I am very passionate about marriage. When I was 10 years old, God told me that He wanted me to be a godly wife. I prayed for my husband for 18 years. Almost every day I prayed for him, asked God to keep him safe, to guide him, to help him make wise decisions. I wrote him letters (which I still have saved in a folder) and thought about him constantly.
In my mind, I thought I would be married at 18, having kids by 21, and be a stay-at-home wife and mother. Once I hit 18 and didn’t meet him, I tried to keep up hope. Year after year, no sign of my future husband. I met guys but none of them really interested me. I couldn’t see myself married to them.
There were many times I gave up hope, or I yelled at God, and many nights I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore because I was so lonely. I questioned God a lot, wondering if I had heard Him wrong or not heard from Him at all. I thought maybe it was just wishful thinking, that maybe I’d never meet the right man and just become the crazy cat lady.
During one of the lowest points in my life, I had an affair with a married man. For a while, after I ran from the affair, not only was I depressed because of what I’d done and the woman I had allowed myself to become, but I was very jaded toward marriage. I saw how that man had treated his wife, how quickly he’d seduced me, how he made excuses that what we were doing was okay as long as he confessed to a priest (he was Catholic). I watched his relationship with his wife and how it had changed from before the affair to what it was when I finally ended it. And yes, it did cause me to have a hard time trusting a man. Even now, I still struggle to trust my husband (and myself) because I’ve what I’ve seen and done.
About a year or two after I ran from that horrible mistake, I gave up on finding the right man. I still went on the occasional date and I was on a Christian dating website, but I really didn’t care anymore if I ever got married. I figured I’d just live with my parents until they passed away and then adopt 20 cats and live on my own.
Finally, when I had stopped trying to force it to happen, I met Justin (my husband). We dated for about two months and then got married at a justice of the peace with only my parents as witnesses (I lived with them at the time anyway).
I was so excited to finally be married and the first month, though hard in its own way, was still a kind of dream. Then a financial crisis hit and we couldn’t afford to stay in his condo anymore. We moved in with my parents and spent the next year there trying to decide what to do. I was spending a lot of time with the Lord and really felt Him call us to a city in eastern Tennessee, a place I’d never been, where we knew no one, and where we didn’t have jobs. But we had enough money saved up that we rented a place and moved there. Ever since, and we’ve been here nine months now, we’ve done everything we could to serve the Lord. We seek Him every day, listen for His voice, and try to grow and mature into better spouses.
The main thing I’ve learned is that marriage is hard, but if you stay committed, you can get through anything. And that is my ministry with Live, Love, Cherish. I want to encourage Christian couples to stay committed, no matter what they’re going through. We all are tempted to give up when things get difficult. But the only way to get the marriage we desire isn’t to find a “better” partner, it’s to focus on improving our marriage with our spouse, doing everything we can to make it work.
That’s what Live, Love, Cherish is all about. I want to get the word divorce out of the church, and I don’t mean a building or a religious organization, I mean the body of Christ. I want to encourage believers out there to focus more on their marriage than they do on making money or their kids or reaching goals. Our marriages should be the most important (second only to our relationship with God) thing in our lives.
One day I want to have Bible studies and visit churches and speak to married couples, but for now I am writing blog posts and non-fiction books. I have one book published on Amazon Kindle called “A Study in Love” which is a study on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and how we can learn how to love the way God wants us to love. Now, I’m working on a book entitled “Live, Love, Cherish” that will help improve Christian marriages and eliminate divorce from our vocabulary.
I pray all of this makes sense to you! If you want to get involved, please send me an email. Or you can donate to the ministry and help keep it going!
I pray that “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)