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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Discovering God’s New Normal for Me ~ (Testimony of Danielle O.)

“Life isn’t a book. Life isn’t logical or sensible or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time. And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess.” ~Charles Colson (from Carol Kent’s A New Kind of Normal)
It was the end of a long and frustrating week and I was anticipating the call and conversation with a friend that I hadn’t spoken with or seen in at least two years. As the call came through and I excitedly picked up the phone, it seemed as though we picked up right where we had left off two years ago.

We went through the normal questions… you know. How are you? How are the kids? How’s life etc. Then she asked the question that I had been dreading. How is your husband?? Ugghhh! That question is the new knife in my side.

Author Carol Kent calls this new phase of my life “A New Kind of Normal” and honestly I couldn’t agree with her assessment more. It is definitely “new”, but just four short weeks in, it hardly seemed normal. My mind reflected back to May 5, 2012. While everyone was celebrating Cinco de Mayo with the flavor and flair of Latin cuisine, I was working in California while my husband was moving out. For me, the unthinkable had happened AGAIN, but this time it was permanent.

The last few months of this year have been filled with what I had been trying to pass off as normal behavior. You know, get up in the morning, and get the kids off to school, go to work, clean the house, make dinner, go to bed and repeat the next day. However, in our house there was a deeper secret lying beneath the surface.
My husband of ten and half years had chosen to leave our marriage, our home and rip the heart out of our family again. Yes, I said it again!
It happened in somewhat the same way as the first time. It was 2008, and it was the exact same time of year when he looked me in the eye and said almost the exact same words “I don’t want this marriage anymore. I’m not happy with who I am and therefore I am not happy with our marriage.” Thinking that this was just a normal phase in marriage, I didn’t really take it seriously. I suggested we try counseling, speaking with our pastor, reading books, listening to tapes etc. you name I suggested it. All to no avail, nothing would change and suddenly it became real. He came home one day announcing that he had found a place and would be moving at the end of our lease.

In that moment, the beautifully constructed castle that was my life crumbled right before my eyes. So, naturally, being the “good Christian girl” that I am, I began to pray. I began to seek and yearn for God like I had never sought Him before. I prayed on behalf of my marriage, my daughters, my husband and myself. I called Him on every promise written in the bible. I desperately wanted my marriage to work. I had seen God working so many times in my life and I knew that, He alone had the power to heal our broken marriage. So, for a year and a half, I prayed, I believed and I studied his word. In the process, a genuine authentic relationship with Christ began to form. It was a relationship with Him that only brokenness and heartache could produce. It was fire-tested. As time passed, I felt myself becoming content with how I thought my life would look without my husband.

Then in 2009 just weeks before our anniversary, he came back! It was like God picked me out of a crowd, looked into my soul and granted me the desire of my heart. I felt like Charlie receiving the golden ticket to Willie Wonka’s factory. My husband wanted his family back. I was elated. As I cautiously re-built my relationship with my husband on the outside, the inside of me was rejoicing, praising and thanking God for what I knew was a blessing from Him. The following year for our ten-year anniversary, we celebrated on the beaches of Puerto Rico and for me it was a dream come true!

So when, on Valentines Day 2012, my husband again said that he didn’t want the marriage because he wanted to work on himself, I knew that this time the outcome would be different. I knew because my prayers were different, the seeking was different, the petitions were different; it was all different.
My prayers were no longer petitions to God to save my marriage, even though I longed for that to be the outcome. They were no longer requests to make me the wife that He created me to be to my husband. Those prayers had already been answered. I was that woman, I was that mom, I was that wife and God made sure that I knew it.

This was different. The prayers that I prayed, or rather cried this time were filled with questions demanding to know why. Why would you allow this to happen again? Why would you do this to my girls? Why would you do this to me? Hadn’t I done everything you asked? Hadn’t I given you everything you wanted? I did it all according to your word. Why? Why allow us to reconcile only to be back in this hurtful, shameful, embarrassing and humiliating place again just two short years later? Why tease me with this false sense of hope for a marriage that would eventually end? What kind of God does that? WHY?



