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10. “Submit” Who me?

I’m back! Sorry I have not posted in a little bit I was sick and then took my daughter to Disney and now here we are =) So where were we…  God was trying to change me mold me and make me into the wife he wanted me to be. I needed to forgive and move on I couldn’t be who God wanted me to be if I kept living in the past. God was putting on my heart that I needed to extend Grace. As we were walking through this new chapter in our marriage we would both be trying but we were both going to fail, its fact we are human. Jesus was the only perfect man who ever did and who ever will walk this earth. I needed to understand that. I walked into this with high expectations we were going every week to Re engage and each week we had to work on a different part of our marriage and now he knew better so I expected more out of him. We would have several good days no arguments he would help me out around the house life was great then one day would come and he would say something rude and I remember being SO MUCH MORE MAD then before because I mean come on now he knows better how dare he. Well God knocked me off my high horse with his righteous right hand real quick. I needed to extend Grace on those days I needed to try to understand why he was in that mood what can I do for him to help him out of that mood ? How can I not be so quickly offended? Did I do something to trigger this in him ? I needed to stop thinking about me all the time and how he hurt my feelings and how he didn’t do this or say that. Was I being there for him ? Did I consider the terrible day he had ? To this day I still get caught up in these times where I think about everything that’s effecting me but I don’t consider what he may be going through.  The next part of what I needed to work on was my contorted view of submission. As a wife we are called to be submissive and obedient to God and to our husbands. Our husbands submit to God and we submit to our husbands. The word submit makes some women cringe because of what our culture has done to the meaning. Ephesians 5:22-24 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. I used to laugh at this verse thinking yea right No one is the head of me I answer to God and that is it. This could be why my marriage was in the situation it was. Our culture lead me to believe that in order to be submissive you had to have long hair long skirts and never speak up . “Go do the dishes wife” “Yes sir” type of situation and I was not having that. But submission is actually quite the opposite as you lean into Gods word more you realize he doesn’t want you to be walked all over he wants you to be cared for. The Biblical order is God then the husband and then the wife. For so many years I looked at this like a tier of importance  like that meant husbands ranked higher in the eyes of God because I was third on the list but after lots of time in prayer and the word I can finally see that it’s not a rank of importance or Value It doesn’t mean one Is better than the other its God and Husband and then me because God wanted wives to have someone above them to look out for them to love them to take care of them because he loves us so much. Feminists may think that this shows that God sees women of lesser value than men but I actually see total opposite. God sees us as so important and valuable he put in extra protection for us. In this world when something is valuable you put things in line to protect it to keep it from harm. Like jewelry you put in cameras and cases around it to protect it because its valuable to you. You wouldn’t do the same thing for some costume jewelry you got on clearance at Wal-Mart. You only protect what means the most to you. God knew how cruel and cold and ugly this world could get and he loves his daughters so much he put the husbands hear to physically be here for us and to lead us through tough times to be our extra protection. If he didn’t value us he wouldn’t bother. God knows we are wives and mothers and we are busy and we are tired and we have so much on our plates sometimes it’s crazy, but God put our husbands here for us because God values and loves us so much he never wanted us to feel scared or alone. After seeing the order and fully understanding it I’m so thankful to be in that order. I need that support I need that love and affection and protection that my husband provides it makes my job easier as a Wife and mother and God knew that, that’s why it is that way. So Sub may mean under and yes the wife is under the husband but under doesn’t mean less than, under doesn’t mean not as important under doesn’t mean get walked all over. Under doesn’t mean bad. God wanted us to be under our husbands so we could be under their protection not under their control.  I didn’t fully understand all this at the time but I was trying but what did it mean to “submit” in everyday life, It meant letting him lead. It meant if he felt strongly about something but I thought I knew better I needed to trust him and give him the reigns. It meant not being disrespectful to him like attacking his character. I had so much to work on but the more I did the more it paid off. By me being difficult and stubborn and thinking I know better I was not just holding myself back as a wife I was holding him back from growing to be the husband God called him to be. Here I was complaining all the time about not being the husband I thought he should be but he couldn’t grow to be any better because I was standing in his way.   I needed to back off let him grow let him stumble let him learn and let him take the lead. I needed to stop trying to control every situation and trust that God has the control.

