March 06, 2016

Marriage on Lent Day #19 - Testimony

Submitted Personal Testimony by a gracious fellow sojourner. Thank you for allowing us to see through your words that God meets us where we are at, calls us to Him through others, His Word, His great love for us, and transforms the hearts of those who seek Him to bring them life abundantly. 

When my husband and I met he was a partier and drug user and so was I, although I had been brought up faithfully in the church.  He and I both wanted a better life and got clean together and started over and got married.  We had some tough ups and downs and three children.  Around year 9 things started to completely fall apart. Two years later we started to hit rock bottom.  We had a terrible 10th and even worse 11th anniversary.  I broke away from every one of my friends and I was on lots of effexor (antidepressant). I slept all the time.  He and I both started going to bars separately with our friends through that time.  He returned to some drug use. We loved each other and went to church but we weren't following hard after God.  No one knew. We were following the worlds self absorbed advice mostly. 

Some godly women started to catch my attention and made me really long for a real walk with God and more integrity.  I quit smoking cigarettes and started turning to God for real.  Reading, praying, and begging Him to save us.  I started to open my eyes and let God lead me.  I was still thinking that he and I might or might not make it.  The partying and the fights got worse.  The whole family felt it. I was so angry and bitter and was in the worst emotional pain. He quit using for a short while after one particularly bad evening and started counseling.  I found out my mom had breast cancer.  I truly began to surrender then.  I had no control over anything.  I got off Effexor and started to do the things I could do.  Exercise, prayer, finding ways to be positive, spending more quality time with my kids, and realizing that I needed to become much more humble. This wasn't the life I'd had in mind, but I couldn't attain it by force.  I would trust God to teach me and lead me whichever way He decided. I was only able to change like this because I asked him to change my heart.  God is the ultimate heart changer! He started to show me that my thoughts and inner negativity were a huge part of the problem.

Our next anniversary was a bit better but there was still a lot of heartache. I started to pray for good things for my husband, which was hard to do while in pain.  His moods and rage were so bad and he had gone back to using some. 
God showed me I was not his savior.  I needed to stop and let God be God.  He showed me my husband was my mission field and I was to love him for Christ, but that God would be doing all the saving and heart change work. This was so, so hard.  I obeyed, although sometimes half-heartedly.  God started moving powerfully in my husband’s job and in all areas I had prayed for. 

The next year anniversary we were still dealing with pain but we had seen some positive changes between us, although he was still using.  He met a buddy who encouraged the party lifestyle and is an atheist.   His habit got worse.  I felt God telling me to stand down and be patient. I prayed so, so, so hard for God to get that "friend" away. Then out of nowhere that friend unexplainably got moved to another city a few months later!  Yes!!   I kept diving into prayer and bible studies and exercise and the kids.   I was brought to my knees in tears, in sadness, frustration, and in praise all through the year.  My husband said to me one day," I love what your faith is doing to you.  I don’t have it myself, but I like seeing yours... its cool." (Wow) (Humbled)

I read so many books on faith, 10 books of the Bible, a few health books, as I was lead.  God was drawing me closer and closer, keeping my focus on him. My heart kept trying to go bitter about my husband but the Spirit showed me not too.  I was to persevere when it was easy and when it was hard!!  Then out of the blue he finally quit using for good!! It was a big praise moment. 
6 months later, near our 14th anniversary, he sat me down and told me that God had shown him so much and all of the sudden his eyes were open!  He believed and wanted to follow God!! Praise Jesus!
Things got better daily.  This last year and a half has been our first section of freedom in Christ together.  It's amazing!  God is amazing! 

 -For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear. I will help you."
Isaiah 41:13


Joelle said...

Wow since I wrote this, so many more amazing God gifts have happened in my marriage. Great to look back and see what he has brought us through. My husband witnesses to people in simple ways all over the city now. God is amazing.
Blessings ❤️