I have been reading in Romans during my quiet time for a week or so now. Yesterday, I came to chapter 12. I memorized chapter 12 as a teen for a school project, and was thinking it would be fun to see how much of it I remembered...about the first 4 verses...
Yesterday was our anniversary. We have been married 14 years. I have read of people who "divorce" the first years of their marriage after an affair, remarry and start over. Leaving all of it behind them. I understand this in some respects, there are aspects of my marriage before that bring back bad memories with them. Knowing that if we had done some things different, we would have never had that failure in our otherwise good marriage. However, there are very sweet memories in those years too. We talked last night about my pregnancies and our newborn baby years, of memories too sweet to just "forget".
While I was reading Romans 12 yesterday, I was thinking about the verses, the chapter starts out asking us to be "a living sacrifice", it moves into our spiritual gifts, the gifts given to us to do the specific work God has for each of us, the last verses of the chapter are titled, "Behave Like a Christian" in my version. We could break down each verse, and spend all day in these verses. I came to the end of the chapter, the picture above is a picture of the verses in my Bible. I felt at first as if I had been slapped. I do not remember finding these verses in dreadful 07 just weeks after finding out about the affair. I did not expect to be confronted with that date on my anniversary. Those are memories I try to put far from my mind.
Then I read the verses again. God did not mean to slap me, but to show me that we had overcome evil, that we don't have to hold on to vengeance, it is His, and He will repay. I look back at these three years, and I see God's hand all the way through. He has restored my marriage & family stronger than we ever were before, not perfect, but strong. He has gently guided us back into ministry for Him, sending the right people at the right times into our lives.
I wrote this letter for my church this week...church members you are getting a sneak peek...
Dear Church Family,
I just want to write and say thank you. Not only because you have taken such good care of us since I broke my leg. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord when you called us here as your pastor family. You have shown such grace to us, loving us like your own right from the start. I have said over and over that it was like coming home. It feels so good to know you are where you belong, and I pray that each of you in our church family feel that way too, you belong with us, and without you we are missing a piece. You all make it very easy to love you, and we do love you! Thank you all for the cards, emails, meals, the love offering, and especially those of you prayer warriors out there praying faithfully for us each day. You have made these hard weeks much easier for us! Please continue to pray for your pastor & his family as we continue to strive to serve our Lord with our heart, mind, body, & soul!
Love to all,
Thank you Lord Jesus for overcoming evil with good!