He Brought us Through

“How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me?”

So begins the first line in a 1970’s classic song by Andrae Crouch.  How appropriate that God would bring it to me now, as my husband & I chose it for the recessional march in our wedding, coming on to our 40th Anniversary later this year.  This year.  The year that we have been shut in together as he is rehabbing from his knee replacement surgery, and I am beginning yet another RA treatment.

 

Time for lots of reflecting. . . .

We were so young and in love, thinking we understood what it meant to surrender . . .

 

I was the “Christian good girl” and he was the “newly converted wild one.” Oh, how many things had to change between us and in us.  Where I thought I knew what needed to be “fixed,” he thought he knew what needed to be “freed up.”

 

And all the while God knew where love and surrender would meet up again and again.

 

We set out all starry-eyed and fresh-faced. But when the pornography monster reared it’s ugly head, not once, but many times, I thought I could him help control the awful interloper. He thought he could control it too.

 

Enter surrender’s voice calling out to our hearts. Only God can have true access into the heart.

 

And when the mercy of God carried us through that early trial, bearing the scars, yet loving all the more deeply, we thought we knew the formula required to conquer the storms. But God is no formula, and love seeks not it’s own way.

 

With every stormy trial, (you’ve probably known some of them too:  job loss, ministry loss, family struggles)  we learned there could be only one constant: God’s ways are not our own.

 

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“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
 Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:6-8

 

The true oneness that God designed to bring to marriage can only happen as hearts continue in surrender to His ways. We found the deeper oneness as we surrendered during every trial.  We resisted, and we struggled, but in the end it wasn’t ever our own efforts that brought any kind of victory. It was only God’s mercy that guided us through the storms.

 

But what about these later years when physical weakness feels like an unending trial?

Where is the surrender then?

 

Could it be that God is showing us a deeper oneness, even as we share in the offering up together of our own inabilities in this place also? I cannot drive far, and he cannot drive at all yet. We are shut-in here in this small town. We are dependent on help. We know that only GRACE, the way of Jesus, will carry us into this new season also.

 

And for those times when the young love seemed tested, but had so much father to go?

Well, the words spoken then were gifted to carry us through the future trials too. God’s ways see beyond what we can ever imagine.

 

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~Sonnet written by Barry for Bettie (Beth)  in 1985

 

And for the future? What will those surrenders look like?

 

The same Lord who was with us in the past, is with us today, and will be with us tomorrow, bringing the change and the help that only He can.

 

If I would see Your ways

Then cleanse my eyes

From seeing

Only things that move

My thoughts

To ME.

 

If I would see Your ways

Then cleanse my eyes

From watching

Only ways that tug

My heart

To ME.

 

If You could part the seas

If You could slay the giant

If You could cage the lion

If You could still the storm

 

Then

You could cleanse my eyes

You could wash my lips

You could purge my heart

And

Open Heaven here

 

To see the way You see

To love with a heart unfettered

To walk Your path

And

Not my own.

 

 

 

 

 

Have you been weathering harsh storms lately? Can you join me in prayer as we look upward together?

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

We come before You bowed with our hearts in surrender. We know that we cannot see the ways to love. We confess that we have tried to fix or to free on our own. Thank You for the deep mercy You have showered on us as we have come in repentance to You.  We stand in awe at the love that You have allowed us to taste. We are overwhelmed by the ways that You have given us Your love to weather every storm. Help us to lift our hearts to You and You only. Let us love each other with the very love You have poured on us.

In the name of Your precious son, Jesus, we pray,

Amen.

 

And thank you so very much for all who have joined us in prayer during this past month. We are truly grateful for every word uttered to the Lord on our behalf!

