My friend, Dawn

I’m going to tell you right away…this is a long post..but it may very well be the single most important and penetrating thing you will read in the near future. And, no, I did not write it ūüôā ¬† ¬†There are a few blogs that I follow that I’m in love with; I know the writers personally in most cases and so as I read their written word, I can visualize their faces and hear their voices. One such blog I follow is written by a woman I first met when she was in her early 20’s, I think. She was dating a pilot in my husbands squadron and I liked both of them immediately. She would sit next to me on the bleachers as we would watch our guys play softball and she always made a point of being sweet to my kids. If you’re a mom, you know how endearing that quality is.

I haven’t seen Dawn since that time but through the beauty of Facebook, we are in touch with one another through status posts…and, of course, her blog. It was actually her blog that inspired me to begin my own.
Long story short, she and Don married and they now have 3 beautiful, adopted children. Her blog has always (and unapologetically) been heavily sprinkled with her faith in Christ and her passion for making the world a better place for the impoverished. This summer, she even went on a missions trip. In other words, she has it all together.

Today, her blog was a very public love letter to her husband and I have gained her permission (thank you, Dawn!!) to share it here. It spoke to me like nothing I’ve read recently. SO honest and SO exposed. I cannot express how deeply her honesty has inspired me. As someone actively serving in fulltime ministry, I often feel like I should keep my skeletons in their respective closet(s) and I have been wrong. People need to know they are not alone in their struggles…….Dawn, thank you. Bless you. ¬† ¬†And to my followers, please post your comments after you read this. Let’s begin to be real about who we are. Tomorrow, I’m getting real on this blog. Not that I haven’t been authentic~ but, tomorrow, I’m going to start actually posting the blogs I’ve started and decided not to share. She has inspired me again! ¬† ~Amy

Marriage is one of the top targets for the enemy… for Satan and his army of darkness.¬† When a marriage falls apart… ALL are wounded and Satan and his soldiers celebrate and gloat over their victory.¬† When a marriage falls apart… a family is torn apart.¬† Children are deeply wounded.¬† Family is deeply wounded.¬† And as marriage mirrors the relationship of Christ with His bride… Christ, the Father, the Holy Spirit and the angels of heaven are deeply saddened.¬† THIS is what Satan wants.¬† He wants to cause pain in the heavenly realm¬†and he uses us as the tool to do it.¬† We¬†can become¬†his pawns as he attacks us with lies, addiction, temptation, and distraction.

Every time I see¬†my family picture, I am so humbled… and thankful.¬†¬†I could have missed this.¬†¬†Had I continued to listen to the lies of the enemy… I could have missed¬†this.¬†Had I walked away/ran away from my marriage… like I wanted to at one time… I could have missed this.¬† My heart breaks at just the thought of it.
There was a time when I was convinced that my husband did not and could not love me.  There was a time when I was convinced that I did not love him.  I could not have the feelings I was having if I loved him.  And there was a time I was convinced there was someone out there who would love me how I longed to be loved, how I wanted to be loved, how I deserved to be love.

Lies.

Total and complete lies.

Satan had used an arsenal of weapons to set the stage to ensnare me in this trap.¬† Tools and lies that he started binding around me as a child!¬† Tools and lies that he continued to bind around me while¬†I dated… when I met and dated Don… during our very long dating period… and right into our marriage.

Our relationship was not founded on the love and truth of God.¬† There is mistake number one.¬† THIS gave the stage right to the enemy to start working with.¬† I was a wounded girl looking to be wanted, loved, protected, and fought for.¬† I was a wounded girl looking for a man to deem me worthy enough to love.¬† And I did what I could to be worthy of that love.¬† And when I felt like he was pulling away, I listened to the lies that it was because I wasn’t good enough… and I tried even harder to be what I thought he wanted¬†me to be.

Exhausting.

Impossible.

Wrong.

Never will work.

As I twisted into more anger as my efforts were not being rewarded, bitterness and self righteousness took root… and it dug deep.

Abby’s illness was yet another tool Satan used.¬† We fought about huge decisions that would affect her.¬† I became frantic.¬† I hit the wall.

I wanted out.

And I told him so.

The sorrow that fills me when I think of how self-destructive I was at that time is huge.  O-U-T was all I could think about.  And then I used that to suffocate anything positive that rose to the surface and kicked it back down.

