From Heartbreak to Redemption: The Love Story for the Ages

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Today I want to tell you a different kind of story – a love story that’s been years in the making. 

I’ve shared pieces of my story here over the last four years. I’ve shared the heartache and hurt, but also the hope.

It’s been my desire to encourage, to support and to be a champion for marriages – and I’m not going anywhere.

But today, I want to share a little deeper. I want to share the truth behind these words:

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
– I Corinthians 15:55

Are you experiencing heartbreak in your marriage? Be encouraged by the hope of the greatest love story we can ever know - a love story for the ages!

The Heartache  

Four years ago today, the bottom fell out of my marriage. I started down the longest, darkest path of my life.

I prayed for God to somehow speed up the process and just let me skip right to the end of the long, dark road. His answer was, “No, but trust me.”

Not only had my marriage hit rock bottom, but now God was not answering my prayer in the way I wanted.

After many months, my feet firmly planted, I decided to stand for redemption.

The Hurt 

Choosing to live life with a deep faith in God does not mean that we are immune to life’s hurts, though. While my stand was for redemption, the consequences of my husband’s choices lingered.

The pain was overwhelming at times; the fear was palpable.

Whether I stayed in my marriage or left it, I would have pain.

Life seems rather bleak when there is hurt at every turn.

Looking back, though, I’ve seen Jesus at every step, and though there was pain, there was also His love and peace.

The Hope 

The road has been long, and I think many of us want to give up along the way.

This is an exhausting journey, and honestly, I understand why someone would give up.

I asked God to do something with all of this mess of a marriage, for His glory. I wanted my stand to be worthwhile, not just a nice sentiment that would eventually backfire.

Though I told God I wouldn’t write about marriage, that’s what He placed on my heart. As I followed His leading, He started to bring women who needed hope.

Not only that, but hope has reignited in my own marriage.

The Healing 

A lot of healing has happened in my marriage.

The choices my husband made cannot be undone, neither can the consequences.

But the consequences of my choice to stand for redemption can’t be undone either.

While I’ve stood for redemption, I’ve had the opportunity to extend love, grace, compassion, and hope. What are the consequences of those choices? They range from an open heart willing to continue to grow in love, to a heart willing to be hurt if my husband was not willing to move forward in our marriage.

Thankfully, God has worked tremendously in my husband’s life. He has gone to work to accept his choices and their consequences, and to work through the healing process in his life. As he has worked through healing in his own life, it’s opened the door for healing in our marriage.

The Holy 

There’s no doubt in my mind that the devil intended all of this for harm, and probably even for death. While our marriage didn’t die, and while neither of us died, our way of life died. Everything that was a part of our life was taken away.

So what do you do when you’re in a hole and can’t find a way out?

You sit and wait, you let God cover you with His wings (Psalm 91).

In due time, when God has had time to work in your heart, you’ll start to see the next path He has for you.

See, my story – this part of it – started in pain and sadness. No one would have blamed me if I walked away, but that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted my family. I wanted the holiness of a covenant marriage and the beauty of God’s redemption.

So I waited – I waited on God and stepped back while He did what only He could do: redeem and restore. I’m so grateful that my husband had a heart willing to work on restoration in our marriage.

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
– I Corinthians 15:55

The Lord has worked to ease the heartache and hurt. He’s provided hope and healing. This has come through a lot of work in my husband’s heart and in mine.

But even before that, the possibility of redemption started at the cross.

 

None of us would have the possibility of redemption without Jesus dying on the cross.

So while I’ve shared my story here over the years, the story you need to know most is the greatest love story ever.

Friend, if you are looking for hope, you need to know that it starts with Jesus. It starts with accepting His free gift of salvation for your life. He loves you so much that He wants you in Heaven with Him for eternity. But in order to do that, there had to be a payment in blood. A death had to occur for your life to be redeemed, so God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for your sins.

