Sunday, November 14, 2010

Testimony in Progress

It's hard to be a testimony in progress. It requires a lot of faith to share something you're struggling with and haven't yet found victory in. You have to have the faith to say "Even though I'm mired down in the middle of the bog, I'm believing that God knows the outcome of this situation and it's safe to give him the glory for it in advance." 

There was a time last spring where I was ungrateful, discontent and bitter. I was dissatisfied with my life and was closely examining every aspect of it, trying to figure out how I was going to fix it. I was praying for my marriage, but I was angry with God and my faith was lukewarm, so my prayers were almost a challenge. Sort of like "I don't think you can fix this, but you're welcome to try." I challenged Him while I was standing in the laundry room knee deep in dirt-encrusted blue jeans and stinky socks, and in that moment I heard God's still small voice speak very clearly. 

 He said "I am able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than you ask or imagine." Eph 3:20

He said "come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28

He said "you can do all things through Christ, for he gives you strength." Phil 4:13

He said "take captive every thought, and make it obedient to Christ." 2 Cor 10:5


Those words, and meeting with Godly women who allowed me to be transparent without judgement, is what set me free. 

This year I learned that my marriage is a gift, and when I treat it as anything less I become the bratty kid who tears open a present and then shrieks "This isn't what I wanted! You got it wrong; where's the receipt so I can return it?" 


Who am I to tell the God of the universe that He got anything wrong?

God's grace did a work in my heart, so now I am able to say, "This gift is absolutely perfect. I cherish it. I adore it. I will protect it, and never let it go." 


Last weekend some friends of ours blessed us with tickets to the Weekend to Remember marriage conference. We spent two days together, were blessed and encouraged, and came home to a spotless house courtesy of my mother. The conference really just confirmed in my heart the amazing work that God has done in me, and for me, in the last six months. 

The points that resonated the strongest for me were:
  • Marriage is not static. It is always moving, like water, and if couples are not intentionally moving toward oneness, their marriage will drift toward isolation. Some of the loneliest people in the world are married. 
  • Marriage is a living picture of the intimate relationship between Jesus Christ and His followers. No matter how bratty the bride, Jesus never threatens to with-hold his love or divorce her. I'm so very thankful for that!
  • You must receive your spouse as God's gift to you. Even the wrong choice in spouse can become the right choice as He brings all the resources of heaven to bear on your relationship. 
  • Respect is a choice to receive your husband in spite of his weaknesses. This choice empowers your husband to become the man God created him to be. In other words, I need to DUCK so that my fat head is not in the way when God is trying to impact my husband. 
  • Humility is the key that unlocks the floodgate of God's grace. "...God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6
If you need to get realigned with your spouse and put things back in perspective, I highly recommend A Weekend To Remember. They are held all over the country. I'm so grateful for the good friends who blessed us with tickets to it, and I look forward to praying about who we're supposed to buy tickets for next year so we can "pay it forward."


You know, the 'Fess Up Friday list is always easy for me, because I know how to laugh at myself. It's a lot harder to admit the things I'm really struggling with. But if there's anything I've learned from walking through the muck this year, it's that struggling in silence is the surest way to drown myself. 


"Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16


I get it now. 

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I'm over here from Angela's blog.

    My hubby and I have been to the Weekend to Remember twice, but not for several years. I appreciate you sharing the points that impacted you the most--they are such great reminders. Especially the part about intentionally moving toward oneness. I need to spend some time examining that one...

    It looks like we read a lot of the same blogs and have similar interests. It's fun to discover a kindred spirit who lives close. :)

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  3. Ah I loved this post ((hugs)). Transparency makes me all giddy inside!

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  4. What an encouraging post. God can do miricles and this verse meant a lot to me, "I am able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than you ask or imagine" I am so happy you took a hold of His promises and didn't give in. You are such a gem.

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  5. Simply a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

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