HOW GOD HAS HEALED MY MARRIAGE
And Can Heal Yours Too!
his story is a true-life account of how I never thought my marriage relationship could get as far down as it did. I will attempt to share this as much as I can in hopes of helping someone else out there who may be struggling in their marriage relationship whether it be a Christian one or not. May I say from the beginning that by faith (my total 100% committed trust in God) that my marriage is totally healed and my husband and I are now walking in total oneness, as we have never known before. Even though I may not see the total manifestation of this healing in all areas of our marriage relationship, I believe and trust God that He will finish what He has begun in both my husband and I when He brought us together in this marriage. Only God could have given me the peace I now have in my heart for my husband - not any man or any other person could have given me this peace.
Let me begin by sharing briefly about how my husband and I met and how our relationship grew. First of all, I had been born again for about three years before I met the man I am now married to. I had very painfully given up a relationship with another man whom I had thought and believed with my whole heart that he was to be my husband. I won't go into details here about that painful relationship only because I want to focus in on my marriage relationship here and now. My born again testimony, Finally Free, will explain that part of my life.
Two weeks after I had painfully given up that other relationship I met my husband-to-be (unbeknown to me at the time). We met in my little church that I had gotten saved in which was my home church at the time. He was visiting my church with another friend of mine from church that he happened to work with also. He was searching at that time for a church himself and most of all searching for that personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He was a new Christian and wanted nothing more than to know about God and His ways.
About three months went by before I heard from him again. He had asked my girlfriend from church for my phone number and she gave it to him thinking that I wouldn't mind. Needless to say, I didn't! In some of my down times in this marriage I'm sure I could have thought differently, but I knew in my heart that God had brought us together. We met for coffee in a shopping mall after that first phone call and that was the beginning of our relationship together. We dated for about one year and went through some really troubled moments during that time too, only to finally see that it was indeed God's will for us to be married.
You see, my future husband-to-be at that time was really struggling with God's will for re-marriage for Christians. He was so young in the Lord and hungry to know the truth about divorce and remarriage in God's eyes. One day after we had been dating quite seriously and talking marriage, he told me that as far as he could see according to God's Word, was that he could not remarry unless he was reconciled back to his first wife. He dropped that "bomb" so to speak on me on my 30th birthday. I, needless to say, was so devastated. I told him to not call me or try to see me again unless he had marriage in mind. I was not going to play anymore games, so that's the ultimatum I gave him. He told me that if we ever did get together again, it would only be by God's grace that it would happen. We said our good-byes and parted.
Well, about four months later I had been starting to think about how I had ended our relationship. I felt that I had not done it very nicely, mostly in anger through my hurt and pain. By that time I had enough of the Holy Spirit in me to know that was not a very godly or Christian way to end a relationship. So, with no other intentions in my heart (I swear to God!) I called him to see how he was doing and to let him know I was sorry for the way I had spoken to him the last time we saw each other. I apologized to him about how I had ended our relationship, and that I could still be his friend if he wanted it to be that way. I honestly in my heart wanted nothing more than just that. I really meant that and from our conversation about it, we decided to meet again for coffee to just talk and visit.
We continued to see each other as just friends and I believe that through our new friendship our relationship began to grow again toward each other. I also believe that it couldn't have grown if there had been any wrong motives in my heart for wanting to be more than just his friend. I can honestly say too that I did not have any intentions in my heart for marriage with him. I had grown spiritually content and happy right where I was in my life - single. I knew God had someone for me, but it had to be in His timing and not mine. Therefore, Norm (my husband) felt no pressure from me whatsoever regarding marriage.
As I said, our relationship did grow, and our marriage vows were spoken on June 19, 1982. We had a beautiful outdoor wedding, which is a testimony in itself. I believe God had put it on my heart to have this outdoor wedding and the week of the wedding it was raining heavily. The night of rehearsal it was raining and my pastor felt we should do rehearsal plans inside the house too just in case of rain on our wedding day. So, we did that but I still believed in my heart and never doubted that we would have beautiful weather because I didn't believe God would put it in my heart to have an outdoor wedding only to have it rain spoiling those plans. I believe God honored my faith and trust in Him to not let there be any rain on our wedding day because there wasn't! We had a beautiful sunny day and we couldn't have asked for anything more perfect.
So June 19, 1982 began our marriage relationship. I had never been married before and I was so much in love with Norm. We had a very good and happy marriage for the first ten years of our new life together. I can't really remember when things started to go bad, but I believe it slowly started to happen in the third five years of our marriage. We have been married now for 22 years.
