Monday, September 23, 2013

why our marriage survived

it's our 8th wedding anniversary today.
this very day, 8 years ago, my husband and i said a bunch of words to each other in front of a bunch of people, making a bunch of promises neither of us would keep.

i haven't written about the actual affair in such a long time. at least it feels like that. but you must know that by now, everything i write stems from that deep, catastrophic event. when i write about any kind of trouble and hardship, it is through the lens of how God shaped me in my most difficult suffering. so by proxy, i guess in a way, i write about that suffering all the time.

with that said, it is the grace received through that suffering which, at the hands of my husband seems too deep a betrayal to recover from. and frankly, it is.

that is why i can't take credit my for marriage working. it wasn't me that kept us together, it was God. it wasn't my husband that decided to come home, it was God that humbled him and gave him eyes to see where his home was.

it was a miracle.

one of the questions that people ask me most often is, how do you trust him again?
i don't have practical information for them. i do not have a book to give them to read on affairs (i found those unhelpful and damaging). what i can say is, the way that i acted towards my husband stemmed from a work that God was doing in my heart.
it stemmed from a call to obedience.
it was not dependent on my husband. it was dependent on my God.

do you trust me?

i think i do. i want to fully. it seems impossible and won't i be an idiot? help me believe.

and so i woke up every morning with that prayer. often spoken through a tired and broken voice...help.
it was all i had in me.
so the question is not, how do i trust him again?
the question is how do i rely fully on God to do a work in me so that i may be obedient to His call?

what then do i say to the brokenhearted women?
that the trust comes. but the trust is not deserved.
when is trust that is broken so horrendously ever deserved?
isn't "deserving" a sort of karma anyway?
listen, believers. we don't believe in karma. we believe in the underserved getting invited into a relationship with a perfect God to live with Him forever.
that is not, what goes around comes around.
if i believed in karma, then actually i deserved every bit of my suffering.
because i've done some pretty awful things.

but if the suffering isn't about me, it frees me to see that, perhaps,  it is about something else. someONE else. God's Glory. how else would He get the glory but to take something weak and broken, even more, something dead and bring it back to life. something that had been rotting in a tomb with seemingly no hope and raise it from death to life!

...for my power is made perfect in weakness.

it is not a surprise that we are weak. that i am weak. that i wanted to divorce my husband, lord his children over him and withhold them, take his money.
that my husband is weak. that he loved someone else. that he did not want to come home. that he was ok if i suffered, as long as he got what he wanted.

but.
and YET.

God came down. changed our hearts. asked for obedience when i didn't want to wake up and face the day. when i had to go to church alone and everywhere, with what felt like a scarlet letter. when i forgot to eat. when i looked out the window and wanted to fly away with birds.  when my husband struggled with temptation. when he lied over and over again. when he didn't know what he wanted. when he was hated and shamed.

God came down to us and we saw him.
and we couldn't help but change because his love was too crazy and too scandalous and it didn't make sense.
and we couldn't help but love each other when it was and still is undeserved. because He loved us first and He saw our sin and still said, YOU. i want you.

God saw us 5 years later, on our 8th anniversary sitting on the couch together. my husband rubbing my feet. laughing about the day, dreaming about the future. thanking Him that He kept us together because it is so good. so rich. and i love him more than i could dream.
and it's only been 8 years.

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.
AMEN.
(jude 1:24-25)


44 comments:

  1. Between you and Danielle Burkleo, I'm a hot mess of tears on this blessed, peaceful morning! Thank you for your words and your example of the struggle of grace on our end and the abundance of grace from the Lord. He is so good, yea?

    ReplyDelete
  2. congrats! and what a wonderful way to think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A friend of my parents' is living the heartache of an affair right now. Because you share so boldly the work of Christ in your life, I have a resource to share with my mother as she comforts her friend. Thank you for bringing a kingdom perspective- for getting out of the way & giving God the glory. His restoration of your marriage- reading this blog- has changed the way I see my own. God is using you mightily in this imperfect, lost world. Love to the Nato family- each one of you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations on eight years. I think we all go into it thinking we know the beginning from the end("we'll be married and life will be wonderful") and then at one point or another, reality hits.Life gets hard and we forget that the person next to us is just as broken as we are. I love that God redeemed your marriage. Its a testament of how he makes all things beautiful...even the garbage, the brokenness, and the good.
    Here's to many more years, growing together and growing closer to our Savior.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you THANK YOU for a Christian response to this issue.

    I've followed you for a long time on IG and finally clicked over to your site this morning. I'm so glad I did.

    I do not know you, but I will add your marriage (and all of those who are going through or went through this) to my prayer list.

    Thank you again for sharing.
    xo
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow. Amen. Thank you for using your blog to point us to Christ. God is so good. Happy anniversary!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, Jami. What a hard but amazingly redemptive story. It reminds me of something Paul Tripp said this past weekend... "No one gives grace better than someone who is deeply convinced they need it themselves." That spoke to me SO much and your story speaks of SO much grace from many sides. I can't imagine how I would've responded in your shoes but I only hope it would be with as much grace as you did. Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  8. tears. so very beautiful to see such a clear picture of the gospel lived out in your marriage. we are so so so undeserving and we have betrayed Him more times than we can keep track of, and yet... He loved us to the point of suffering for our sin and dying for us just so He could be with us forever. crazy. unexplainable. ALL GOD.

