God’s Intention

gen 5020You intended to harm me. People are mean sometimes. Their intentions are to hurt others. And they often do hurt others. Most people who are hurt by and suffer from the hand of another often live as a victim. They can’t seem to push through the pain and instead blame. I have found that healing rarely comes when we blame. Joseph was anything but a victim yet he had every reason to be. He was sold by his brothers as a slave, wrongly accused, imprisoned and was away from his family in a foreign land. Yet he chose to see God’s hand. But God intended it for good. God really does make all things good. He uses the things that devastate us to bring about victory for others.  This is the essence of my life. Although Chris didn’t intend to hurt me, he did. And God used it and still uses it.  But I had to let Him. When hard things comes into our lives, we have two mindset choices: Victor or victim. We can claim the Word of God and live as a victor or we can deny the Word of God and live as a victim. The choice is ours. I could have stayed in a pit and drowned in my pain. I could have kept my arm outstretched, pointing my finger at him with an ugly glare. Nobody would have blamed me. But, I chose to live as a victor. As brutal as it was, I chose it. Some days were downright deathly. Some days I could hardly breathe, or so it felt. But it was so worth it.

Find Your Porch

I had just become Mrs. Chris Beall when we moved into a little duplex on Mill Street in San Marcos, Texas, in 1993. Chris and I loved this little abode that cost us a mere $400 a month in rent. It was our first place together and even had a second bedroom for guests.

But the best part about it was the front porch.

Sometime during that year we instigated something called “Tea Time” and many times during each week, we would plant ourselves on some lawn chairs on that porch and sip some sweet tea. If it was in the evening, we would turn on our stranded owl lights that hung every so gently from the ceiling of the porch.

(You think I’m kidding about the lights, don’t you? I was born and raised in Texas and am a borderline Redneck. I assure you, I am not kidding.)

Somewhere along the road, we renamed “Tea Time” to “Porch Time”. Chris and I absolutely love sitting outside on the porch. Back porch, front porch, any porch. We are not picky about our porches. We enjoy a mild climate, but during the colder months, the sitting area off of our bedroom becomes our “porch”. Regardless of the weather, we have a porch.

Nothing is off limits during Porch Time. We talk, remain silent, laugh, cry, share our excitement and our frustrations, pray with and for each other, have fights and apologize. Porch Time is an absolute necessity for us to stay connected in our marriage. Even if we only have 10 minutes on a given day, we go to our porch.

We still like each other after 20 years of marriage and ministry. Our marriage is healthier than ever and we are truly for each other. I don’t believe we would have what we have today without making sure that we have this time together.

Is the connection you have with your spouse healthy? Are you best friends? Do you believe in each other wholeheartedly? Do you share your hearts with one another?

If your answer was yes to these questions, then chances are strong that you are on a great path toward keeping your marriage healthy.

If your answer was no, then you need to find your porch.

Your porch could be a sitting room, your study, any room in your home or even a walk around your neighborhood. Your porch is unique to you and your spouse. Whatever it is, you need it.

I don’t have to tell you that life marriage can be stressful. You already know that. But you can maintain a strong union with your spouse by keeping the lines of communication and the doors of your heart open to one another.

Find your porch.

Twenty * 20 * Twenty * 20 * Twenty

Twenty years. 240 months. 7,300 days. 175,200 hours. (I’m not going to do the minutes.) As of today, January 9, 2013, this is how long I’ve been married to this man. But when we married, we looked like this:   And now, we look like this: Happy anniversary, babe! Here’s to many, many, many more decades with you. I love our life and what we’ve overcome and the Jesus we love and serve. I still choose you.

How Long Will It Hurt?

I get asked that question on a regular basis. Two weeks. Six months. Five years. Not sure. Another question I’m often asked is, “How do you get through the pain?” Cry it out. Yell and scream. Act like it’s not there. Not sure.  These questions always come from hurting wives after they have found out of their husband’s betrayal (or hurting husbands after a wife’s betrayal). Whether it’s an addiction to pornography or a full-on physical affair, the pain is still real in both cases. None of the answers above are right or wrong or accurate. For some people healing is faster than it is for others. Pain is no respecter of persons. You can’t buy your way out of pain and you can’t “be positive” and expect it to go away. From my personal experience, the only way to stop hurting is to walk through the mire and deal with it. Anything else will cause you to be cemented in a pit of pain and discomfort for a lifetime. The length of the pain varies from person to person and depends upon just how willing the person is to deal with the pain versus ignoring it. But that’s not all of it. Pain will never go away and a heart will not heal without the supernatural touch of God. It’s often said that “time heals all wounds”. I see why people say that and to a certain extent the cliche is true. However, I would change it to “God heals all wounds in time.” I do believe that time is a big factor in the healing process but a heart will not experience true healing void of the power of God. Allow God’s truth to seep into your wounded heart:
  1. For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)
  2. But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
  3. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
It really stinks to hurt. There isn’t anything fun or enjoyable about it. But it’s part of life and the sooner we can accept that, the sooner we will be able to experience the power of our healing God. Day by day. Week by week. Month by month. Year by year. Don’t lose hope.

Is Your Marriage Worth $10 A Month?

If you’re married, you had better say yes. This lovely couple is Justin and Trisha Davis. They serve at CrossPoint.tv in Nashville, TN, under the leadership of Pete Wilson. Not only that, but they also have a ministry to married couples through their organization called RefineUs. Their testimony is incredible and their message is outstanding. Oh, and they are my friends, too ♥ Here’s an excerpt from Justin and Trisha’s recent blog post:
Someone files for divorce in the United States every 20 seconds. 60% of all divorces are filed by people age 25-39. Of the people that stay married, most don’t have the marriage they dreamed they would have when they said, “I do.” What if we could change that? What if the people that are a part of the RefineUs community could actually lower the divorce rate? What if we could not just improve marriages, but partner with God to transform marriages. Does it sound crazy? Absolutely. The Ark sounded crazy. Crossing the Red Sea on dry ground sounded crazy. The sun standing still sounded crazy. The ressurection sounded crazy. God specializes in crazy.
Marriages are ending every single day. Because the statistics are so high and because the Davis’ have a passion to help marriages thrive, they have a mentoring opportunity for you called MentorUs. It is their way to pour into marriages so that they can go the long haul. And it’s only $10 a month…or $59 for a full year!
For this small fee you’ll receive weekly emails with practical principles for your marriage, monthly videos, downloadable resources, and their eBook 8 Things That Destroyed Our Marriage. Is that a dadgum bargain or what?
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start now. Join MentorUs by clicking right here!
Oh, and they have a book that is releasing in January, 2013 called Beyond Ordinary. It is by far the best marriage book I’ve ever read. I’m not even kidding. Have a super day!