One of my passions is to help couples find healing in their marriages, (since I found healing in mine) even when their minds tell them, “It’s impossible.” Once again, I’m posting a marriage miracle story. This story is true, but the names have been changed. I pray that during this Corona Virus “stay at home” time that your marriage will become stronger than ever. And if your marriage is already thriving, please pass this story along to a couple you know that is struggling. Remember that our God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV.)
Here is Beth’s story: The Power of Forgiveness
My husband, Greg, and I met at the age of thirteen, dated off and on in high school, and married in May of 1978, one month shy of my turning nineteen. We were young, too young, and crazy in love.
He was in the Air Force and stationed at Eglin AFB in the Florida Panhandle. Our marriage and this move took me away from my parents and family for the first time. I was the oldest of 4 kids and was the 2nd self-appointed “mother” in my family. I knew I would be very homesick, and I was.
During the second year of our marriage, the Air Force sent my husband to South Korea on an unaccompanied tour (meaning that I could not go). So, I returned home for the year that he was away, got a great job at a bank, and had our first little home built.
He returned to the States to a new home, but to his old job in management at a grocery chain. This was, I believe, somewhat disappointing but somehow familiarly comforting. So, there we were, right back where we started, and living in our little house, both working all of the time, and not sure what the future held or what we wanted. After four years, we decided that it was time for a bigger home and we wanted to move to a different area of town, so we found a lot and had another home built. This, we thought, was where we would start our family. A lot of our friends were starting to have kids, and by this time we had been married about six years. Well, the having kids part didn’t come easy for us, and in fact we struggled with infertility issues and all of the stress that goes along with that. At the same time, my husband was becoming more and more disgruntled with the grocery business and needing a change. At the same time, I had just completed schooling to become a medical transcriptionist, and was recruited by a local hospital, as I was at the top of my class. So, while I was looking forward to a new career and exciting new things, it was the opposite for my husband. Looking back, I can see this was a nearly lethal combination as far as our marriage was concerned. I’m not sure if this was the first time he strayed, but it was the first time I figured it out and confronted him. It was absolutely devastating to me, and I nearly fell apart. We separated for a few weeks, talked, tried to re-group, and eventually decided that if we were to make a fresh start we should sell everything, leave our jobs and move up north where my sister and husband lived. It was a plan, and that is exactly what we did.
At this time, we were not going to church, in a relationship with the Lord, or seeking help from anyone to get us through. We just knew that we were determined to stay together and work things out.
I can tell you that the next seven years were a series of ups and downs, joy and disappointment. My husband was determined to stand by me and was remorseful for what he had done. However, I could not forgive easily and I definitely could not forget. I tried, I prayed, and I wanted to erase it from my memory. I now believe that my unforgiveness caused me more pain than the infidelity itself. I also believe that we should have sought counseling together following such a traumatic event, but we didn’t. Years later, I went by myself, thinking there must be something wrong with me.
We will tell anyone that marriage is a work in progress, but when we take the holy vows of marriage, God wants us to stay together if at all possible…and that’s what we had…the possible.
We did finally get pregnant, though it took 10 years, both of us having surgery, etc. We had our daughter when we had been married 16 years. She was and is a miracle and, as we like to believe, evidence that we did the right thing by working at our marriage.
We got ourselves to church and in relationship with the Lord. We started to give Him the attention he deserved and living a life made easier by knowing Him.
We still are working on our marriage, and there will never be a time that we won’t be working at it. Living life with someone is not easy, especially when they make horrible choices. I still pray every day for peace and understanding regarding those choices. I’m not perfect, and I’ve made bad choices, too. We are all flawed in some way.
Our advice for a lasting marriage is simply this – be willing to give more than you get, love more than you are loved, and forgive more than you are forgiven. The willingness is the secret!”