I could see the tears falling down the side of my husband’s thin face. His eyes were filled with so much worry. Pain and anxiety began to rest upon his graying brow. I was drawn to the image of his bare feet, as he stood helplessly on the side porch clinching his brown loafers within his hands.
The picture seems so fresh, and although several years have passed it is still embedded within my mind. My husband waved his hand and motioned for me to come outside. His voice began to choke up, as he cried out, “Please let me come home. I want my family back.”
In all honesty, there have been several sleepless nights of crying and feeling ashamed when I reflect back on the heartache I brought to my husband and my children.
The Guilt & Shame
At times, my memory takes me back to that afternoon when my son and daughter were riding in the backseat of my car. There were no usual laughs, or sing a longs. Just being candid, there was only weeping and silence. It was if we had just left the site of a freshly dug grave. Yet, I can still hear the tone in my son’s fearful voice as he turns to blurt out, “I want my family back, Mom what have you become?”
Years ago our marriage began to unravel. Our priorities had gotten so out of line. Kids, our jobs, PTA, civic clubs, church, affairs with so many things... we simply failed to nurture our marriage relationship. My husband and I grew so far apart that we were merely living together as roommates. The passion had died and my feelings for him began to disintegrate. Our marriage was dead. As a matter of fact, I often share when I am facilitating conferences that it was “Lazarus been in the grave three days stankin’ dead!”
BUT then God!
That’s right! I LOVE big buts! My husband began to pray and fight for our marriage. He surrounded himself with godly friends who encouraged and empowered him to keep standing. At times he felt as if he were going to emotionally and physically collapse.
BUT then God!
God began to soften my heart, I fell under conviction, we reached out for godly counsel, our marriage was restored, redeemed by the power of GOD! Almost three years later we are partners in a marriage ministry, facilitating marriage conferences all over this country, sharing about the HOPE that is found in Jesus! I LOVE big BUTS!
The benefits of a big BUT
Last year I remember leaving my job. The fear and anxiety of walking away from that salary… the comfort found in having that safety net. I knew without a doubt that God had called me into the ministry. I just did not know that my unemployment at the time was all part of God's plan. I wept for what seemed like days. What about our home? How could we make ends meet?
BUT then God!
My husband and I gathered our children around our mailbox. We began to pray for what seemed like hours and stand on the word of GOD. I was determined to place all one hundred fifty plus pounds of my weight on the promises found in the Word of God!
I weep as I am able to share the miraculous provisions that were sent our way. Not once did we fall behind on any of our payments, not once did we go lacking, we somehow managed to even save a little during this time.
I like big BUTS!
As I sit here writing, I feel that many of you are finding yourself in a pit of despair. Maybe it is a hurting relationship with a child, friend, or even your spouse. Perhaps, you are finding yourself in a large battle with your declining finances and your checking account balance is causing fear and great worry. Possibly, you have received a diagnosis from your doctor that has caused you great anxiety….
Did you know the word “but” appears in the King James version bible over 3,500 times? Now that is a lot of buts! When you read the word, “but” in the Bible, honeychild you can rest assure, Jesus is saying, “Hold on, I’m not through, I am still working, It ain’t over yet, I AM still GOD!"
Praise God for Big Buts!
I can’t calm your troubled waters and I can’t calm those raging seas, BUT my friend I know a man who can! I can’t breathe hope into what seems like a dreaded pit of sorrow, BUT I know a man who can! I can’t cause your cancer to disappear or soothe your grief broken heart, BUT I have met the man who can and His name is Jesus! No matter how hopeless your situation may seem at this moment, remember this, BUT THEN GOD…..
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