**Linking up with Kristen today over at Chasing Blue Skies to join in her weekly “out of the Blue” series. Today we are encouraged to write about “Answered Prayer“! And specifically “How did the Lord answer a prayer for you in a way that surprised you?”
One of the coolest things that I have come to discover about my God is the way that he really loves me. Broken, scarred and unworthy – yet He lavishes His love out on me time and time again.
Our story of marriage and parenthood isn’t conventional. We didn’t necessarily do things, how can I say this….well “the way we should have”. But young (21), naive and in no way ready to be parents, Dominic and I found ourselves “expecting”.
It wasn’t the way that our parents had hoped for us…but we were filled with promise and so sure that we could make everything work out. And so we dove in head first into this thing called marriage, and soon afterwards, parenthood.
Let me tell you we had NO IDEA what we were facing.
Take a mix of two selfish people and add unreasonable expectations of one another and a colicky baby…and you have a recipe for disaster. We were off to a rough start…and during several of those early years we stayed away from God. We didn’t go to church, we didn’t pray together, God just wasn’t at the center of our home…but we (well at least I) had this expectation that because we were both “Christians” at heart that God would work it out all for the good.
So we would find ourselves in a mess of some sort or another…and I would cry out for God to fix
him I mean us. (No but really – I just wanted God to fix him…because certainly I was too holy to be a part of the “problem” right?!)
Oh boy – we were sure a pair. And we went down some pretty dark paths before coming to a point of hopelessness and willingness to do anything just to change.
And change came slowly, as it usually does….Dominic had his “seeing the light” moment before I did. And he started to change. Suddenly he was becoming the man that I had prayed for, for so long, but I was too angry and resentful to see it.
We started praying together in the mornings as a family…and when we would finish I would grumble under my breath something disrespectful. And one morning he stopped me and asked me why I was so angry….asked what he had done that morning to make me so upset?
And I didn’t have an answer…there was nothing. But I was angry and dark and desperate….and at that moment I knew that something had to change inside of me as well.
That was the start of a long healing process for me as well. Coming to see “my part” in the difficulties of our marriage. Starting to redefine who God was to me…and how I saw Him. For a long time I believed that because we had “sinned before marriage” and got pregnant….that God was punishing us long term.
The reality that I failed to recognize was that God was there the whole time, loving us. I was the one who had shut Him out.
So He patiently waited for me to want Him – want that relationship again – and when I did….well He didn’t hold back His love for us.
My husband is an amazing man of God. He is my rock when I am afraid of the unknown. He holds tight to the promises of God…even when we are walking in a dark season. He shows unconditional love to me – even when I am disrespectful. He is everything that I prayed for and more!
When I first prayed for those qualities in a husband, I wouldn’t have chosen the rocky path that we walked through….but looking back today I wouldn’t change it if I could – because it made us stronger, it made us better….
And knowing how far we have come, makes the reality of us working together now as a team, owning our own business….proof of God’s redemptive grace in our lives.
God is so good. He loves us so much…and while He might not always answer our prayers in the way we “hoped”…..it has been my experience that the end result is better than I could imagine!