I was driving to a friend’s house one day when it hit me in the car.¬† I-just-told-my-husband-I-want-out.¬† The Lord so graciously gave me eyes and ears to hear it in reverse.¬† And He opened my eyes to see my husband with His eyes.¬† Broken.¬† Afraid.¬† Hurt.¬† Angry.¬† Wounded.¬† Just-like-me.¬† And I sobbed.

I knew that if I left the marriage it would not¬†be in obedience to God’s word… to His will… to His commands about marriage.¬† So I clung to my desire to be obedient to God.¬† My prayers became constant but simple.¬† “Give me eyes to see him as¬†You see him.”¬† “Give me the strength and courage to love him like You want him to be loved.”¬† “Let Your love for him overflow out of me.”¬† “Heal me, heal him, heal us.”

And in time, walking in constant prayer and communion with the Lord, we began to heal.

It was not overnight.

I had to fight.¬† Fight for truth.¬†¬†Fight for my heart.¬† Fight for my family.¬† Fight for my marriage.¬† Fight for my husband.¬†¬†Fight to silence the lies. Fight to replace them with God’s word.¬† Fight to take every thought captive.¬† Fight to learn how to LOVE.¬† It is a VERB.¬† IT IS NOT A FEELING.¬† Satan gets most people right there.¬† LOVE is not a feeling.¬† It is an active verb that should never have ending.¬† LOVE is also a NOUN… something that is shared, something that grows, and something that overflows and remains.¬† But without the VERB… there is no NOUN.

I came before the Lord for my own healing.¬†¬†My eyes were opened.¬† I was looking to my husband for things he was not responsible for giving me.¬† I was placing demands on him that were impossible.¬† I was looking to him and making him an idol instead of looking to God and God alone.¬† I was not forgiving him.¬† And I was FAILING BIG TIME.¬† By focusing on my own pain, my own needs, and my own disappointment… (selfishness) I was not doing¬†doing what God wanted me to do AT ALL.

God¬†uses¬†a husband and wife to love them in the physical person.¬† It is such a gift.¬†¬†When I hug my husband, the Lord wraps His arms around him through me.¬† When my husband reaches over and touches me, the Lord touches me through Him.¬† When my husband embraces me in his arms, the Lord embraces me through Him.¬†¬†When I speak words of affirmation and encouragement to my husband, the Lord encourages him through me.¬†¬†It is one mighty task to take someone in marriage and take on the privilege of being God’s love to them in the flesh.¬†¬†One should NEVER take that for granted.

Marriage is not to make you happy!¬† The author of “Sacred Marriage,” Gary Thomas, speaks great truths about what marriage is.¬† I HIGHLY recommend this book to every married person alive!¬† Here are just a few things from this book:

“If the purpose of marriage was simply to enjoy an infatuation and make me happy, then I’d have to get a new marriage very two to three years.”
“Any situation that calls me to confront my selfishness has enormous spiritual value.”
“Marriage requires a radical commitment to love our spouses as they are, while longing for them to become what they are not yet.¬† Every marriage moves either toward enhancing one another’s glory or toward degrading each other.” (Dan Allender and Trempter Longman III)
“The beauty of Christianity is in learning to love, and few life situations test that so radically¬†as does a marriage.”
“Contempt is conceived with expectations.¬† Respect is conceived with expressions of gratitude.”
“Marriage virtually forces us into the intense act of reconciliation.”
“What marriage has done for me is hold up a mirror to my sin.”
“Don’t give in to the temptation to resent your partner as your own weaknesses are revealed.”
“The mature response, however, is not to leave; it’s to change– ourselves.”
“That’s the beauty of doing things God’s way.¬† Even when we’re sinned against, we can grow through the experience by the grace of God.”
“Merely being faithful to your spouse is quite a testimony in this society.¬† But as you go beyond that to communicative love for your spouse in a consistent, creative, and uninhibited way, the world can’t help but notice.¬† God will be honored.” (Gary and Betsy Ricucci)

While God worked on me, I was blown away by what I began to see.

I began to see more and more of my own sin.¬† And I began to see his love.¬† And it was unconditional.¬† It was wounded… but it was willing.¬† It was sweet and it was deep.

