Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tradin' in some dirty laundry

Hello and welcome to the blog. If you are visiting today we are in the middle of a series on relationships. Currently we are taking a close look at the marriage relationship.

Today I will be sharing a view into my past, not to air dirty laundry, but rather to share how amazing my Redeemer is.
I dated the same guy in high school from my sophomore year on. Our senior year of high school we were voted most likely to get married. And everyone knows that when you are in high school and eighteen years old that what exists at that moment is the ‘real thing’ So in keeping with my flawed personality trait, I didn’t want to let anyone down, and I wanted to prove to everyone I could do it. I had a deep desire to be perfect, to please everyone around me and be in total control of my life. We married in the summer of ’96. We had people questioning whether it was the right thing to do. But hey we were ‘in love!!’ It didn’t take long for me to have my first ‘uh-oh’ moment and know that I had made a mistake, and by that fall I knew I had messed up big time. I did not know how to be married, I was young, and I didn’t know what love was. We didn’t know how to communicate. We both were trying to go to school and live on a very tight budget. You name it we had issues with it, money, sex, communication, family. I asked many times to go to counseling, and the response was that we didn’t have problems or issues we were fine. Which then made me think it was all me, and that I just needed to keep working on me. So I did, and during that process I pulled myself away and detached myself from our marriage and became distant from him. In the winter he took a job that took him out of town a lot and then eventually a job that moved him out of town. I was lonely and had developed a friendship with a guy who listened to me talk, who would study with me, who showed interest in me. I was craving this attention and desiring to feel loved, liked, wanted and needed by someone. I was not seeking God during this time, I was not asking Him for help and I wasn’t listening to Him. In my flesh and free will I chose instant satisfaction and developed a friendship into something further. Instead of choosing to repair a marriage I chose to be done.

"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel. Malachi 2:16

Why does God hate divorce? Because divorce destroys the beauty of Gods design. The covenant relationship He created. A relationship He created to reveal more of Himself to His people.

I found myself in a fractured relationship with God. I came seeking true forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

God took my mistake, the hurt, the ugliness, the mess and covered it in His amazing grace and love and turned it into a beautiful redemption story. A story that He can now use to bring glory and honor to Himself.

That something beautiful included a whole lot of grace and love that I continue to stand in the middle of and live life freely in. That something beautiful was a second chance at marriage. A marriage that I am committed to because of the filling of a God who believes in second chances…not only in granting them…but equipping us to do them the right way, His way!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of the that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

You see God didn’t just stop at the redeeming part, no He has gone on to bless me with the most amazing man. He is The Engineer. A man who is most definitely created in the image of God. I am blessed to share this life with him. A man who is wired to be exactly who God needs him to be. He is an intelligent, loving, and caring person. He is a great friend and listener. He has a sense of humor that keeps life anything but boring. He is a hard working, ethical man of integrity. All that he puts his hand to is done well! God has truly blessed me beyond anything I could imagine and ever deserve.

Why share about a mess?

Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down. You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I've been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise. Going through the motions doesn't please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice. Make Zion the place you delight in, repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls. Then you'll get real worship from us, acts of worship small and large, Including all the bulls they can heave onto your altar! Psalm 51 The Message
May we know today it’s not about the dirty laundry. It’s not about the when, how, or why. It’s about bringing that dirty laundry to a great and mighty God who is willing to redeem it and make it beautiful.


Lori said...

Thank you sweet Nichole for opening up and sharing your story! Your honestly, openness, and transparency into your past, shows God's generous love. He so graciously draws us back to Him. "Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise." Love that!!!

Lori - AZ

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, friend, you've written my story; the only difference, I had two young sons sharing in my wandering and, subsequently, with all the garbage that comes with divorce.

And then, Billy. And then grace, and now 12 years down the road, I'm finally walking in the freedom from the condemnation that the enemy (and others) are always so willing to bring!

Full redemption = when our past begins to work for us instead of against us.

Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing your story. It emboldens me and strengthens my faith to know that others have walked where I have been.

This connects us in a new and fresh way, and I am thankful.

Much love, friend. Thanks for your many kind and encouraging words at my blog over the past few days.

Hang in there with the parenting; truly, my sons are a living witness to just exactly how God's plans intervene in the worst of situations to weave a beauty beyond imagination.


~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Simply put: Amazing!

Praise God for His mercy & grace that we do not deserve.

Kimberly said...

I am so thankful that our dirty laundry doesn't run Him off. That He is right there waiting for us to hand it over and let Him wash it all white as snow.

I love Psalm 51. That Psalm and I have spent some time face down on the floor together during my life. And I'm sure we'll spend more time with each other before all is said and done.

Thank you for sharing so openly. I know you do so not to just air some laundry, but to give Him all of the glory for the great things He has done in your life! I know that stories of His grace and faithfulness always build me up.

Blesssings, sweet Nichole. Love you!

Cindy said...

This post is exactly what God wants us to do. For many years I have shared with women that we are not forgiven and healed so we can look pretty on a shelf but so we can share what God has done and who God is. To be witnesses for Him.

You have done just that. How beautiful:) Just like you!

Thank you for sharing God's grace, mercy and redeeming character with us.

Thank you also for all of your prayers for us and my family especially:)

Blessings to you my friend,

Irritable Mother said...

Not only is He the Great Physician, He is the Great Launderer, too!
Thanks for sharing your story of redemption!

Pinkshoelady said...

Oh my Friend!
How I needed to hear your words today. As I stated in my blog yesterday I have some garbage that God has revealed in my life. A horrible memory that He wants me to share...and I am so scared of doing so. Your words were like a boost of encouragment to my heart. I'm sure that like me as you shared this you wondered what we your readers might think of you. Let me assure you that what I felt toward you is love, honor and adoration. Thank you for sharing this and living your life so that I see Christ shinning through you.
I love you too my friend.