This post is about my husband and I’s three years of marriage. God allowed many trials to come into these 3 short years and I want to open that story up for you. The theme I hope you can take away is Never Let Go. The Marriage Covenant is so precious and is always something worth fighting for.
Thank you so much for coming to read today’s post about our marriage and how God helped us Never Let Go. Today marks 3 years of being married to my wonderful husband, Trevor. I want to write a little bit about the journey that brought us to today. Married 3 years with a little girl on the way I truly couldn’t be happier (to hear about Our Trying to Conceive Journey, click here). I am so in love with my husband, he is my absolute best friend. I truly could not imagine my life without him or maybe I should say I don’t want to even try to imagine a life without him. But it wasn’t always this good. Our 3 years of marriage have really been a constant uphill battle. Sin brought some bad trials into our marriage, but God used those trials to make something great. Through it all, we never stopped fighting for our marriage. I know that God has blessed us for our obedience to our marriage covenant. He has mended our wounds and continues to strengthen us as a couple.
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Never Let Go
The theme of this post is Never Let Go. It’s amazing how God works. A sweet friend of ours at church drew a beautiful picture of two hands holding on tight with the phrase, “never let go” beneath them. Then beneath the phrase, “never let go” she references Ecclesiastes 4:12. Around the frame, she glued on some three strands of woven twine to go along with the idea of Ecclesiastes 4:12. When I received that as a wedding present, I had no clue how important that phrase would be for us. Even in the deepest pit, God told me to Never Let Go. And when my husband allowed his sin issue to overtake him, God as our third strand did not allow our marriage to be broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
I know I keep referencing trials that we went through without getting into specifics. I guess part of me does not like to stew up the past. It’s hard for me to imagine my husband as he was before he was redeemed by Jesus Christ. My husband Trevor is a new creation in Christ. Yes, he is still imperfect as am I. But there is no denying the power of Jesus in his life. He has been born again. So to talk about his nature prior to coming to Christ, it’s like I’m talking about a stranger.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Only to serve as a picture of hope for those still in the pit, I would like to share the story of our trials. But don’t let the trials be what you take away. Let the redeeming power of Jesus be what strikes you in our story. God took our dirty rags and gave us beautiful robes. He brought us up from the ashes and gave us new life.
Prior to getting married my husband had been sober from drugs and alcohol for about 2 years. Before becoming sober he had fallen down the rabbit hole of drugs and alcohol and ended up at the very bottom ensnared with heroin. The devil’s toy that is trapping and killing so many young hearts. When we started dating his past was no secret to me. Trevor and I had hung out with the same crowd back in High School. There was a time that partying was fun and exciting for all of us. My friends and I got out before things got too heavy, but Trevor was one of the many that kept falling. We fell out of touch and did not reconnect until he was sober.
I could sit here and try to analyze every step in our early days of marriage that brought my husband to relapse, but in an effort to keep the story short I’ll just say we both had our issues. We didn’t know what marriage was suppose to look like and I think we panicked trying to figure it out. We both took ourselves too seriously and fell into a self-condemning pattern everytime we failed in our roles. It breaks my heart to think about the first day my husband fell back into his sin. He came home and told me everything and cried into my arms. I wasn’t mad at him. I was just sad alongside him. I was also scared and didn’t know how to help him. For a long time, I thought that’s where it stopped. Unfortunately, the temptation to sin again was too strong and he continued to use drugs behind my back for months.
If you know anything about addiction you know that what might seem manageable to the addict at first quickly becomes out of control. His addiction once again spiraled and the man I knew disappeared. He became emotional and was always ranging from depressed to angry. He slept all the time and I had no clue why. Then before I could put my finger on the problem, he had begun to blow through all of our savings. It’s shocking that it took me so long to figure out what was happening. Looking back, I can only describe it one way. It’s like a tornado had swept into our lives unexpectedly. I knew something awful was ripping through our home. I knew our possessions and money were being torn away. I knew my husband was being destroyed. I knew that I was not safe, but I couldn’t stop it and it was too quick to make sense of. Before I could make sense of what was happening the life I wanted got torn away. The man I loved was gone, it was like he was possessed and the devil was controlling him through those drugs. He didn’t care about me in the least bit, all he cared about was the drugs.
I also struggled quite a bit with sin. I fell into the emotional whirlwind that my husband was going through and began dealing with a lot of anger. Even on his “good days” resentment and hate flew out of my mouth and tore him down. One day I threw that picture frame that held the words, “Never Let Go”. I immediately fell on the floor crying when the glass shattered. I hated what we were going through and I hated even more how I was handling it. I went out and bought a new frame for that picture and I glued the woven twine to the new frame. That picture is now truly a picture of Trevor and I. We were broken and shattered, but God gently cleaned up our mess and gave us a new frame, God helped us Never Let Go.
Again to make a long story short I’ll bounce through the next phases of our life. By the grace of God, I was able to convince Trevor to go the Seven Oaks Residential Discipleship program in Bangor Maine. People thought I should have been done with him. Especially my family did not want me to stay with him. I understand why, but I’m so happy the Lord gave me the strength to stay. The Lord was my rock and my comfort while my husband was gone. I would not trade that 6 months I had alone in New York for anything. It’s amazing how sometimes our trials give us the greatest reward. While my husband spent 6 months in Maine he came to know the Lord. He gave his life to Jesus and was born again. God also met me in my brokenness. He knew I was hurt, afraid, and felt so betrayed. As I would cry he would comfort me. Those intimate moments with the Lord were so precious and really made it all worth it. Then to see my husband get saved in such a miraculous way. To be his partner through that and continue to stand by his side even when we were far apart. Wow, there has just been nothing better.
Today as I was reading in Hebrews I wrote this verse down and reflected on it. I have bolded the part that really struck out to me.
Hebrews 2:8-9 (NKJV)
8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made [a]a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
There’s a phrase I’ve always said when things get bad. In those moments where I couldn’t handle the pain, I’d shout at the Lord and say, “it’s not fair”. Of course, God was always gracious and comforted me. But today I really thought about it. Jesus who is one with the Father, who took part in creating all of life, and who can rightfully say all things belong to Him gave it all up. He dropped himself down lower than the angels. He suffered a brutal death so that we could experience life. Jesus is the only one who deserves all honor and glory and yet he never once said: “it’s not fair”. The King of Kings was spat at, ridiculed and beaten, but he took it humbly. No, life is not fair, but not in the way I often cry. It’s not fair that a sinner like me received the free gift of salvation, but God is so gracious and merciful. If I received nothing else in this world apart from the salvation that would be enough. However, the Lord continues to pour blessings upon us. My marriage is a blessing. It has come with many trials and hardships, but it has been filled with so much joy and comfort. God didn’t have to take our dirty ashes we brought into marriage and make them beautiful, He wanted to. That’s why I am so thankful we never gave up. The trials were hard but God’s blessings are greater. And to think we’ve only been married 3 years! I can’t imagine what God has planned for us next, but I am so excited to find out.
A note to anyone else going through similar struggles: I’m not trying to say every marriage will end up like mine. I know some women who’s husbands quit out on them. They choose their sin issue over their marriage and were not willing to get help. If you are in a situation like that please separate for your own safety and pray until the Lord gives you wisdom. God will give you peace about what steps to take. But if God shows you any glimmer of hope left in your marriage, I pray that you can hold on tight (even if that means you stay separated for a season). I can say with certainty that God will honor your faithfulness to your husband. He will take you out of the pit and place you both on higher ground. Let the Lord be your rock in those dark times and don’t stop praying.