1st - I want to thank all of you (you know who you are) who have been so supportive of me - my whole life, really - but specifically over the past year. I'm so blessed! Blessed with wonderful family and a ton of friends who, even if we are absent from each other for a time, are part of my life in such an important way. Thank you so much for being who you are in my life. I believe with all of my heart that God put each of you in my life for a reason, and I am so very blessed and thankful. The last year has been hard, but I have learned so much about myself and my relationship with the Lord and just how much He loves me and my family.
2nd - Yes, all I've posted is true. I know that many of you were surprised a year ago when I left Doug. And, you are surprised now, that we have decided to stay together. Honestly, I'm just as surprised as you are. This is not where I thought I would be 8 or 9 months ago. I'm shocked at how God has moved and changed us. If you knew all the details, you would be amazed, too.
Now, I'm not saying that it's all "peachy" and things are perfect. That wouldn't be true. However, I truly am amazed at how God has answered prayers. Specifically. All the details. Not every single little whiney thing I've asked, but He has provided provision, peace, and guidance at every turn. Because of that, I have more peace than I may have ever had about my life, my relationship with Him, my marriage and my family. This really is all in the palm of God's hands, and that's enough for me.
3rd - Believe it or not, Doug and I are right where God wants us to be right now. I believe with all my heart that even in my leaving, I was following God's plan. I was scared when I left, but left knowing I was doing what God wanted me to do at that time. I know what the Bible says about divorce and I never felt peaceful about it, but I also didn't feel peaceful about our life together. I constantly prayed that He would intervene SOMEHOW and make it right...make it what He wanted this life to be, or that He would change me and my heart so I could be at peace with the life I had. He did a little of both. The relationship is different. I am different.
4th - One of the miracles I mentioned before is that God spoke. Here's what happened. I was in a new church, having felt led to leave the church I was already involved in (with praise and worship, no less, which wasn't easy to leave). The very first Sunday morning I was there, there was a message in tongues. Sidenote: If you haven't experienced that or don't believe in it, that's ok. I understand the reservation. I, however, have had a very positive and rewarding experience and believe that this in one way God speaks to His people.
So, the interpretation was something to this effect, "I will take care of you, if you will let me. You don't need anyone except me. I love you. You are my child and I will take care of you, but you have to let me." At that point, it was very affirming to what my spirit was leaning toward, but my intellect was very scared of....letting go and letting God take care of it.
That night, in a prayer service at the same church, I was praying and felt the "whispers" of the Holy Spirit. I've only one other time in my life felt that God spoke directly to me, but He did that night. He told me that if I would obey Him, he would bless my family and give me the desires of my heart. The key about that, is that He also began to change the desires of my heart and to put things back into perspective....His perspective.
He also made it very clear to me that my marriage was about more than just Doug & I and the family we have now. He has a purpose and a plan for our marriage and our family. We have a job to do for His kingdom that will make a difference in eternity. This is bigger than my happiness or Doug's or even the boys'. It's about giving our lives to Christ and following wherever He leads. I pray with all my heart that my boys will see, someday, that the most important thing they can do is lay down their selfish desires and do what God calls them to do. I want to do that in my own life, so that they will see the rewards. After all, we all know that we teach by modeling the behavior we want them to learn.
Before we left that night (I had invited Doug to come, which was another miracle in itself), a lady who had never met us before stopped us and said, "I don't know what your circumstances are, but I feel led to tell you that God wants you two to look at each other with new eyes of love. He loves you and wants you to know that you can look at each other differently than you have before."
5th - Hang on, and watch what God is going to do. I am excited about what's happened, because God has shown Himself so vividly. I know He is working and moving in our lives and I'm so anxious to see what is coming next. It's fun to be in the middle of where He wants you to be! It's truly miraculous and better than I could've ever hoped for. I do believe that Doug and I have work to do for Christ. We both, after much prayer, believe that it involves children. I'm not sure exactly how or where or when, but that's ok. It will happen when it's time and just how He wants it to be. We are reading and praying and learning about the orphans of the world. There is no shortage of scripture that says we are to take care of the orphans and widows. You'll be seeing more about what I'm learning in the days and weeks to come. I've just finished reading a couple books that were terrific. I'd recommend them anyone. Scared by Tom Davis and Adopted For Life by Russell Moore.
Please continue to keep Doug & I in your prayers. We are closing on the new house Wednesday morning. Most everything is packed and ready. I'll post pictures as soon as the camera and equipment are unpacked and set up.
Verse For The Day: Jeremiah 29:11 ...I know the plans I have for you. ..plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.