Friday, May 25, 2012

What are the evils....?

I remind myself every day how far I personally have come, and how far this marriage has come in just five short months. I am reminded of the things that my wife and I have done differently this time when faced with the same situations that seemed to cause us grief before. There are evils that every marriage faces head on. Sometimes it is sickness. Sometimes it is family pulling you and your spouse a part. Sometimes it is kids playing both of you parents. Sometimes it is money. Today the subject is money.

1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

After reading the above scripture... is money really the basis of your marriage? Are you convinced that having money is going to make everything else magically better? If your answer is yes.. than you could not be more wrong. Money is not going to make anything better. Your hunger for it, your attitude about it, and a belief that having money will help repair the cracked foundation of your so called marriage is very wrong.  If it is personal attitude of having "things" that you base your happiness on you are going down a very dark road. Sometimes we blame our spouses for not having those things. It creates grief and resentment towards your spouse.

Yes money helps. After all... the bills needs to be paid. There are groceries, gas for the car(s), and other such necessities. If you have kids like we do, than there are some things that you need to make sure that their well being is taken care of. Even now, my wife and I sacrifice for our kids. We happily do it. But.... yes I said BUT....!! There are such things that are more important than maybe getting that new car, or having that new outfit, or things that you want.

This was an issue with my wife and I. We constantly fought, stressed, and worried over money. It created a big wall between us. Some of our money problems were my fault and some of it was hers. Together we created the money monster from hell. Since our attitide was that of blaming, it created hard feelings and resentment. Instead of blaming each other for the monster we created, we should have owned up for our poor decisions and pride that drove us to those decisions. We should have figured out a way to slay the monster. That is what we are doing it now. We now refuse to place importantance on money and base our marriage on it. What is most important is what is happening between us. We used to joke saying... " we may not have money, but we sure got love ".  Up until five months ago that wasn't true. But I can say now the saying is true.

A couple of weeks ago we were asked to prioritize things in our lifes. We started with each of us doing a top ten individually. We then had to narrow it down to five priorities individually, and then out of the five each of us had, we had to decide on five combined. Guess what... money was not one of them. We both looked at each other and said as long as we have each other, everything else will come along. It is true, my wife and I had successfully filtered something out that was so poison to our marriage before. This was absolutely a huge step for us.

To a marriage, money is not everything. As long as God is providing, the extra's will come along in his timing, not you and your spouses. Instead of being mad at each other about what you don't have or that project that won't get done, be thankful for all the blessings that you have, especially in each other. Don't let the money monster blame game drive a wedge in your marriage. Take it from someone who knows.

OK so what to pray for... Pray for my oldest son. Pray for my wife, stress is playing games with her body, pray for my mom and her battle with cancer. Pray for the Lord's will for our lives and jobs.

Thank you Father for showing us your blessings each and every day!! Father help us not to place importantance on things that can be poison to your perfect will intended marriage.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Anxiety sometimes wins.. this one is for you honey..

I sometimes like to go back and read my older blogs. Today I went back and read this blog that I wrote just five days into this journey. I am amazed at where I was at that day and how the Lord just provided me almost instantly with assurance of his grace. Today my devotions were about despair. How ironic because today my wife is having one of those days. You wouldn't understand it, unless you have walked in her shoes. This has not been an easy journey for her. I wish there was something I could do to make everything just go a way. I wish I could make this "hell of a day" she is having and make it better. But so far I haven't succeeded. It goes deeper than me telling her that I love her or that I am never leaving again. It goes so deep that the enemy today is trying to get a strong hold on her anxieties again. It goes so deep, that sometimes she just feels like giving up. But I want to remind you and those of you who have had similar journey's that God is our cleft in the rock. Today the below verse was part of my devotions.

Deuteronomy 33:27

The eternal God is your refuge,  and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you,  saying, ‘Destroy them!’ 

As I was telling you all last week, one of the things that I pray is that God would distract and destroy the enemy. Today is one of those days where enemy needs to be destroyed. I also pray quite often that the Lord would capture those thoughts that torment me. Today is one of those days where my wife is at her end. Her only option? Is to ask God to take this from her cup. God is the only person that can assure my wife that everything will be ok. The blog I wrote on January 4th, 2012 this song played while I was listening to music right at the right time. Today I want to give this word of encouragement to my wife so that she can hear what the Lord said that day to me.

Honey this is for you.. I love you so much!!

