Love Restored

My husband was barely down the road 10 minutes and my phone rang.  It was him.  My heart raced!  This was either really good…or really bad.  Very timidly I answered the phone.  Was he calling to say he has made a huge mistake?  A mistake leaving?  A mistake to try to let it work? Was he going to tell me he actually missed me?  Or to say he never wanted to see me again?

“You can’t be telling me you love me.”  He called to put me on notice that I already put this trial in jeopardy.  He called to tell me that he was about to change his mind.  But instead of going with his first instinct to run as fast as he can in the opposite direction from me, he was going to give me very specific ground rules and expectations to at least have a fair chance and opportunity.  “When a guy and a girl meets and goes on that first date they are NOT using the words ‘I love you.’  You can’t be telling me you love me.  Because I do not love you.  And quite frankly I do not want to hear that you love me because that is just going to make me run from you.”  We are literally starting from scratch in this relationship.

When he said he wanted to start over and fresh with me, he meant from the very beginning.  As far as he was concerned, he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him.  He didn’t know if he could have any attraction toward me, but he was willing to find out.  He was very clear, however, with what he knew and felt about me only based on our marriage, he had no desire to be with me.  No desire to want to know me or be attracted to me.  But he noticed something different about me this day.  He saw something different in me that…intrigued him I think.

He said that I seemed different.  He could see a change in me just in these past few days.  He was willing and interested to get to know what appeared to be a new side of me.  And for that he was not going to run.  The fact that he has been praying for the right thing to do, and he felt the right thing to do was to at least give me a chance.  A fair chance.  But I needed to know where not to cross the line.  He did not love me, he didn’t even know if he liked me.  And regardless of what my feelings are for him, he did not want to hear from me that I loved him.

My heart sank when I got off the phone with him.  I already felt defeated and doomed.  I felt like no matter what I did, said, or tried he would be looking for a way to justify that I failed his test.  For a moment I thought this was all going to be for nothing.  That he still had his mind made up and he was just going through the motions…just for a moment…then I took a deep breath, regrouped, and started praying through those fears, those insecurities, those lies that the devil was trying to whisper in my ear to distract me.

I prayed that God direct and guide my steps over the next couple weeks and give me exactly the words that Chad needed…wanted…to hear from me.  Give me a tender, gentle approach in all of my actions and speech.  Help me to back off.  Help me be patient.  Help me to win his heart.

Image result for love restoration

I spent the rest of the evening in prayer.  Before bed time the kids and I joined hands in our prayer circle as we have been doing for the last 3 nights.  In order for our marriage to be reunited, our entire family had to be united.  We had to stand together strong and committed.

Friday was like a breath of fresh air that I hadn’t had all week.  I had a big corporate meeting and luncheon to attend for work so it was actually a pretty low pressure day.  The drive time allowed me some additional time with God as I was still fervently still seeking his voice and guidance, and the laid back itinerary helped me to ease back into life.  The day wrapped up with attending a concert downtown with my kids and some people from church.  Honestly, I still wasn’t really in the mood to be around people, but I did know that my spirit needed some refreshing.  What better way to rejuvenate your spirit than spending a few hours in praise and worship.  Not to mention be in the company of good, prayerful minded friends and family.

I came home that night and collapsed on my husband’s side of the bed.  Once again I prayed for him.  Not just to come home to me and to love me, but to feel a refreshing in his spirit as well.  To feel God and to know God.  To feel God’s love and care for him.  To feel at peace in His presence and to feel a reassurance as he moves forward with clear direction.  I prayed Proverbs 31 not only over my own life but over both of our lives and into our hearts.

So many things I prayed for over the last several days.  That God would forgive me for letting my husband go.  For not making him know that I love him or appreciate him.  For not sacrificing more when he sacrificed so much.  I prayed for patience and slow reaction.  I prayed that my husband would forgive me and could find love for me.  I prayed that he could heal-that we could heal.  That he could feel my love, that he could feel God’s love.  I prayed for a new heart, not only for him, but for myself.  A new heart for God and His purposes and desires.  I prayed that God loved me enough to hear me and that my hurt and passion would move Him to hurt for me and to move for me.

