I seem to always be looking for evidence that I’m finished with ALL the healing work the Lord wants to do in me because growth and change can be painful. In order to assure myself I’m finished growing, I tend to look at life events as proof that I’m done (e.g. the number of years I’ve been a Christian, received counseling support). For me marriage was another one of those life events and proof of healing.
The Lord brought me to Living Hope a few years back in order to address another layer on my healing journey out of sexual addiction (specifically, homosexuality). At Living Hope I found a place where I could receive unconditional love from folks who were “Jesus with skin on.” The leadership not only kept pointing me to Jesus, but they provided wise counsel and taught me what healthy boundaries looked like. Leaders as well as the small group participants offered accountability through prayer and by asking me the hard, direct questions. It was also a safe place full of empathy and compassion where authentic transparency could take place. If I couldn’t be transparent with this group, how could I begin to be honest with myself and God?
I received so much from Living Hope that I wanted to give back in any way I could. I ended up helping to facilitate the women’s small group through the guidance of a godly mentor. My single life couldn’t have been sweeter or more peaceful and my relationship with the Lord had never felt closer. The Lord had been breaking down my walls of protection and healing deep places of my heart for several years. I knew I was probably close to the end of my healing journey because I couldn’t see any other areas the Lord needed to address. You know that bumper sticker that says, “Be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet”? Well, I thought I could have one that said: “God’s pretty much done all He needs to do in me.” Talk about a prideful attitude! What about God’s sanctification process He works out in us until we see Jesus face to face?
Little did I know there were many more layers to the onion of my life that the Lord wanted to expose, pride being a huge one. That was when Dan, who had been attending Living Hope for a couple of years, took an interest in me and asked me out. I wasn’t prepared and didn’t think he was either. Even though he was also in a leadership position, I had my reservations. Separately, we asked the directors if they thought it was a good idea for us to date and they provided wise counsel as well as prayer support. It was interesting that the previous year I had written out a prayer on an index card entitled “Husband?” which asked for the Lord to choose my husband for me as I had no idea how to look for one, much less what was best for me. As I look back on those reservations I had about Dan, they reveal more about my lack of control over the situation than anything else.
In May 2010, we celebrated 4 years of marriage which is truly a miracle of God’s grace and mercy in our lives. I continue to battle with trusting God and my husband. My heart still wants to rebel and go its own way thinking I know what’s best. Just like a young child who defies the wise counsel of their parents, I battle and wrestle with that voice by bowing my knee (and my heart) to the One who knows all and wants the best for me–which can include some hard and painful things. Marriage can be hard work, but the more difficult aspect for me is the heart work! I know without a doubt that Dan is God’s very good gift to me, but I almost missed it because of my fears. This journey of sanctification has been about me learning to trust that God knows best, and I am constantly amazed by the shower of blessings I receive as I follow Him in faith.