9. I surrender

**NOTE TO READER  if you are just starting to read start with the #1 blog it will all make more sense =)  **

We continued to attend our re engage group every Thursday night and I started to realize I was not being the wife  God called me to be, I was not doing my part at all. I had no idea you had to take care of you marriage like you take care of your children. It doesn’t just happen you don’t just say I do and then your committed and everything falls into place. You have to feed it and nurture it and make sure it doesn’t get neglected, just like a child. My priorities were so off. They were Savannah God/Caleb and it should be My relationship with God my relationship with Caleb and then Savannah. I wanted God to change me I really wanted to be a better wife a better mom I was desperate I had my hands up in surrender. I started praying prayers like God mold me change me make me who you want me to be in this marriage make me the wife Caleb needs to help him be the man you called him to be I”m desperate God we have run this marriage into the ground trying to do things our way and I want to do things your way now.  The first thing  Holy Spirit was putting on my heart was forgiveness. Not just forgiving Caleb for the things he just confessed but actually forgiving for every past issue even the dumbest little issue. I could never move on every time he irritated me I brought up everything he had ever done wrong in my eyes every mistake he ever made even if it was years prior. I was storing up this list of things to use in arguments to make him feel like crap so I could win the argument. I was not fighting to solve anything I was fighting to prove I was right.  Hmm I wonder why we had such volatile arguments haha.  How was he ever supposed to grow if I kept reminding him how he used to be ? I went to group and straight up said I have no idea how to forgive. I thought forgiveness meant you moved on you never thought about it again and that just wasnt happening for me. Even during this season where I was honestly trying to do what I was supposed to this was a real struggle for me because I told him I forgave him but the ugly memories stil hurt they still brought up alot of negative emotions and they made me angry. I must not be forgiving right if these feelings where still coming up. Society was telling me forgiveness was a moment you sat down and said I forgive you and all those negative thoughts just flew away. Through re engage I learned thats BS haha I learned it was okay to keep getting those thoughts my AHA moment was when I heard sometimes you may have to keep forgiving every time that thought comes up you have to forgive again and again. It didnt have to be a one time thing that made everything better. I was learning that I need to forgive him but everytime that negavtive memory popped in my head I didnt have the right to keep bringing it up it wasnt fair to him. I needed to forgive in my own heart again and again and again.  I also wondered how do you forgive for something that is still currently an issue Its not necessarily fixed yet don’t I wait until he fixes it and then forgive him ?  For example Yes he confessed a lot to me about porn and unfaithfulness in that sense but this was a struggle for him. He brought it up because lust was a battle he just hadn’t won yet no matter how hard he was trying. How do I forgive him knowing this was a battle he was still in and may still mess up. I may say yes I forgive you today but he might mess up tomorrow how does that work?  I had so many mixed emotions part of me thought I shouldn’t forgive him until he gets his stuff together. The other part of me realized God does this with me on a daily basis. My battle with sin is not won I mess up again and again and I want God’s forgiveness over and over. That’s when the Holy Spirit started to convict me on Grace …

8. ” I will uphold you with my Righteous right hand”

 

I didn’t know who to turn to or where to go. I did not want to reach out to family or even friends. I didn’t want to be judged I also didn’t want anyone to be bias or one sided. I also know family and friends don’t forget so even once we may fix things and we may forgive and forget they may not. So I wanted to make sure we confided in the right people. But until we figured out who those right people were I felt so incredibly alone dealing with all this with no one to talk to . But looking back that was the best thing that could have happened, when you have no one to turn to … who is left ? God. He shouldn’t have been my last resort but he was but he didn’t care he was still there to hold me console me listen to me cry out in anger pain distrust and attitude. God didn’t judge me he loved me through it and that’s exactly what I needed. The Verse that rang so true to my heart was Isaiah 41:10 ” So do not fear for I am with you Do not be dismayed for I am your God I will strengthen you and help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” That’s exactly what he did. We reached out to the leaders of our re engage group first If anyone had heard all this before and had the right things to say and point us in the right direction it was them. They are a very wise couple  who  have been through a lot of their own marital ups and downs and grown from it. We had not known them that long but they made us  feel like family from the very beginning. They met with us one evening and we told them everything that happened. They gave us a lot of hope I left their feeling more positive about the situation. I was thinking could this possibly all be a good thing ? We then reached out to another couple from re engage who was the first couple who gave us their testimony and they have been through very hard times as well and we really wanted to see how they did it. They met with us one on one a few days later and didn’t judge us just loved on us. They made it so easy to be open and honest. It was really amazing to have people around us who did not pick sides who wanted us to fight for us who  fought for us even when we didn’t. I remember riding home with Caleb saying we need more people like these couples in our life. And I am not just saying that. People who you can just be real you don’t need to act like you have it all together and marriage is perfect and our love is amazing love can get us through anything (BARF) that’s not true marriage is hard parenting is hard and it’s not pretty and perfect. I was craving more people like this who you could just be yourself around and know they still love you just the same. I went home and got rid of those lists I made of my feelings I don’t know if it was symbolic or what but I gladly crumbled them up and through them out. We decided divorce is not an option. We decided to fight for us, to be faithful and honest 100%. We would stop satisfying our needs alone sexually. We would stay away from porn and clubs of any sort. We promised to stay committed because we loved each other We just didn’t know HOW to love each other the way God wanted us too but we were desperate to learn …

