying to run someone else’s race that God never intended me to run. When I jump lanes, I am left burdened, weighted and upset because it’s not going the way “I” think it should.
My own personal life lesson today…We are fooling ourselves if we believe we know better than the Creator Himself. And chances are, there is a deeper issue going on within us that is causing us to jump lanes in the first place.
I realized that at the root of my frustration is control, pride, and a lack of trust that God will take care of them…even if they mess up. He has taken care of me plenty of times when I have messed up. In fact, He’s doing it right now as I write this post.
We were created to run our race with EVERY stumble. EVERY fall. EVERY bad decision…so that we can get back up, chasing hard after Jesus again…and again…and AGAIN. This was one of those stumbling moments for me. I’m getting back up though…and I’m looking ahead towards Him.
Let’s love those around us when they stumble. Encourage them and run beside them. Pray for them. Speak the truth in LOVE when it needs to be spoken allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. Maybe they will receive it, maybe they won’t. Ultimately it’s NOT up to you or me. Release them into our Father’s hands and LET IT GO.
So…will you come along side me? Lets stay in our lanes, love like Jesus, and FINISH WELL.
Then when we finish our race, we will hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
You hear the whispers over and over…
YOU. ARE. NOT. GOOD ENOUGH.
It’s a continual theme that rings through your thoughts like the tune of an annoying song on replay…It’s never ending and you can’t seem to make it stop.
Maybe that feeling of you are “not good enough” comes from past mistakes. Maybe it comes from a parent who treated you as though you were never enough. Maybe it comes from a particular statement made by a teacher, a friend, a close family member – a statement that you have believed to be truth ever since.
It doesn’t really matter where it comes from, what matters is that TODAY you recognize it for what it is….an ABSOLUTE LIE.
I lived in this cycle for years. I could not seem to move past this. I claimed it and received it as truth in my life. Plain and simple(in my mind)- I was NOT GOOD ENOUGH. It didn’t matter how many people would compliment me, encourage me or even affirm that I was, in fact, good enough. I had made a comfy little prison cell in my mind where I sat and replayed this lie over and over. This cell had become my home, my truth, my comfort. Even though it was false, there was security within those walls.
Then one day, I remember weeping in the midst of a bible study because God had wrecked my heart with a ramming revelation of His word. Those lies began to fade – it was a revelation to my soul! Satan had whispered long enough and it was time to clean house.
I tore down the ugly wallpaper renouncing the lies that I had believed for so long and replaced it with HIS TRUTH. If you have ever used wallpaper, then you know how hard it can be to remove! It’s the same with replacing your thoughts. REMOVE and REPLACE. We have to renew our minds with the word of God.
It is now a place of FREEDOM to linger in the beauty of God’s word…His truth about who I am because the captive has been SET FREE!
I am His…
And so are YOU.
Listen to me dear sister – the place where you struggle the most in not feeling good enough is a guaranteed place where God wants to use you most for HIS glory! The enemy absolutely knows that and he wants to cripple you and render you to be ineffective for the kingdom of God.
Know God’s truth and what he says about you! Take a good hard look at that pretty cell you are sitting in and realize that it’s NOT really that pretty at all…If you look close enough, you will see the cracks, the dirt, the imperfections and ugliness because it is covered in lies. There is NOWHERE in scripture that tells us that we are NOT good enough, it reveals the opposite.
You are GOOD ENOUGH because Jesus says you are.
HE. CHOSE. YOU.
You did not choose him(John 15:16). AND…He would choose you in your messed up, sinful, not feeling good enough, self again and again. It was and is HIS purpose to set the CAPTIVES FREE!
Leave that cell changed and renewed by the WORD of GOD and ONLY return as a reminder of the freedom that took place!
YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.
Jesus says you are.
Before I even begin this post, I want you to know that I have full permission from my beloved husband to share this with you today. Every word written in this post has been approved by my one and only…and I appreciate his willingness to allow me to be so transparent in the hope to bring encouragement to someone who needs to hear it. Love you babe!
Now onto my post…
It was a beautiful day in June, 2001, the day we said “I DO”. Every single detail I had planned for the last year had come to life! From the beautiful bushels of off white roses trimmed in pink to the blush colored bridesmaids’ dresses (9 to be exact!). The music was heavenly with the warmth of candles everywhere. The dress…well, it was off white satin and the top of the bodice draped in jewels…it was stunning. It only took me 500 hundred other dresses too pick the perfect one (I KNOW some of you can relate- lol!).