And oh, how God loves us…Saturday morning my phone rang and it was Chad.  My heart caught in my throat.  Our last conversation had not exactly been…hopeful.  But this was different.  He sounded calm, peaceful.  I wasn’t supposed to see him until Sunday night when he was going to come over to be with the kids while I was at work.  He said he couldn’t wait until Sunday to tell me…he felt like I deserved to know now…he has made a decision.  He wanted to call me first thing so that I didn’t have to go any longer worrying and thinking about what he was going to do.

Image result for love never fails

Divorce was no longer an option!  He wants this marriage to work and we are going to make it work no matter what.  He began telling me how he has been praying and seeking God like he never has before-like I have never heard him do before!  He desires God not only in his life but completely in CONTROL of his life.  His desire is for God to be 1st in this marriage so that this marriage will work.  He knows that if we would put God first in our marriage then everything else would just fall into place and we will have the best marriage ever!

I was stunned!  Overwhelmed with emotion, relief, excitement!  I almost could not believe my ears.  And the timing?!  I was almost confused!  God had worked and answered so many of my prayers so quickly and so specifically that it almost didn’t seem real.  Didn’t seem possible.  But that is exactly how I know that God worked in this.  To have seen the look in Chad’s eyes as he said the words that he said to me at the beginning of the week…to have heard the tone in his voice on the phone…this was not an empty threat to get me to change my ways.  He wasn’t interested in me changing my ways.  He wanted out very plain and simply.  He was cold and stern.  So to hear him say now that he wants this to work…that it WILL work…I knew that God got ahold of his heart and changed it.  I also knew that his heart could not have been changed if I wasn’t willing to allow God to change mine as well.

Now, he still wasn’t moving back home just yet.  He still did not feel that we were in THAT place.  We were going to move forward as planned by starting to date again.  Get to know the new people in each other that God has started and is creating.  He felt we still needed time apart to allow God to keep working on our hearts and spirits individually.  Once we allowed God full control over our individual spirits then we could allow Him to work on our spirit as joined back together as one.  But we needed to be strong apart first so that we could be even stronger together.  He had been staying with his parents during this time, instead of the friend he had originally made plans with.  Staying in his parents’ home, surrounded by Godly influence and a faith filled atmosphere was exactly what he needed…what we needed.

I have never been so excited for what the future holds.  The anticipation of the “what it will be” is overwhelming!  I just can’t wait to see how  God uses Chad and me separately and then how he is going to use us together.  I am just so thankful right now that I get to think about my definitive future with my HUSBAND!

“Lord, I pray for my husband.  Make him a strong leader in our family.  An example not only to the kids but to me.  Give him passion to pursue you and passion to make sure his family is a Godly family.  Allow him to have deep understanding as he reads your word so that his spirit and gifts grow and that he can share that word with his kids and his wife…

Give him a burning, passionate desire for me…Fill every space in his mind and heart (that is not taken up by you) with me.  Let my face be the last face he sees when he closes his eyes at night and the first one he sees before he opens them in the morning.”

“Lord thank you for answered prayers, thank you for mercy, thank you for grace, thank you for my husband!  I am so thankful for Chad’s heart.  His new heart to follow you closely, to take in your word, to listen for your voice, to obey your commands.  I am grateful for second chances.  That not only did you show me grace, but that my husband showed me grace. 

Help me now as I continually pursue you and strengthen my faith and prayer life.  Help meImage result for pursue love as I pursue my husband.  Let the pursuit never end!  Let me always want to chase him, love him, hold him, long for him.  And let him always pursue me.

Amen.”    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Passion, Prayer, and Strategy…Taking My Love Back

February 18, 2016…6:00 AM

Today is the day God has been preparing me for.  I wouldn’t see it until now.  The people, the words, the circumstances that have been aligned into my life that would direct my thoughts and guide my prayers.

