I'm so thankful that God is able to take the absolute worst of situations and turn them into miraculous life events. I'm so grateful that He's not only able.... He's absolutely willing! It's His great pleasure to love on His own during life's toughest moments.
That's what this year has been. It's included some of the worst moments I ever thought I'd have to live through. Life has consisted of a number of events, circumstances and feelings that I wouldn't wish on ANYONE!
But, THROUGH those events and situations, God has blessed me in a variety of ways. I have been very vague about some of those blessings for a couple of reasons. First of all, I didn't want people to think that I am bragging. I know that the positive experiences we are having are the result of a MIGHTY God at work in and around us. But, I have feared that to speak specifically about His work in our life and marriage would cause people to think of me as prideful and arrogant. Over the past couple of days, I've been struck by two lessons.
First, we are called to "boast".
"Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1: 31
A large part of the way in which we lead others to our gracious Heavenly Father is by showing them WHO He is in our lives. All throughout New Testament scripture, Jesus positively touches the life of an individual and the natural response is that person RUNNING to tell others about HIM.
And, secondly, without going into ANY detail.... there WILL be those that choose to think of me as prideful and arrogant regardless of how careful I attempt to be.
So, it's because of those two reasons that I want to "boast" in an effort to make so much of God that it causes anyone reading this post to rest in the comfort that if God would so abundantly bless Scotty and me in this mess that we created, He would certainly do the same for you. My absolute prayer in choosing to share publicly in this experience has been that our story would mark EVERYONE that hears it in a way that calls them to a more complete trust in a faithful God.
Scotty and I celebrated this faithfulness on Thursday in a small ceremony where we renewed our vows in celebration of 15 years of marriage. There were only 5 people (including us) in attendance. But, it was so very sweet and extremely memorable.
On May 17th, 1997, Scotty and I recited vows to one another that I know we both intended to keep. However, neither one of us kept those vows. Scotty's failures in faithfulness have been recorded for the public. Mine, however, haven't been as publicized. But, I'll assure you, I've failed in this marriage thing as well. Sometimes, we've known exactly what we were doing as we've made decisions that would hurt the other. On occasion, though, we've made hurtful decisions simply because we are broken people that had NO CLUE how to respond in a healthy marriage.
On May 17th, 2012, I was overcome with awe that God used a tragedy of infidelity to show us what He intended for our marriage. The only thing I ever wanted in a husband was a spiritual leader. I desired to have a husband that would love the Lord with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. I KNEW that would be mandatory to him loving me appropriately. It will be hard for many to believe considering Scotty's choices over the past few years (and that is fine). But, I've witnessed God do such a work in his life. And, he is truly on a road that will lead him to be more of a Godly husband and father than I ever dreamed he could be.
I have no shame, and I don't want to make this road seem more simplistic than it has been, so I'll just confess that we've got a long way to go. We have a therapist! And, we'll continue that journey for a while. We each have mentors and Godly people we lean on for decision making and encouragement. We've got much to overcome, and we are choosing to face the difficulties head on now so that they don't creep back in again later in life. Certainly, God calls us cooperate and participate WITH Him as we journey through life, and we are begging Him daily to show us how to do that. But, ultimately, He is the author and originator of all good things.
I confessed to Scotty on Thursday that there is the temptation to look back over our 15 years together and grieve a lot of wasted years. But, I can't do that. We've experienced too many great times. But, I know that we can do better. God has shown me that we can do better. And, He's brought about change in each of us personally, in our marriage together, and in the way we relate as a family so quickly that it's allowed us to get a glimpse of how truly wonderful His plans are for us IF we are simply willing to TRUST Him.
In fact, a little later in our 1 Corinthians reading, Paul says...
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart can imagine, what God has prepared for those who love Him."
I'm counting on THAT! I'm hoping in THAT!
The events of the past few years have been used by God to bring us to a place where we can experience life in HIM even more abundantly for the next 15 years of marriage... if He chooses to leave us here that long. And, that's a realization I find worthy of a little boasting. That realization points to a God who's worthy of a LOT of boasting.
You rarely know how things will turn out, but... - [image: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8uoyk5Jw2XILk-cR6Bf8KqzjZqfjgToMotvqsvK0P4ewgkhwQmA] Denzel Washington starred in the movie ...
11 months ago