Happy New Month family and welcome to the month of ‘lurve’!. Well we know everyday is a reason to love but this month we will be focusing on all things love more specifically.
Introducing us first to the topic is Wonu Ireroa. A beautiful member of the team, a wife and a mother speaking on marriage and how God redeemed her love. Marriage we know is to be enjoyed and not endured but sisters and brothers …what do you do when the only L you’re seeing in your marriage is not love but lessons … how does God redeem that?
Ha Ha. When I look back at the fire me and my husband have passed through to
get to this point, I can only and honestly say “It can only be God” who brought us through. I laughed at the beginning of writing this blog, but my nearest and dearest and my spiritual father know it was not a bed of roses, smiles or happily ever afters for our journey at the time.
Before delving in, I just want to say that this is my testimony. This is how God redeemed our marriage and redeemed our love. My journey is my journey. It may not be the same route or story for you and the way God redeemed love for us will be different from others, but nevertheless the goal remains the same…redemption through Christ Jesus.
From the moment my husband and I got married, we had a baptism of fire into married life. We were blessed straight away with a child, I had just returned to a job in an organisation I hated with a passion to now be told I was an incompetent therapist and my contract was being terminated in two weeks. My husband worked very far away in a job he had to stick with for various reasons that meant he was up and away from 3am most days. From then on it was one thing after another, minor issues being escalated into fights, petty arguments, bickering, silent treatment that went on for days and weeks, resentment, and really questioning God on why He had allowed me to marry this person.
I questioned and questioned God “Surely I received Your peace and go ahead, so then why was my life a living nightmare?.” Yes I confess, I sadly regretted and resented being a married woman. I got to a point where I was even resentful of the single ladies who were still free to make their own choices in life and still had the opportunity to choose a “good man”. My chance had firmly been shut when I walked down the aisle and now I felt trapped. I remember the days of seeking counsel over and over to try and fix and work through things, but yet I knew deep down inside I was hanging on by a thread and all it took was for one major issue and that would be it.
There were times I was rendered prayerless. I couldn’t pray because I was angry, and angry at God. Sometimes all I could say was “God help my marriage”, “God help me in this marriage” and that was it, no other words I could find. Fast forward to the weeks leading up to the beginning of the pandemic, I was already expecting baby number 2 and things were so bad that in my head, I had given an ultimatum that if by August (when our baby was due), we had gone through counselling and things had not improved, that would be it. I’d definitely be done, I needed peace and this was my way of getting peace. However, if not for the mercy of God who heard my hearts cry and sent two messengers to speak His word through counselling and prayer, I honestly do not know where I would be right now as I type. I would have probably failed and been another statistic sadly.
My redemption in marriage came via a word preached at a conference right on the cusp of lockdown. The focus was the Egyptian slave Hagar who was owned by Sarai in Genesis 16. She had begun despising Sarai as soon as she became pregnant with Ishmael, and as a consequence her mistress mistreated her and Abram did not intervene to help or save her. As the story goes, we know Hagar fled the household as a result, and encountered an angel of the Lord who knew exactly why she was running away and told her to go back to the house.
Although Hagar’s story followed a different path to Sarai’s, she still had to go back to Abram so she could fulfil all that the angel of the Lord had told her. Cue a conk on the head spiritually for me. God really began dealing with me that evening. Like really honestly “Where do you think you are actually going to go to if nothing is fulfilled by your own deadline? Your mum’s? Your sister’s? Really where?” I was literally ordered to go back and stay and fight (spiritually), and graft for my marriage. It was sealed by a prayer that I knew I had no option, no ultimatums left but to remain married.
And thank God I stayed!
Fast forward to now, me and my hubby had a goal, call it a life project we had to achieve. Despite contrary advice given by friends, we decided that we trusted God and His leading more than man. For the first time, we were one and working towards the same destination. This brethren was our common ground, this brought us closer than ever. We understood each other more, gave each other more grace and definitely mercy. We forgave more, bantered more, laughed more, planned more and we were intimate more spiritually… ha ha yes and even physically. I realised that that by returning back to marriage and not wanting to bail, obedience brought about blessings, new levels, and a new dimension. I believe that God truly redeemed us for each other, we literally were hanging by a thread and now our threefold cord is not easily broken.
Our journey still continues and will continue. We don’t have everything figured out, we rely on God for our next steps but we truly are grateful to God for bringing us into the reality of how He planned marriage to be.
If your marriage feels like it’s on a thin thread I encourage you to invite the third person into the centre, Jesus. He makes the difference.
This month we will also be hosting our very first “Conversations with Pastor Vernon
and his wife Ashley Gordon” you don’t want to miss this one. More info coming soon.