1 Samuel 30:1-8, 18, 19

vs 8:  Should I chase after this band of raiders?  Will I catch them?  And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them.  You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

vs 18:  David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. -NLT

“The devil has raided my home.  Just as the enemy stole David’s wife, the enemy has stolen my husband.  As the Lord told David to chase after his enemy, I chase after my enemy!  I hold to God’s promise to recover everything that was taken from me.  I will rescue my husband from the enemy.  Thank you for that promise.”

Every hour on the hour I had my alarm set to my phone “Pray”.  Every hour on the hour I sat down in the middle of my living room floor, removed my house shoes, opened my Bible, and laid out my book and my prayer journal.  Every hour on the hour, through the Image result for woman bible9th hour, I prayed and completely immersed myself in God’s word and His presence.

7:00 AM  Hebrews 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

“Lord, I come to you boldly-confidently- knowing you have us in your hands.  I need you now more than ever.  I need your strength, I need your grace, I need your mercy, I need your forgiveness and compassion.  You paid a price for me that I could come to you and ask these things.  Help our hearts heal.  Restore me.  Restore Chad.  Individually and then join us again as one.”

8:00 AM  Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 

“A prayer for my husband.  That he leans on God and not his own thoughts and will…Allowing God to speak in his heart will guide his thoughts and action in the right direction.  The direction of his family.”

9:00 AM  Mark 10:4-9

“Lord, Chad’s heart is hard right now.  His hardened heart has lead him to this idea of divorce.  It is in your written word that divorce is a result of hardened hearts.  Break Chad’s hardened heart.  Soften it again.  Your promise is that no one split us apart.  We are joined as one.”

10:00 AM  1 Peter 3:1-2

“Lord, let me be submissive to my husband.  Let me follow him with honor and respect.  Let me honor and respect his word and opinion.  It is my job and duty as wife to follow respectfully and without complaint.  I should have been doing it all along.  Don’t let it be too late.  Let me have the opportunity to show that to him again.  Let me be able to show him that I respect his word and his voice and his decisions.  Let him see that I am not grasping at straws to keep him  Let him see that I am genuine.  I have a genuine heart for him.”

11:00 AM  Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6

“Lord help me to speak with Chad today with gentleness and love and respect.  Let my voice and words encourage him.  Let my presence soften him.  Allow his heart and spirit to receive my words and voice as soothing.  Calm his soul.  Calm his spirit.  Make it still so that he can hear you clearly.”

12:00 NOON

Up until this point I had been taking time during each hour to read and pray with a scripture and write my own personal prayer according to how that scripture spoke to me.  During the noon hour I felt compelled to pray through the entire hour.  Exodus 40:9 would be my inspiration for the noon hour.  “Take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all its furnishings to consecrate them and make them holy.”  

So I proceeded to anoint my house!  I got out my big bottle of olive oil and I laid hands on every surface that I thought my husband might even come close to coming in contact with!  I anointed the door frame so as he passed through it into our home he was crossing the blood of Jesus.  I sprinkled and poured oil across the entire front of the house, down the steps, into the driveway, and across the entrance of the driveway from the street.  The moment Chad entered onto this property he was entering holy ground.  Grounds and a home that was fully dedicated to the Lord.  I plead the blood of Jesus on this property so that negatively could not even step foot here.  Destruction could not abide here!  The devil was forbidden to step foot on these grounds or to enter into my home!  Lord, surround us with your protecting power and shield us from the enemies attacks and misdirection!

1:00 PM  Ephesians 4:31-32

“Lord, take any bitterness inside me toward Chad away.  Do not allow me to be vengeful in my speech.  Let him see a tenderness in me toward him.  Likewise, God, do not allow bitterness and malice enter with Chad.  Do not let him have the slightest thought of deception or manipulation, or hatred.  Melt him.  Soften him so that he is tender and desires to be gentle.  Allow him to forgive me for everything I have done and every way I have treated him and everything he thinks I have done.  Lord, break the walls down around him and his heart.”

