Saturday, August 2, 2008

Defining Moment...

I thought these posts would have gone in chronological order but I feel really pressed to start someplace else. I know this is a long one but bear with me and read on. I pray it touches the heart of that one person it was meant for.

I learned some bad news regarding a couple my husband and I are acquainted with. I say "acquaintance" because while my husband and I really enjoy the company of this couple, we just haven't had enough time with them, or know them intimately enough, to call them friends. I have been praying for this couple for some time due to the condition of their marriage and while praying this morning I could just sense that something was wrong. Not like a death in the family kind of wrong, but a turning point in their marriage. I actually began to cry while praying; they were very heavy on my heart and it was a strong burden. It was like God was allowing me to feel just a bit of what he feels when we hurt. I can't say empathy because I've never endured what they are now enduring; I can't relate. It was strange and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it myself. This will be the defining moment in their marriage. This will be where they decide they will either make it...or break it.

This brings me to the defining moment in my marriage. We had plans that day to take our three children (twins were unborn) to see The Rockettes downtown with my sister-in-law and her two girls. My husband and I began to bicker and argue over I-have-no-idea-what; probably using the last of the milk or something ridiculous.

At this time we had a hard time "fighting fair" and sticking to the subject at hand. When we argued we brought up every wound ever inflicted on each other. I, well, I was a runner. I couldn't stand the heat in the kitchen so I got out. I easily became overwhelmed and would remove myself from the situation instead of working it out. I'd typically drive to my parent's house. Though I didn't pack a bag and plan to move out, it was my husband's worse fear and always made him panic. This day was no exception except that I felt, as I drove to my parent's home that day, as though I couldn't do it anymore. I was worn down, spiritually weak, and completely overwhelmed. I can remember as I walked out my front door my children's reaction and how they begged me not to go. Faith in particular, who is our peace-keeper and most emotional child, was just devastated. I can still recall the look on her face, her tears, and the fear and desperation in her eyes. She wasn't even old enough to understand what was happening but she knew it wasn't good and she was scared. Though it broke my heart, I went anyway. I know that act is forgiven today but still guilt creeps in.

Because we had plans with Todd's sister that day he called and told her we weren't going to make it downtown. That phone call led to a call to his Mom and I'm convinced a prayer chain formed. I cried in my car so hard that day. I begged God to help me. My heart hurt so bad I thought it might feel better if it were ripped out from my chest. It's insane to me to remember so many of the details from that day but not be able to recall how it even began. As I prayed, I slowly began to calm down as I sat in the car in front of my parent's home. A spirit of peace came over me and the tears just stopped. I went from completely hopeless to feeling partly restored in a fifteen minute drive. Todd called and asked if I could just agree to taking the kids to the show. Nothing else, no further commitments, no further arguments, just a show. I agreed and we actually had a great time. That's Jesus. That's the power of prayer. Did those prayers fix everything that day as though it never happened? Absolutely not. But, it did provide an open door and a first step toward working it out. I promised God, Todd, and myself that day I would never run again. I haven't. I won't. We solidified our commitment to each other that day and what once was Todd's worst fear isn't even a forethought anymore.

I'm certain the success of my marriage is contributed to God's grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. But, it is also contributed to the ongoing prayers from a loving mother for her son. I'm certain we have been unscathed by so many things because my mother-in-law and so many others pray for us. Don't underestimate the power of prayer. The prayers of others have changed the course of my life. You never know who else is praying for the same people you are praying for and corporate prayer is a powerful thing. This, by the way, also comes together with my generation/legacy post. Because my mother-in-law committed her life to Christ, raised her children in the way of the Lord, loves Him with all her heart, and serves him, he has graced my husband (thus me) with grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Just as promised in the bible.

I'm going to separate this post into more than one to make it easier to read. I don't want to scare any of you off. I'll finish and save it, then post the second half on another day to make it easier to read.

Just where does your marriage go from that "defining moment?" I'll share what is on my heart for this couple who I hope become friends. Even though they are nameless, God is all knowing, would you say a prayer for them? Pray the enemies lies cease, blinders are removed, and that a feeling of love and God's peace that surpasses all understanding surround them.

FATHER, sometimes forgiving others seems impossible. Forgive us when we hesitate to extend grace to others. And remind us that revisiting the cross is the first step in knowing how to forgive.

Isiah 30:18
Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

2 drops of sunshine:

Shannon Crane said...

There isn't anything I don't enjoy about your blog... the colors, the pictures, but mostly your heart. Thanks for sharing it... it isn't always easy to pour it out, but I pray it touches others, just as it has me.

Cindy said...

Thank you for your post.
Without any details, in March my marriage came to a turning point. As I sat hopeless, God spoke one word to my spirit: GRACE!
Through Grace and forgiveness we are now beyond the crisis and recently celebrated 27 years of marriage.
Your post will minister to many.