May I say that I am a very quiet type person and my husband is just the opposite. That didn't matter to me for a long time because I was always so used to having a more out-going type of person in my life whether it was a man or a woman. I was always the quiet one - never spoke up much or easily joined in on conversations with anyone. Deep down inside, before I became a Christian, I remember hating myself for being so quiet. I didn't want to be that way and I would have terrible mind battles inside about that.
As time when on and I continued to grow in my spiritual life in my personal relationship with the Lord, I began to learn to speak up and to be able to communicate more effectively with people. That included my husband and I also began to learn how to stand up for myself when I felt I needed to say something regarding whatever we were talking about. Those times were usually painful and uncomfortable issues we would be discussing. Sorry to say too, some of the issues we would disagree on would be of spiritual nature.
One of those issues, which was not spiritual, was about my having a baby. When we married we mutually agreed that there would be no children. I had never desired to have my own family and always swore I never would have any children or ever get married. I said those things because I came from a family life where all of my sisters and brother had married and divorced (some of them more than once or twice) with children involved. I swore because of that, I would never marry or bring any children into this world when there are so many out there who needed good loving parents with a loving atmosphere to raise them in. I did not want to add to that confusion in bringing more children into this world system.
May I also say to those of you who may be wondering, that "yes," I did repent of making those statements and speaking those curses over my life. At the time when I spoke them I did not know about the damage that can be done when one speaks such negative words over oneself. I now know that there is so much power in spoken words that come out of my mouth (see James 3), and I only want now to speak only words of life over myself and not negative words, which only brings death to my spiritual growth. When I did become aware of that, I asked God to forgive me for making such statements and broke those curses that were spoken over me by my own tongue.
My husband already had two children from a first marriage and that's all he ever wanted and knew God had filled that desire for him. About a year into our marriage I began to wonder if I would ever be sorry that I never had any children. Those thoughts began to grow within me and as much as I tried to block them out, they would keep coming back. Needless to say, my husband was very uncomfortable whenever the subject was brought up. I, on the other hand, would always end up in tears every time we talked about it. Well, after about six or seven years into our marriage we both came to a place where we each knew we had to put on the alter, so to speak, our desire for children or no children. We did that and did all that we knew we could do to enable me to get pregnant.
My husband had himself "fixed" in his first marriage, and before the doctors would do any reversal on him, they wanted to run some tests on me to make sure that I would be able to conceive. Well, the tests showed that I could not get pregnant because both of my fallopian tubes were blocked with past scar tissue, which was probably due to previous surgeries or past infections that I may have had. I felt in my heart that it couldn't have been from past surgeries because I only had one surgery n my life back in 1980 from a serious car accident, which is another testimony of God's healing power in my life. I could remember though about the many serious infections that I had had before I even became a Christian, which was in 1979.
Wouldn't you know though, the enemy would bring that to my attention and all these years until now, I really believed that. No, I still don't have any children but the Lord has done a work in my heart concerning that, and I am at total peace with my not having a baby. We did do all that we could to make it possible for me to conceive. I had major surgery to clear my tubes and my husband agreed to have a reversal operation done. They even said that if after a year goes by and I still have not gotten pregnant, that they could recheck my husband to see if his tubes had gotten blocked from the scar tissue of his surgery from the reversal. Sure enough, that was the case and they said when they were checking him, they could go ahead and redo the reversal. My husband agreed to that, and he said this second time of this reversal operation was worse than the first time when he had the whole procedure done in the first place.
The doctors failed to make sure he was totally numb before they began this second surgery on him again. He was wincing in pain and when they finally saw his reaction to the pain, they immediately stopped and gave him some more medication and waited until he was ready again. That was about ten years ago, and like I said, the Lord has done so much in my heart concerning my having or not having children. I want to say here too that I am so grateful and appreciative of all that my husband was willing to go through just for me so that I could have a child with him. I am now at total peace without having children and I still believe and know that if it is God's will for us to have a child together, He is more than able and willing to make that happen. We have done all that we could do, and now the rest is in His hands!
I really believe too that the Lord has shown me through His holy scriptures that the children of the barren woman will be more than the children of the married woman (Isaiah 54:1). For a long time I couldn't understand that scripture because I reasoned in my heart that I was married and I should be able to have children. But after so many years of that not happening, I finally realized I needed to come to peace with God and myself that if I never had any children, I would still love and serve my Lord and my husband. I did come to peace with that and may I say that just recently this scripture in Isaiah really came to life for me. You see, that is because I am His servant and I want to be a servant in a godly way to my husband too. I realize now that God wants to use my life to reach many of His children for His kingdom. That whole chapter (Isaiah 54) came to life for me in that regard, which leads me to share how God has really begun to heal our marriage relationship.