Image result for fervent

2:00 PM Psalms 88 1:-2

“I cry for my husband.  I cry out for my husband.  Hear me God.  Listen to me God.  Feel my pain.  Feel my sorrow, my loss.  Let Chad feel sorrow and loss for what he has walked away from.  Let him cry to you.  Hear his cries.  A reconstruction can only be done with a complete breaking.  We are completely broken Lord.  Allow our brokenness to be the building blocks of a newly reconstructed marriage and relationship.  Rebuild us piece by piece into a glorious new masterpiece.”

3:00 PM-the 9th Hour

John 17:4  (KJ) I have glorified thee on the earth:  I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  vs 5 (NLT) Now, Father, bring me into the glory…

In Jesus final prayer-his final hour on earth-the ninth hour-he said “it is finished.”  His work is finished and it is time to go home.  Lord, in this final hour-this ninth hour-I declare victory in the finish!  I have done the work.  Prayed, sought your face, loved-for these nine hours I suffered through torment of the devils lies and his thievery.  I am claiming victory and holding to your promises.  I am claiming my husband and going home.  I have finished.

Within the hour Chad would be here.  I spent the entire day preparing my mind, my spirit and my home…now it was time to prepare my body!  I had to get PERTY for my man!  Freshly showered, blow dried and straightened my hair, and fixed my makeup.  I want him to walk in that door and be awe struck with the beauty of the woman standing before him!  I want his heart to skip a beat with an attraction that he hasn’t felt in a long time, if ever.  I wanted him to see me with fresh eyes as a different woman, a new woman.

I prayed that Chad would be given a plan and a strategy of his own.  That he would set criteria for me to meet.  That God would fill his mind with ideas of the woman he wants to love and that I would portray those exact ideas.  I prayed that God would equip me and guide me to fulfill every desire, every standard, every hope that Chad had set.  God, let me be the woman of my husband’s dreams, the desire of his heart.

When my husband arrived it was…awkward.  I truly did not know what to say.  I offered him dinner, which he politely declined.  I could see him looking around noticing the little changes I had made.  He complimented the new pictures that were hanging.  At one point he walked in the bedroom and he commented on the new bedding.  After visiting with the kids and dogs for a bit, it was time to face the difficult stuff.  This was the moment of truth.

What happened next and the words that were spoken was nothing short of a miracle.  Chad started by telling me he has been doing a lot of thinking…and praying.  “I have decided not to file for divorce…YET.”…hey, I’LL TAKE IT!…Now, that does not mean he was ready to come home.  As a matter of fact he said he still would not be coming home, for quite awhile actually.  He still can’t be in this house with me.  He still does not love me.  As a matter of fact he does not even look at me as his wife.  Instead, he would like to start fresh…a guy meets a girl, they go out, see how it goes, see if there is an attraction, and then just build from there.  He still has hurt and bitterness when he looks at me…I dare even say hatred.  But for the sake of the kids and all that we have invested in this marriage he is willing to see if there is hope for it to be salvaged down the road.  So, he’s going to let ME take HIM out on a date!

There were some rules..(hmm, sounds like he’s got a strategy and plan!)…this was to be like first date status…no wedding rings, no holding hands, hugging, kissing (unless HE felt led to initiate it), no talk of “our family”…just a simple boy meet girl date.  If after the conclusion of the date he felt the attraction kindling, the desire to see me again, then he would ask me out on another date.  He was allowing me 2 weeks to win his heart and affection.  If at the end of the 2 weeks he still felt nothing but resentment and disgust, the divorce was back on the table and there was probably nothing I could do at that point to change his mind.

As harsh and unreasonable as some of this may sound, it was absolute music to my ears!  Immediately I felt a huge weight was lifted and the tight grasp around my heart had been loosened.  EXACTLY what I had asked God to make happen was happening right before my eyes…in real time!  I asked God to give him a plan so I just KNEW He was going to help me to fit that plan!  I had no doubt in that moment that my husband would be coming home.

I agreed with everything Chad had to say.  I spoke softly and answered gently.  I did not challenge anything he said and accepted his proposition with contained excitement.  2 weeks didn’t seem like very much time at all to come to such an important and detrimental decision, but I knew it was just the right amount of time for God.  After all, He MUST have been the one behind this thought out plan.