I returned from my business trip on May 6th thinking I was ready to deal with my new reality. However, when I walked into “our” home and saw all the empty spaces where his things had once been, I realized I was more unprepared than ever. This is hard and it sucks! I wanted so bad to be that strong woman that just bounces back from the trials that life had dealt me. To be a picture of strength for my daughters, my family, my friends and all the people that had prayed for and supported us the first time. I wanted so badly to just fast forward to my “happily ever after”, but I’m learning day by day that there is no such thing as happily ever after (even for Christians) and that each day is a new opportunity to choose life in Jesus.

It would be super easy to just pretend like none of this is affecting me, like my husband leaving me twice, was part of God’s big plan for my life. It would also be easy and completely understandable to just fall apart and stay in bed with my grief and despair while life passed me by. But God isn’t a God of “easy”, He’s a God of purpose, healing and redemption.

Furthermore, that’s not what I believe needs to happen. God has given each of us free will to make our own choices in this life. My husband has made his and I’m making mine. For me, I’m choosing to believe that while God didn’t cause this, He will redeem it (Romans 8:28). I’m choosing to believe that the faith of my daughter’s will be stronger because I walked through this “valley” with integrity. I’m choosing to believe that He will use my testimony to help other women in similar circumstances of brokenness. I’m choosing to believe that He was with me during every step of this dark journey, walking and many times carrying me through, when I was too weak to walk on my own. I believe that daily He gives me the courage and the strength that I need to take care of my children and myself.

Even in the midst of extreme brokenness, I’m choosing to cling with every fiber of my being, every ounce of energy to the God of Hope. I’m choosing to live a life that honors God. It isn’t easy, and there are days where my comfy bed coupled with chips and dip win out over reason. But every day the choice is mine.
God is carving out a new normal for me. In her book “A New kind of Normal” Carol Kent quotes Ken Gire who says this. “When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces. But he doesn’t put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves. Instead he sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project-a mosaic that tells the story of redemption.”

So, when despair tries to take me under… I choose life! (John 3:16)
Instead of trying to figure out What God was thinking in all this…. I choose to trust! (Proverbs 3:5-6)
When I desperately want relief from the pain of reality… I choose to persevere! (Romans 5:3-4)
When I feel oppressed and overwhelmed by disappointment and sorrow…. I choose gratitude! (Philippians 4:6-8)
When I want to keep my feelings to myself….I choose vulnerability! (1 Peter 2:9)
When nothing goes according to my plan … I choose to relinquish it to God!(Jeremiah 29:11)
When I want to point the finger…. I choose forgiveness! (Ephesians 4:32)
When I want to give up…. I choose intentional action! (Philippians 3:12-14)

I don’t know why horrible things happen in life. I do know, however, that the same God who loved me enough to send His only son into this world to be a perfect sacrifice for an imperfect world. Was there with me through each of those dark days, and that He will one day turn my weeping into dancing (Psalm 30:11) and redeem my pain for His greater glory!

About Danielle:
Danielle ODanielle is a full-time work from home mom in Las Vegas, NV. She runs a successful business helping women transform their look and their lives with the beauty and affordability of high fashion jewelry. She currently serves as a leader on the Women’s Ministry staff for The Crossing, Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV where she attends with her family. Most importantly, she is intentionally parenting two beautiful daughters to know and seek the heart of God for purpose in their lives.  This fall Danielle will be launching a blog and speaking ministry to share with others the blessings God has for us in our brokenness. She also is planning to share her love and experience in children’s ministries to help churches build their own healthy children’s ministries that will benefit both the children and their families. She welcomes your email and prayer requests at: jewelofamom@hotmail.com

Each of us have a story to share and we would LOVE to share the story God is writing in your life! Your testimony matters. It may be the very thing God will use to minister to someone else. If you are feeling God tug at your heart to share, please contact me at torriesorge@gmail.com or via private message on our Facebook page. I look forward to sharing your testimony very soon!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trash to Treasure {Donna’s Testimony–Part 2}

