It's Really Not Funny.

This past Sunday I was sitting in church and God spoke to me very loudly. Very Sternly.

He said, "That could have been you."

And I knew exactly what He was talking about.

In the past few months I have learned of several couples struggling in their marriages.

And not just one or two, but closer to ten.

There are people I know who have to fight for things that come naturally for me. Loving their husbands, guiding their children, trusting God for provision.

When my friends and I talk about our lives compared to these other families lives we joke, we laugh, we wonder how on Earth they manage to live like that.

Sometimes it's hard for me to understand since I actually adore my husband. I find it pretty easy to submit to him and follow his lead.

And I guess since I don't understand these other situations, I laugh.

So God grabbed my attention and brought tears to my eyes with His sobering revelation.

It could have been me.

That was all He needed to say to convict my heart.

I have been given advantages that other people don't have for as long as I can remember. Second chances, new beginnings, fresh starts for no apparent reason.

A meth addict by age 16, fully delivered. Not one left over side effect from a daily habit that 92% of people never recover from.

Andrew and I did everything wrong at the start of our relationship. We ignored every ones warnings, we moved to quickly. We married each other straight out of high school against our parents wishes. We had no money, no real jobs, and no real understanding of what marriage was.

But we made it.

And it wasn't hard.

I'm 100% certain that none of my friends would want to be married to my husband. He is spontaneous, a dreamer, and a huge goofball.

But to me, he is everything I've ever wanted.

I love Andrew with every fiber of me. I miss him when he's not with me. We talk for at least an hour before bed every single night. He is my protector and my comfort and I know he would do anything for me.

But it could have been different.

God flashed me back to when I was 17 and dating a guy who could not have cared less about me.

I was ready to marry him.

If I hadn't been removed from that life, if I had married that guy, it would be me who was on the verge of divorce.

We know lots of people who struggle with finances. Groceries aren't guaranteed and paying the bills is a fight.

I can judge where they spend their money and be critical of what landed them in that situation.

But that could have been me.

Andrew and I have made lots of financial mistakes that could have been devastating.

I am provided for financially. Even when we are in a rough month, I still never, ever wonder if Andrew will provide. Josie and I never go without.

I am fully supported by friends and family. I am provided for and hopelessly in love with my husband. But that doesn't give me permission to find humor in the fact that others aren't as lucky.

Their misfortune should break my heart. It should cause me to pray. It shouldn't be funny.

Because I came so very, very close to that being me.

So that's my newest project for myself. To pray for these people and to soften my heart towards them. To appreciate God for delivering me from what could have been.

To understand that a life headed towards disaster really isn't funny.

On Friday, Andrew's little sister, Sweet Caroline, is getting married. We can't wait. But you can bet all your chips that I am going to spend these next few days, and continue after that, to pray for their marriage. I hope they can avoid the stuff that really isn't funny.


Amber said...

Your completely right, we have been talking about this alot lately around our house. I told David the other night there are so many times I feel like I don't get what I deserve and I always feel like I'm waiting for it to all come crashing down around me. I'm so thankful for David and the relationship we have. It's been hard at times, but its been a wonderful past eleven years!

bri said...

Great post Nicole! I commend you for even acting out of your conviction. Not may people would openly admit such things much less move onto a more Christ-like life.

I can honestly say that my husband and I have come VERY close to divorce. Not because of things, not because of finances but because of issues that never got dealt with before marriage. I had NO idea what was lying behind closed doors. I found out shortly after being married. It certainly was NOT funny, nor was it something that God designed for our marriage.

That was not the reason for my almost leaving.

It was the MANY times after that that the closet kept swinging open again. Same habits kept resurfacing. I wanted out. I was so torn apart. I was devastated, degraded, I had nothing left in my being that could or wanted to carry on in this marriage just to be hurt yet again!

I fought hard to carry our children while lying in a hospital bed more times that I care to even remember, all the while I was being hurt behind my back... again.

I lost all of our children, I was ashamed and I was worthless in my eyes. I couldn't carry/have children, my husband "dreamed" of something better... I was nothing. Why not end it all. Depression IS ugly. When it grabs a hold it does not easily turn lose.

I wanted out. I wanted out BADLY. I almost got out. I made J leave our home and I didn't care where he went. His mother called and left a message telling him that it was not his fault and that I should deal with my issues concerning him. Hmmmm okay, now I know where the roots came from. He was never told that these things were wrong, he was never guided in the places he should have been. His sin was ignored and never corrected before our marriage.

God spoke that to me and HE gave me the grace EVERY TIME to taste the fruit of forgiveness and not the bitter demise of self justice.

It hurt BAD. I will not lie. I hated him for months after. MONTHS I could not look at him, hear him without being so MAD at him. My flesh still wanted out. IT seethed with hatred and anger.

God spoke to me, told me that this would come to an end. To pray for my husband. With tears, HOT, ANGRY tears I prayed my heart out. I screamed at God, I screamed at J I fought the Devil so hard that day. For almost 3 years now we have seen deliverance. We have seen freedom. We have seen our marriage thrive and our family prosper.

We are not rich from wealth by any means but we are rich in family and love and the presence of God.

All that to say, there are some really great people that struggle, and you have no idea why. Some people never had parents that taught them right and they just carry on through life never heeding warning. They carry that baggage into their married lives and that baggage has to be dealt with, one issue at a time. In that time the ones that cannot rely on God to get them through the fire, will not make it. The ones that do are refined and will stand on solid foundations.

Please keep praying for those people. You are right, It isn't in any way funny. It is totally devastating and God never intended HIS children to hurt so badly.

You will change the lives of many by praying for them... they need it, for they are too weak in the midst of the fire.

Love your heart!

(sorry for the novel!)