As Chad walked out the door I made it a point to say “I love you” as I have missed so many opportunities to say in the past.  I closed the door, not leaving any time for response so as not to make him feel obligated to respond…still  this would turn out to have been a bad move!

.

 

 

 

Love Worth Fighting For

Image result for love worth fighting for jpeg

I could not sleep Tuesday night…at all.  My mind was racing, my emotions were completely unstable.  Just when I would manage to doze off I would wake up crying…maybe I woke myself up from crying, I don’t know.  Even my dog knew something was up.  She rarely comes into my room, but tonight she would not leave my side.  She slept curled up on the floor next to Chad’s side of the bed.  Every once in awhile she would walk over to mine and lay her chin on the bed, I would stroke her head and then she would go lay back down.

I finally just got up.  I was supposed to be at work in just a couple hours.  There was no way I was going to make it through a day working with the public with my emotional state of mind.  I texted one of my third shift co-workers to try to figure out if I could just come in for a couple of hours to get my paperwork done and then duck out.  After finding out it was only going to be me and one other employee I felt doomed.  He ended up calling me and I told him everything that was going on.  There were few people that I wanted to get into the details of this with, but this person had been a great friend in faith to me since I had begun working there.  Immediately he took charge of the situation.  He told me to stay home, he had me covered.  He told me to rest and to pray.  To prepare myself, my home, and my mind for the meeting to come Thursday.  And as far as he was concerned, I was not coming in to work Thursday either.  He had me covered that day as well so I could spend the day in preparation for Chad’s visit.  My priority was to my marriage and to my family right now.  Thank God for placing just the right people in my life!  For setting me up and already preparing me and equipping me for what was going to be the fight of my life!

Now I was really awake.  I felt restless.  Like I had to take action NOW and not let one minute go to waste.  I began to write.  I wrote Chad a letter.  If he wasn’t going to hear me out in person or on the phone then I was going to take another approach.  Something he said to me Tuesday haunted me.  He said he felt like I have been searching for something and he thinks it has a lot to do with the fact that I got married so young and that I was trying to recreate or get back what I had missed out on.  That was so far from the truth.  I had exactly what I had always wanted!  I knew since I was a little girl that I wanted so badly to be married.  To be a wife, a mother.  I knew that I wanted to be a YOUNG mother!  So I could be active and involved with my kids!  That was my dream.  That IS my dream.  I was reminded of a word that was spoken to me on my missions trip in January.  In an altar service a word was given to me through one of our interpreters.  I was told that God was going to give me my desires, and that God was going to remind me of what my true desires are. Well, at the time, I couldn’t quite put my finger on that.  I had been mauling over the idea of going back to school, so in the moment I thought well that must have something to do with my new endeavors.  Isn’t it amazing how we feel like we have to grab onto everything in the NOW?  I wanted that word to confirm my desires in THAT moment.  I couldn’t see beyond that it was not yet a word for that moment, but a future moment.

And I wrote…

“I don’t know where or when exactly I lost sight of that.  I think it must be when I graduated from college.  College was not what I expected.  It didn’t turn out how I planned.  Here is what in my mind was supposed to happen.  Grandma was dying…I was supposed to be able to help her.  Save her.  That is how it was going to happen in my mind.  But she died….When I lost her I lost my purpose for school.  But I couldn’t fail at it.I had already asked for so much sacrifice of you and the kids with our time and money  that I felt like I had to make it work…I wanted to see through that I did right by you.  But I never did…a part of me always felt (still does) that I let you down.  And I felt guilty for taking that all away from you.  I know what I was searching for.  I was searching for a way to not let my degree-all the time I took from you and the kids, all the money that is wrapped up in it-to not let it be for nothing…ironically the pursuit to make it up to you consumed me the wrong way.”  (excerpt) 

I had a plan.  I was going to drive to my husband’s work, with this letter.  I was going to place the letter in his car…and that was pretty much it!  That was my plan.  My “well thought out, strategic” plan.  It was all I had so that was what I was going with, and then I just prayed that God used it and built off of it.