7. Us against the world

 

I remember waking up the next morning feeling like I had been in a wrestling match. I was exhausted even though I just woke up my face was swollen from all the crying and I just started crying again. It was like I had to relive it all because when I woke up for a second I forgot it happened and then boom reality check.  I tried to keep together as much as possible in front of Savannah because I didn’t want her to feed off my energy or think anything was wrong with mommy and daddy. I didn’t know what to feel should feel thankful now this was all out and now there is no way but up? Should I feel angry ? Should I be resentful and scream at him for breaking my heart ? Should I sit and cry all day finding ways to blame myself for every time he looked at some other women who wasn’t me. Should I act like last night didn’t even happen and just move on and pretend it’s all good. I didn’t know what to do and I caught myself snapping at him and kissing him and crying within the same 5 minutes. I was a wreck I was being a women I was analyzing every moment every lie every detail where when what how who why. I started to write a list of every thought that popped into my head.  I remember the list starting with how could you blame him have you seen yourself? you should have seen this coming. The next line read I deserve better. The next said I deserve nothing. the next said **** him I don’t need him or anyone this is what I get for trying to trust someone again. It continued Trust no one just me. Then after I was done being angry with him and myself I had to of course pull God into it so I said God how could you let him do this How could you let us get here How could you how could you How could you. I just didn’t get it I was being a martyr I was not actually taking any responsibility at all. I mean it’s not like that whole conversation was one sided but if you were listening to my thoughts in my brain you would have thought that.  Marriages take 2 people to be great and they take 2 people to fall apart. I didn’t know where to go from there I sat on the couch and read all of our letters we wrote to each other and I started to fall apart. Our love was so strong it jumped off the page you could feel it you could taste it smell it see it what happened ? Where was this couple who promised they would never hurt each other and they  were going to sweep each other off their feet  and make everything better.  At the bottom of every letter (which there were hundreds) it read US AGAINST THE WORLD.  That’s what marriage is supposed to be your on one team fighting FOR each other and for the past year or so we had been doing nothing but fighting against each other. All I could think was when did we get to this point. How do we fix it obviously everything we have been trying was not working.  The day went on and I knew I still hadn’t told him about the man I had been to friendly with. We were about to walk around the house and pray ( Yes we were still doing this) and I went out and I told him All he said was okay and his lack of reaction  felt worse than if he would have slapped me across the face. A few days later he had told me that although this really upset him he felt like he couldn’t get mad or upset because he felt the things he confessed to me were way worse so how could he get angry with me when he was doing what he was doing. It my very human mind for about 5 seconds I thought to myself good point. (lol)  That certainly wasn’t the Christian reaction then I said no you have every right to be angry with me unfaithfulness is unfaithfulness and we were  unfaithful to each other. Thank God the confessing part was over. Now for me to take some responsibility for this mess so we can get to healing…

6.You grow the most when your uncomfortable.