As I think about my husband’s love for me today, I am almost moved to tears.¬† He loves me better and more than I could have ever thought possible… more than I could have hoped for… and it moves me… and it grounds me.¬†¬†And I KNOW it is a gift from the Lord.¬† I KNOW it is a¬†blessing from our obedience to Him.
He loves¬†me despite myself.¬† He loves me despite my wounds and weakness.¬† Actually, I think he loves me¬†more for it, not in spite of it.¬† It is a love that wraps me in trust.¬† It is a reflection¬†of¬†God’s love for me.¬† And he does it so well.¬† I am so humbled.¬† I am so thankful.
I PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS WORD AND HIS LOVE AND HIS FAITHFULNESS AND MERCY.
To my precious husband… I am so very thankful for your love and forgiveness. I love the way you love me. You amaze me over and over. I am so very blessed to share this life with you. The love in your eyes for me humbles me to my knees. ¬†And no matter what happens… I will be just fine… because I will be with you and we will be with the LORD. You are such a man of great character and integrity. Your heart for others overflows with generousity. Your love for our family overflows onto all of us. You are who God created you to be and I praise Him for having His hand on you. You amaze me deeply. I am overwhelmed. I am humbled. I am so very thankful. I love you crazy.

We are walking a path of uncertainty with his job right now. I had peace about the whole thing until a few weeks ago when I felt my husband and his fellow pilots were very wronged.

But my husband, is unmoved.  He is being wronged, yet he speaks not an ill word.  He comforts me and assures me all will be ok.  He holds me as my flesh wages against the peace and he comforts me.  And I believe him.
He doesn’t care that his pay is going to be greatly decreased.¬† He doesn’t¬†care that we may have to move.¬† He doesn’t care he will be bumped out of his captain seat and become first officer again.¬† He doesn’t care he will lose much seniority with the company.
All he cares about is that we will be together and that God is in control.
It is one of his finest moments.¬† I could not love him more.¬† I could not be¬†more secure.¬† I could not feel more loved.¬† He has amazed me… and continues to.¬† God’s hand on him romances me like nothing else.¬† He is my hero.¬† And I am so lucky.

God is the redeemer of broken things.¬† I know many marriages that are hanging on a cliff of destruction right now.¬† Marriages that are close to me.¬† Wives who don’t want to love anymore because of how they feel.¬† Husbands who are not fighting like the warriors God has created them to be.¬† Wives who are wanting out.¬† Husbands who are walking away.¬† Wives and husbands who are focusing on self instead of serving and loving the other.¬† It is so sad.¬† I do not sit in judgment, I was once there,¬†but in sadness.

If this speaks to you, I challenge you to GIVE LOVE no matter how you are feeling.  Today.  Right now.  Fight.

Wives- touch your husband, hug him, love him… no matter how you are feeling.¬† Forgive.¬† Forgive.¬† Forgive. No matter how you feel.¬† Silence lies from the enemy.¬† Speak truth over your marriage.¬† And stay at the Father’s feet.¬† Look for ways to love your husband, not avoid him.¬† Don’t you realize that avoiding him is exactly what the enemy wants you to do?¬† Do you know what could happen if you approach him in love?¬† Mountains would be moved.¬† Make him a priority.¬† Healing could surface and restoration could begin. Pray for God to show you how to love him.

Husbands- listen to your wife and romance her.¬† Reach out to her.¬† And if you are rejected, do it again… and again… and again.¬† Pray for her.¬† Speak words of love and affirmation to her.¬† Serve her.¬† Make time for her.¬† Make her a priority.¬† FIGHT FOR HER.¬† Ask God how you can be love to her.¬† Forgive.¬† Forgive.¬† Forgive.

Do not give Satan a foothold in your marriage.  If you are not actively loving your spouse, you are opening the door to the enemy and inviting him inside.  No excuses.  If you are not actively loving your spouse, you are not pleasing the Lord.  FIGHT by surrendering to the LORD and be obedient.  Obedience is actively loving and forgiving.  Not co-existing.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5~

 

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.¬† If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I AM NOTHING.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth.
It always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
I Corinthians 13: 1-8~

Marriage doesn’t make you happy.¬† But the joy¬†that overflows from a marriage in God’s hands and is focused on Him brings happiness that deeply delights the soul!

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