Welcome to week four of our Open Forum. We've tackled some tough questions the last three weeks, and though difficult, we are honored to be a part of these discussions and to share in any way we can. This week delves a more into our personal journeys, which we are glad to share in the hopes they uplift and encourage. Lynn and I by no means have all the answers to living in a successful SUM, but we have no doubt that God has called us to share what we've learned thanks to our compassionate and merciful King.
This week's question is from Julianne:
I would love to hear about the growth/changes in your family each of you have seen since your time of starting here. Even though it may not yet be where you hope, what differences have you experienced over time?
Lynn's Answer: Julianne, I appreciate your question. God has been so amazing and His love absolutely transforming that I have too much to say. In order to keep this post shorter, I will add my story on Friday. I pray it honors the Lord Jesus because without Him, I would not have a story to tell nor a wonderful marriage today. See you Friday.
Dineen's Answer: Wow, Julianne, what a great question, girl. I could write an entire book to answer this one, but let's see if I can keep it to a few paragraphs.
If I answer this question based upon the changes I've seen in my husband, I'd have to say nothing has changed. In some ways, our faith differences have become more difficult. But that could be due to all the prayers being said for him and the enemy trying to stop the inevitable. :-)
Yes, I do believe my husband's salvation is inevitable and maybe that's one area of change or growth for me. I've firmly believed in what was spoken to me regarding my husband's salvation for eight years. Though I thought the timing would have been a year ago based upon how I interpreted it, I still believe it will happen.
Since starting to write with Lynn here at SUM, my calling to this ministry has been affirmed over and over again. This in and of itself has made me stronger and firmer in my roll in my marriage and my family, because, ladies and gents, I certainly can't preach it if I ain't livin' it. Right? And Lynn will tell you the same, that our rolls here have opened us up to a lot of spiritual warfare. But we care way too much for those in unequally yoked marriages to do anything but persevere and fight back.
And clearly, we can't do this on our own strength. God has equipped us over and over again. There are times when Lynn and I have talked about reader comments, how to pray for individuals and each other, and will express how awestruck we are that God put us together here. Why us? Why not us?
Being here at SUM put purpose into my journey. And meaning and passion. The saying that you learn more when you teach is so true. In the processing of seeking God in his Word and sharing what I sense him teaching me, I learn. I grow. I prosper. I thrive!
But there are times when it's such a struggle that all I can do is hold on to God. And the past has prepared me for the now. The past struggles and difficulties strengthened me to go through the trial of my daughter's brain tumor. And that experience will strengthen me for whatever else comes down the road.
So in the last three years, I've come to learn to trust God on a much deeper level and to live as authentically as I can. My daughters' faiths have grown and have helped them to see the world honestly (sometimes too honestly), to have compassion, and to think through their choices, especially in their relationships.
And most importantly, we have loved. Through each trial, through each difficulty, I've learned to keep loving, to not give up and walk away. And I'm learning to live in the moment. To enjoy my family and cherish those special times that transcend the hardships and tears. God is teaching me a tenacious belief—the kind you do at all cost. As you can see the changes have been in me, because that's where it had to start and where it will continue if I'm to be God's tool of change in my marriage.
Praying and believing,