I often wonder what my life would be like if I would have left my husband when it felt like the best, right, easiest thing to do. I had one foot out the door several times in the first 8 years of our almost 14 year marriage but God always brought me back (more on that later). And I don't just wonder about my life. I wonder what his life would be like. And I wonder what our boys' lives would be like.
If I would have left him...
I would not have grown into the woman I am.
I would not have had the joy of watching him grow into the father he is.
I would most certainly not be the mother I am today.
I would have missed many years of someone to laugh with, share my sorrows with and share my dreams with.
I would not be as brave as I am today. I certainly would not have been able to move 6 hours away from all of my family.
I would have missed out on watching God transform his heart and grow him into a better man.
I would not have Ethan. I would not have experienced the beautiful gift of adoption.
And I would not have been able to experience God's redeeming grace or watch how he can turn brokenness and grief into beauty and life. He literally can transform our hearts and minds to love like He loves.
About six years ago I gave God complete control of my marriage, my feelings, my happiness and my future. I remember it vividly - sitting on my closet floor, sobbing, and telling him I give up. Over the next couple of days, through prayer, scripture and song, God told me to stay. He asked me to trust Him. He asked me to give Him time to change Garrett, to change me, to change our relationship with Him.
I love looking back at parts of my life and seeing how God was at work. Sometimes it is so hard to understand why things are happening in our life but I have finally learned to TRUST and PRAISE Him in all circumstances. He has a plan that is SO much bigger than one I could ever imagine. See, God had been planting seeds of desire for adoption in both mine and Garrett's hearts all throughout our marriage. Had I given into my own selfish desires to leave my husband and not been obedient to God's calling we would not have Ethan, our little Christmas day miracle who has literally changed all of our lives.
Maybe your marriage is strong and built on a solid foundation of Christ. Maybe not. If you find yourself in a place of doubt, hopelessness or just a want for more in your marriage, listen to me - THERE IS HOPE! God is so much bigger than you. God is so much bigger than your spouse. God is so much bigger than your daily problems and struggles. He sees you. He loves you. He wants more for you. Today I encourage you to give up control - control of your marriage, your parenting, your future to the One who created you. He's SO got this! TRUST Him!
I wanted to leave y'all with some pictures of me and my love. Looking back at these stages of our marriage I see constant growth. We are certainly not perfect and God is continuing to grow us both daily. And I am grateful.