Encouragement for Women

The unexpected is the best part

Happy Tuesday! Here’s the next part of “Holy Duct for the Hot-Tempered Wife”. Thank you for reading.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

My husband and I went on a road trip up the coast for Valentine’s weekend in 2016. We ended up not making good time that first day because we argued badly just trying to get on the road. I almost ended up not going.  We had to stay overnight in a hotel off of the 101 in Morro Bay because we were so late in leaving. I’d wanted to see some of the highway stretch before Big Sur during the day so we made the decision to stay at that particular hotel. We’d never stayed there before but we were definitely led there. Every time I think of this story I want to cry. Here’s why. We pulled into the hotel a little after sundown. Mario and I were in a battle just getting to that place, like I said we’d had a pretty ugly argument right when we were to begin the road trip. It was tough getting into the car and onto the road in North County, San Diego so by the time we were 290 miles north in Morro Bay we were still walking on thin ice, on edge with nerves frayed. The woman at the check in desk was helpful, efficient and there was an ease and a lightness to her that was in stark contrast to my own heavy heart. I did my best to be the sweetest version of myself and said the appropriate polite things while we paid and got keys to our room. I had already made the decision to hit the continental breakfast the next morning for coffee and some sort of inviting carb loaded treat (I felt I’d earned it!). The next morning I did some of a Bible study from Beth Moore called, “Children of the Day, 1 & 2 Thessalonians”. I was on 1 Thessalonians 4:9 “About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.” In the study Beth Moore asked, “Do you have a similar example from someone you know or have read about (or perhaps seen in the mirror this morning) who seemed to have learned some biblical truth straight from God without textbook, training, or human teacher?” My answer was YES. I did have a personal experience myself where I felt God taught me something straight from His Word a few years back when I read the account of the ten lepers cleansed in Luke 17:11-19. What I learned from God in that story was that the least likely to be thankful, the Samaritan leper, was the only one who came back to say thank you to Jesus and because of this he gained insight when Jesus said to him, “…your faith has made you well” (vs. 19).  What I learned was since the leper was the only one who was thankful and acted on it, he was the only one who got this piece of information straight from Jesus about how powerful faith was. So, getting back to that morning in the Morro Bay hotel. I recalled the thankful leper and set about to get us packed up and ready to get back on the road. I was still somewhat rocked from the day before because of the big argument, but I was thankful too. I was thankful that God got us this far into the trip even though it was so tough! Mario packed up the car and then we found our way to where the continental breakfast was. In that little breakfast place there was the attendant from last night to greet us with a sweet smile and a quick introduction about how to use the waffle maker (that was the BEST!!). We were her only breakfast customers so far – so it was the three of us there in that room. As I was trying my hand at the waffles I looked over and saw the woman sitting there staring out. She was looking out the window toward the shoreline of Morro Bay at a big rock. I started talking with her asking her questions about where she’d lived before coming here (she was of East Indian descent, and I was curious about her story). She explained that she had come out here from North Carolina last May. She then said something that caught my attention even further. She said, “Every morning I sit here and look outside and thank the Good Lord for bringing me here.” She went on to say that she had been a Hindu and converted to Christianity 15 years ago. She had left an abusive marriage last May which is what brought her out to Morro Bay. I knew then that this was a divine moment. We were supposed to be at that hotel, and I was supposed to hear this reinforced message of thankfulness as a key to my walk – even in my most angriest, most painful moments – and our new friend was supposed to know that God sees her and sends her brothers and sisters to remind her that she is not alone. We took the opportunity to pray together, and then my husband and I drove away with completely different attitudes – in awe of God’s power in spite of our biggest mistakes! That day was such a gift. I cannot explain the sweet scenery that played out before our eyes as we traversed the magnificent Highway 1. I can only say this, there was a moment when I saw these huge trees, fierce and brave meet the shoreline that held back this equally powerful and mesmerizingly bright blue ocean, and I thought, “This is where the forest and the ocean shake hands and decide to be friends forever.” That’s the story of my marriage. We are both so strong, so different, fighting for that shoreline, but God uses that force to change us into a vision of His glory. So hang in there, sister. Be brave, whether you are the ocean or the trees, this fight is a good one. Be thankful for the process.

Day 2 Themes:

1) Thankfulness is key. (Don’t worry if you’re not thankful right now. Hang in there!)

2) Be brave, and don’t be afraid that you’re too strong. There is a purpose!

Prayer

Dear Father God, Thank you for giving me so much, even in my biggest defeats. Thank you that You never give up on me, and that You are always ready to teach me a life giving lesson. Please help me to be sensitive to Your Spirit and to obey You. Please help me to hang in there and to not be afraid of how it looks and feels right now. Please help me to not see my husband as an enemy ,and I pray the same for him to not see me as his enemy. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

With all my heart,

Sonia

 

 

 

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