Somehow, during those 30 years since I left home, became a wife and mother, I also became an alcoholic…
My determination to QUIT became stronger when I found out I was going to be a grandmother. Sadly, my ability to control how much I drank, did too. So I really began to pray. As I had done many times in the past, I ask God to please DELIVER me from this addiction. I didn't want to go to rehab and leave my family behind. I didn't want the extra financial burden of a rehab hospital bills, etc. I just knew in my heart that God could (and would) deliver me from my alcohol addiction. I prayed for three years before God answered.
Here's how it happened. I am a writer for a small publication called The Minute Magazine, here in northern Louisiana. My column is called "True Confessions of an Antique Junkie." I usually write about "my passion" of turning "trash into treasures" - finding junk & pieces of furniture that others have discarded & left for trash, and I re-purpose them into treasures.
I have always "felt connected" to my work, because I feel like that is how God sees me. He sees the mess (trash) I've made of my life, but He sees beyond all those sins & imperfections because He knows what a "treasure" I can become!!
Normally, I write about my “treasure hunting” in my column.  However, the last year or so, I felt God put it on my heart to share more of my personal stories and how I relate the "trash to treasure" story to myself. This opened a new door for me, and started me on a journey that I never would have dreamed or imagined.

On January 1st, 2012, I stood before our church and shared "My Trash-to Treasure Story" with our congregation. Next, I received a phone call from the director of the Louisiana Baptist Women's Convention. She had read an article of mine and asked me to come speak at the conference. I explained that I had no experience with this (on that large of a scale) and that I had only shared my story with a few small groups at our church. She assured me that "we all have to start somewhere, and I'd do fine." So, our February 4th, I shared my story with 100-150 women at the conference. Something happened while I was there. I was so touched and blessed by the women who came up to me afterwards. Many were crying and hugging me, telling me how much "my story" had ENCOURGED them and given them HOPE. In the story I shared, that I had been sexually abuse as a small child by my step-father; that I saw my brother physically abused and beaten by the same man. As an adult, I was physically abused by my husband and that we both admitted to committing adultery.
The only thing I didn't share with this group was my addiction to alcohol!!! Why? Because I had not quit drinking at the time.
It wasn't until February 5th (the day after I came home from the conference) that GOD DELIVERED ME!!! I got up and went to church as usual. I was excited to share with my Sunday School class about the conference I had attended. When I came home, I just "knew in my spirit" that something was different. That evening, I didn't drink anything. The next day, I woke up and thanked God that I had actually made it through the evening without a drink! The process repeated itself for several days. Next thing I knew... it had been a week, then 2 weeks, then a month since I drank a beer (or any other type of alcohol)!!!

I began to have a dream. In the dream, I wrote about my addiction to alcohol in my column. When I woke up, I thought, "That's CRAZY! I'm never going to tell the world about my drinking problem!" But I had the dream several times, so I began to pray. I asked God if HE wanted me to tell my story? I felt like His answer was "yes." So, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I began to write. It just flowed from the tips of my fingers. I didn't even have to think about it! The words just came to me. I called the owner/publisher of the magazine (who is also a close personal friend) and told her I had something to tell her. I told her that I felt like God had put it on my heart to publish this story but I first needed to tell her what it was about. She didn't even know about "my little secret." After hearing what I had to say, she encouraged me to do what I felt God leading me to do. Next, I ran the idea by my husband, who was in denial about addiction. After hearing everything I had to say and reading my story, I had his love & support. So, in the March/April issue I shared my story of addiction.