Be still my soul

Surrounded by the cares of life,
Situations rise, they press against my soul.
Desperate thoughts have blocked me in,
Feels like I may lose control.

A voice from somewhere inside me,
Brings comfort, fills my heart with courage.
That lets me know
that everything will be all right.

I hear him say Be still my soul and know that he is God,
He is God Stand quietly, He is The Lord.

If God is for me who can be against me?
He is God Be still my soul, He is The Lord.

Teach me Lord, to stay with you,
When my emotions try to rule me,
Remind me Lord, of who I am,
And show me what you want me to be.

His great strength, and confidence,
Knowing that You are with me,
I’m not afraid of tomorrow,
What waits ahead.

I hear him say Be still my soul and know that he is God,
He is God Stand quietly, He is The Lord.
If God is for me who can be against me?
He is God Be still my soul, He is The Lord.

Be still my soul

He is The Lord.

He is The Lord.

A little advice to those who read this blog and are healing in their marriage. If you are the spouse who had an affair, today is one of those days, where patience is required. Today is one of those days where assurance is required. But most importantly today is one of those days where you listen to your spouse and their feelings, but also you pray for them.

OK so what to pray for.. Pray for my wife today and the rest of the week. She is going through some things, not just with out marriage, but anxieties about her job. Pray for my oldest son. He is really struggling this week. Pray for my job and the Lords will for our family. Pray for my mom. Today she had another chemo treatment.

Father take this cup from my wife. Capture those toughts which are tormenting her today. Father give her the assurance that you are in control. Father comfort her with the grace that only you can give and quiet her soul.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We all should have one...

We crossed one of the many milestones it takes to build a marriage from the ruins. This past weekend we went to a family reunion. I know what you are thinking.... "and what is the big deal about that?" well here is your answer. A year ago, my wife and I didn't know if we were going to be there. Last year when we went, I was still not living at home. We went together as a family, but not one united and one of the two of us was determined to get out of that marriage as quick as possible. I am thankful that God had other idea's.

Every person and every marriage should have a family. When I think of family I think of the typical family with 2.5 kids, a dog or two and nice place to live. To me family is so much more than that. My family is a family based on God. God is the center. Family just does things for each other that not even friends would do for each other. You help when help is needed. You pray when prayer is needed. Family should go above and beyond. I can sit here and tell you today, that my family is this plus more.

Many times I reached out to my family to pray for me, to guide me, and to help me understand things. Many times I asked them to understand my feelings, all be it wrong sometimes, but to very least understand. The best thing about the past couple of years, is that my family has told me the truth. They have told me things that I didn't want to hear, but I needed to hear. My family was supportive to me, my wife, and my kids. There are so many people that I can thank for helping with our marriage. But my family was constantly praying for us. I was told time after time this weekend that my wife and I were always being prayed for quite often. We were never far from my families mind.

During church on Sunday we had a service built around our family. It was at my Aunt's church. My family is very musically talented. Every one of us is in some type of position whether it be direct ministry or teacher, or nurse or whatever to minister the gospel of Christ. Some of us are the hands, some of us are the feet, others are the voice. Saturday as we were practicing for the morning service, the Holy Spirit came and we had family church. There was prayer and there was praising, and there was experiencing the Lord's presence. The next day at church, the same thing happened. God showed up and we felt his presence. God intended family to be like this.

You know there is not much else I can say about this weekend. We came this year, so thankful that we have come as far as we have come. Neither my wife or I thought we would be attending this event together or even at all. What I truly learned this weekend is that God can heal the pain, the hurt, and the give forgiveness. The thing is, for God to give these things to a broken marriage, both spouses have to be willing to accept what God wants to give. I learned that God intended family to stick together, for him to be the center, and for him to be allowed to work.

OK what to pray for... Pray for my mom. God is answering prayer!! Pray for our marriage that it keeps building that base. Pray for my oldest son. Pray for the Lords will and our job situations.

Father thank you for my family.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stop looking back...!!

I often use the example of trying walking forward while looking backwards and see how far you get before you stumble and fall. This is so true of my life and my marriage. If you remember just a couple of days ago I wrote about having a glass house of a marriage. I explained that it is important to constantly build that house and protect it with strong materials designed to take a beating. What I didn't talk about is the inside of that house.

