My husband and I had been married for four years. Up until this point, our marriage was by no stretch of the imagination happy, pleasant, good, solid, or thriving. We had recently had our second child in hopes that this bundle of joy would rekindle the love that was missing. Little did we know what awaited us in the days to come.
I was saved at the age of seven, but had definitely not lived my life in accordance with the will of God. There were many times I strayed from the path He set before me, thinking my way was better than His. Like the prodigal son, I ended up in the middle of the muck, mire, and filth of a life guided by its own selfish desires.
During all of this my husband and I met. Our relationship was not one founded on God's love, but rather on a desire to fill a need that had left both of our souls empty and longing for more. After dating for a year, we married and within our first year of marriage we welcomed our first daughter into our home. This baby girl was definitely God's gift to us because she was the glue that held our marriage together for years.
As time passed by, we grew further and further apart. He filed for divorce. I wasn't up to fighting the issue any longer. It was over. Per direction of the Christian attorney who drew up our divorce papers, we sought out Christian counseling to give our marriage one last shot. We went. It helped, but only for a season.
Two thousand and two would end up being a milestone year for us. We got pregnant with our second child, Will. He was born October of that year. In November my mother-in-law invited me to a women's conference at her church. During all my years of walking away from God, I was desperate for something and so I agreed to go. As the conference leader spoke, the hardness surrounding my heart began softening as I heard the voice of God calling out to me. I felt His presence that weekend for the first time in a very, very long time. It was as if I could see my Savior standing before me with His arms wide open, calling me to come home. In tears, I made a beeline straight to the throne of grace. My Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals, began healing my wounded heart and promised me that night He WAS going to heal my marriage.
I began fervently praying for the Lord to change my heart, for my husband's salvation, and for our marriage to be restored. I prayed and I waited for God to work. A few weeks went by and I began witnessing miracle after miracle. My husband agreed to start going to church with me. Miracle number 1. We sat together under the teaching of the lady who lead the conference I attended. Miracle number 2. God used this women in our lives in so many ways. Because I had joined this particular church, I was invited to attend the new members class and hubs again agreed to go with me. Miracle number 3. The day we were to right out our testimonies, hubs was unable to do this because he had no personal relationship with the Lord. After church that day, I talked with the associate pastor who was leading the new members class. He had seen that hubs was unable to right out his testimony. This was my shot, so I invited he and his wife over for dinner. They could come the next day or wait until after the first of the year. The next day was great for me; I knew God was working and couldn't' wait any longer. Miracle number 4.
Hubs, knowing the "preacher" was coming to dinner, prepared all day the questions he would ask. We enjoyed a nice dinner, although it was a little tense because hubs had his defenses up. After dinner and bedtime for the kiddos came the much anticipated conversation. For hours those two men went back and forth. Hubs would ask, pastor would answer. Around midnight, pastor finally said, "What else ya got? What's stopping you from letting go and following the Lord?" We all sat there in silence for what seemed like an eternity waiting for hubs to respond, not to pastor, but to the Lord. Finally, hubs held his head up, looked straight into my eyes, and said, "Nothing is stopping me. I've done all I can and nothing has worked. I need God in my life." Miracle number 5. Tears flowed from our eyes as we knelt down beside our kitchen table on December 16, 2002, hubs praying for God to save his soul and heal our marriage. Miracle number 6.
A few weeks later we were baptized together, me having re-dedicated my life to the Lord, hubs having received Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. Miracle number 7. My husband told our pastor before the baptism that this had been the best Christmas in his life. And, I would agree.
Christmas 2002 was the best Christmas of my life. The baby Jesus who had been born so many years ago, the man Jesus who climbed Mt. Calvary and hung upon the cross for all my many sins, the man Jesus who was laid in a tomb that would be unable to quench the power of God Almighty- this man, this Jesus, resurrected two souls that were dead, He resurrected a marriage that was dead, He breathed new life into our very beings, and He filled our hearts full of love for God and for each other. Christmas 2002 will forever be a memorial in the life of our family. To God be the glory, for the things He has done!
To read more favorite holiday memories, visit Alicia at Confessions of a Snowflake.