My life was chaotic from the start. I grew up with a single mom. My dad is around, but the relationship we have is pretty much nonexistent due to addiction. My mom worked a lot, so my Godmother cared for me a large chunk of the time. While I, of course, thought that was awesome at the time (I mean what kid doesn’t want to have grandma’s leniency full-time?), the reality of what was hidden from me wasn’t quite so dreamy.
I was made to go to church as far back as I can remember, and I enjoyed it. Mainly because it was in a different state from where I lived, so I was able to live two totally separate lives where neither group really knew the “other” girl I was outside of their presence. As a teen, that freedom led to a whole slew of poor choices. I put every earthly desire on the planet ahead of my relationship with God.
I lived this chaotic lifestyle for years. In and out of church, and only being a partial example of the wife and mother God would want me to be. The downward spiral truly began though when my husband started working nights over an hour and a half from where we lived. I also worked day shift full-time, and our relationship had become so complacent. We only saw each other in passing, and our relationship had become so stagnant and generic. It was such a lonely place to be, feeling devoted to someone you never saw and barely felt like you knew anymore.
Our marriage was suffering. All of the loneliness had led me to a state of misery, depression, and the disheartening truth that something had to give or this mediocre life is what I would be stuck with forever.
In late 2018, my husband called it quits on his night job. We started going to church as a family, all four of us, and it has definitely been a work in progress ever since. We have slacked a few times, but over time we have learned to see it as an opportunity rather than an obligation.
One night while sitting on my living room couch, long after the rest of the house had gone to sleep, God just broke me down. I was praying and He said to me, “Do you remember how lonely you were? How unimportant and insignificant you felt? How do you think I feel when you distance yourself from me? How do you think I feel when you run from me and treat me as if you don’t need me?” He showed me perspective.
He also showed me how hateful I have been to myself, and how my discontentment in my own skin and not knowing who I truly am has led to so much destruction in my life. In that moment, I asked him to save me. I admitted my faults and left them at the feet of Jesus, and have been fervently on this journey of strengthening my bond with Christ ever since.
My husband, Reed, wasn’t raised in church. He is like a child learning God’s Word for the first time. It has been a challenge, but one that has been well worth it. Watching his faith grow has strengthened mine, and our marriage, in innumerable ways. I am grateful to be a part of this journey with him. Getting to see God visibly answering my prayers through the changes in our lives is unexplainable.
We are a work in progress, but I can tell you without a doubt, I see Christ in my husband. I see patience. I see love from a man like I have never known. I see forgiveness. I see someone who’s not giving up on me. And if he can love me this much, imagine the love the God who created me, has for me. I am so grateful for all that God has brought us through, and I look forward to where our journey is headed through Christ.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. - Hebrews 4:16 NLT
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