Hi ladies! I’m Ann, and I’m honored to be here and to get to know you.
There was a time in my marriage when I wanted out so badly. Fifteen years ago I came into my marriage as a bright-eyed, naive, 23-year-old full of expectations of what I thought marriage should look like. After seven years of fighting my husband, I was at my breaking point and fell out of love with him.
In response, I went to live with my parents while my husband sought support from a recovery program. Once I realized he was willing to do the work to make changes, I felt I needed to give him the chance to be my husband again. After all, I’d made the vows, “for better OR worse.” And so, though still angry, I came home and Hebrews 12:1-3 became a verse I clung to. I would persevere in this marriage, I would run the race ... because I had Christ on my side.
It was at that point I began to learn what Karen Ehman writes on page 117 in this week’s reading of Keep Showing Up:
“Your marriage can be the tool God uses to renovate your heart, making you more like Jesus.” (emphasis mine)
Upon returning home, I made a commitment to God to stop trying to change my husband. I made a commitment to just work on me and my relationship with God, becoming the best version of myself I could be. So I started taking steps such as:
- Surrounding myself with positive people.
- Getting involved in a local church.
- Praying every day.
- Listening to Christian music.
- Getting into the Word daily.
- Joining P31 OBS.
- Eating better/exercising.
And guess what? God used all those adjustments to not only transform me, but my marriage as well! It didn’t happen overnight. It took over 3 years and was REALLY hard work. But, I still remember the day I was able to again tell Jim, “I love you.” And it was a better love than we had ever had, EVER. Looking back, I sometimes wonder if my relationship with God (and my husband) would be where it’s at today if we hadn’t gone on that difficult journey in our marriage.
I’m very grateful for what we’ve learned and how God has worked at renovating my heart.
In Chapter 5, Karen helps us seek to adjust our attitudes (renovate our hearts) by keeping in mind:
1. Love is a choice to make.
2. Love is a chance to serve.
3. He is not your God, but he bears God’s image.
4. Don’t follow your heart; follow God’s Word.
5. Don’t think marriage is about finding the right person; it’s about striving to be the right person.
6. Make it a contest.
7. Think of the first day … and the last day.
Which point(s) might you need to seek “heart renovation” in?
Don’t forget, all comments are entered for a chance to win this week’s giveaway!