This July my husband and I celebrated 29 years of marriage together. I am incredibly blessed to have been married to this godly man who also happens to be the love of my life, my best friend, father to our five children, grandfather to our granddaughter, and well, I could go on, but you get the point. In my book, he’s the best!
But as I think about our marriage I am also reminded of God’s grace in my life. As long as I can remember, I wanted to be married. My greatest fear was being single or being the last of my friends to be married. I don’t think I was alone in that desire as I imagine most girls feel this way.
While in college I dated a young man and after three years we became engaged. We both claimed Christ, but I was uneasy about our relationship because in my gut, I knew we brought each other down. Instead of ending things, I daily began to pray something like this:
“Dear Lord, if You don’t want me to marry ___, don’t allow it to go through.”
It doesn’t take an Einstein to know I should have broken things off, but I’d found security in this relationship and, frankly, was terrified of being single, convinced it was the most terrible fate that could befall me.
Just ten days before the Big Day, my fiancé phoned me and called the wedding off. He’d found someone else. My bad dream had come true—all my friends were married and I wasn’t. Where would I find a life mate? Would I be alone for the rest of my life? As painful and scary as this was I could not get away from the conviction that God had rescued me. He had answered my prayer. My pain was overridden by a sense of peace.
In my pain, I sought God. Even though I knew He had protected me from a bad marriage, I still suffered times of depression, loneliness, and fear. But as I looked to Him, I found contentment. And the one thing that became clear to me was that I needed to give up the idol marriage had become in my life. It was hard to let go and it took time, but eventually with His help, I let go. I still had times of sadness, but I was okay. I was resting in God’s hands and I knew if He had spared me from a bad marriage, He would walk with me throughout my life.
Just a little over a year later, I met Michael, a man at work who would later become my husband. He wasn’t a Christian at the time, but he was seeking. We had many talks at work about what it meant to follow Christ and in time, he wholeheartedly committed his life to Christ. We dated and married less than a year later. My husband is an absolute blessing in my life. He is a constant reminder of God’s goodness to me and our children.
Why do I share this? Because when I am tempted to doubt that God is at work in my life, when I feel He is absent or isn’t listening to my prayers, I am reminded of how, in the nick of time, He came to my rescue. When I surrendered my dreams, He gave me something better than I could have ever imagined.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
A book I’ve been reading talks about faith in this way…
“Faith is about weighing the evidence. We weigh the evidence of God’s character, promises, and track record against the present circumstances we face and our fears of what might happen. To hold our picture of redemption out to God and say “Save me like this” doesn’t require nearly as much faith as saying, “I know You’re good. Save me like You want to.” – Redemption, Mike Wilkerson
How about you? Are you discouraged? Are you the end of your rope and losing hope feeling God has left the building? He hasn’t. His character is good and He is trustworthy. As you surrender what you want in exchange for what He has for you, you will find freedom.
Let me leave with a thought that was once shared with me; God is almost always almost late. Think about this and find joy in its truth.
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