I think it was a few days that passed when I said we need to do our HW and he was like okay so we sat down at our table like we always do. We read the card and I said babe Gods been putting it on my heart to tell you something and he looked nervous like he didnt know this was about to be such a serious conversation. I proceeded to tell him that after being sexually abused by ____ I struggled with pornography and It had only been about a year since I had stopped. He looked shocked but relieved and that shocked me. I opened the flood gates and I was about to learn why God wanted me to bring it up. Caleb was quiet for a minute and I said what about you. He then told me he also struggled with pornography and masturbation (sorry just trying to be as raw as possible ). I was shocked and hurt and mad  because that was my natural hypocritical response -i remembered the several times he told me that he didn’t watch porn or any of that.  He then told me he also thought it might have to do with something that happened to him when he was younger. I had known about some sexual abuse he experienced as a kid but I did not know what he was about to tell me. He had told me about abuse that had happened to him during his teenage years and he had never told anyone about it before. This conversation got  solemn  quickly and I was not expecting all of this. I had such a mix of emotions I felt hurt I also felt really honored he trusted me with that. I remember talking a little bit I was overwhelmed and it was getting late and I went to feed Savannah on the couch and Caleb said I have more to tell you. I remember the feeling of oh no theirs more what did i get myself into. Part of me didn’t want to know part of me couldn’t get it out of him quick enough . I said “what.” He struggled and didn’t know how to tell me. I thought he was about to tell me he cheated on me I never thought that before but the way he was acting was so uncomfortable. I was preparing myself for the absolute worse I started to cry. Not the sobbing loud ugly cry but the silent cry that just streams down your face as you stare straight ahead not knowing if your whole life is about to change. He said he had been to a strip clubs and such and I was very shocked. This may not be a big deal to others but this was a huge deal to me. He continued to tell me he paid for private dances. I was a silent and in pain and I felt really betrayed and lost. I think it hit me in that moment just how far apart we had grown and it made me so incredibly sad. I know he could tell at that point trust was gone and I wanted to know if there was more he assured me he never had and never would cheat on me but in my mind that was unfaithfulness on both our parts. The night went on and after putting Savannah to bed we just talked and cried . We got alot off our chests. He continued to tell me the truth about some things that were small but he had kept them from me. After hours of raw emotion, honesty and talking we were more connected then we had been in a long long time. It hit me, God wanted me to confess this because that is what it took for Caleb to feel comfortable enough to tell me everything he needed to tell me. It was like the key that unlocked a door that needed opened for us to actually start to heal. This was everything that was keeping us apart and now that it was all out in the open we could finally bond again. At the beginning of this “confessional” I was ready to sleep on the couch but by the end of the night. We had made love like never before. It doesn’t make sense when you think about it but it made sense in that moment. We had a long weekend ahead of us and all I could think was  where do we go from here ? ….

5. When God makes you climb the mountain instead of moving it

Once we started getting closer to God I stopped listening to anything except Praise music over the course of a few weeks there was one song on the radio every time I got in the car or out of the car Lauren Dagles song Trust in you. Even weirder is it was only one part of the song every time “When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move I will trust I will trust I will trust in you!”. At first I was thinking man they play this song to much . Then one week we missed church and watched it online and the they were doing worship and the lyrics were exactly these when I walked in ” I will trust you Jesus I will trust you I know you never fail I will trust you Jesus I will I will ” It hit me like a brick to the face God was talking to me … He wanted to me trust him obviously. So I did in that moment on that very day I gave it all to God. We had been to so many therapists over the past year. The first guy sat and said nothing absolutely nothing did not ask questions did not encourage conversation the only time he spoke was to ask for his payment so needless to say that got us nowhere. The next one was a  lady who was a divorced marriage counselor … the irony in that alone should have been a red flag for us. She was very obviously angry at men so all she would do is be on my side and pick on him and that is not what we needed. We were burnt out on therapists. I had been saying the prayers in my book “The Power of a Praying Wife” and it was so weird when I would say the prayers God would put it on my heart to Pray for honest in my marriage. Every single day he made me add that in so I did . I even wrote that in my notes. After the unsuccessful therapy journey I heard about a group called Re-engage I kind of thought it can’t hurt we have to try it. I did not know much about it except it was marriage help so we joined.  They had one that met at our church and one that met at a different church about 15 minutes away. I remember thinking oh my goodness I can’t join the one at our church and discuss our problems and be honest what will they think of us !!  This is so funny now because I was worried about people knowing my business now I have it out on the internet for all to see ha-ha. It was my pride then keeping me from being honest with myself and honest with God as well as others. I wanted us to think we had it all together I didn’t want anyone to know we were struggling. Now I am very open about our struggles and our weakness. I believe when I boast in my weakness it emphasizes Gods greatness! Anyway, we had been going for a few weeks we got to know people there they were so kind and non judgmental. I started to feel like this might actually help us. You would meet as a group with other couples in something called “open group” and you would have a slideshow with questions and topics to discuss. You were supposed to be in “open group” to get you to start opening up and get comfortable before “closed group” which is where you would work through a book. I was sitting at the table among other couples looking up at the screen and I was fiddling with my wedding ring. I had lost weight after having Savannah so it slid up and down my finger really easily and while we were there it slid up my finger and when I bent my finger it broke …. I was devastated. This same night they gave us Homework and it said to confess your sins to your spouse and ask for forgiveness. Try not to be judgmental towards your spouse during this time or something like that. It was very weird in that moment God put it on my heart that I needed to tell Caleb something. I was sexually abused as a child Caleb knew this and due to this I struggled with pornography as a teenager and young adult he did not know that. It has probably been about a year since I had dealt with any of those temptations but God was still putting it on my heart to be honest with Caleb about that. I remember arguing with God why that’s stupid if I’m not doing it anymore why would I bring it up? This will just cause trouble. I was quiet on the way home just thinking about what he would think as I told him this would he be disappointed ? Would he think something was wrong with him and blame himself ? What was the point of this was God just trying to punish me for struggling with that. I was kind of pissed off I was happy that it was no longer a daily struggle and It was in the past now God wants me to dig it up. But if I have learned anything you never question Gods plan he knew what he was doing…

