I want to continue my thoughts from yesterday with another great quote. "...the one who is honest in his failures is the one who can be strongest in his faith." Chris Tiegreen
I thought of my wife as I read those words. Many of you don't know much about Lisa. Truth is, most of you don't know a whole lot about me besides what you read on this blog. Lisa is an amazing woman. I recognized that right away when I met her (blind dates do work. I am living proof). There is an amazing confidence that comes from her knowledge of Christ and His love for her. She is smart and strong and hungry--hungry for more intimacy with the Lord. To be that way would be enough. It would satisfy most of us. But you need to know the rest of the story...
...Lisa grew up going to church in a very good family. But that was it. There was no genuineness to this religion she observed and it wasn't long after becoming an adult that the religion took a back seat to her own drive and desires. It was in the midst of a second failing marriage that God got her attention. She and her ex-husband were in a plane crash that almost took both of their lives. Immediately, Lisa turned her attention to this God she had been familiar with but had never really known. After her second marriage ended (both divorces were Biblical so don't get on your spiritual high horses out there), Lisa's relationship with Christ took an even deeper turn. She knew how she had failed miserably in her personal and professional decisions before knowing Christ and it was in her heart not to allow that to occur again. For three years she refused to date anyone but Jesus and focused her attention on her relationship to Him and her daughters.
After all that she had been through there are a lot of avenues that Lisa could have chosen to escape. She could have made excuses. She has none. She could have been bitter...and she was. But she has chosen not to live her life that way and has allowed God's peace to slowly remove the seeds of bitterness. She could have ignored God altogether. She realized that He (not another husband or more business) was her only hope. She could have hidden because of her failure. Instead, just as the quote above signifies, she took her failures to God so that she could rest quietly in the strength of her new found faith. That was over 10 years ago and, today, she still speaks to hurting women with the wisdom that can only come from one who has "been there." One might even think that she is an advocate of divorce as an easy escape for hurting marriages. On that point, I will let her speak for herself:
"My heart aches to think people may look at me and think divorce is the answer. I will admit I entertained the thought to quit more times than not, but I never could find scripture that said to stop….give up. I actually kept reading to “press on”. There were so many days that I wished my Bible had a hole in those parts, but I had to obey the Bible in its entirety. If I could share one verse that was so powerful for me during those draining days it would be Hebrews 6:12 'We DO NOT want to become lazy (bored, tired etc.), BUT to imitate those who through FAITH and PATIENCE, inherit what has been promised.' I always related this to my love for sports. Thinking about training hard and running well. I would even get out and physically run which I used as prayer time to keep me running spiritually. The key to that verse is this….we have to do our part first and THEN we inherit. The only way to get to the happily ever after is to do our part in faith and patience never quitting. We can’t try to write the story ourselves. Then and only then will Jesus give us the happily ever after the way He sees it."
I love it where she says "we can't try to write the story ourselves." You see, we can't. No one ever has. When we try to do it, that's when we fail and trip up. There's only one "story writer"--God Himself. And when we trust the Author, He brings the "happily ever afters" we dream of. Who would have ever guessed that my story would have taken the twists and turns that it has? I laugh when I think about where I thought I would be compared to where God has me today. The times I failed the most were those times that I dared to believe that I had a better ending. Thank you, Lisa, for boldly showing the world what a love affair with Jesus looks like. Thank you for becoming the strong person you are after all that Satan did to destroy you. You didn't allow your past to keep you from God's future for you. May we all learn to live that same confidence in Christ.