Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time … We’re all familiar with the typical fairy tale formula: girl meets man of her dreams, they instantly fall in love, get married, and … live happily ever after. Off to a good start, I had the “meet the man of my dreams moment” just before my sixteenth birthday. Inseparable that week at church camp, we promised each other and God that we’d be together forever.
We married six years later, after Tim graduated from the Naval Academy. Our first year we spent apart as I was finishing my degree at the University of Maryland and he was starting his career in San Diego. Once I received my diploma, we reunited in California and bought our first house. Life was good. I found a great job in my field as a graphic designer, we adopted some cats, and made a home. Neither of us wanted children as we were both very career driven.
About five years into our marriage I found out Tim had been looking at internet porn. I was crushed. We worked through it as best as we could. Later I found out about an affair he’d had right under my nose. I kicked him out. He was broken and asked to come back. I forgave him, and we worked on rebuilding our marriage slowly. We prayed together for the first time, which gave me hope, and we started attending church more regularly.
Less than a month after moving back to the east coast for my husband’s job, I found out Tim had been soliciting prostitutes for over a year without me realizing it. Devastated, I left my wedding ring on the mantel and moved back to California. Living on opposite coasts once again, I filed for divorce and intended to never speak to him. I’d been hurt too much.
But God had a different plan. He showed me through a devotion on our 8th wedding anniversary, just days after I’d arrived in San Diego, that sin is sin in His eyes. Sin is not on a scale of one to ten, like we would prefer to rate it. All sin is grievous to God. Amazingly, I called Tim that day without any anger or bitterness. I read him the devotion, told him I’d always love him, and we cried together. We started opening up to each other in a way we never had before.
A friend invited me to her church and the sermon was about keeping your focus on Jesus. Piercing my heart, I couldn’t hold back the flood of tears. Even more wonderful was an invitation to a women’s Bible study called “Keeping your focus when your dreams have been shattered.” It may as well have said, “Dear Amy this is for you! Love, God.” I joined that study and through the story of Joseph I learned God not only allows trials in our lives, but He uses them for our good and His glory. It gave me hope that one day God could restore our marriage and use what we’d been through to minister to others.
Through God’s grace that is exactly what happened. My husband and I reconciled six months later and have worked through a lot of pain to get to where we are now. We have been married for 20 years and have two beautiful little girls something we swore we never wanted but God in His mercy knew we needed and blessed us with. I truly feel that we are living in the second half of Job’s life where God gave back to him double all that he had lost.
I’m so thankful that God loved us both enough to take two imperfect people, bring us to a true faith in Himself, and give us a second chance at our happily ever after.
“…with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26