I wrote this five years ago on an old blog site & on this date every year, I still stand amazed at what God did! Supernatural miracles! Intervention at the exact moment I was about to mess up everything He had planned. BUT GOD!! I cannot imagine my life today if God had not overtaken MY plans that day. I am so grateful for a God who knows me better than I know myself and protects me from my own self. LOL
Sunday, Dec 27, 1997 will always be an unforgettable day in my life. It is one of those days that will always be etched on my heart as one of life's biggest miracles.
This post is jumping ahead in the 'My Story" series, but with the date falling on the same day this year , memories are flooding my mind. Actually, every single Sunday after Christmas is a special one for me. Mainly because my husband is usually sitting right beside me in church....now.
Christmas week had been the worst. I had 2 little ones, 6 & 1. Christmas to me is an extra special time of family, laughs and love, but this Christmas didn't fit that picture at all. Our little family was struggling because our marriage was a mess. It was rough. Very emotional and too hard to hide this time. It was all out in the open when he decided not to attend my immediate family Christmas. I still Thank God for a praying family who knew to plead for my family that night after I left!
I was trying to act 'happy' and excited for my babies, but at the same time was heartbroken and worried about what our future held. This was not a just a fight that would blow over. This was a turning point in this marriage, and my little family.
We had already been through so much in our marriage and these should have been the great years. (much more about that in the 'My Story' later)
But I now had 2 little ones that depended on me to shelter, love, protect and teach them what life was all about. And at this point, I felt I had no idea myself on how to do life!
THIS IS A TRUE STORY....a TESTIMONY, one that would be hard for me to believe if I had not lived it myself. I still remember this day so clearly. I pray I always will.
It was Sunday morning (after a very tense & quiet Christmas). I went about our Sunday schedule as usual...getting the kids up, fed and ready for church. He went about his usual...up, around the house, but with no intention of going to church with us. This was our normal now. He did not attend church with us but did not hold me back in any way. He usually would do whatever I asked to help me get the kids ready, just didn't care to go with us now.
This was never in my plan...ever. I never planned to be taking my children to church without daddy walking in with us, but this is where my life had been for several years now.
As I usually did every Sunday morning, I asked him if he would join us. He answered as he usually did and declined. It always broke my heart even though I always knew what his answer would be.
I loaded the kids into the car and down the driveway I went. I had barely made it down the road 1/4 mile before I was in tears. I knew TODAY would be the day that my marriage would change...one way or another, for better or for the end. I NEVER wanted to not be married to him, but I was so emotionally wrecked by this time that I could not hide or cover up this 'mess' any longer. Something had to change or I was going to lose my mind.
I began turning my car around. I was telling myself "there is NO reason for me to go to church like this! I will not be able to think or hear anything! No reason to put off what has to be dealt with..TODAY." I had turned my car around by this point and I actually heard/felt this "YOU GO TO CHURCH!" It was so strong, that I did not even question it and immediately turned around before I even realized it!! I have never experienced anything like this since!
During the 25 min drive, I whined, fussed and cried to God (mostly in my head so I didn't upset the kids). I didn't want to lose my marriage and family but I didn't want to lose my mind either. I TOLD God (just being real here..)what I was going to do when I got home from church....."Next year will be different, one way or another! He can either agree to attend church with us as a family 2x per month and counseling and if we are not worth doing that for, then he really must not love us". I had it planned out. I would come home and we would decide TODAY what our future held. This was not a rash decision....I do not react that way....remember I am the OVER ANALYZER!
So I get into Sunday School and could not tell you anything about that hour except that the teacher asked me to dismiss our class in prayer! They probably wondered what I was talking about as I asked God to 'help us today as we do things we must do". But God knew. I was still sick to my stomach about what was about to happen later. Pure nausea.
Just as church was beginning, my husband slid into the pew beside me. I'm sure you are thinking "how awesome, that is great, I bet she was so happy". Well, I wasn't. I know that sounds horrible to say, but I had lived the roller coaster of 'to-the-brink' and then things get good...for a short while. I was just so tired of living the roller coaster life. My Story- Part 3- The ROLLER Coaster. I just could not do it any more.
So when he slipped in, this was my thought: yep... he knew it was about to happen and now he came to hold it off a little while. I sat there, glad he was there, but telling myself the entire time...do not buy into this again! I was still determined that today would be the day something changed.
As the last sermon of the year and just before New Years, the topic was 'New Beginnings". That is really all I remember of the sermon that morning. My mind was going in a million directions as I sat there trying to look attentive.
THAT DAY EVERYTHING CHANGED and NOT.AT.ALL the way I thought it would!!
The music began to play as the pastor started to give the invitation to come back to Jesus, let Him have your heavy burdens and have a new beginning. ONLY 3 or 4 notes of the music had started when James stepped out of the pew and made his way to the altar! This was the most shocked I have ever been I my life!! James IS NOT FAKE anything! What you see is what you get. period. So after my initial shock, I turned around to see his sister with the same shocked look & tears rolling down her face too!
Prayers were answered right before my eyes! God had plans for my future MUCH bigger and better than MY plans. it was unreal and I still have chills just writing this.
He prayed with the pastor for a good while and I can tell you that my husband was a changed man from that moment!! INSTANTLY changed. It was the most unreal thing I have ever witnessed and still may be. My husband knows without a doubt that Jesus saved him before we were married, but life, circumstances, guilt and sin had him far away from God and terribly miserable. During the first stanza of the song, he knelt at the altar of our church and promised his life back to his Lord and Savior and has been a different person from that very moment!
You see, on this Sunday, 18 years ago-NOW 23 YEARS!!- my husband heard a voice too..."YOU GO TO CHURCH"!! and like me, it was so strong that he was in the shower and getting ready immediately.
Sun, Dec 27th, 1997, my husband came back to his Lord who took that baggage and "Removed it as far as the East is from the West". That Sunday, the husband who came up from his knees that morning was a new man, a new husband and a new daddy. IMMEDIATELY.
I remember calling my sister the next day sharing the news. My sister told me she went home after our family Christmas, closed herself in her bedroom and cried out to God for me, James and our little family!
God honors prayer!
Miracles still happen....just ask me how I know!! :)