I began this decade with a marriage.
In May of 2001 I married. And I found out quickly how hard it could be. I ran head first into the reality of my brokeness. Plainly speaking, how “messed up” I was with such a fear of rejection and need for constant reassurance. I found, also, that I had married a man who had his own set of issues. We were on the fast track to divorce within a couple of years. Not because we didn’t love one another…but because we didn’t know how.
Today, as I sit in my messy post-Christmas kitchen, I fight back the tears spilling down my face as I watch my husband dancing around the living room with my girls to old Jackson Five songs and their favorite Taylor Swift song about Romeo and Juliet. What a God-given ending to this decade for me and my family.
So now I’ve stopped fighting and the tears just stream down! I could never aptly express my gratitude to Jesus for how He has healed my family. Not only has it survived but it thrives. It’s not a perfect marriage and we aren’t perfect parents, but God continues to take apart the strongholds and walls that hinder us from living in the fullness of the life He means for us to have.
My girls have just what I dreamed for them…prayed and fought for. It was hard to accept they wouldn’t have it unless their daddy and I could get it together. And it was even harder at first realizing I couldn’t get it together just with my wishes, will power or good intentions. Every step forward that we have taken, every moment of healing, has come through Jesus. But not just because we went to church or believed the right things. Today I watch my husband and little girls dancing around the living room because we are learning how to listen and yield. Listen to what God has to say about our attitudes, heart issues and behaviors and yield (or obey) what He asks. Being real, it’s been very hard on my pride at times. But there is no comparison to the rewards that have come.
I lived through divorce as a child and I always knew my parents loved me. So, if you read this and you are divorced there is no judgement here. It’s hard and I know that. We came so very, very close more than once to calling it quits. As I shared recently in my life, what I thought was our biggest mistake has turned out to be my testimony. I don’t write because I took the “high road” and didn’t divorce. I write because I am utterly amazed and overcome with gratitude that as I gave my rights to Jesus He gave back to me the thing I was longing for…a stable family. And I know that even if you are in the middle of the nightmare of divorce or you are contemplating it…I know that if you are already divorced…God can take the family you have now and heal it.
It’s my cry this morning, as I say goodbye to one of the hardest yet most triumphant decades of my life, to convey to you that no matter how hard it has been or will be, Jesus is a healer. We just have to be willing, however sporadically or imperfectly, to do things His way.
See, my sweet little girls are dancing with their daddy right this minute to a Temptations song as I finish this post. And I’m going to join them…my family…in tact…because of JESUS.