Last week I realized that my husband and I will have been together 25 years this August. 25 years. That’s a long time! Not because its been so hard or because we’re tired of each other, but because we’ve survived us.. ourselves, and come together again and again as man and wife. In a day and age where everything is about instant gratification and throw-away relationships, we have stood a test of time, and continue to. BUT.. and this is very important for me to say – we did not survive because of us. We’ve survived because, I firmly believe, that GOD designed us to be together, and when we took our vows we made a covenant – a promise – not just with each other, but us with God as one.
I have to tell people what a blessing my husband is. He met me at a time in my life when EVERYONE was running away from me. My family, my friends – everyone was running from me, and rightly so! I was coming out of a very abusive relationship (NOT a marriage), I had two kids by separate fathers and a third on the way. I was getting clean off dope and a total basket case. I was living in a horrible horrible way. And I have to tell you, we were both in recovery, going to meetings and he was preached at all of the time about “13th stepping the ‘new comer’ “. According to the words of a book, he was not supposed to see me, let alone fall in love with me. But we were like a magnet and steel. We couldn’t stay away from each other – not just sexually. Its very important that I point that out. We spent countless hours just hanging out and talking and getting to know each other. I know God had his hand in all of it because my husband had this ideal in his mind of how his life was going to be. He was going to be the fun, single guy with a chick on each arm. No kids to tie him down (remember, I was pregnant – not a LITTLE pregnant, I’m talkin’ full-on 7 months pregnant) and he definitely was not going to stay in the small town we were in at the time.
I had been considering giving the child I was carrying up for adoption. NOT because I did not want her, but because I knew that I was an unfit parent. My mother had taken custody of my other two children because I was unfit. I chose men who abused me and them, I couldn’t keep a roof over my head and I used drugs… serious drugs, not weed, not a beer every now and then. Seriously hard and harmful drugs and I just knew that when she was born, something was going to be wrong with her that I wouldn’t be able to afford to take care of. In fact, I was so set on giving her up for adoption that I didn’t want to know what she was – and I had no intentions of seeing her at birth. But then, when I finally got to a doctor for a check-up, the nurse let it slip that I was carrying a daughter and a seed of hope was planted in me. I didn’t know how I’d pull it off, but I knew I couldn’t let her go. And, I was in this brand new really awesome relationship with this man who did not want kids – seriously did not want kids – and I needed to tell him and just knew he was going to walk away from me. But you know what he said? When I told him I wanted to keep her he said, “Well, I guess we’re going to have a baby!” WOW! If that’s not God????
We’ve had problems – a lot of them. God doesn’t say that just because we get right with Him that we’ll never have problems. In fact, we’ll probably have more. You know, the devil doesn’t chase what he already has, but he wants to dethrone God by using His people against him and the minute we turn to Christ, the devil puts a target on our backs. And in our case, he’s chasesd after us for years and many times he won. Rob and I have even separated and divorced and I lived with someone else and even then, we came back together – I was having an affair with my husband! We could not stay apart. And I believe with everything that I am we couldn’t stay apart because GOD put us together. We don’t even count the time that we were apart, and honestly, we’ve talked about it and except for the times that we snuck around to be together, we don’t really remember much of it! How amazing is that.
We’re going through hard times again and though its hard, its really really hard, its not impossible. Jesus tells us that nothing is impossible with Him. Nothing we do or are set to do, nothing we face or have to walk through – if we keep HIM first, and seek HIS will first and seek to know the heart of GOD first, we can get through anything, we can conquer anything – not just can but WILL. WOW! How amazing is that?
This morning, God lead me to the beatitudes. I – me in my flesh, am having a difficult time letting go of smoking. God is working in me and I know this and its not GOD not taking it away, its ME not letting it go for fear. . fear of withdrawals, fear of snapping someone’s head off on my job.. fear.. and I know I”m walking in a path of fear and that’s NOT what God gave me, so I’m having to pray about it and let Jesus get rid of it. I’m having to confess and submit. Anyone that knows me knows… I’m not a very submissive person and I’m fighting with myself, so Jesus sends me firs this “Cherise, don’t be condemned. Be convicted! And this morning, though I have known – memorized and can recall from memory since I’m a little kid – the beatitudes – this morning my Father opened them up for me in my mind’s eye (my soul) so I can see what they mean and I can incorporate them into my soul and my spirit and I can pray for constant renewal of my soul.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Poor in spirit – knowing that I need my Father ad the Holy Ghost every moment of every day because by my own power I can accomplish NOTHING, but with HIM ALL THINGS are possible!
- Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted – mourning for the sins I have committed, and confessing them to my Father and then mourning for those I love and don’t even know who do not know the love of my Father and who they are in HIM, and for every missed opportunity to tell someone who much God loves them.
- Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth – MEEK, to be submissive to GOD’S WILL for my life, to be humble and not arrogant enough to think I know everything.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled – To hunger and thirst daily for righteousness (Right standing with GOD) and to seek through His Word, HIS HEART – to truly KNOW him so that I can stand WITH HIM in the throne room, in constant prayer and petition.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy – Mercy doesn’t just apply to everyone else, though being merciful to all – forgiving, not carrying envy, anger, strife, malice – are very very important and definitely a part of it, but also to be merciful to myself. I am not a perfect person, I am not Jesus, but I am HIS sister!
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see GOD – not just in the “here after”, but to be pure in heart, seeking him daily,
- Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Sons of God. – Keeping peace in my life by showing mercy and love to all. This doesn’t mean be a doormat, but it means to not let strife, malcontent, any work of the devil disrupt the peace my Father sent His son to sacrifice that I might have. To not VEX anyone else with my own words and actions but to pray constantly for others and myself that I may be a pure light in their lives.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We are not only persecuted by things outside of us, but also by our own demons until we come into full submission in Christ.
As I struggle with this smoking issue, and being submissive to my Father’s will for me, my husband is battling a demon that’s been with him since he was in his early teens. I watch him go through torment with this and I can see the Father working in him and in me. I don’t get angry with him anymore. That’s HUGE. I am all about being reactionary. I’m a volatile emotional person. I am. But now I know that the kingdom, and peace, do not live in my emotions. So I turn to God and I pray and I search the word. And today God tells me how blessed I am, and how blessed we are that our covenant with Him is strong and that our covenant with each other is being strengthened and even more importantly, every test and every trial is a strengthening of our faith. Praise GOD!