God never ceases to amaze me at His timing. Had you talked to me even a few months ago, I would have told you about the deep hatred I had for my husband. He was NEVER going to change. He would NEVER be able to love me the way that I needed. Marriage wasn't worth it. He could have died, and I was certain my life and the lives of my children would be better. In fact, my stress level was so high back then that I was having severe chest pain, worrying my doctor that I might have a heart attack in the near future.
Except that Christmas Eve, after two weeks of being separated, God got a hold of yours truly.
Five years of knowing my husband, and that night, I let go and allowed God to do some serious heart surgery on me. Years of pain and bitterness made me sick to my stomach as the hurt resurfaced. That night, no matter what the cost, I chose to forgive my husband for years of words that crushed me, that trampled on me, and that left me alone and despondent in my hatred. Something in me changed that night. It was God's Christmas gift to me.
But that change also allowed me to dig my heels in and want to make this marriage last forever. I wasn't going to allow divorce to wreck another marriage and another family. Love isn't easy, guys. It's the toughest thing in this world to do, especially in the light of loving your spouse unconditionally. Sometimes, love has to be tough and set painful boundaries. Love has to say NO because it's the best for everyone in a family. Love has to say that you have a choice to make a change for your family because we need you as a husband and father.
But our marriage has thankfully withstood a very painful fire that almost burned us to the ground. It's still enduring a trial, which I'll share more about later as God works and moves in the midst of it. It has barely managed to hang on through some dark times. I'm certain our marriage will withstand any fire that comes our way now. And I'm certain that I can't imagine life without my husband now. Even our marriage counselor saw the difference, telling my husband that she saw something in me that she hadn't seen the first day I walked in her door... that I truly love and honor my husband now. And you know what? I do. I never thought it was possible. But with God, all things are possible for him who believes.