My husband, ever since we have been married, has had a strong desire to do testimonies to help lead others to Christ. Before we were married and when he was still not a Christian, he had a secular book project going that he had to totally lie down. He began to trust God to show him what he should do with his writing talent and he believes this is what God has shown him: that he is to begin to find people who are willing to share their born again experience before and after they got saved. He would when he first started out with this, have the people share on audiocassette tapes and then he would transfer it onto paper - thus a written testimony. He began doing this around 1983 and we are still doing testimonies, but in a greater fashion than when it first began.
May I share too some of the struggles I had during this time and the conflict it would bring up in our marriage? Like I said, I was always the quiet one and I was always in the background of anything we did together regarding testimonies or anything else. I never felt that this was a vision God had shown me - it was my husband's vision. Oh yes, I was always there supporting him in whatever way I knew how. I would never come against him about anything and I always stood in agreement with him on how he handled doing this. He was always the one in the spotlight talking to the person testifying and putting the final touches on the written testimonies. I would do the background stuff such as proofreading and making the document ready for the printer. And I had a peace about my role in this, never really wanting more than what I was doing.
I knew God wanted something more for me but I didn't know what it was.
That was part of the problem between us. My husband felt he was mostly alone in this and that I was just there to help out, but my heart was not really in it at all. He was right.... I knew God wanted something more for me but I didn't know what it was. I began to get really spiritually hungry and would get really in tune and involved with other ministries. I would get so involved with these "other" ministries that I didn't even have time to think let alone want to be involved with my husband's call on his life. I have a heart to want to have personal direct contact with people as I am ministering to them, and that doing it this way with written testimonies, I just couldn't see how I could be used the way I felt I wanted and needed to be used. So my quietness about all this began to really come out in the open when I started to get interested in other ways of ministry. I want to say too that I can honestly say that I did not deliberately "not get involved" with my husband's ministry. I had such a spiritual hunger in me like a vacuum that I began to search everywhere I could for spiritual food and worship, but I failed to look right in my own home and marriage relationship to fill that void.
I think that caused so much discomfort and pain in my husband more than I can ever realize. He wanted so much for us to be a team moving in the same direction (as it should be) and it seemed I was getting farther and farther away from that. We got so far down and became basically non-church goers. That happened because we had been so involved in ministry in a small growing local church that my husband could not handle all the time we spent doing ministry with this church, keeping up his work schedule, and keeping up with what God had called him to do which was testimonies. It seemed to him like testimonies were being shoved to the background and he had no peace whatsoever about this situation. It finally came to a head during one of our leadership meetings with this church we were attending and in leadership with, and I learned at that meeting that we would be leaving that church.
Needless to say, that was a total surprise to me and it felt like I had been stabbed repeatedly in my heart. I was very happy being there and doing the entire ministry we were involved in with that church. I had never had the opportunity before in any other church to be used as I was being used there. And I felt I was growing more spiritually there than I had been able to grow in years. So, I was very unhappy when the news came down that we were leaving, and our marriage really began to suffer from that decision. I had such a hard time that I decided I needed some real serious counseling if I was to stay married to this man. I had gotten so low in my feelings and affection for him that I couldn't or didn't even want to tell him that I loved him. I didn't know if I loved him (or so I thought) and that bothered me so much! Bless his heart, he would treat me like a queen and constantly tell me he loved me. I struggled so much with hearing those words coming from his lips, and I couldn't respond to him and say back to him "I love you too" the way he wanted me to because my heart was so broken and wounded.
So I found a Christian counseling center that I had heard about through his sister who lives out in Oregon (USA). She had mentioned this place to me through a Christian newsletter she had received, not knowing that there was such a place in our area for that kind of counseling. Well, I began to go and just pour out my heart to this counselor and did that for quite awhile. I think too at that time it was good for me because I had never had anyone really listen to me or give me a chance to speak of what was on MY heart. I would always listen to other people but never really know how to communicate what was going on inside of me, especially with my husband. That too stems back to my childhood because I was the last born of seven children in my family. I always seemed to be put in the background then too, never really receiving the nurturing and encouragement I needed as a child to grow up as a normal healthy adult. May I say too that my husband also has problems in communication, but praise God, because of our commitment to Him and to each other, we are growing in that area of our lives!
