Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to attend a weekend getaway put on by FamilyLife: a Weekend to Remember. It was a chance for us to put our marriage #1 and focus on how we can not only reconnect with God but how to reconnect with each other and be sure to place God in the center of our marriage. It was nothing short of an absolute miracle!
It was just a few short weeks ago that I was feeling discouraged about my circumstances and seeing no hope. I was solely focused on what I felt I did not have and I was spinning out of control.
THE DISCONNECT (I could bear no fruit)
I had lost touch with the Lord….which is why I was so full of resentment and feelings not of God – without a true connection to the Lord, I could bear no fruit. It was seemingly impossible to experience joy, love, peace, and gratitude….even when I wanted to, and knew I should; I just could not be content…
Looking back, it is extremely clear to me how the disconnect occurred. How it was able to take hold…and it did not happen overnight, it was more of a slow fade. I was unforgiving – stuck in the comparison trap – sprouting rage and jealousy.
I was allowing negative input all around me….from the shows I was watching (I couldn’t wait to just unplug and tune out in front of the TV)…not realizing my unconscious was getting programed and the enemy was taking every opportunity to sneak in those lies supporting my fears of discontentment…
I was finding comfort in friendships with others who were in similar situations; but just like me, more interested in complaining than finding how to get out of it. Not all relationships were this way; in fact, I had amazing friends and mentors around me, but I was not willing to allow them to penetrate the bitterness I was so stuck in.
I was not in the word, I was simply going through the motions with my weekly bible study and Sunday worship, but not allowing the word to come alive in me…I was corrupted:
My life had become an “empty ritual devoid of any true sensitivity to sin. Speaking to those who washed their hands for show while tolerating the sins in their hearts, Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah, who said, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’.” Mark 7:6
“Jesus made it clear what defiles a person: “it is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a persons heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immortality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness” Mark 7:20-22
– Praying Through the Bible for your Kids Nancy Guthrie
Now I was aware.
I was completely convicted. God brought me to my knees and He, as only He had the power to do, was able to pierce right through my heart and I heard His voice loud and clear!
It was important to name the fear in my life. I had to acknowledge I was aware of what I had given power to. Fear doesn’t live here anymore!
“The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.” – Oswald Chambers
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. 2 Timothy 1:7
Once I was aware; I had to fill that void with scripture, promises from the Lord that He was with me; He was in control, He had a plan for me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I was reminded – no matter how difficult marriage became, I made a covenant and I was not accepting any alternative, instead I was confronted by my unrealistic expectations of my husband…
Author Gary Thomas writes in the Sacred Marriage:
“The problem with looking to another human to complete us is that, spiritually speaking, it’s idolatry. We are to find our fulfillment and purpose in God . . . and if we expect our spouse to be ‘God’ to us, he or she will fail every day. No person can live up to such expectations.”
I begged the Lord as I wrote feverishly in my journal :
“Lord help me, I’d rather spend time and energy focusing on your promises and believe with all my heart that you can and will redeem my marriage and I can become the Christ-like woman You desire…I pray for redemption now Lord, and I pray my husband and I will fall deeper in love through you Lord Jesus. I know you can work miracles. I believe I can have the marriage I most desire with my husband…I commit to you Lord. I am going to devote myself to studying the Bible and really living it. I now realize my husband cannot mend my broken heart. Only You can do that Lord. I give it to you“ 01.19.17
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7: 7-8
RECONNECT (fruits returned)
Once I gave it all to the Lord I began to bloom again. I began to be extremely selective with whom and what I spent time with. I no longer wanted to “unplug” and numb out in front of the tv. I was too excited about all that was happening inside of me. I was awakened. The Holy Sprit was moving in and through me and it was the most exhilarating feeling I have ever experienced. I was inspired and could not get enough from books, and worship music, and just spending time in prayer.
I began to see Grace and gratitude in all things. Today…I am in the waiting.
The Lord has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and I not only wake up full of peace and joy, but I wake with a passion to pursue my purpose and fulfill the plan He set forth for me. I have learned not to knock down doors, but to wait patiently for the Lord’s perfect timing and rest in the confidence that He is in control. And just in case I start to wonder if He is near…He whispers sweet reminders in the form of a “coincidence” or as I’d like to say, divine intervention, or a beautiful song or sermon that speaks exactly to the point that I have been praying about…I rest now knowing, He is enough!!
John 15: 1-11
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.