The intro to “Hear Comes the Bride” began to play. The doors flung open and I made my way down the long center aisle. All eyes were on me, especially from the guy at the end…he was my prize. There stood my prince, my best friend, the love of my life…the one God had perfectly planned for me.
Scott was my college sweetheart. He was handsome, charming, smart and he loved God. He was one of the reasons I had grown so much in my relationship with the Lord at that time. He had a love and a reverence for God that I had never seen in a male before-it was contagious. I wanted a husband like that…So, I snatched him up.
There we stood before our friends and family and our God declaring our love and our promise to each other. We even wrote our own vows filled with promise and truth of what was to come.
We had made a covenant that would not be broken…for better or worse, until death do us part. It was a marriage in pursuit of God being the absolute center. A marriage that would reflect Christ in every way…A marriage that would be built on Scott being the strong spiritual leader of our home, raising our future children to know Jesus…A marriage where we would run our race together. I knew that life may not always be perfect, but with God at the center, we were sure to succeed.
That day was a dream come true for me. Little did I know how my life would change and my vows would be tested…
Fast forward about 8 years and my life was turned upside down.
All that I had planned, dreamed and desired to have in a marriage had been stolen by endless doubt, harassing questions and ultimately Scott walking away from God. He had become my prodigal husband.
We were now a house divided, not a home of unity…
No more spiritual leader. No more praying together. No more God being the center of our marriage. No more leading small groups together. No more praying with our children before bed. No more dreams of running our race together.
The day Scott walked away, I grieved. I grieved as if he had died. I would have never imagined that our life would change so drastically. For months we struggled to make it work. The hurt, the grief, the sadness, the anger, the division, it was all too much. We were like two roommates living under one roof and we were on very different roads now. The more I went left, the more he went right. The more I grew closer to God, the more he went further away. We had always said divorce was NEVER an option, but suddenly that word was being tossed around like the words “I love you” use to be. Neither one of us were sure we would survive…
I have spent countless hours in prayer and on my knees over this prodigal husband of mine. I have learned what it means to go to battle. I have learned what it means to be a prayer warrior (a term I thought was for all those “super spiritual” people). I have learned grace, unconditional love and patience. But above all that, I have learned the faithfulness of my God. He’s been so good even in the midst of this hardship. I would not be who I am today without this trial. I can honestly say I am grateful for how God has used every piece to shape and mold me into who I am today. I have been in the deep dark of hopelessness, but I have also seen great light. I have seen God move, heal and restore my marriage in countless ways and I have full expectation to see more!
Fast forward another 8 years…and here we are. Things are not perfect and we are still a house divided, but we have learned and continue to learn grace and unconditional love. We will celebrate 15 years of marriage in just a few weeks, and looking back, I wasn’t even sure we would ever get here. We have experienced more valleys then I would like to admit over these last eight years, but there have been beautiful mountain tops too! We have three incredible kids, two of which have come to know Jesus- Amen! I am just praying for my three year old son to sit still long enough to even hear from God! Lol!
My husband is incredibly supportive of all that I do with women’s ministry, leading worship and letting me continue to pour Jesus into my children. For that I am forever grateful.
This post is for the woman who has a “prodigal husband” or maybe a husband who has never even known the Lord and you are in the midst of the fight…DO NOT GIVE UP.
DO NOT GIVE UP believing that your God is ABLE.
DO NOT GIVE UP praying for your husband who desperately needs your prayers.
DO NOT GIVE UP when you are weary and want to bail out.
DO NOT GIVE UP in seeing God do what ONLY he can do.
DO NOT GIVE UP when the battle is raging…. you have an enemy who is out for your husband, out for your marriage and out for your family.
DO NOT GIVE UP because he is WORTH it.
Had I given up years ago, I am not sure what my life would have looked like. But I know this for sure… I wouldn’t have had my beautiful son, who is now three years old. I daily get to see the incredible relationship between my son and his daddy. Scott absolutely adores him. And it is a beautiful picture and reminder of the Father’s love for His son…His prodigal son.
DO NOT GIVE UP.