Aug
31

From Bitterness to Joy

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August  30, 2012  [Your Letters, Marriage] Karen, Prior to beginning this process I felt like a single mother of 4 kids, living in a marriage that “existed” but that wasn’t “living.”  I figured if I just tried harder, achieved more, looked prettier and complained louder, my husband would notice me and help me! Instead he seemed to meet me day after day with criticism and dismissal. The fighting was frequent and loud and there was a constant edge in the air. I seemed to end each day with slumped shoulders and I lived in an abundance of self pity. My prayers to God were very much ones of ‘change my husband! Grant me patience! Take away the pain!’

To be able to cope with tension, I controlled the environment I lived in; by cleaning. I kept my house spotless, and I expected every member of the household to do the same. It never ceased to aggravate me when I would head out and come home to a house in disarray, “why do I always have to do everything?” I would mumble, “I look after 4 kids everyday and kept things in order why can’t he?”. When I started attending your GEW small group it meant leaving my husband to deal with the kids over the dinner/bedtime routine (translate: the busiest/messiest time of day). To start with I made sure that I was super organized and would leave my husband with a list of instructions so that things would go smoothly (translate: so that things would go MY way). Then upon my return I would require a full rundown of how the events of the evening went.

A few weeks into the study group with you, God revealed my sin to me in this area, when one day I was not organized, and I got to witness how my husband stepped up and took control when I left him to lead. It completely changed the way I interacted with my husband and over the following weeks I would leave without a word of advice, trusting that he would manage the evening. Upon my return I would join my husband for Quiet Companionship on the couch, where sometimes he would share the events of the evening and sometimes he would just talk about the golf. After this time I would go and check on the kids and get organized for the following day. Sometimes my husband would have cleaned the entire kitchen, sometimes he hadn’t. The days he hadn’t I no longer held resentment in my heart I would just get about doing it myself with complete calmness. There was no denying I still liked an orderly house, but now I wanted it for different purposes; to honor God and my husband.

And so the edge in the household began to dissipate. It was replaced with a calmness. Interaction with my kids and husband became Peaceful, and I Witnessed more laughter than ever before. My husband lingered in the mornings and evenings to help me and I noticed him come to my aid in ways I had never anticipated. My prayers changed from self serving ones to prayers of worship. Kids still misbehaved and my husband and I still had our disagreements, but it all felt sweeter somehow!

I had figured that this was the change God had wanted for me but as you always say, Karen, our God is a God of surprises. And so he surprised me last week. I came home from our GEW session and sat with my husband on the couch for Quiet Companionship. He immediately drew me in for cuddles and we sat still and quietly for some time, just embracing. It was so so precious!!! I went to bed just praising God for his faithfulness!! Morning came and I got up and walked out into the lounge and stood for a moment absolutely flabbergasted! The house was chaos! Toys strewn everywhere, dishes spilling out of the sink, washing all over the floor! I couldn’t help but lose it to laughter!! I had sat amongst this chaos last night WITHOUT NOTICING! Some of the lessons I have learnt through this process have brought tears. Others like this one have brought me laughter. I praise God for both. I anticipate with gladness the future lessons he has in store for me and I simply praise God for bringing you and your God Empowered Wife teachings into my life.

Much love,
Karinda, Australia

Karinda, I really enjoyed your testimony. Not only did He give you the desires of your heart when you released them, He also gave you a new heart! He is such an amazing God of awesome surprises. I am certain you will bless many ladies’ lives down the road as you continue to just be a living testimony of His faithfulness in your life.
Love,

Karen, currently in Texas, USA

 

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