Every day when I am praying, I ask God for protection and I ask him to distract and destroy the enemy. Often I ask God to capture thoughts from my mind which torment me. Sometimes they are thoughts about my marriage, other times they are thoughts about the future. Sometimes they are thoughts about the past. It is the past that can rear its ugly head and start to implode this journey from the inside out. How do I stop that? Well... Like I said I ask God to capture those thoughts and haul them away.

Sometimes we have to take our trust out of past events. Sounds strange to say doesn't it? Thoughts of fear, drama, or any other reminders. These things can almost drive us to have an attitude of expect the worst and hope for the best. Trusting the bad of the past will make you stumble and fall. If we would just look forward, we would find that God is standing there with his hand out stretched to us. God wants to lead us to a bright and joyous future. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at the past, or my wife has looked at the past. I can tell you the phrase that has come out of BOTH our mouths is this... "well last time when this happened you or it..." this usually comes out of our mouths when we are approaching one of those moments. Honestly... they are more often with my wife than myself. Why, because I made those moments what they were. My wife has every right to worry about the future as compared to the past.

Learning to trust each other from the inside out is going to help keep the marriage from imploding. One thing that my wife and I have to work on is believing for the general good that we are both trust worthy and that one or both of us isn't going to hurt the other "like the last time". We have to believe in each other that the fear, drama, or anything else isn't going to break that glass we are some what surrounded by. Times or moments are going to come and we need to trust that one or both of us isn't going to walk. Folks, this is not easy for either one of us. Really... both only have each other. The only one who understands better than us, is God. Yes... things can come from the outside and break the glass. BUT things from the inside can fly out and break the glass as well. Looking back on either account is going to destroy any progress made. The more I trust the Lord, the more I find love and trust in my wife.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

So I ask you, do you look back? Remember true love keeps no records of wrong.

OK so what to pray for... Pray for our marriage. We are learning so much. Pray for the Lords will. Pray for my oldest son and his behavior. Pray for my mom.

Father thank you Lord for reaching out to us and leading us along.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A glass house marriage...

For those of you who will read this blog in the future, you may understand what the title of this blog means. Living in a glass house on a golf course is not an ideal for any homeowner who makes the unwise choice of either building or buying a glass house... Think about it, golf balls are going to come flying onto your property and near your house because every golfer out there has an errant shot that goes some other course than what was intended.

My marriage is a glass house. It is a glass house because I ripped any protective layers off of it when I had the affair. At any moment something could come crashing through and put a hole in something that my wife and I are trying to build again. As the offending spouse, there are moments that I very carefully have to choose my words or my actions. If I choose a word wrong, or an action wrong, I am now that errant golf shot heading toward my glass house. Depending on how non smart I am depends on if I break the glass or crack it. Trust me I do fail sometimes.

I guess my point here is that building a new marriage or rebuilding a marriage, everything has to be better than it was before. There are moments that you just have to get through and make better than the previous moments. I could easily say that my wife and I are in a season of moments where before there were lots of bad memories that trigger fears and anxieties. For instance, yesterday I just really beat up on myself all the trouble I had caused and all the stuff I put my wife through. This was all day yesterday. The best medicine was coming home and getting a hug from my wife. It was a nice long one at that. I told her once again I was sorry. I really wanted her to know how much I loved her.

I find the more we go on and the moments that we get past and change, it makes the glass turn into something that can withstand a pounding. Our glass house marriage starts to turn into a solid house more and more. The glass pieces/moments get replaced with protective covering for the house. More and more the glass marriage starts to look like a real marriage based on love, centered around Christ, and meant to last forever.

Honestly, there is no set time as to when that glass marriage turns to a real marriage, but once it does the point is to keep it that way and continue to make it stronger. They used to say "they don't build like they used too" well I think it is true of marriages as well. My wife and I are determined for that to be said about our marriage. I will tell you this, I can say that about my wife. There is no one who is more amazing, stronger, loving, and giving than she is. I will say it again... I truly don't deserve her, but I am blessed and I will continue to build the marriage with her into something amazing so that one day, friends and family can look at us and say "they don't build like they used too"...

OK so what to pray for... Pray for us this weekend traveling. Pray for my oldest son. His behavior is improving, but we still need your prayers for him. Pray for my mom's healing. Pray for the Lord's will in our lives and BOTH of our job situations.

Father thank you being our center...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Redeeming grace...

Today I am going to piggy back off of our pastor's message on Sunday. While sitting in church and the pastor read this scripture and then talked about how the nation of Egypt was so far gone that it looked hopeless about them coming back to the Lord. In Isaiah 19:19-23 we see this.

