This is my husband reading Scripture while we were in the prayer closet last night.
Before you think I'm posting a message to make you think we are "holier than thou," let me tell you this...we are not.
We started praying in this closet out of desperation while entrenched in the hardest battle for our marriage to date. For MONTHS we prayed and it seemed as though the more we prayed, the worse things got.
Sometimes we went into this closet angry at each other, annoyed, and at the end of our rope. Sometimes our prayers were one-sided while one of us (ok, me) refused to pray. Sometimes we fought before we prayed. Sometimes we fought after. Sometimes scriptures were read and prayers were said with a "take that" attitude to the other person. The stories those walls could tell.
It was only by the grace of a mighty God that we stayed. STAYED. In Him. In the closet. Together.
How we got from "'till death do us part" to "I want to separate" is a post for another time. How we got from there to where we are now will also be shared.
Where we are now is good. Different than ever before. Not because God is different, but because we are. I've often heard when a soldier goes into battle, they come out changed. The same is true with the battles we face. They can change you for better or worse, and a lot of times (maybe even all the time), it's up to you to allow God to shift your perspective.
As I look at this photo, I can say with full assurance: The battle was worth it. I have more respect and admiration for this man than ever. I have more genuine love for him than I've ever known. I have more faith and trust in my Savior. The work God has done astounds me. The joy in my heart amazes me. Jared feels the same. We are both stronger because of all of it. All of it.
Why share one of the most private battles we faced? Because when God has done a great work, why NOT share? He has called us to share His hope with others, and while it seems a bit scary and daunting, we willingly go forth in Him. Wherever He leads.
You may think the issue you are facing is hopeless, but from someone who had lost ALL hope...here's some truth: God is a great Redeemer and Restorer. So, STAY. Stay in the fight. Stay on your knees. Stay in all of it as you trust Him with all of it.
The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. - Exodus 14:14