 

I am linking with:

#LMMLinkup

#Teaandword

 

 

28 thoughts on “He Brought us Through

  1. Wow, that song takes me back. I always thought it was beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Marriage is not for the faint of heart, but with God’s help it can be such a beautiful thing. We will be celebrating our 44th in September. There have been ups and downs but God is so faithful. He’s been with us through the good and the bad and I’m so thankful for His presence in our lives. Your poem and prayer are beautiful and I pray the same. Thank you so much for your heartfelt post. Thanks also for being such an encouraging, loving friend. Blessings, love and hugs to you, my sister! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Gayl,
      Your Anniversary month is September too? September 30 is our actual date. How fun to share that month. I know that song wasn’t typically used for the Recessional, but it is filled with such joy over God’s goodness. I am grateful we have that to look back on, over all these years of our marriage. God really has been so faithful, and I am glad you can say that also! What a blessing and encouragement to be able to pray and rejoice with each other. Thank you for your friendship so much. Love and Hugs to you my dear sister! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We just keep finding things we have in common, don’t we? 🙂 Ours is Sept. 14. We used a not so typical recessional, too! We had a recording of “God of Our Fathers” complete with trumpets. We married in my parent’s home with our pastor officiating. I’m also glad we can pray and rejoice with each other. Love and hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What fun thoughts to share, Gayl! That sounds like it would have been such a beautiful ceremony to share in! I love the unique ways that God writes His story into our lives, and then how He lets us share in those stories together! xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I left the second comment just to let you know that it did come through ok. Thank you so much for your lovely words, and for being so persistent to make sure they were posted! Blessings to you!

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  2. I hope your new treatment helps you and your hubby keeps improving, Bettie. God’s mercies are never-ending, aren’t they? Sometimes it’s good for us to look back and remember – “Ebenezer! Thus far the Lord has helped us!” Thank you for sharing some of your marriage story. I love your poem and prayer, too! Also, your hubby is quite the poet as well. 🙂 Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Trudy,
    Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement! It has been a rough month, but God really has been so good to help us, both now and through all of the years. And, yes, I love that word “Ebenezer” also. I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the current trial and forget how much we have been helped by God! I am so thankful you were encouraged by our story. It was so personal that I prayed a lot before I shared it, but I felt God’s prodding and could not let it go. He is so amazing to use every bit of our brokenness that is surrendered up to Him. And I will pass on your good word to my poet-hubby! 🙂 Love and hugs dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Bettie, congratulations on 40 years of marriage. Grace is the grease that keeps the gears and years of our marriage moving closer to the Lord and each other. So many couples pack it in and miss out on the cozy years rewarded to the committed. Faith is what kept me with my husband when we walked through valleys. I’m glad I looked to the Lord instead to the world.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendy,
      Oh, you are so right when you say the world tells us to just pack it all in at the first sign of trouble. How grateful I am for the Lord’s grace and mercy to help us through each of those valleys. I’m glad that He has helped you and your husband also. He gives such beautiful gifts as He helps us stay committed, and the coziness is indeed so sweet. Blessings to you also!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Praying faithfully for you, dear friend, and so thankful to read this wonderful post of God’s mercy and goodness in your lives. The poem from your husband is just beautiful and so meaningful. May the Lord continue to heal you both and bring you through this trial. It is so hard to believe how quickly life flies by…the days surely are long, and the years surely are short. Sending much love to you, sweet friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      We are so very thankful for your precious prayers! They mean so much to us through these long days. And you are so right, though, the years have gone by so quickly when we look back! Our Lord has been so faithful through every season, and He is so good to us now also. I will pass along your kind words to my husband. 🙂 It was a sweet gift to share his words together again after all these years. May the Lord bring you His blessings also this week my dear friend! xo

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    1. Hi Rebekah,
      Yes, I love the sweet memories that song stirs up. And it is full of such praise to the Lord. Thanks for visiting here today! Blessings to you!

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    1. I am so thankful the Lord brought His blessing here today, Lynn! He truly has been so faithful to keep helping us through all of our weaknesses. His love does keep the “stars glowing!” Blessings to you!

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  6. Thank you for pointing us to the constancy of God. It does take a daily surrender to keep us moving forward toward God and His plans. I love these words: “The same Lord who was with us in the past, is with us today, and will be with us tomorrow, bringing the change and the help that only He can.”

    God continues to teach you and your husband today, doesn’t He? God has a sense of humor by putting you both in a position that you need each other, but one that requires you to depend on God. I’m glad the healing process continues and I am praying for both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Oh thank you for your sweet words. Yes, God really does have a sense of humor–and sometimes I forget that! 🙂 But we have had a few funny times through this process, when neither one of us could accomplish some simple task. But God has truly been teaching us through this time, and helping us to depend on HIM even more. I appreciate your prayers so much. He is so good to us. May He bring you His blessings also, dear friend!

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