19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the Lord at its border. 20 It will be a sign and witness to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. 21 So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing[b] on the earth. 25 The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.

It suddenly hit me that I could have very easily called myself Egypt. Seriously I was so far gone and was having a hard time finding my way back to God's grace. But God's grace got a hold of me and made me a promise and followed through on that promise. I gotta say I am so thankful that the Lord loved me through this time in my life.

If you are that person that thinks you are to far gone, you are completely wrong. If you are that person that thinks your marriage is to far gone, you are completely wrong. If you think that God doesn't want to love you, or change you because you have had an affair, you are wrong. Here is what you can be for sure of. IF you hear nothing else about what I am saying, then please read the following...

God loves you. God wants to take you in his arms show you forgiveness, grace, and love like you have never felt before. God wants to make you new and give you a life full of spiritual freedom. If you are struggling in your marriage or even having thoughts of seeking the things you are not getting from your spouse. Just stop and know that the Lord cares and he can change everything in an instant. Just like God did for me, he can do for you. There is hope in the Lord, there is grace that goes beyond anything. All you gotta do is just ask and trust when I say you will receive.

OK so what to pray for. Pray for my mom God is still answering prayers. Pray for our kids, my oldest had some issues last week and we know the Lord is on control of that. Pray for the Lord's will for our lives. I truly believe we are getting close.

Father thank you for your grace. Thank you Lord from bringing us back from the brink.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Triggers and promises... Two different things..

You probably just read the title and thought "No kidding!! what a profound statement!!". Well really it is because they are two different things. Again you are probably saying to yourself :"Obviously!!" Well that is because I am writing on two different subjects today, but wanted to some how make it obvious. Who knows, as I write this, I might just tie them together. But the first I will write about triggers.

Triggers are something that we deal with in our marriage. It is not just the trust issues, the doubt, the anxieties, the hurt feelings, etc... but there are triggers as well. As with any death of a loved one, there are certain times of the year or moments that bring on memories from the past. Well when you are recovering from an affair, there are triggers as well. Lots of them. Every holiday, every birthday, everything and anything can bring on a trigger. Triggers bring on the doubts, the fears, and the anxieties. The prevalent thought in my wife's head sometimes when a holiday rolls around, is this time last year you were doing this or something to that extent. My only rebuttal is this... "Honey, I'm sorry, this time we will make it better than ever." The only thing I can do to help get her through these triggers is truly making sure that the experience as compared to last time, is the exact opposite of what it was. Sometimes it is not going to be one time, sometimes it takes a few times for that trigger to really go away. Like any traumatic experience there are side affects. Triggers are one of them. Triggers must be dealt with in a patient and loving way. There is no other way to handle them.

Promises...

2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

This verse is two fold for me. In order my life to improve and to get better, I had to make sure that I was 100% forgiven. Everything that I hid for so long from God was out in the open and taken care of. Husbands who are recovering from the affair must have that moment with God where you admit everything to him and ask for his forgiveness. I can remember several times before my "turn around" wondering when life was going to get better. I was expecting the Lord to just pick me out of the situation and make it all better. I thought any given day it would happen without any effort at all. Boy I was wrong about that. It wasn't until I gave everything to God and sincerely wanted out of the situation, that God was going to help me. It wasn't God taking his time. It wasn't God saying "ok when I get around to it, I will rescue this man." It was God waiting on me to give him the go ahead to change my life.

God had promised me a very long time ago that life was going to get better. I had just lost site of that. I had also lost site of what that promise really meant. The day I turned my back on God, I had given up on that promise. But praise the Lord he never gave up on me. That verse means a lot to me because I know the Lord is not finished with this promise. I know the Lord has plans to finish it and when he does, it will bring even more glory to his name than before and we will experience a glorious freedom in Christ!!

Oh... one more thing.. I am able to tie triggers and promises together. Whenever a trigger comes along, God promises my wife and I that the moment ahead will be what he intended it to be.

OK so what to pray for... Pray for my mom. We had a big answer to prayer after yesterdays report!! Keep praying. This weekend and next weekend, I want you to ask God to confirm his will to my wife and I. Pray for my kids, but especially my oldest son as he needs a behavioral healing of sorts.

Father thank you for taking complete mud and clay and making it something beautiful.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DISMISSED!! Word I like to hear...

