One of the greatest joys for me is to receive testimonies of marriages saved through God’s principles of love and respect. Each testimony is unique and speaks to the power of living marriage as God intended.
But one day I received a letter that was different from any I’d ever received. It was from a widow who found a way to apply this message after her husband died.
Here is her remarkable story:
As I prepared for graduate school and to earn my Masters in Counseling, I read your book with the motive to gain knowledge to help benefit future couples in counseling. Little did I know that God had a powerful message of healing for me and my own marriage.
Six years ago, I became a widow with three young children. My husband and I were married very young…I was just out of high school. I had many wounds from my own father's death when I was 11 years old, which left me in a very dysfunctional home.
My husband was the typical man who was full of life and full of energy; very driven in all that he did. He was in the military for 12 years and then law enforcement the rest of our married years and was killed in the line of duty. He had no idea how to meet my needs and I had no idea that his personality was God's design. Most of our years married I was crying out for his love and attention and most of the time he was shutting me out...stonewalling. We simply had no idea how to get off the crazy cycle.
To God's glory, through some of the most difficult times in our marriage...when we could not stand to live with each other, the bond of one-flesh that God had sealed in our hearts for each other made us keenly aware that we also knew we never wanted to live apart. There were times that we stayed together only because of our commitment to Christ. At that time, it gave us only minimal peace to be on the rewarded cycle. However, since his death, there has been a great peace and gladness I have experienced in that we never gave up...the rewarded cycle with all its glory!
When he was killed, I had to mourn our lives together, along with the loss of his life. I still had many wounds that I could not get peace for…but through the wisdom that God revealed to you, that you shared in your book, God has given me complete healing and peace over my first marriage. I see how two young tender hearts fell in love and through ignorance, got on the crazy cycle and never could figure out how to get off. Sometimes it spun so crazy, it made us crazy! Sometimes it spun only slowly, but none-the-less, I think to some degree it was always spinning.
Although it may appear too late, I have asked my husband's forgiveness for my unintentional mistakes of ignorance and forgiven him of his too. I can't convey to you with words how grateful I am for reading your book. I would give anything to be able to rewind the years and give my husband a new bride with this wisdom. I know this is not possible. I trust my Lord and Savior with my whole life. If He decides to ever send a future husband to me...with God's help, I will work to keep my next marriage on the energizing cycle. (PW)
This letter moves me for many reasons, but most of all because - instead of living in regret that “it’s too late” - this woman chose to apply this message even as a widow! She chose to live in forgiveness for the past and hope in the future.
Are you living in such a way today? Are you refusing to say “It’s too late for me” and applying love and respect to your unique situation…no matter your circumstances? I encourage you to walk in forgiveness and hope…with unconditional love and respect!