4.Round and Round we went…

I continued to pray for Caleb as time passed as well as starting to pray that God would make me the wife he needed me to be. There was a list of things in the book The Power of a praying wife it was things to pray over your  home. For example  that it would be a peaceful sanctuary that it would be a place of love and the Holy spirit would dwell there. It was a list of close to 10 things I wrote down and started to pray every morning over my home. After the Journey class ended I wanted Caleb to get plugged in with more Godly like-minded men so I went on our churches website and set him up to meet with one of the leaders of a local Men’s Life group after church on Sunday. He did and they hit it off and Caleb joined that group.  He went every Monday at 7 and the study they were doing was the Circle maker . After doing this study Caleb truly began growing in his faith and told me he wanted to start walking circles around our house and praying. I was so shocked that he didn’t care what the neighbors would think he God obviously put this on his heart. I wanted to be supportive even if it was totally out of my comfort zone. I have noticed thats when God grows you when your uncomfortable it sucks in the moment, I like my comfort zone its fluffy and comfy and full of cupcakes and rainbows but God pulls me out of it quite often. So round and round we went praying and walking. I know the neighbors must of thought we were nuts but that’s okay they probably thought that before this anyways. We did it almost every day for a while and God was working on us every step we took. Carl Lenz came to our church as a guest speaker for young adults so Caleb and I put Savannahin the stroller and went! (Just to note we did not realize we would be the only parents there and it would be like a college party haha but whatever Savannah was jamming out) at the end Carl Lenz did an altar call and Caleb asked me to walk down with him he wanted to recommit his life to Jesus. I was shocked and so excited but not trying to be to weird or corny or he might change his mind. But in that moment I wanted to snap a selfie with him and capture it but that might of made it weird so I didnt haha.. Im still amazed even writing this the change that was happening in us. We still were fighting all the time big loud and ugly. We didnt want to but  looking back we had NO CLUE how to communicate to actually solve an issue we both just wanted to say our piece louder then the other. We were not on the same team fighting for a mutual outcome to make us both happy we were fighting against eachother  because we both wanted what we wanted when we wanted it like a bunch of stubborn toddlers lol. But God had been working in us and strengthening our faith and preparing us because there was a storm coming….

3.The Journey Continues !

