By Ann Hutchison
My friends, today is an auspicious day: A certain someone turns fifteen. Nope, it's not one of our children, it's this ministry. Fifteen years ago today this blog had its humble beginnings with its very first post!
Books emerged. A YouTube channel. Friendships. Testimonies. We've seen salvations of spouses, restorations of marriages, and personal growth. Amazing miracles have happened here in this 'church without walls'. God has been good to us.
I thank him. And I thank Lynn for beginning it and all she has given.
So, for the next two weeks we’re going to reminisce. Our writing team (current and past!) are going to hop on to share, and we'd love to hear some of your own stories too.
I’ve not fully shared my own behind-the-scenes story when it comes to this ministry. It makes me smile so maybe it will do the same to you.
When I found this ministry (2014), I was extremely challenged by the spiritual mismatch, as most of us are for a season. Constantly in tears, I was a seriously unlikely candidate for writing anything encouraging to anyone. But I gained strength from the blog posts and comments here, and gradually things changed.
I was also a covert reader here in that I didn’t want to be public on this site, not even in the comments. I didn't want my husband and friends to see me reading a blog on marriage help when we had a happy marriage. So those videos you see of me on YouTube or Facebook?! How on earth we got there only God knows!
The thing is, God works with the unlikely situations, so here's what happened next:
God began to lay this ministry thickly on my heart. I would have dreams about the ministry, visions even, and I really felt a love for this community of beautiful people. Then loads of ideas began landing in my head for things I could write on the blog. In fact, I began to want to write. But how could I? I was Miss Covert.
Well, when God decides we’re going to do something, it happens. Just as I was having these thoughts about writing, I got a message from Lynn: “Hey girl, would you like to write for the blog?”
My response was this: “It would take a miracle for me to even tell Bryce about the ministry, let alone have him say yes to that.”
Our SUM was a topic of huge sensitivity. We were happily married, and to show Bryce a website called ‘Spiritually Unequal Marriage’ would have offended him (I thought). What’s more, to write about our personal lives on the internet was way over the line.
The thing is, this tricky area needs to be written about so that others know they are not alone. And it seemed that I was being asked to take one for the team ... Lol. That night, I heard God speak: “Ann, you are going to run with it. With My approval and with Bryce’s.”
Totally aggh. But it had to be done. So while in bed the next morning, I reached for my iPad and tapped hubby on the shoulder.
“Ummm … Babe … I’ve been reading this website for people like us. I’d like to write for it. Can I just show it to you, and would you mind if I wrote?”
He took the iPad from me and squinted to read.
“Spiritually Unequal Marriage!” He read out.
“Mm hm” I squeaked.
He read it some more, perused the photos of Lynn and Mike, and the other writers with their spouses. Then handed me back the iPad. “Why would I mind?” He said. "Sure."
The rest is history. Along the way, God injected some strength into me as I journeyed in my own SUM, and in 2018, he told me I would be “Leading worship” here. That gave me an inkling of what was to come before I stepped forward last year.
Leading worship: How I love those words, for that is really what this ministry is about. We, the SUMites, worship Jesus through daily choices. And this blog helps us all do that.
Fifteen years -- What an adventure. Thank you, Lord, and thank you also, my family of SUMites, for all the times you have shared your hearts.
Lynn will be sharing on Monday. I imagine she is looking back at those fifteen years with wonder! But for now, your turn: When did you find this ministry, and how has it changed things for you?