I came to realize later that the counseling I had been able to have was only a temporary fix or should I say it was like a bandage to cover up my hurt and pain until the real healing would take place. My husband and I were without a church home for about two years, and it was during this time that the Lord began to do a major healing in our marriage relationship. At the time, I wouldn't have been able to tell you that, but I know from my past learning of God and His ways that it is in the valley that He most effectively communicates and deals with His children. I wanted so much to be in a church because I longed to be in the atmosphere of praise and worship. I have a heart for worship and it does not go away but keeps getting stronger as I continue to walk with the Lord. I really missed that and I wanted so much for my husband and I to be together again in a church.
That desire began to be filled when my husband had sent me to talk to a woman about her possibly sharing her testimony. I honored his wishes and went to her and my visit with her became more than just a testimony contact. She became my friend and she was very instrumental in getting us back into a church. After we had gotten back into a church, we realized we still needed help in some form of counseling again because we were still not completely healed in our hearts with and for each other. So through careful and painful strides of finding the right counselor for our marriage, we settled on a pastor who lived about an hour away from us.
We decided on him because we knew him from his sharing his personal testimony on our ministry broadcast and because he knew my husband's heart in the call God had placed upon him. My husband at that time would only go to someone who knew where he was coming from, and I was more than willing to travel as far as I had to in hopes of getting this marriage relationship back on the right track. We were at the point that we could not even counsel together for awhile. We went to this pastor once a week separately for his counseling so that we would each be able to open up our hearts without any reservations of saying what we wanted to say without the other one hearing or interjecting our thoughts regarding the subject being discussed.
We are now going to a smaller church, which we are very happy and blessed to be there. This woman, as I spoke of earlier, became my new friend and God used her mightily to get us to get back in a church. My husband never thought he could ever get me to go her church, let alone get himself to go. And he was right, only God could have gotten us to go there and get us back in fellowship with a body of believers in a local church.
It is such a very large church but it is very well balanced and has a very strong evangelistic ministry to reach the lost, which is what my husband's call with testimonies is all about. I also know that the call and desire to reach the lost should be on the heart of every born again believer. I personally remember having such a strong desire to reach others for Jesus Christ but things in this life can grow strangely dim when we don't keep our personal relationship with Him strong and we begin to focus only on those things or circumstances in our life that are not too pleasant.
Satan has a way of distracting us and getting us so involved with how unhappy we are that we cannot be of any good or be used to reach others for Christ. At that point, our joy has been robbed and therefore who would want what we have found in Christianity when we look like we ourselves are so miserable. We need to seek first the kingdom of God and ALL these things will be added unto us (the joy, the peace, the contentment, our marriages restored...) (Proverbs 6:33)
I know God has healed my marriage because I now feel love for my husband like I have never felt before. And I think that is only happening because I have determined in my heart to return to my first Love that I once had when first became born again and when I first began my marriage relationship with my husband. I have begun to learn what it means to be one with my husband and how to be in submission to him because he is the covering and authority God has placed over me when I married him. When I say the word "submission" I don't mean that I have to be under his control and he has to lord it over me. That is just what the world would like you to think submission is all about.
We need to be praying the Word of God over our husbands, and not necessarily our wants and desires all the time. When we do so ... many of our wants and desires will be fulfilled.
The Bible says that when we as wives respect our husbands even when they aren't so lovable and they are maybe out of the will of God in areas of their lives, that by our loving and quiet example, they will be won over to what God wants to do in and through them. (I Peter 3 is a good chapter for that explanation). It is very important that we stand in the gap for them by praying for them that God will make our husbands the godly men He intends for them to be. We need to be praying the Word of God over their lives and not necessarily our wants and desires. It is definitely God's will for our husbands to love us as Christ loves the church - to lay his life down for us just as Christ laid his life down for His bride, the church, so we don't have to wonder or worry about what God's will is concerning how we should pray for them. Pray His Word over them and see what a difference it makes!
I have become more willingly involved in the ministry God has called my husband to, and I can now see that whatever he is called to I am called to also. I always used to think that God did not put that desire on my heart and I wasn't the one who received the vision for testimonies. Therefore, where was my calling? I am finally beginning to see that my calling is with my husband and that God can and will use me, as I have desired to be used of Him. After all, He gave me a promise through His Word that the children of the barren woman will be more than the married woman. I now see that His will for me is to enlarge the pegs of my tent and begin to be used of Him to reach a lost and dying world for His kingdom. That scripture I spoke of earlier (Isaiah 54) is not just for the natural in bearing children, but spiritually speaking, it is for reaching the lost for the cause of Jesus Christ.
