Monday, March 9, 2009

Overall, today was a successful day, i succeeded in completing or finding a substitute for all of my to-do's. I saw an inchworm that looked exactly like a miniature of the ones on sesame street. He was actually more like a centimeter worm, and he was really fast! I mean this little guy could really move! I watched him for a while and helped him get over a crack once. It was fun. Later i read that he's larva from something, but i stopped reading before it could make me like him less.

I thought i'd share a goodness with you tonight. It's kind of personal, and it's a story to thank God with.

I've been a member at CTK since '01 or '02. That was the beginning of a renewal of my relationship with God - in a really big way. Between that time and now, my husband has been far away and close and far away and close and not quite as far away in regard to the church and usually his relationship with God. Through all that time, i have been very thankful for the encouragement of the women and men in the church to press on and grow in my relationship with God. I became more and more involved and led a small women's group for a long time.

Over time, i longed more and more for my husband to follow God with me, for us to serve together, and i became disappointed a lot. And after a while, my attitude about serving became one that was in spite of my husband. In fact i kind of decided that i would cover my disappointment by burying myself in church work - and if that led to my husband leaving me, well, that wasn't my fault. I don't know that i thought those words consciously, but my attitude was really that wrong. And because of my attitude, my marriage really began to suffer. Part of me was involved in church as a silent protest against my husband and his failure to cooperate with my unspoken plan.

Then one day, maybe a couple of years ago, i don't remember what i was thinking or even exactly where i had been. I remember walking down the street toward our apartment and realizing, as though God were speaking to me almost audibly, that i had turned my back on my husband. That my husband's actions in regard to church and God were a result of deep heart injuries that i had chosen to ignore. And i realized that i was the only Christian in my husband's life that he would talk to, and i was showing him the love of God least of all.

That realization broke my heart and led to a lot more realizations about my motivations for "serving," about my desire to appear to be a good Christian and not let anyone see where i was weak. It hadn't started out that way in the beginning, but it had certainly developed into something that was certainly NOT motivated by the love of God. It was motivated by the love of my own reputation.

The responsibility of leadership is heavy, and i realized that my stagnant life was resulting in stagnation in the lives of those who i proposed to "lead." I was leading them, truthfully; i was leading them backward, and i didn't know it. Upon this realization, i eventually came to the excruciating conclusion that i needed to give up those things i was using as a facade of holiness, and that included being a home group leader.

I let my overseer know that i could no longer lead, and she recruited the help of those above her to try to convince me otherwise. I know it looked like i was withdrawing from the church and from God. But i knew deep inside me that i was taking a step that i needed to take in order to get real with myself before God.

As part of my getting real, i purposed myself to be a minister to the heart of my husband. I started loving him - really loving him.

I've gone through a lot of changes and things i never really planned for. And i told you all that to say that God is truly faithful. His mercies are unfailing. And my marriage is better than it has ever been. I didn't forsake God to avoid conflict. I clung to God and loved my husband and trusted God - and still do. I can take no credit. The credit is all God's.

There are some things and moments in my life....things that i know and cannot be convinced otherwise.....were God's will. One of those things is my marriage to James. I didn't screw up by marrying him and then God salvaged our marriage. I know for sure that God meant for me to marry James, and was in His will to do so. I know that. And i am so thankful that He knew the end from the beginning, and He has great plans. My husband's heart is soft toward me, and mine is soft toward him, and together we really are growing toward God. It doesn't exactly look like traditional "growing toward God" all the time, but there is a transparency and genuiness that was not there before....toward God and each other.

All credit to God.


  1. I love it! You are such an inspiration to many Beth..

    I know you do not realize it..

    You are James are perfect together. He is a gentle man.

    God has a hold of him and you are a faithful loving WOG!

    i really like the photo of the larvae... He is cute!


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