Yesterday was our final day in court. I don't think anyone was more surprised yesterday than the judge and my lawyer hearing the state's attorney asking that the case be dismissed. What a great day. Not only did all of your prayers play into this, but my wife played a huge part in this too. She had two conversations with the states attorney concerning this situation and the Lord used her both times. What a difference when the Lord is in the center!! Moving onto the next chapter in this book is a good feeling. It feels so great to finally put one of the last reminders of my former life behind me. But further more hearing the word dismissed was such a relief.

Now I would like to deviate a little bit from the usual tone of this blog lately. Yesterday's scene played out like standing before the Lord. While I never want to be dismissed from the Lord's presence, I am thankful that his salvation and saving grace played out through me. That God dismissed MY sins and all I had ever done. Some day when I stand before the Lord to give an account of my life, this part of my life will be non existent because it was dismissed into the sea of forgetfulness.

The challenging part of this. There is still damage that has to be repaired. There is still daily work, talks with God, and devotions that have to continue. Another challenging part is moving forward and continuing to erase the anxieties that I have caused in my wife. For anyone who is recovering in their marriage from an affair, this is not an over night process. It takes time. The saying is true, time heals all wounds. I have said it before and I will say it again. When we are wounded, the healing creates a scar in some way shape or form. But that scar represents the healing hand of God. The scars on Jesus represent his death and resurrection, but more so, his forgiveness, his healing, and his grace.

I look back through this whole court process. First court appearance, hoping and praying my wife would talk to me. Second court appearance, my lawyer didn't show up. Third court appearance the state's attorney didn't have his ducks in a row. Between the first time and this last time was all the Lord's timing. God's will was done yesterday. God has answered prayer because I asked you to pray and we all prayed together. I can't thank God enough for his grace and I can't thank all of you enough for praying with me.

I am continuing this blog because I still feel the need to share about this journey. It is far from over and the Lord is going to continue to point things out in our marriage and in my life that all play a part in this journey.

OK so what to pray for... My wife and I are seeking the Lord's will and we are getting closer we think. Keep praying. Pray for our marriage and our kids. Pray for my mom who went in today for her second chemo treatment. The tumor has shrunk. Praise the Lord! Pray for continued direction on this blog!!

Father thank you for answered prayer. Thank you father for my friends and family who have prayed with us and continue to do so. Thank you father for how far you have brought.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Earlier Questions and new answers..

In the very beginning of this journey I was working my way through the book Fireproof and let me tell you, it was another piece that played into the saving of my marriage. I gotta tell you, I didn't understand a lot of things until after I read this book. Below are the honest answers at that point in my life and how I answered them as the book presented them to me.

A section from this blog on January 4th 2012.

"My Fireproof reading today covered selfishness. There were some questions that were asked. I have failed at every one of them. I am going to change the words from DO to DID.

Did I truly want what's best for my husband or wife? My answer NO

Did I want them to feel loved by me? My answer NO. I was pretty blinded and stupidized (yes I made that word up ) by SIN.

Did they believe I have their best interests in mind? My answer NO

Did they see me as looking out for myself first? My answer YES"


Today I would like to answer those questions again and maybe with some details added. The questions are in bold and my answers will follow. I will be changing the words BACK to Do. Before they were DID as I had changed it.

Do I truly want what's best for my husband or wife? My answer YES. Absolutely I want was is best for my wife and I am determined to make sure that she receives nothing less than the best.

Do I want them to feel loved by me? My answer YES. Of course, if she doesn't feel loved by me at any given time, than I am not doing my job and I better refer to this chapter of Fireproof. It is our job as spouses to make sure that in everything we say, do, or act that we are making our husband or wife feel loved.

Do they believe I have their best interests in mind? My answer YES. Just as an example, my wife's job situation is not family friendly, not HER friendly, and not marriage family. I have stated to my wife over my dead body will she go back to the job of which she took a leave from. I always want to make sure in everything I do that I am keeping my wife's best interest in mind. Not only that, but making sure that I act on it as well.
Do they see me as looking out for myself first? My answer NO. Gosh I hope not anymore. I have allowed the Lord to change me through and through. I know I may still have my moments... let me rephrase... there are still moments where I may be selfish. But the Lord gently( GENTLY aka.. pounds me on the head ) reminds me of what my priorities should be and I fall right back into line.