” I love you.  I have always loved you-I will always love you…you were created and sent specifically for me.  You are the only one who could put up with me, support me, love me for all of my flaws and attitude.  And for that I am also sorry…that I have taken full advantage of that so much to the point that I actually pushed you over the edge of not being able to handle it anymore…I took your love for granted thinking it would always be unconditional and be everlasting..”

I got in my car and drove.  And as I drove I prayed.  I am all about my worship music in my car, but today I needed my silence.  I needed to concentrate.  I had to focus.

God!  Help me!  Help my words to speak to Chad’s heart.  Soften his heart so that he is receptive to my words.  Start chipping the barriers away from his heart and his mind so that he is receptive to YOUR words.  Allow him to hear your voice and to see your face.  Give him the desire to seek your face and to begin listening for your voice.  Protect him from the enemies attacks.  Surround him with your angels, not only to guard him and shield him, but to FIGHT for him.  To fight off the blows of the enemy as he targets him.

The closer I got to Chad’s work the more nervous I got, and the harder I prayed.  I prayed that when he found the letter that he would actually read it.  I prayed for God to prepare his mind even now at this moment.  Begin filling his thoughts with thoughts of longing for me and for our marriage.  Fill his mind with a longing to hear from God.  God start speaking to Chad in such a way that he will recognize you unmistakably.  Fill his van with your Holy Spirit so that when he enters in he enters directly into your presence.  Surround his van with your angels so that before he even approaches his vehicle he is already coming into contact with heavenly presence.

I placed my letter in the front seat of Chad’s car, and I left.  I was leaving in God’s hands now.  Only God could soften the harshness and bitterness that I saw, heard and felt the other day.  Only God could save this marriage and relationship.

As I headed back toward home you would think that I would be feeling some sort of relief at this point.  Some sort of satisfaction that I took a step that I was confident God was going to use.  Instead I was filled with a rage!

Image result for fight for love

The entire drive to Chad’s work I was calling out to God.  Now I found myself calling out the devil himself.  I began yelling and challenging him!  I couldn’t help myself.  I called him out for the coward he is!  How DARE he come after my husband!  How DARE he pick on someone not his own size! Chad was not in a good spiritual place to be dealing with a spiritual attack.  And that is exactly what the devil went after.  How sneaky, how cowardly, and quite frankly, how lazy!  It wasn’t even a challenge for him!  He swooped right in while my husband was vulnerable and I was wearing blinders, and he walked right out the front door with him.  I demanded that he back off.  I demanded that he give my husband back.  I demanded that he come at me instead.  I was ready for him.  And if he wasn’t going to come at me head on, then I was certainly going to go at him head on!  I was not letting my husband go without a fight.  The enemy may have avoided a fight with Chad, but he was not going to avoid one with me.  I would hold onto my husband until death, and I would take on the devil himself if that’s what it would take.

“This hurts so deeply, but I know this must have bee the only way God could have gotten my attention.  I have been so absorbed with moving forward with blinders on that I had to be thrown completely off the bridge to see the view.”

Now it was time to get my  house in order.  I went home and I began to clean.  I folded cloths, I cleaned out cloths, I tidied up our bedroom, I washed dishes, and I organized the living room.  As I looked around the living room there were little reminders of my missions trip all around.  Very strong and loud I could hear Chad’s words in my head:  “I do not believe in your missions trips.  I don’t think they are right, and I do not believe in what you are doing.”  He had a lot of resentment towards those trips.  It took his time away with his wife, it took attention away from him with his wife, and it took away his money.  He had no desire to go himself, and after time he had no desire to see me go.

I was faced with a question.  The night my parents came over my dad asked me pointedly:  “Would you give up your trips for Chad?  Would you give up going to Mexico if it meant saving your marriage?”…WHAT?!  Did I have to choose really one over the other?  Did I have to make a choice between God’s work and my husband’s feelings?…Yes.  Yes I did.  I had to make a choice between saving my marriage or going on a trip.  And I had to make that choice clear.