This was not a death that Jesus chose; rather it was appointed to Him by His Father. The Bible is clear that Jesus suffered extreme anguish, hoping and praying for another way to pay for our sins. (Matthew 26:36-46)

He was crucified on a cross, and was dead and buried. On the third day, though, He rose from the dead, conquering death. “Where, O death, is your victory?”

If you are looking for redemption, for hope, for an assurance of your eternal life, this simple prayer of faith is all that you need:

Dear Lord, thank you for loving me. Thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place, to provide the payment that was necessary for my sins. I accept your free gift of salvation and ask that you would be the Lord of my life. Guide and direct me as I live for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you’ve prayed that prayer today, this is your day of salvation! Jesus paid the price for your eternal life; redemption for your sins was provided at the cross. His resurrection provided victory over death!

While my marriage is not perfect, I can tell you today that I have a redeemed and restored marriage, by the grace and mercy of God!

Today, four years later, I want you to know that my marriage is healing, but more than that, I want you to know the only One who could make that possible.

I could sit here and tell you all that I did, but that wouldn’t make a bit of difference because it wasn’t about what I did.

It’s all about Who holds my heart. And while my heart is for my husband, the truth is that my heart is God’s first.

So today, the love story I want you to know is of the God who loved us and sent His Son as a redemption for us.

From that story comes my story.

My God is a God of redemption and my story is a redemption story!

 

*          *          *          *          *

Over the past few weeks, one song keeps coming back to my heart and it seems to encompass so much of what I am trying to share here.

The song is called “Holy (Wedding Day)” by The City Harmonic.

You can read the lyrics here.

 


If you are searching for hope in your marriage, you’ll want to check out Hope for the Hurting Wife.


If you’re searching for a support system as you walk through a struggling marriage, check out our Facebook group. 

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.


Linking up with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement, with Alisa Nicaud at Salt & Light

Finding Hope for Marriage and Motherhood

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

There are times in life when you find your people. They are the ones who understand your struggle and continue to encourage you in your journey. They are the ones who offer hope in the times of darkness, and encourage you to keep pressing on. Ruthie Gray is one of my people. She is strong in faith and encouragement, but she also appreciates a really good laugh in the middle of an ordinary day.

She reached out to me with some very encouraging and hopeful words for my marriage at a time when I was struggling. I remember thinking, “Wow, there really are people who understand that marriage can be messy.” In fact, some of you may be here on Ruthie’s recommendation as she shares this site as a resource for women who struggle with their marriage.

Ruthie serves as a mentor to other moms, sharing valuable insight that she learned along her parenting journey. From raising strong-willed children to dealing with anger as a mom, she has faced many of the frustrations we all encounter in parenting. She and her husband have raised four children and now have the joy of grandchildren in their family. She helps moms find their way in parenting, but also in a relationship with God.

Ruthie’s ministry also has a strong marriage component to it, because many of us who are moms are also wives. We’re learning the necessity of a strong relationship with our spouse in order to provide stability for our children. But how do you do that when your marriage feels unsteady and you feel fresh out of hope?

Do you feel fresh out of hope while dealing with marriage and motherhood? I'm sharing one of my favorite resources for marriage and motherhood. Here's hope!

My husband and I have three children and when things fell apart in our relationship, it was so hard to get up and help the kids. All I wanted to do was stay in bed, but they continued to need food, help with schoolwork, rides to therapy and piano lessons, so I had to function in some capacity.

How do you find the strength to manage your kids’ needs when your own marriage is in crisis?

Oh friend, get thee to Ruthie’s siteYou will find hope for marriage and motherhood.

Do you struggle to find hope for marriage & motherhood? Come be encouraged! Click To Tweet

I’m privileged to be sharing at her blog today, offering encouragement for moms and for marriage.

Be sure to poke around her site while you’re there. She and her husband headed into Florida in an RV as Florida began to brace for Hurricane Irma. Don’t worry, they found a safe place to ride out the storm. You can read her posts about that adventure.

You’ll find some much-needed humor, but also some deep truths for your marriage and motherhood.

Join me today at Ruthie’s blog!


 

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click here to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.

 

Sharing with Alisa Nicaud at Salt & Light, with Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth