Throughout my childhood and early adult years, I lived in a pit and didn’t even know it. I was raised in a single parent household, the last of four children. My mother was tired of parenting and with that came a lot of personal freedom for me, leading to a cycle of destructive choices and inner reflection of self: “How could I have let that happen?” Or, “Where did I go wrong?” My choices defined me, and the emotional burden of those choices pushed me into a dark place that seemed to have no way out.
I was optimistic about marriage. My husband and I met in college, so he had witnessed some of my self-destructive choices. I translated that to mean that he would recognize and fill the void in my life. I was on my way to a bright, shiny new beginning. I felt that he would understand what I needed; but he didn’t. My husband was happy living his life and moving forward on his goals, while I was left dumbfounded, wondering why I didn’t feel any better about myself.
As the anger and frustration mounted, a true miracle happened. One day, as I was folding laundry, I heard a voice, clear and specific. “Study My Word.” I knew whose voice it was and what I was to do. Having never been involved in any sort of formal Bible study, hearing the voice of God drawing me to Himself was truly motivating. I joined a Woman’s Ministry at a church I had never attended, and enrolled in a class called “Practical Christian Living,” where I learned of the redemptive blood of Jesus, shed for me so I could be free. One minute I was in the dark and then the light bulb went on and I was flooded with a love and acceptance I had never felt before. I bowed down low and accepted Christ as my Savior. I learned that my sin was no darker or uglier than that of anyone else, and as I confessed my sins and asked for forgiveness, I was freed—freed of the guilt and frustration and self-hatred that I had carried for so many years. Free to move forward in the knowledge that I stood on a solid rock.
Redemption is a beautiful thing! As I learned to love God and trust in His Word, I started to see marriage differently. My husband was not sent to be my Savior. I was sent to be his helper. This softer heart transformed me from one who oftentimes saw fault to one who accepted this wonderful husband for who he was with his God-given gifts and talents. Our marriage was much better, but the focus was still a little off. What exactly did God say about marriage? Was I fulfilling His desire for my life in my marriage?
The Hidden Heart Ministry came to me at a time when I was ready to explore God’s role in marriage. Through The Cry of the Hidden Heart, I learned that building on a two-legged stool composed of husband and wife, does not make for a stable marriage. A more solid foundation of God-husband-wife is what it takes to weather the turmoil of life. “Getting in my husband’s proverbial boat” and seeing the world from his point of view does not always come naturally to me. I kneel before the Lord often and pray for guidance and a submissive heart. Wives are given a great place of honor in God’s Kingdom, but we are also expected to be the fragrance of Christ to our husbands.
I was so far from Christ as a child and young adult, but I am so thankful now to be able to see the world with Kingdom eyes. Our marriage is entering its twenty-sixth year. God still presents many opportunities for growth, both in my knowledge of Him and in my relationship with my husband. No one ever said that marriage is easy, but with God, it is glorious.