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!! :)
This article was one I found a couple years ago and it still holds so much wisdom! Marriage is a BIG deal, ESPECIALLY for the CHRISTIAN WOMAN! Marriage should never, ever be considered without asking God what He wants for us! If we take on marriage only with what we want today, we can easily find ourselves in a miserable relationship later. God always knows best and will help alert us to see if we may be headed for trouble with any of these types of men mentioned.
Share this article with your single or engaged friends today!
10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry
* by J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of 10 Lies Men Believe and other books.
My wife and I raised four daughters—without shotguns in the house!—and three of them have already married. We love our sons-in-law, and it’s obvious God handpicked each of them to match our daughters’ temperaments and personality.
I have always believed God is in the matchmaking business. If He can do it for my daughters, He can do it for you.
Today I have several single female friends who would very much like to find the right guy. Some tell me the pickings are slim at their church, so they have ventured into the world of online dating. Others have thrown up their hands in despair, wondering if there are any decent Christian guys left anywhere. They’ve begun to wonder if they should lower their standards in order to find a mate.
My advice stands: Don't settle for less than God's best. Too many Christian women today have ended up with an Ishmael because impatience pushed them into an unhappy marriage. Please take my fatherly advice: You are much better off single than with the wrong guy!
Speaking of “wrong guys,” here are the top 10 men you should avoid when looking for a husband:
1. The unbeliever. Please write 2 Corinthians 6:14 on a Post-it note and tack it on your computer at work. It says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (NASB). This is not an outdated religious rule. It is the Word of God for you today.
Don’t allow a man’s charm, looks or financial success (or his willingness to go to church with you) push you to compromise what you know is right. “Missionary dating” is never a wise strategy. If the guy is not a born-again Christian, scratch him off your list. He’s not right for you. I’ve yet to meet a Christian woman who didn’t regret marrying an unbeliever.
2. The liar. If you discover that the man you are dating has lied to you about his past or that he’s always covering his tracks to hide his secrets from you, run for the nearest exit. Marriage must be built on a foundation of trust. If he can’t be truthful, break up now before he bamboozles you with an even bigger deception.
3. The playboy. I wish I could say that if you meet a nice guy at church, you can assume he’s living in sexual purity. But that’s not the case today. I’ve heard horror stories about single guys who serve on the worship team on Sunday but act like Casanovas during the week. If you marry a guy who was sleeping around before your wedding, you can be sure he will be sleeping around after your wedding.
4. The deadbeat. There are many solid Christian men who experienced marital failure years ago. Since their divorce, they have experienced the Holy Spirit’s restoration, and now they want to remarry. Second marriages can be very happy. But if you find out that the man you are dating hasn’t been caring for his children from a previous marriage, you have just exposed a fatal flaw. Any man who will not pay for his past mistakes or support children from a previous marriage is not going to treat you responsibly.
5. The addict. Churchgoing men who have addictions to alcohol or drugs have learned to hide their problems—but you don’t want to wait until your honeymoon to find out that he’s a boozer. Never marry a man who refuses to get help for his addiction. Insist that he get professional help and walk away. And don’t get into a codependent relationship in which he claims he needs you to stay sober. You can’t fix him.
6. The bum. I have a female friend who realized after she married her boyfriend that he had no plans to find steady work. He had devised a great strategy: He stayed home all day and played video games while his professional wife worked and paid all the bills. The apostle Paul told the Thessalonians, “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either” (2 Thess. 3:10). The same rule applies here: If a man is not willing to work, he doesn’t deserve to marry you.
7. The narcissist. I sincerely hope you can find a guy who is handsome. But be careful: If your boyfriend spends six hours a day at the gym and regularly posts closeups of his biceps on Facebook, you have a problem. Do not fall for a self-absorbed guy. He might be cute, but a man who is infatuated with his appearance and his own needs will never be able to love you sacrificially, like Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). The man who is always looking at himself in the mirror will never notice you.
8. The abuser. Men with abusive tendencies can’t control their anger when it boils over. If the guy you are dating has a tendency to fly off the handle, either at you or others, don’t be tempted to rationalize his behavior. He has a problem, and if you marry him you will have to navigate his minefield every day to avoid triggering another outburst. Angry men hurt women—verbally and sometimes physically. Find a man who is gentle.
9. The man-child. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m suspicious of a guy who still lives with his parents at age 35. If his mother is still doing his cooking, cleaning and ironing at that age, you can be sure he’s stuck in an emotional time warp. You are asking for trouble if you think you can be a wife to a guy who hasn’t grown up. Back away and, as a friend, encourage him to find a mentor who can help him mature.
10. The control freak. Some Christian guys today believe marriage is about male superiority. They may quote Scripture and sound super-spiritual, but behind the façade of husbandly authority is deep insecurity and pride that can morph into spiritual abuse. First Peter 3:7 commands husbands to treat their wives as equals. If the man you are dating talks down to you, makes demeaning comments about women or seems to squelch your spiritual gifts, back away now. He is on a power trip. Women who marry religious control freaks often end up in a nightmare of depression.
If you are a woman of God, don’t sell your spiritual birthright by marrying a guy who doesn’t deserve you. Your smartest decision in life is to wait for a man who is sold out to Jesus.
Note: If you are married and in one of these situations, God knows. God can take the mess and turn it into a message! (Been there, done that & NEED a tshirt!) God CAN redeem the hopeless feeling marriages. If you are married, God wants your marriage strong. It is worth it to fight for the covenant vow you made with God and your husband. Fight to get back what you once loved.
To get the other side of this story, read "8 Women Christian Men Should Never Marry."
POSTS COMING SOON....PROMISE!!
Hello Ladies! This LOVING section will be all things related to our RELATIONSHIPS with others.
We are all daughters & friends, some are sisters, wives, mothers, students, employee or employer? It is said that women were created to be relational beings. I know we all have our different temperaments and personalities, but for the most part women NEED other women.
Being in community with other women helps us to learn objective views and perspectives IF we learn how to have healthy relationships.
Now I know most of us have ha experience in a dysfunctional relationship at one point. Some are just inevitable, BUT God gives us principles to help us recognize and learn to respond instead of react.
GOD CARES ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIPS with others! Relationships are how we let Him shine through our daily life.
Let us dig around in the Word (Bible) to see what we can find!
Hope to see you back soon!!