    PS - now on a totally frivolous note... I love your new design! :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. hello jami, your post resonates with me as i have suffered 2 miscarriages. as a result, my relationship with God has been weakened, but i am trying so very hard to trust and have faith again. thank you for reawakening me with your words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine, I'm praying for you right now. Miscarriages are hard. I let mine sweep me into darkness and disobedience. I am praying that you heal fully, that your womb is opened to new life, that God sends His supernatural comfort, and that YOU RELY ON HIS STRENGTH ALONE as He pushes you out of this muddy place (because He IS right in there with you).

      Delete
    2. Catherine, I am praying for you right now. Miscarriages are hard; I let mine sweep me into darkness and disobedience. I am praying that you are healed completely, that your womb is opened to new life, that god sends you His super natural comfort, and that YOU RELY ON HIS STRENGTH ALONE as He pushes you out of this muddy place (because He IS right in there with you).

      Delete
  10. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. I so often look at marriages (my own and those around me) and it is so obvious that without God marriage is an impossibility.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gosh I don't even know you and your man, but what a redemptive gift God has given you to share with the world. Congrats on eight years and the choosing obedience over feelings/what was easiest.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So beautiful. So true. All of it. Thanks for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow. Glory be to God for your amazing testimony.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy anniversary to such a special couple. I hate the word "deserve". We deserve nothing. And are given everything. His Grace, His Mercy, His Love. We are unworthy. But Jesus' blood and the Father's love for us MAKES us worthy. It's quite the love story. Thanks for continuing to share yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I already told you this earlier today . . . but thank you. We are thankful for you and Nato. I think I say this whenever you write about the mess, but it continues to give us encouragement that our redemption is just as real as yours, that we are not crazy for sticking it out no matter what the world says. You didn't have to share your mess with the whole darn interwebs . . . but forever grateful that you did!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Had to post again . . . this line: "i don't have practical information for them. i do not have a book to give them to read on affairs (i found those unhelpful and damaging)." So true, so true . . . those books . . . ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I can't even talk. Amazing grace.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's so easy to think that when God calls us to live out the gospel through our marriage that it will automatically be an example of how it do it right. But, what's amazing is, in your example of a broken marriage, the heart of the gospel actually shines far brighter. Each of us are called to love the other, even when neither party is deserving. So grateful that God has redeemed your marriage and is building something beautiful where there once was only ashes.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think God does things backwards, sometimes. He restores and renews and resurects the dead things, the things we can't even hope to redeem. Happy anniversary, friends. And many, many, MANY more.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Crying and crying and crying. The pain, the love, and the deep, deep riches of God's redemption.
    In my darkest times I have know God's love at a level I never knew before.
    And for that I am grateful.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    And God's grace.
    Blessings.
    Greta

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh my. What a great God. Thank you for reminding me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you so, so much for writing this. Oftentimes we only see the glittering exterior of "weddings" but miss the whole point of love. Your post is such a well-written perspective on how God is the center of it all, and He will prevail.

    I wish you all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you so, so much for writing this. Oftentimes we only see the glittering exterior of "weddings" but miss the whole point of love. Your post is such a well-written perspective on how God is the center of it all, and He will prevail.

    I wish you all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am so grateful for y'all's amazing redemption story. And that picture...gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Goodness! You just showed us the Gospel in this. So very beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Goodness! You just showed us the Gospel in this. So very beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for sharing. So inspiring, this truth!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your story is powerful. Thank you AGAIN for sharing. Prayers and blessings to you and Nato today and always!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Seriously good stuff. Thanks for sharing your heart! What a testimony!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is beautiful and raw. I love it and you. But most of all, I love Him. Because He is all about making beauty of our mess. Thank you for continuing to proclaim His greatness through your testimony.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you so much. Just so brilliantly helpful. Hooray for Jesus! His grace glorifies Him.

    ReplyDelete
  32. God's faithfulness makes mine look like crud, Jami. The way he continued to work in your lives is evidence that he can do mighty things even when we can't fathom how anything can work out right. I am so thankful for the 8th anniversary you've celebrated this week!

    Cheers.
    Tim

    P.S. We just celebrated 26 years of marriage earlier this month ourselves. Woo-hoo!

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a great God we serve! Beautiful example of His redeeming love.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Girl. Your words and your heart are so beautiful. My heart is filled and my spirit is softened reading this. I'm so grateful for your obedience and willingness to share and encourage other women--believers and nonbelievers alike. Thank you, sister!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I totally get it. I relate. I'm so encouraged to read someone else's words in this area. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I contacted drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com in regards of my lover. He no longer wanted to associate with me anymore. He was interested in working out his marriage, after begging and pleading with him I realized it was out of my hands, he really was leaving me. My co-worker went through a similar situation and told me that drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com had helped her. I can't say how much I'm grateful she introduced me to DR Lawrence. After discussing the resolution with DR Lawrence, his get your lover back spell has done more than what I expected. My lover and i are now back together we are getting married next month, I don't know what I would have done without you sir. teresa

    ReplyDelete
  37. i really needed to read this tonight and i stumbled upon it thru pinterest at 1 in the morning while everyone else sleeps

    ReplyDelete
  38. "everything i write stems from that deep, catastrophic event. when i write about any kind of trouble and hardship, it is through the lens of how God shaped me in my most difficult suffering. so by proxy, i guess in a way, i write about that suffering all the time."

    i get this.

    you're right. the grace received through the suffering…the shaping and molding that is created in our hearts through the lens of our most difficult suffering….those are the places where God's power rests.

    ReplyDelete

leave a message after the beep.