The ministry that my husband has never let go of with testimonies is because God hasn't let him let go of it. We are now working together as a team in going into peoples' homes or churches and videotaping them as they share their full length born again testimonies. The videos are then played on nine TV Public Access stations throughout the State of Michigan and other states within the USA. Through the Internet, God is using our efforts on this website as well, praise His name. I always had a desire to sing for the Lord, an even that desire is being fulfilled. Doors of prison ministry have opened that we've felt to walk through and I'm having a chance to praise God with my voice while ministering to the prisoners at the same time!
When I say I have become more involved in this ministry, I mean I am not in the background anymore. I have begun to let myself be stretched and used on these video broadcasts in ministering to the viewing audience and praying for them as I feel the Holy Spirit leading me. I may not know all of what I am going to say but I believe the Holy Spirit gives me something to begin to share and He speaks through me from there when I willingly avail myself to Him in that area. I know I haven't been in all this spiritual learning and training I've had for years for nothing. There has been so much deposited in my soul and spirit that I cannot let it lie dormant anymore. I need to begin to let it out to help those out there who are hurting and need what I have found, which is the love of Jesus and a personal relationship with Him in my life.
It is through the past hurts and pain in my marriage that God has used to now put in my heart the desire to serve alongside my husband in ministry.
It is through this, the hurt and the pain in my marriage, and now my desire to do what my husband feels called to do with testimonies, that our love for each other is growing so much stronger. We finally are in tune with each other and God in our personal relationship with Him. There is so much more peace between us because we are now moving in unity toward the same cause and goal, and that is to be used of God to draw others to Him through His son, Jesus Christ.
I've always known that my place is with my husband, but I haven't really been able to understand how I am to fulfill my role to respect him as the Bible also teaches. I could never really understand how I was to respect him because I didn't really know how to respect him. You see, I never had a godly example set before me as a child growing up. My parents did not have the knowledge I have been privileged to know through my born again experience of walking with the Lord on a daily basis. My father died at an early age of his life with cancer and I was only six years old at the time. Because of that and seeing how my brother and sister's lives were turning out (and that is only because they too did not have a good example set before them), you can see why I didn't know what a godly marriage was all about.
I have come to learn now that respect is not only an act of my will to be willing to obey God's Word in that, but also respect is so much easier when the husband is also doing his part in loving his wife unconditionally and laying his life down for her. I want to say here that my husband is and has been doing that with me no matter how hard our situation was and still is at times. He always tries to treat me with respect and speak highly of me with others, and most of all speaks encouraging words to me in person. There are still times when I don't understand how he could love me the way he says he does, but I think I feel that way because I don't always feel like I am worthy of such love and respect only because I never received it as a child. Now when I have those thoughts, I know that is not from God but that is the voice of the enemy whispering in my ear. I am worthy because I am a child of God and He loves me so much that He would give me a man who would love me and Him at the same time as it should be.
I am just so thankful that I am married and have such a good man to share this life with. He is so gentle and kind to me that when you hear his side of the story, hopefully you will understand what marriage in this life should be and can be if we will just be obedient to God's will for our lives. Our marriage is so much stronger now than it ever has been because I have been able to see my place as my husband's "helpmeet" as the Bible refers to concerning marriage in Genesis 2:18 and 20.
I have learned to earnestly take an interest in what is dear and near to my husband's heart and to do all that I can to help him in that calling God has placed upon him. It is through my willingness to do that, that his love for me keeps growing stronger and stronger every day and my love for him keeps growing too because he is by an act of his will and in obedience to God's Word, loving me unconditionally. You see, we as Christians do not walk by our feelings, but we walk by faith - faith in God that He will restore our troubled lives and marriages if we walk in obedience to Him in His Word.
Thank you for taking the time to read and listen to my heart in this testimony. If you are having problems in your marriage, it is my prayer that you will turn to your Creator, Jesus Christ, and develop your personal relationship with Him. It was only through my concentrating on my personal relationship with Him that I was able to stand through all of the trials and tears of my hurting relationship with my husband. God is faithful! When He says He will never leave or forsake us, He means it. It usually is us who do the leaving, but He is always patiently waiting for us to get back up and keep walking forward toward Him.
I encourage you to keep your personal relationship with Jesus Christ strong, or if you have never accepted Him into your life as Lord and Savior, that you do so today. Your relationship with your mate will be so much stronger because of your obedience to knowing Him and not just knowing about Him. God bless you now as you begin to diligently seek Him in your life!