In April, my husband & I flew to California to visit our son & daughter-in-law. We planned some activities while we were there.  Before we left, I had a dream several times where I felt God kept asking me if I trusted Him? My answer was always, "of course I do, Lord." Then He said, "You need to show me that you COMPLETELY TRUST me." So, "walking by faith... not by sight," I followed through with the dream that God had given me.
I took a "Leap of Faith!" Yep- I went skydiving (and I’m scared to death of heights) to "celebrate" the new things God is doing in my life and the changes He has made in me!!
 Donna _ skydive sign       Donna _jump1 
                             Donna_landing
I know this is just the beginning of many new things that God has in store for me. He is using me as a vessel to encourage others. I know there's going to be more chapters added to this story. I'm excited about "the new thing" God is doing in me & through me. I am humbled that He has chosen to use "my story" to offer HOPE to others out there that are struggling with addictions. It's especially hard when you're a Christian who is dealing with a "secret sin." I was so overwhelmed with guilt. I'd want to do better, then I'd give in to the OVER-POWERING temptation and I'd drink again. Afterwards, I'd feel bad, ask for forgiveness, feel guilty, then the whole process would start over again.
I know my story has been "long winded" but I found it hard to write & not tell you the "back-ground" on all the how's & why's. I pray that God uses my story to give encouragement and hope.
About Donna:
Donna-A_thumb1I'm a columnist, & featured writer for The Minute Magazine. I love to restore, refinish & repurpose unwanted furniture & give it "new life." I have been married to my best friend, Mike, for 28 years. We have been BLESSED with two children who are now grown. son- Michael & his wife Michelle (and) our daughter-McKensie & her husband David who have blessed us with two precious grandsons; Remington 3-1/2 yrs. & Levi 2 yrs.
What is God doing in your life? Has he delivered you from an addiction like Donna? Or carried you through a dark valley? Or given you strength and courage during a time of fear and uncertainty? We would love to share your story! For more information or to share your testimony, email us at torriesorge@gmail.com or private message us on our Facebook page. We look forward to sharing your story very soon!
Be A Blessing,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trash-to-Treasure {Donna’s Testimony–Part 1}

make me newI turned 47 on July 13th. This year I "celebrated" my birthday like never before. Here's why:

I accepted Christ as my Lord & Savior when I was a teenager. I didn't have any "this is where I turn my life around" experience. I was raised in a very small country church and just felt it was time. I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit & followed through. Afterwards, life went on as usual.

When I was 15 I met my husband, starting dating him at 17, and married him at 18. While we were dating, he lived life "a little on the wild side." He was saved, but had fallen away. I wanted him to go to church with me, but when he didn't show any interest in joining me, I decided to join him. (You know the old saying..."if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.)  We began drinking socially. My husband worked offshore, so when he was home, we'd join our friends and go out drinking & dancing.

In 1986, I found out I was expecting our first child. We’d been married for two years and after several moves, had settled down and started attending a small, country church. Finding out that we were going to be parents REALLY helped us decide to put our "drinking days behind us." We took the fact that God trusted us to be care-givers to a beautiful baby very seriously.  What an honor & a blessing!! When our son was born, we couldn't have been happier! A couple of years later, we were blessed again with a daughter. This completed "us" and we were happy with our little family of four.

As the children got a little older, we began to have an occasional drink again. We would buy frozen drinks during half-price happy hour or on 2 for 1 days.
This was where I made a huge mistake. This started a "habit" that I didn't fully understand or realize until years later.
I began to enjoy our frozen drinks a little more often. We began socializing with other couples with children the same age as ours. We would get together to let the kids play while we enjoyed adult company…and adult beverages.
After all, a little drink every-now-and-then didn't hurt anything, and we were not going out to bars or anything like that. Nothing wrong with a little "social drinking," right? (At least that's what I told myself.)
After several years and moves, we found ourselves near the small town we had lived in when our children were born. When we moved back, we changed churches so we could get "plugged in" with new friends & get our children involved in their new church and school. This is where we have lived for the past 20 years, where our children grew up, where we call HOME. So much has happened during the past 20 years that it sometimes just doesn't seem possible that time goes by so fast. My children are now grown, married and are beginning families of their own. To say that I am BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE is an understatement!
But that's not when my story ends. Actually that's where "it begins", because somewhere, during the past 30 years, as I became a wife and mother, I also became an alcoholic…
I'm not sure exactly when or where it happened...but it did. I did not drink a drop either time I was pregnant or breastfeeding my children (just want to make that perfectly clear)! There were years that I completely stopped. As I struggled with "being a Christian" and drinking, I'd ask for prayer, confide in close friends, be determined that "I can do this on my own". I would quit for a while, then sadly, the process would start all over again. Anytime I decided that I wanted "just a drink", it became 2 or 3 drinks. Then it progressed to several days a week, and so on. Next thing I knew... I realize that for at least the last 10 years, I drank 7 days a week with just a few exceptions.