We were almost done the Journey class when a women from childcare came to get us to tell us a little kid bit our daughter on the face.  She was fine don’t worry she doesn’t take stuff from anyone but this women would later ask us to serve on the welcome team on childcare. I said sure ! I wanted to get plugged in and meet more people and get more involved. After walking away Caleb said you know I cant do that I was like why? It had never dawned on my husband spent 4 years in prison as a kid so he has a felony and wouldn’t be aloud to work back there.  We told this to the women but she was convinced that is where God wanted us and said she would talk to the pastor about it Caleb was really excited he wanted to do it and for once this wouldn’t stand in his way. He was excited they would actually look at him and who he was not his past and he was elated. Later we found out the answer was no and I could see the disappointment in Caleb just another thing that didn’t work because of his background. But the women (yes she has a name but not sure she wants it all over the internet ) said she would try again she was not giving, but we were not going to get our hopes up this time. The phone rang very late that night and as she apologized for calling so late she explained she was so excited because they wanted to interview us for the position. Caleb and I were very excited! A week or so passed and we went in to meet with the pastor for the interview. In the interview they wanted to know about what he did and if he has changed. Caleb explained that as a kid growing up his mother was a drug addict his father was an alcoholic and he and his sister practically raised themselves. They hardly had food and were taught very young to pan handle steal and pawn things to get what they wanted or needed. He was in and out of juvenile hall and foster care as a child and his sister later became an addict also. At 15 he went into a trailer that  had no people in it planning on stealing some things and pawning them. He came across a gun and took it. He was later charged as an adult at 15 because the judge was tired of seeing him he gave him 4 years in prison. He then explained how in prison he began writing me in prison and he decided he did not ever want to go back to where he came from he wanted to change. He got his GED he became licensed in HVAC he took class after class about change and readiness so that when he got out things would be different. He lived in Jacksonville Florida and I lived in Baltimore Maryland.  As I saw the change in him our friendly feelings started to become feeling feelings. We started “dating” and decided when he got out he would move to apartment with me in MD and never look back. The years passed and that is  exactly what he did he moved to MD and he changed his ways he never picked up a drug never stole got right with the Lord and never had another run in with the police. the pastor was very pleased with this story as you can tell by meeting Caleb now hes a completely different human being. Some people actually need convincing that this story is actually true because he doesn’t seem like the type. But The pastor knew he was a new person and invited us to be on the team !  I thought this was good we were going to serve but I didn’t realize how God was starting to circle us with his people. as time passed we made friends with those we served with every week and we started to meet more and more people . We would recognize others every week now and Florida started not to feel so lonely !  As I further my walk with Christ I realize just how important accountability is and that is what God was starting to do he was  putting people around us who wanted the same things we did with the same morals and values. This may seem trivial but this was a pivotal moment for us.

2.The Journey had just begun…

Like I said in the last post we joined a class called the journey at our church one night It was 4 weeks. They encouraged us to do something called S.O.A.P. basically you read a scripture that is the S then you write your observation you apply it and you pray! We started doing this and its incredible how much getting in Gods word changes you. A dear friend of mine’s favorite verse is Romans 12:2 ” Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” This verse describes perfectly what God was starting to do in us and we could not even see it yet. I used to say God was starting to speak to me but I believe now  he was speaking to me along I just wasn’t able to hear him clearly I was not listening for it. But now I was listening I wanted things to be different I started to really commit to sticking it out in our marriage unlike ever before. Caleb was my best friend I had met him was I was just 8 years old we had an amazing history together which I’m sure will come up later in posts but i was not willing to give up on us so easily. I started to believe God really can do anything that means he can fix us too! I finally had hope. One night while sitting in the journey God put something so random and so weird on my heart. I did not know how Caleb would receive it when I told him. We were very tight on money and starting to sell some things and Caleb had a brand new mini fridge he was selling for 150$. We were going to use that money to buy Savannah’s birthday gifts so it was very important to us. We had it posted on several sites for people to buy and God put it on my heart to keep it listed for sale but when people arrived to pray with them and give it for free. . This may not seem like a big deal but it was a huge deal to us that might have been the only money we had for her birthday gifts. I told Caleb and he looked at me crazy at first. He said why don’t I hear God like that I said maybe you aren’t listening. We had been learning in the class and in our SOAP devotionals about being obedient to God and so Caleb agreed. We posted it for sale and dropped the price to 90$ I think and a few ladies posted wanting it. One women popped out to me and I guess God wanted her to pop out to me . We arranged for pick up she came with a younger man and when she went to hand Caleb the money he said Actually God put it on our hearts to give this to you for free. She was in shock she said are you sure ? Caleb said do you mind if I pray with you. It was in that very moment I saw what God was starting to do in him and I loved it. We prayed with her and wished her well and she went on her way. We thought we would never know why God asked us to do that maybe he was just testing our obedience. We went out and I got a text when we were in the car a few hours later and It was a picture from the women who bought the mini fridge It was a receipt from a pawn shop for 90$ She sent a text explaining that she lives in a house full of people and she has serious diabetes and needs to keep her insulin close and her snacks. She then said “My dad passed away a few years ago and all I have left is the ring he gave me” She explained that he health issues had become so serious that this was more important so she pawned her fathers ring so she could buy the fridge from us. I could tell where it was starting to go as my heart become to overflow with emotion. She said since you gave it to me for free I was able to go get his ring back and you dont know how much that means to me thank you and I said Thank God it was not us it was him.

