My friends, Lynn and I had a fabulous time at FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine last week. These two men have such HUGE hearts for families and marriage. What a privilege it was for us to share our hearts with them. And they asked us some really challenging questions! Good questions. As soon as we get the details of the broadcast, we will share it with you.
SUMites, you know our hearts desire is to encourage wives and moms in their mismatched places, in ALL walks of life and circumstances. And I see that desire in so many of you too. Abba has given us so much! So much hope and strength in our mismatched places. It just bursts out of us. That's why we wrote Not Alone. And let me say how grateful we are to our publisher, Regal Books, who believed in our message and ministry. These people are dedicated to Jesus and sharing His saving hope. Amazing!
In greatest honor to our sweet Jesus, I have a couple testimonies for you. My friend, testimonies are POWERFUL (Rev. 12:11). The enemy knows this and wants to keep us quiet and will even squelch us down if he can. Trust me, I know (and will hopefully share more on this soon). That's because he knows that testimonies increase faith and hope, and release God's power in our lives, our marriages, our children and the world! As Lynn and I sat on the plane on the way home, she turned to me and said, "We need more testimonies." And I agreed.
Yesterday as I walked and prayed I asked Abba for this, for more of His miracles to be released in this community and to bring us more testimonies. He will do it!
This first one is from our book and you'll recognize Gillian's name too. She is a righteous mama contending for her kiddos! I love how she used her children's toys to teach her children! Moms, don't be afraid to ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you with ideas like this. It's fun!
I read a short story from a children’s Bible, and we sing a praise song or hymn each night at bedtime. “Jesus Loves Me” has become a favorite. Because they are very young, I sometimes use figurines and toys to act out Bible stories—it’s simple, but it really holds their attention and makes the story come to life for them—and for me.
This is what I pray on the nights when I put my young boys to bed:
Dear Lord, thank You for _______, _______ and _______. Thank You for Your love for them and Your special plan for each of their lives. Please bless them and keep them, and lead them all their days. May they always know Your great love for them.
The last line I find especially important. That is the one thing everything hinges on, because it is when we lose sight of how much God loves us that we tend to fall away from Him. But even when life’s not fun, if we can still feel His love, it makes all the difference.
—Gillian Russell Meisner
This next testimony is one sent in by a reader. So amazing! As you read it, claim that this kind of miracle is possible for you too, becaue with God, ALL things are possible (Luke 1:37).
I'm so sorry I missed the opportunity to join the week of fasting with the community, but I have no doubt that all will be blessed as a result.
We exchanged emails last year when I was going through a tough patch in my marriage and you gave such encouragement and wise words to me through that time.
Well, I wanted to share briefly with you the latest to encourage that God does hear our heart's cry and moves on our behalf, but He also looks for us to actively get involved too. Obedience and His power seem to go hand in hand - Father is so gracious that way, He loves to do things with us.
2013 was a tough year and continued to have challenges in my marriage right up to the end. But even I wasn't prepared for the conversation 2 weeks before Christmas that saw my husband announce the end of our 12 year marriage (and a relationship of 18 years). I was devastated but I knew that God had given me the strength to finally say no to something that was tearing us apart and was unbelievably unhealthy for our marriage and our souls.
Now my husband is a man who, when he makes his mind up, does not bend even if he is in the wrong. When he said our marriage was finished, I had no reason to doubt him. But only 5 days later he took my hand and said that this situation was very wrong, a waste of 18 years and that he didn't want to be without me.
I was stunned. Was this possible? Only with God, I would have to say! I knew that the prayers I had been praying and those of supportive Christian friends had been heard.
Then my second shock that night - I once again asked him to consider counselling. He has never agreed to counselling as he doesn't think it does any good. However, as he began his protestations, God directed me to say that surely if we wanted to save an 18 year relationship, counselling as a last resort was worth a try. He said, amazingly, that he would agree to "consider" a selection that I would provide him with. Again, this is a huge step forward.
So instead of the expected disaster of Christmas and the New Year, my beloved was just wonderfully kind to me, loving and sweet. It was the best Christmas present I could ever have.
Then, as if to add a cherry on this wonderful "cake", God brought another present to me. My husband has a sharp mind with an ability to debate and contest. I'm far more a feeling, sensing person, so he runs rings around me usually on the rare occasions we discuss Christianity.
However, the first Saturday into the new year, out of the blue we meandered through topics of conversation and ended up talking "religion." As mentioned above, I'm not very good at debating, certainly not compared to my husband but, this time, the Holy Spirit just dropped words into my mind and unbelievably my husband was arrested by them to the point that he was nearly speechless. A first in my experience!
The key moment was when, in response to one of his statements, I said I largely agreed with his comments on religion, but that faith in Jesus was actually about a relationship with a personality rather than an organisation. I was even able to share Psalm 139 with him.
Trust me when I say this was a big breakthrough. I'm not expecting my husband to become a Christian tomorrow, but I truly believe that something has been loosed in the spiritual realm to open his heart further to God. So whilst we still have a way to go, still need to get that counselling sorted and deal with our issues, I know that my Father has this marriage in His hands and that He will withhold no good thing from us for it's renewal and healing.
Amazing, amazing, AMAZING! And so GOD! As this dear woman said, God loves to do things with us. Have an amazing weekend bathed in the promises of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. He is mighty to save—ALL of us!