I’ve discovered I’m considered a High-Functioning Alcoholic. I kept my secret very well. Even some of my closest friends and family did not know that I struggled with this problem. I worked a normal job during the day, went to church, went to school functions (when my kids were still at home). I did everything just like most moms/grandmothers do. But in the evening, after all my "chores" were done, I would pop-the-top on my first cold beer, (my drink of choice). My husband was even denial about my addiction, until earlier this year. I'm not exactly sure how long I had been considered an alcoholic. I probably began drinking as early as 13 –15 years old. Although I didn't drink consistently for the past 30 years, I know I probably drank 7 days a week for the last 10 years of my life. In the end, I was hiding how much and how often I drank, even from my husband. He usually goes to bed before me, so I would stay up and drink for several hours after he was sound asleep. I would "sneak" to the liquor store when he was at work, and I'd always pay in cash so it wouldn't show up on our banking account.

Tomorrow Donna shares Part 2 of her amazing story. You won’t want to miss it!

About Donna:
I'm a columnist, & featured writer for The Minute Magazine. I love to restore, refinish & repurpose unwanted furniture & give it "new life." I have been married to my best friend, Mike, for 28 years. We have been BLESSED with two children who are now grown. son- Michael & his wife Michelle (and) our daughter-McKensie & her husband David who have blessed us with two precious grandsons; Remington 3-1/2 yrs. & Levi 2 yrs.

What is God doing in your life? Has he delivered you from an addiction like Donna? Or carried you through a dark valley? Or given you strength and courage during a time of fear and uncertainty? We would love to share your story! For more information or to share your testimony, email us at torriesorge@gmail.com or private message us on our Facebook page. We look forward to sharing your story very soon!

Be A Blessing

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time for Retreat!



Brian's Head, Utah - Where our church's Women's Ministry Retreat is being held! Isn't it BEAUTIFUL!!!!
Earlier this summer, I was asked to speak at our women's retreat. Honored and excited doesn't begin to describe my emotions!!!! Seriously, I think I squealed all the way home like a school girl who just got asked to prom!! When I received my topic I was even more thrilled! (I can't go into any more details now as some of the ladies from our church read this blog and our extra speakers (me and 2 other ladies) are a surprise).

Since then, my life seems to be one commitment after another. (Funny how the enemy uses distractions to attempt to derail us from God's plan and purpose!) I have all my thoughts ready to go, but desperately need to get them down on paper. So, with the retreat coming up in ten days, I HAVE to focus all my thoughts and prayers on what God wants me to say to these precious ladies. My full attention need to be with them and the amazing opportunity that God has given me to share a glimpse of His heart.

I will NOT be blogging until the beginning of October. I WILL continue to post testimonies this week and next week, which you WON'T want to miss!! (This week's is a 2-part story from an amazing women who shares what is it to be Christian alcoholic-powerful!! And the following week a personal friend shares her story of brokenness and her "new normal". It will move you to tears...and cheers!!)

Please keep me in your prayers if you would as I write, pray and prepare. Thank you all for your love, support and constant encouragement!! You each bless me more than you know!

While I'm away, visit my Blogs That Bless tab to find some of my favorite blogs like Time-Warp Wife, Becoming A Strong Women of God and Women Living Well. I'm sure these ladies will be a blessing!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Leaving a Successful Legacy

How do you define success?


~By achieving that next promotion or bonus at work...or better yet, breaking the "glass ceiling"?

~Having the best house, car, clothes, etc?

~Keeping the perfect house. Everything is in its place, cleaned and polished at all times?

~Is it through your children…they are the best on the team, make straight As, are involved in multiple activities, strive for perfection in all they do?

Or it is something else???

Two weeks ago, my in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary!! It was a wonderful weekend, full of tears, memories, surprises and more love than you can imagine! I watched as two hearts, joined together over 50 years ago (if you include the years of high school romance), renewed their commitment to one another and to God…a God they both love and serve, a God that has guided their marriage, a God who is more than a religion, but an individual personal relationship of which they both share. It is this relationship and steadfast commitment to their Lord and to each other that has allowed them to walk hand-in-hand through good times and bad; through trials, laughter, tears, and triumphs; through blessings and loss. It is this example, this legacy, that they have given to their two sons, whom they raised and taught to love the Lord with all their hearts. These sons have in turn both married women who love the Lord, who seek His will, who strive to live a life of integrity, who desire to rear Godly children.