Now my wife reads this blog and I trust that she would agree with my answers. In fact I might just have her answer these same questions about me. Bottom line is this. In order to have a successful marriage, selfishness has to be a component that is thrown out the window. It it is the same when it comes to our relationship with Christ. We are not going to have an open honest relationship with Christ if we are not allowing him access to every area of our lives. Back to marriage. We will not ever have a successful marriage if we are not giving of ourselves to our spouse in every area of our lives together.

OK so what to pray for... Pray for my mom and her fight with cancer. Pray for the Lord's will in our lives, our marriage. Pray for our kids. They can still use prayer every day, but also they are still not completely trusting of this new mommy and daddy. Pray for Wednesday's court date.

Father thank you again for reminding us of how far you have brought us. Thank you Father for showing us how to love our spouses. Thank you Father for all that you do!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What you think is not always the case..

As I sit here on Sunday afternoon enjoying some time to reflect, I think about all the emotions and thoughts that my wife and I have encountered. Personally my end of it, I think of where I was this time last year. I think of how far God has brought me. I look back on some of the thoughts that I had that were son wrong. Some paranoid, some correct, and some just plain wrong in fact most were plain wrong. It has occurred to me that I am not the only husband who used to be worthless.

Our pastor this morning talked about the popular theory that there is at least one person in this world who looks just like us. The difference being that God created us all unique. I know that I am not the only man who has had an affair forsaking the covenant made day the "I Do's" were said. I know that I am not the only man who has struggled spiritually. emotionally. or had other issues to deal with. I am not the only man out there who made a poor choices on how to deal with it. But I am the only man who God created in his own way. If I were a painted picture or a piece of pottery, I would be unique in God's eyes. So what is my point? Keep reading...

This month I believe the Lord has been showing me something. It seems like the men of our church are really stepping up and taking the lead spiritually. Every one of these men including myself have amazing women behind us cheering us on. A few Sunday's ago, a devoted husband stood up in front of the church and admitted he had been battling with an addiction that the Lord had started to heal him from. This morning a couple admitted that they had issues both marital and personal, but had allowed the Lord to take over their family, their marriage, and their lives. In just a short amount of time God had transformed them. The first thought in my head? WOW I am not the only one. Or should I say WOW my wife and and I weren't the only ones.

For a long time in our church I have felt like I was walking around with a target on my back because of what I had done. The most serious of those things was being jailed for domestic battery. But what the Lord is showing me week after week is this. Since the Lord has forgiven me, he doesn't care about my past, but is only interested in my future. Therefore there is no reason to feel like there is a target on my back anymore. God is truly doing some amazing things in our lives, sometimes we need to stop worrying and just let God worry about it all. God is also showing me that I am not alone.

So I will admit that I thought everyone was judging me and my wife. Maybe some were, but most weren't. I thought that we were the only couple recovering from some type marriage issue. We weren't. I thought a lot of things during this journey, I was wrong about most. Here is what I wasn't wrong about. I serve a God who loves me unconditionally who isn't interested in the rumor mill. I serve a God who is in the business of restoring the broken hearted, the broken marriages, and the broken families. The only things we have on our back is what God put there saying "I died for this one, his sins are forgiven."

OK so what to pray for... Pray for my mom she is fighting a very aggressive form of breast cancer. Pray for our kids. Pray for our marriage that we continue to grow and build the base. Pray for the Lord's will for our lives. Pray for Wednesday's court date. God has answered prayer, but I believe there will be a chance to give my testimony about what God has done for me.

Father thank you for making us grow in you in our struggles. Thank you Father for loving us for the unique way you created us.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sometimes it helps to look...

Sometimes it helps to look to see where you came from. In other words... it helps to look back to when this all started as compared to where you are now. I think of everything that my wife and I have been through in the last couple of years. It has been quite the amazing journey. It has been amazingly terrible and amazingly awesome. As of now we are leaning towards the amazingly awesome. It has been quite eye opening to really get to know my wife and what she is truly about. I am sure she would say the same about me... or at least I hope. She claims she knows me quite well. Maybe one of these days she will be presented a "husband multiple choice test".

Tonight we will be going into our counseling session for an assessment of our marriage. This is not at all a bad thing. Definitely not a should we keep going or stop type thing. This is more of a lets take a look at where we were, where we have been and where we are going. I am excited about this. In this stage of the game, we are hitting some road bumps and we need to be able to work through them and understand them. I would call these growing pains of two people 100% invested in a marriage.