I took down the pictures of Mexico, of the kids, and replaced them with pictures of our family.  Chad made it clear he did not want to be bombarded with confessions of my undying love.  He made it clear that he no longer loved me and could not see us together at this point.  So the photos were of me and the kids only.  When he walked in the door Thursday I wanted him to see me as a woman and a mother.  I wanted him to have a fresh vision of me.  I wanted him to get a flutter in his heart for this woman standing in her home, taking care of her home and taking care of her children.

I had a new plan.

I went to the store and purchased all new bedding for our room.  Things were not the same between us and if I had any hope of him coming home, our bedroom was definitely one place that things would not be the same.  It needed to be a new neutral environment.  A place where a fresh start could eventually take place.

I continued to pray through the day and into the night.  I knelt down at my husband’s side of the bed and prayed for him.  I prayed that God would speak directly into his ears.  I prayed that God’s voice would be audible and recognizable.  I prayed that Chad would begin to pray.  That he would be overcome with an uncontrollable urge and desire to pray and seek God’s voice and that he would be listening.  Because I knew if he would just allow God’s voice to enter into his mind and heart then it would be inevitable that his heart would be changed.  That his mind and decision would be changed.  But it had to be his own.  He had to recognize it himself.  He had to come to the conclusion on his own through his own personal account with God.

Tonight I slept.  I had a big day ahead of me tomorrow.  Tomorrow would be the day Chad’s mind must be changed.  There was still so much preparation.  Spiritual preparation.  Our church had been called to a day of prayer.  I was committed to a day of prayer and fasting.  Nine hours of prayer.  Nine hours of being submerged in God’s presence and will.  Nine hours to prepare my own mind, heart,and spirit.  If I didn’t win this day, I knew I would not win.

“I am the woman who will love you, defend you, fight for you, take care of you, support you, and submit to you until the day I die.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Lost

I have waited a long time to put my full heart and story out there.  I have revealed pieces, and overall the people in our lives know that we faced a really rocky point in our marriage.  I have referenced how I almost lost my husband and marriage and spoken of the milestones we have accomplished in the last year, but I have yet to have disclosed the full story.  The origin of it all.  The demons in the closet, if you will.  Today I begin to tell it all.  Not to just tell a story, but to hopefully offer encouragement to another woman, another wife, another mother.  To offer support and understanding to another couple.  To offer sympathy to a love lost.  To offer hope to a love not yet lost.

One year ago today I was not celebrating Valentine’s Day like I had planned and certainly not how I hoped.  As a matter of fact I did not get to celebrate it at all.  I remember, it was a Sunday.  My husband did not “feel well” and did not make it to church that morning.  I didn’t feel well myself but was hoping to come home to some sort of surprise.  The surprise was…there was no surprise.  No “happy Valentine’s Day honey”, no flowers, no candy, no new outfit, not even a recognition that it was V-Day.  Just my husband laying in a dark house showing literally no emotion.  I wasn’t feeling well myself so my treats turned out to be self-bought Theraflu, Tylenol Cold & Flu, tea, and a slew of vitamins.  We both kept to our corners of the living room and eventually our corners of the house.  Barely a few words were spoken all day…if only I had recognized…I had felt the true thickness in the air.  If only I had gone out of my way and taken a step of love on my own.  This was the last biggest mistake I had ever made.  For had I known what my husband had been feeling,thinking, planning in those moments and days leading up I would have given my very life to prevent what happened next.

Valentine’s Day came and went in our household completely avoided.  The most extensive conversation Chad and I had was that he said he wanted to talk to me about some things when he got home from work the next day, but he didn’t want to get into it now because he didn’t feel well.  Again, HOW did I not see it coming?!  WHY didn’t I feel how weighted that statement was?