50th anniversary
Mom and Dad Sorge at their surprise vow renewal. Happy 50th Anniversary!!
This past weekend, their oldest grandson continued this living legacy when he got married. He married a women who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Her love and heart for God is first followed by the love she has for her new husband and our family. Eric was raised in a home that loves God and seeks to serve Him in and through all things! Now he begins a new life as the leader of his own home and eventually his children. There is no doubt that it will be a home guided by the Hand of God, just like his parents, his uncle's family and his grandparents.

husband and wife
Mr & Mrs Eric Sorge
walking back the asile
The happy couple!
  














Felicia washing Eric feet
Felicia washing Eric's feet
Eric washing Felicia feet
Eric washing Felicia's feet
                     
kiss the bride1
"You may kiss the bride!"

Two hearts… two sons… two daughter-in-laws…six grandchildren…One God!! 
         All love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind!!

So how do you define success?
For me, it’s being able to look at my children and see hearts that love the Lord, minds that seek His wisdom, and souls that long to serve Him. In the end, that is all that will truly matter.
“Train up a child in the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6
Now, it's your turn. How do you define success? We'd love to hear your thoughts. You can comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Be A Blessing,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Awaking the Lioness: Becoming the Women God Needs Me to Be {Testimony of Candice}

My life is full of different kinds of testimony but the one I am going to share with you is how God awoke the lioness inside me. In my twenties, I walked away from God. Yes, I still loved him, but I was not living for God. Instead I was living for myself and the world. When I got married my husband and I started attending church but we where still on the fence.

Then God awoke me with the birth of Lilly.

Having gone through my whole pregnancy with out a hiccup, to find out that my daughter lacked oxygen 0-72 hours before birth that resulted in a major brain injury affecting huge areas of the brain was devastating. I am not going to go into the medical journey of Lilly's first days of life because that is Lilly's testimony, not mine. Mine is about seeing hope through a traumatic season of life.

While feeling numb, scared, and frightened, he was there as my comfort. As I sat there wondering if my baby would live through the night, he was there. God made a promise to us through His Word that he would deliver her from her sick bed.  I clang onto these verses (Psalms 41: 1-3) with my every fiber and some days still do.
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them. They are counted among the blessed in the land.He does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. ~Psalms 41:1-3
On the third day I watched him take my baby barely hanging onto life and blow life into her body. With in a matter of hours she went from a machine breathing for her to breathing on her own in my arms for the first time!

As time passed I knew that Lilly will one day become a strong women of God, but I felt unworthy of my role as her mom. People, would come up to me and say things like, "She will bring thousands of girls to God." It scared me in the sense of how do you raise a child who will one day be this women?

Here I am struggling with getting over a traumatic birth, finding out who I am as a wife and mother. Most days I felt weak, scared and sometimes it felt like I was going crazy. How can I raise a strong women of God?

Looking back I see God's foot prints in my life. He has molded me into the women I am today. Through prayer, books such as Lioness Arising, other females, opportunities, and blogging I am becoming the women he needs me to be – a Proverbs 31 wife and mother.

Lilly's testimony is her own, mine is a different journey and just as important. Since founding the blog Lilly Through The Valley, God has placed it on my heart to speak to other women who are walking similar journeys. I started the blog as a way to connect to other special needs mommas; now it's way more than that. It's my ministry, my purpose in life - to give other mommas hope in a time of need.

Candice Lilly
Lilly
This is my inheritance to my daughter as she grows up. My prayer is that she will one day find her own ministry just as I did.

The more I listen to God, the more I become the mother he needs me to be for Lilly. The fact is he will use Lilly to bring people to God, I know this because he already has. It's hard sometimes to believe that she will walk, talk, speak, and do unthinkable things in her life time when we have so much against us. But I know it will happen because he promised. It will definitely not be in my timing but his timing. (I remind myself this every time I get frustrated.)