If you were to look back on both sides of this, you would see that we carried a lot of baggage into the marriage. If I had to make a recommendation to couples out there who are getting married, it would be this. Don't stop marriage counseling after the wedding. Find a mentor couple that can show you the ropes of marriage. Or stay in counseling. Maybe you don't need to go every week, but maybe a monthly thing would be smart. In my opinion there are two many married couples out there walking through this blind. I really wish we had something like that. It is also amazing how much your eyes are opened when you listen to other couples that you know. We see the problems they are having and we want to warn them to change course immediately. But who are we? God hasn't released us yet to tell our story, or at least this chapter of the story. This chapter isn't it over yet. God is still doing great things for us.

I am excited tonight for a couple of reasons. I think it will be neat to see where we came from and how far we have come together in this journey. I can honestly sit here and tell you that today I am more in love with my wife that I ever have been. The other reason that tonight will be maybe eye opening is because we can see what we need to work on, but the other is to see how God worked.

I have heard from couples who went through something similar. They have all said you come back stronger as a couple than you ever were. I believe that, but I also believe you come back trusting, allowing, and depending on God to do great things in the healing process. I can't sit here and tell you that this has been easy. We are both still working through issues both separately and together. But God is bringing it together. Some might think God is putting the pieces of a broken marriage back together, but I believe that God removed the broken pieces and is building something new.

Ok so what to pray for... Pray for my mom here on earth who has cancer. Today was her first treatment. Pray for tonight's counseling session and that God will use it to make us better. Pray for the Lord's will in our lives. God shut another door today, so I will continue to trust that he knows what he is doing. Pray for our kids and our marriage to continue to heal.

Father thank you for keeping us in check to you. Thank you Father for all the answer prayed in the last few days. Thank you father for the answer prayer coming our way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One answer and more to go...

When I arrived home from work yesterday the question was brought up as to why I didn't post something to the blog. My wife who is a daily reader of my blog always likes to hear what I am thinking. My answer? I was not feeling like I was getting an answers to the Lord's will for our lives. Yesterday I was just very impatient and was wanting things to happen. I am a person who gets a taste of what the future could possibly hold and I get all excited and want to push it along as fast as I can. So to answer the question, I felt like if I had posted something, it would have been me mostly complaining about why God is waiting so dang long to reveal his will for our lives.

Well today has changed that. I seriously think sometimes God just wants to slap us up side the head and tell us to be patient. I suppose at some point yesterday I should have asked God to give me patience. If you recall that first two and half weeks of January were killer for me and having patience was not a strong suit. This journey has been full and ups and downs. I am reminded of that daily and have to remember that God is working in all aspects of my life and my marriage. I so desperately want to see down the road, but I know God hides it for a reason. We as humans already try to hurry along God's will for our lives, and when we do that, things get messed up. As humans, we don't know God's plan until he reveals it. Honestly sometimes I wish God would hand me the magic mirror like in Beauty and the Beast so I could see what is happening. But God does no such thing and I am forced to get deal with it after deal with it when I ask God to PLEASE hurry up.

There are different as parts of this journey that I am on. My spiritual journey has taken me on this course of finding out how to be completely sold out to God. I find myself wondering about a few things. At what point have I given him everything and what point will I be so close to God that doing, re-acting, talking, and living is always pleasing to him. I refuse to accept anything less than that. I want God to have complete control of this ship. Sometimes waiting for him to steer that ship, is just hard to do. That is where I find myself lately. Just being accepting of waiting on God. It is hard for me. I think it is hard for most people.

But today God answered a prayer that I have been asking you all to pray about. The answer to this prayer moves us one more step closer to closing this chapter of our lives. This answer to prayer moves us one step closer of building that future my wife and I have always dreamed of. Today we found out that the charges for domestic battery will be dropped next Wednesday at the court date. Praise the Lord!! I cannot thank all of you enough for praying for this. This is just what we needed today. We are reminded that God is working in our marriage and that the power of forgiveness goes beyond anything we can imagine. This is absolutely huge and opens the doors for us to step further in God's will. I truly believe that God had everything to do with this and his timing is always perfect. Praise the Lord!!

OK so what to pray for... Pray for my earthly mom as she is fighting cancer. Pray for the Lord's hand of healing. She has saved our family and been a big part of saving my marriage. Pray for our kids as they go through this journey with us. Pray for our marriage to move even close to the Lord.

Father today I cannot thank you enough for all you have done. New mercies and grace you show me daily. Father thank you being right on time every time.