1.My story

God has done an amazing work in my family and I this past year I would love to share it with you. So as I said before my name is Kristina. I am 24 I have been married to my husband for a little over 3 years. We have one little girl, Savannah she will be 2 in November. I was born and raised in MD but 2 years ago we moved to south Florida. God has had us on such a journey since then it has been incredible. I was very pregnant when we moved her in the hot summer of south Florida. It was like the minute my feet hit the ground of Florida they swelled 3 times the size cankles at their finest. That was about to be the least of my worries though because little did I know God was about to do a lot of work in me, my marriage and my relationships. We had our daughter on November 2 after 24 hours of pushing her little head was swelling and I wouldn’t dilate so we ended up with a 9 lb 15 oz baby girl via c section! I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster that came after birth I was never diagnosed with ppd but looking back I’m pretty sure that’s what it was ! I cried over everything, I was offended by everything, I couldn’t let go of my baby and she was the only thing that could calm me down. I believe this started to take a toll on our marriage. We are both Christian we both love the Lord but we didn’t live for the Lord. Jesus was in the passenger seat not the driver seat because “I had it” hahahahaha. I really thought that too. We went to church we read the Bible to Savannah and we prayed for those around us but we did not get the full picture. I only know this looking back now. If life wasn’t hard enough with a new-born baby and possible ppd and healing from a c section my husband Caleb had an accident at work in December and caught his hand in the fan blade of an AC unit and it sliced the tendon to his middle finger. He ended up getting a bone infection and being on IV antibiotics for 6 months every single day and getting surgery and physical therapy. This was unbelievably hard he could not hold or feed our baby it devastated him. It also put a lot of pressure on me as a new mom and still new wife to take care of them both and I felt like I was failing miserably. This took more of a toll on our relationship and by the summer we were like room mates. We argued about everything you could imagine and never solved a thing. I felt extremely alone and unappreciated. I don’t want to speak for him but I know I was not giving him what he needed as a wife and I checked out at one point. I would threaten to leave during every disagreement and we would always escalate slam doors scream ect. (There is a point to me telling you all this I swear) My relationship with God was not even a relationship we had drifted for sure. I would look up at God and wonder why he wouldn’t just fix Caleb for goodness sakes I was doing everything I could why wouldn’t God do his part (insert sarcasm here). I know now God must have been looking at me shaking his head saying Oh child you will get it one day. I don’t know how Caleb relationship with God was at the time I can’t say I even cared which is terrible . To give a little background drinking was a main source of arguments before and during pregnancy during pregnancy I gave Caleb and Ultimatum ( Cuz Lord knows those are always successful) It was me and Savannah or Alcohol he chose us and gave up the alcohol. A year late while we were going through this already hard enough time he said he wanted to drink again. This put more of a strain on us as you can imagine. I was craving the love we had the fire that passion the words of affirmation I used to hear daily. I just wanted positive attention from a man. This ended up getting me into trouble. I ended up flirting with a man who worked somewhere I ran errands often. It wasn’t innocent flirting (if there is such a thing) I was going here on purpose he cared about my stories my day and what I had to say even if only for a few minutes that was more than I was getting at home. I wasn’t sleeping with the guy or texting or calling or sending dirty pix so I was sure this was fine. I never mentioned I was married and one day at the end of the summer he ended asking me to hangout. This sent off the flags in my brain that I guess were a bit delayed. They should have gone off way earlier. In that instant I knew I had crossed the line I felt terrible even if at that time Caleb was so irritating. I asked God to forgive me and I promised I would never go back and I never did. I started reading the power of a praying wife. I had read it when we were engaged. I remember the first chapter being pray for his wife. She talks about in the book praying for God to fix her husband when God needed to fix her and that was exactly what I needed to read even if it did not sink in yet. We joined a huge church and still knew basically no one in florida we kept to ourselves so we wanted to get plugged in. We took a class at our church to become a member called the Journey. And that is where our journey began…