The women I was four years ago is a distant memory. Sometimes it feels like a totally different world. Today I am thankful for the person God has changed me into and the ministry he has blessed me with. Psalms 119:171 states it quite well, "My lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees."
He's teaching me to be the person he needs me to be.
Have a great day!
Candice
About Candice:
CandiceI am Candice the founder of the inspirational blog Lilly Through The Valley. As a blogger, I strive to leave a positive impact on my readers. I love things that up lift my soul and love to share them. In my double life I am a late twenty something old stay at home wife and mother. I have a passion for 5 km walks, dogs, and reading. I love hearing from my readers. Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

Each of us have a story to share and we would LOVE to share the story God is writing in your life! Your testimony matters. It may be the very thing God will use to minister to someone else. If you are feeling God tug at your heart to share, please contact me at torriesorge@gmail.com or via private message on our Facebook page. I look forward to sharing your testimony very soon

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I Stopped Praying for Their Marriage

sad women
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Several weeks ago, two women – close Christian girlfriends of mine -  came to me, sharing that their marriages were in serious trouble. These two ladies each live in different states and do not know one another. However, within 24 hours, each of them was sharing their broken hearts with me. Over the following days and weeks, I listened, shared whatever wisdom God laid on my heart and I prayed. I don’t mean I prayed… I mean I PRAYED!!! I awoke in the middle of the night, these relationships heavy on my heart and I prayed. When I heard a song on the radio that would remind me of the couples, I prayed. I prayed in the car, at the store, everywhere I went. Tears ran down my face at church as I lifted these marriages up to God, asking Him to restore them as only He can.

The ladies and I shared texts and conversations. I listened as they shared their frustration, hurt, anger, resentment, and brokenness. I made sure NOT to take sides or give my opinion. With each interaction, I tried my best to point them back to scripture and the way God wants us to respond, regardless if we feel like it, regardless if it seems fair, regardless if the same kindness is being returned.

First Corinthians 13:4-8 is probably the most quoted Bible passage at weddings. It defines love as patient, kind, not envious, boastful or proud. Love does not dishonor others, is not selfish or keeps any record of wrongs. It doesn’t delight in evil, but takes joy in the truth. It ALWAYS protects, trusts, hopes and preservers. LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Are you loving your spouse like this? 
...Even when it’s hard? 
...Even when it’s unfair? 
...Even when you are not loved the same way in return?
As I was prayed for these marriages, God reminded me of an even more important relationship…the one we have with Him. 
I stopped right there, in the middle of my prayer time!! God showed me in that moment how to best pray for these marriages. It wasn’t to pray for their relationships with one another (although that is so very important). It was to pray for four individual people who need to revive their personal relationship with God Almighty! I have no doubt that God desperately wants to restore these marriages (as He does any marriage). But even more than that, He desires each of us to have an intimate relationship with Him. Sometimes God allows us to loose everything – our job, our home, our finances, our position, even our marriage – to draw us back to Him.*

*Notice I said He allows it…not that He causes it. The problems plaguing these two marriages were not cause by God, nor are the problems you may be facing in your own home. They have been growing for some time, rooted in our own choices. Like the Casting Crown songs says, “it’s a slow fade.”

So I continue to PRAY for my dear friends. It breaks my heart to see them go through these dark days. However, my prayer now focuses on four people instead of two marriages. I pray that they will each find God in a new way, that their relationship with the Almighty will be renewed and strengthen, that their minds will not be influenced by lies from the enemy, but will be reminded of God’s promises, that they will not rely on the deceitful emotions of the heart, but on the unchanging truth of the Word of God to guide them. I pray that as God speaks and works in the hearts of four individuals, that ultimately two marriages will be restored and the plans of the enemy to kill, steal and destroy another Christian family will be defeated!!

My friend, are you facing a similar situation in your home, in your marriage? Remember, you are not alone! BBM is here to come along side you, to encourage you, to pray for you and with you. If you would like us to pray with you, please send us a private message on our Facebook page.
Be A Blessing,

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