Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Where else should the believer place her hope? No human has power to turn her life around without Jesus. No solution lies beyond Him, and He never pushes her away. When the world becomes harsh, she will receive His gentle encouragement. Though you wait long, and the path seems hard, hold on to Jesus. Words of praise will pass your lips as you see His salvation accomplished. Your God will never let you fall. (Pamela McQuade - Everyday Encouragement)
I have thought about this for several weeks now and I have decided that since many of you weren't readers from the beginning...I want to re-run my life story for you to read. This will shed more light on what has molded and made me into the person that I am today...one who holds tightly to Jesus' hand. I trust in Him and He has never failed me!
So, for the next few post...I will have re-runs. If you haven't ever read my story...please do.
My Love Story...A Rough Beginning
I want to begin my love story with it's rough...turbulent beginning some 26 years ago. This would be one of many bad choices that I made, the consequences that I suffered and God's mercy, grace, forgiveness and restoration that is evident in my life.
I married my high school sweetheart 3 weeks after I graduated from high school in 1981. My parents, as any good parent would do, tried to talk me out of marrying him because (1) he wasn't a Christian, (2) went to church only to please me and my parents...prior to marriage (didn't go any after we married)and (3) my dad knew that he did not have the means to provide for his "little girl". Well, like any stubborn, head-strong, independent teenager...I didn't listen and thought they didn't know what they were talking about. My daddy begged me to reconsider and not marry him. As much as I loved and respected my daddy....still thought I knew what I was doing. Remember, I was only 18 years old at the time. When I look back now...I can honestly say "what was I thinking getting married at 18 years old"....I was just a child.
When I say that my parents knew best....they knew best. I was married a little over a year when we separated for the first of many, many times before we finally divorced in 1987. Those separations would last anywhere from 1 week to 3 months. However, each time I took him back, let him move back home or I moved back home to him. I was usually the one who left but with a little sweet talking, treating me with respect and going to church....I would go back home. There was a time after we had been separated for 6 weeks that things seems to really have changed and I went home again. Our marriage finally felt right and we decided to have a baby and about 10 months later....we had Brandon. The joy and happiness was short lived and we were separated again before he was 6 months old and this time it lasted for 3 months.
What led up to the final separation was his drinking and staying out all night on the weekends. I absolutely hated to see Friday come! For most working people....they live for Friday but I hated them because I knew that he would stay out drinking all night on both Friday and Saturday. He would come home from work on Friday, take a shower and go out alone. He didn't even take me with him before I had a baby and he certainly didn't after either. We had a sense of normalcy on Sunday through Thursday and by all outward appearances...we were just another normal family. Between the explosive fights, verbally abusive, demeaning remarks, staying out all night and physical threats....I knew my marriage was finally over.
To make matters worse, not that they needed to be any worse...he was having an affair with my best friend's little sister, who I used to help babysit. Despite, all the denials and the lack of proof, I knew in my heart that they were guilty. It wasn't until many years later that she admitted that what I suspected was actually true and truly apologized for her part.
Note: God is an AWESOME God who wants to restore even the most painful parts of our lives. After many years...God did just that...He restored my relationship with my friends and healed our friendship. Never under estimate the power of forgiveness and restoration when God does it. I would do anything for both of these precious ladies that are still apart of my life, thoughts and prayers. I love them dearly.
As much as I had hoped and prayed that things would change and my marriage would be saved...it was not going to happen. It takes two people that are committed to have a successful marriage. This was the hardest decision that I had to make up to this point in my life. I was raised to believe and I knew what God's word said about divorce. I know God hates divorce but loves the divorcee.
Malachi 2:16 "I hate divorce," says the Lord God of Israel....
Matthew 19:9 "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for martial unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
I was miserable and I was exposing my young son to a life that I didn't want for him. I knew that being a single parent would be very hard, however, I knew that I could provide a more stable environment for him without my husband in the same house. It took 6 years for me to get to the point in my life that I would rather live alone than live in my marriage the way that it was. I had to wait until I knew in my heart that I had done all that could be done to save my marriage and I was at complete peace with my decision.
I made many bad choices leading up to this point of my life and I suffered the consequences of my own actions. I had to take responsibility for my choices, not his. God's Word says in
II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers....
Regardless of my intentions, hopes and prayers that I could change him or things would change after we were married...I disobeyed God's Word and I suffered miserably for it. In the midst of the consequences for disobeying God's Word....He blessed me with a precious, healthy gift....my son, who I would not trade to avoid all the suffering during that 6 year period. That was a blessing from God in the midst of painful consequences for my disobedience. When it was all said and done....there were enough red flags that went all the way back to our dating years that should have told me even if I had not know God's Word that said "don't do it!".
Did God love me regardless of my bad choices? Yes.
Did God bless me, provide for me and protect me, even though, I made bad choices? Yes.
I repented back in the early days of my marriage but it was a choice that I had to live with and deal with the consequences of my actions that has affected my life ever since.
Next post: The Divorce
Have a wonderfully blessed day!