February 15, 2016 at approx 3:30pm my husband walked through the door…I don’t even think he sat down-I don’t know-this is a bit of a blur, he just lingered near the door, and he very matter of factly told me that he was leaving and would be filing for a divorce.  He already had a place to stay…he would be staying with a friend from work, he already had his bags packed and loaded in the van along with some of his other belongings, he even had already spoken to a lawyer.  It was settled and he would be back later in the week to sit down and discuss living/visiting arrangements with the kids and the bill payment situation.  He was not going to leave me without the house and a vehicle.  He was going to make sure we were taken care of and comfortable, but he could not be here, in this house, in this marriage, anymore.  And then he left.

My head started SPINNING!  Everything from the day before, the months before started flooding into my mind.  If I were to imagine what it feels like for your life to flash before your eyes in a moment of tragedy this was it!  In what seemed like several minutes, but I am sure was only several seconds, I saw the entire day before play out.  I saw my son’s birthday a week before-when he didn’t seem quite right, I saw my missions trip in January-when he was so supportive and teasing when I came home.  I saw our discussions about going back to school-when he was encouraging and driving.  I saw us at Christmas and Thanksgiving with all of the different family-when at times if felt oddly strained and a little disconnected but not obviously broken.  I saw us on our anniversary trip when we spent days hiking and he presented me with a new beautiful ring of my dreams…I saw it all: the good times, the fun times, the bad and difficult times, the arguments, the make ups…I was overwhelmed with a feeling of…confusion, FAKE and deception!  Had any of those good moments actually been good?  Were they genuine at all?  Were the strained and off moments my moments of missed opportunities?

A wail rose up out of me that I almost did not recognize as my own.  I collapsed into the floor and just melted in despair.  I felt like I had just been notified of my husband’s death!  And I guess in a way that is exactly what had just happened.  He was no longer mine.  He was no longer here.  And supposedly he would never be back.  Within a few moments I felt warm, strong arms around me.  “I love you mom” my son says to me as he slipped a piece of paper into my hand.  “I’m going for a walk, but I’ll be back.”

Image result for Deuteronomy 31:6 nlt

It took me a moment but I opened up the letter to the words my son wrote.  In the midst of it all the 2 things that stuck out to me the most and I still remember clear to this day “fight for the man you love”…and he wrote the words of Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”  Next I did what any heartbroken girl does…I called my mom and dad.

The next days were going to be critical.  Because once I got through the shock and raw emotion, it was time for a plan.  A specific course of action that was going to bring my husband back.  This was delicate!  No amount of begging, pleading, promising to Chad was going to bring him home to me…although I did still try just in case it held up with any form of authenticity.  I had to be fierce and unrelenting and come up with a battle plan against the enemy, all while being gentle, humble, and genuine while dealing directly with Chad.  I had to be strategic, strong, patient, calm.  I could not be manipulative or harsh.  God was going to have to infuse me with all of the elements and traits that would allow me to win.  Win the battle, win his heart.

I spoke with Chad on Tuesday, the next day.  This is where the begging came into play to really no avail.  This is the day I confessed my undying love and commitment…with absolutely no reciprocation.  This is the day I realized who I was REALLY going up against and that Chad was NOT my enemy.  I tried to understand how Chad had come to this decision and why he felt like this was the only solution.  I tried to approach his logic from a spiritual perspective and hopefully help him see that this was not a spiritual answer.  I asked him if he had been praying about this and simply stated that if he felt like this was the answer that he was given then this answer was not from God.  This is not biblical and was not a solution that would be suggested by God.  His answer put it all into perspective to me…”I never said this came from God… I just finally got the courage to do this.”

I knew in that first statement that I was going to have to go head to head with the devil himself.  I was going to have to take my husband back.  I was going to have to plead the blood of protection around my husband’s mind and body…because that dirty devil just picked a fight with a girl…a woman of God!  And he was in for a fight!

Chad told me he would be by the house on Thursday after work to see the kids and to sit down and talk.  And by talk he meant establish visiting arrangements with the kids and bill payment arrangements.  Thursday.  2 days.  I had 2 days for God to work a MIRACLE!  2 days for God to soften Chad’s heart and change his mind.  2 days for God to work me over and transform me into the woman Chad wished to love…

Image result for wife praying

…to be continued