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25 Years

25 Years

But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Exodus 32:34

I’ve had occasions in my life when I’ve spent a significant amount of energy worrying about God’s will for my life. What college should I attend? Where should I live? What job should I pursue? Each time, with indecision nagging at my brain, I’d go to God, asking his opinion. Maybe he had a specific location in mind, but looking back, I now believe he was far more interested in how I lived than where I lived. In my uncertainty over those big decisions, I wanted him to tell me what to do because I just didn’t know. The rest of my life though, didn’t require any guidance because I simply did what I wanted. Even while using drugs, I’d go to God, asking for his help with big decisions, while doing whatever I wanted in every other part of my life.

Living for my way eventually led to the calamity of my drug addiction. Ten years ago, as you likely know, I tore my life apart, nearly wrecking my marriage and career. My wife had good cause to leave me at that point. She’d been through 15 years of repeated relapses, and the consequences just kept getting worse. She was hurt. She was angry. But she didn’t leave. In the disaster, she stayed because she believed that it was the right thing to do. Over time, as I found an authentic recovery, abandoning my way to follow God, we began to put our relationship back together.

It’s nearly 10 years after the disaster – 25 years after our wedding day – and we now love and like each other. Maybe God didn’t have a specific place he wanted us to live, but he did have (and still does have) a marriage that he desires for us. He created my wife and I to know love, joy, and peace individually in a relationship with him, and he desires that we experience a loving relationship with each other.

God created us for a higher purpose. It may not matter that much where we live, but rather, how we live. We can live for our way, making ourselves and our loved ones miserable. Or we can follow God, becoming who he wants us to be. In doing so, we’ll be far happier individuals and we’ll be far better at fostering loving relationships with those around us.

My wife and I have had some rough times – almost exclusively my fault – but for the last several years, we’ve made a genuine attempt to pursue the kind of marriage that God desires for us. And that has made all the difference in the world. I can now truly say that she’s the one with whom I desire to spend all my time because we simply enjoy doing life together. And for that, I’m profoundly grateful.

Thanks for the 25 years Barbie! Happy Anniversary!

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