On March 28, 1998 I married my best friend. Two souls born miles apart were brought together by God. Although we had different backgrounds logistically and financially we took on the world as one. I was 25 and she was 23.
We set sail on the ship of marriage on the sea of life with great expectations, hopes and dreams. “You and I,” I sang to her. “We can conquer the world,” I said then. However, I had no idea that these words would be tested throughout our journey into a place that couples boldly go and only the dedicated and noble remain.
My wife and I met at church. I remember her being this college kid, me being in the military, who thought she was all of that, or at least I thought so. I never really spoke with her at all. I guess I felt she wouldn’t be interested in me. One night the church had a choir concert and she and I were both in the choir. We had to wear formal attire. I saw her that night and she was beautiful and I think I fell in love with her that night.
I went back to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio in the winter of 1996 for Christmas. I at that time had walking pneumonia. It was a twelve hour drive from Montgomery, Alabama. I was fortunate to be able to take almost a month off of work. While being doctored back to health by my mother with home remedies I never forgot that pretty girl from Alabama State University.
On my way back to Montgomery, “The Gump” they called it; I wrecked my car in a blizzard while driving through Kentucky. One would have thought that the first thing that I would have done when getting back to Alabama was to sulk and lament the loss of my car but no. I wanted to find that girl. Seek and ye shall find the Bible says so I sought after her. Thank God for our mutual friend and I eventually found my wife.
In the first years of marital bliss we thought alike, felt alike and dreamed alike, but as the years flew by, our state of residence changed and children were born; tests and trials came to see how strong our marriage was. I remember a lady told me that when you first get married you are caught up in the idea of love, but the truth is you grow in love with each other. I found out that that statement was very true.
We were both excited about our own expectation of one another. We thought that we would get married, get great jobs, have an awesome home, and three beautiful kids. No one prepared us for 6 miscarriages, being homeless, and the temptation to be with other people. Through it all, the love never stopped. Even when separation and divorce were waiting to devour our vows God kept our ship afloat.
My wife and I were both heavily involved in the church. I was a deacon and sung in the choir. My wife was involved in campus and youth ministry. We even moved to Atlanta, GA to work with our sister church. It’s when we moved to Atlanta things begin to fall apart. I began to see things happening in the church that hurt me and made me not want any part of it.
What turned me against the ministry was that I was supposed to be refunded gas money for driving the church van. I was unemployed and had a wife and child. I was denied a refund of thirty dollars which was all of the money I had to sustain my family.
For years I held my animosity toward the church for things that I experienced. I began to say all churches are the same. They just want your money I thought. However, my wife was the total opposite she continued to be dedicated to the ministry. We were both hurt by the same church. She left the church not God. I left the church and slowly I was walking away from the calling on my life too.
I was never a cheater. In fact I was proud of that fact. But, when two married people aren’t getting along for extended periods of time the enemy has a way of creeping in with temptation. It was the perfect setup for infidelity and ultimately divorce but thankfully God intervened. I had a job that required travel and hotel stays.
My temptation came in the form of a woman in my office that was willing to listen and comfort me. She listened to me and seemed to understand me in ways that my wife wasn’t. I would talk to her about some of the issues that my wife and I were having and tell her that my wife and I weren’t getting along. The physical attraction began to grow between us.
We almost connected but thank God that the relationship never reached it’s full potential. We had a major falling out at work and she no longer wanted anything to do with me. As a matter of fact, it was completely obliterated by the blood of Jesus. After this close call I still was not ready to fully answer the call that God had given me. It wasn’t until earlier this year that God had my full attention.
One Thursday evening I felt as though I was coming down with a cold. I had no idea that my temperature would rise and stay for 5 days to a week. I was sick and had lost 10 to 15 pounds. I had never felt so bad in my life. I took medicine and went to the doctor but the fever remained.
God was burning all of the past hurts and bad thinking out of me. Praise God! I dreamed dreams and saw visions concerning ministry that I had never seen before. It was during this time of sickness that I gave my life back to the Lord.
After this episode God not only healed me physically and emotionally but he also healed my marriage. My wife and I both sat down and had a real conversation about how we felt about our marriage and exposed hidden truths about one another.
We were both angry about unfair expectations that we had placed on one another. After talking we discovered that many of our issues could have been resolved if we had just communicated better. It was now time for me to tell her the hidden truth about my close encounter in the office and also about the second cell phone that was hidden in my car.
When I told her I gave her the phone that was now broken in half and I apologized. It was the best therapy session that I had ever had. Not only that, but it brought my wife and I closer together. We are now strong together as one in unity and there he commands the blessing. WE together are Sons of God and children of his kingdom.
Are you dealing with a relationship issue? How has God brought healing in your life?