Entering the Kingdom of God ~ from the perspective of the unsaved spouse

leaves

I’ve been walking with the Lord 10 years now.  Who knew He could be so good to me!?

Paul got saved first and I’ve got to tell you, I was not happy about it. No, if fact I was pretty ticked off. I wanted to know who came and stole my husband away. What happened to my “cool” husband? He started acting really weird and quoting the Bible to Chelsea and me and frankly, it only made us both mad. Just who did he think he was anyway? He couldn’t judge us like that! HE was trying to share his new reality but it felt like condemnation to both of us. We didn’t appreciate the change in him at all.

Did this happen to you; did you get saved before your spouse or them before you? It does not make for a happy marriage I’ll tell you that much. When Paul got saved, we were living on the grounds of an Episcopal church in a one-room cottage, as caretakers and grounds keepers. Much of our responsibility entailed installing many gardens and all things landscape.

We were also members of the church and attended every time the doors were open. Due to this; I felt we were more holy than the Pope! I mean, how much more spiritual or holy can you get right?  I would later learn that church attendance had nothing to do with how spiritual or holy you were, much later.

I was also very much into the social aspect of the church because it gave me an opportunity to cook and entertain, which is my passion. This led to me befriending the new caterer who began using the church’s commercial kitchen. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I had found my tribe.

You see, I always joked around about writing a book entitled, A Day in the Life of a “Wannabe” Caterer; only eat the ugly ones. I lived for cooking and entertaining. As my friendship grew with this caterer, I began to help out and was able to share with her the many things I knew that would be useful in her business. I began helping with the flower arrangements, menu ideas, recipes and even working for free. Of course, I also worked full time during the week in our family business too. Every weekend, I would be up at the church lending a hand and have the time of my life.

I did get paid for my work after a few months, though. We become great friends, doing everything together for many years. We took care of each other’s children, we did charity events together, and we partied and cooked together, vacationed together; we celebrated life the best way we knew how.

And then Paul got saved. . .

That changed everything. He was seriously making me not want to be around him very much. He stopped hanging out with our friends and began going to meetings every chance he got.  We were still members of the Episcopal Church but when not attending a meeting there, he would run off to meetings where he could be around other people like him who were experiencing God. When he’d return from these meetings, he wanted to share and talk about what he’d experienced, but I would have none of it; I didn’t want to feel condemned by his words.

He really was only sharing the awesomeness of God, but I only felt condemnation. I began to find opportunities to be gone when he was home which often meant I was at my friend’s house, 35 miles away.

Our marriage began to suffer and I began to not even care. I felt hopeless. We had always been able to converse for hours and hours and now all of a sudden, we had nothing to say to each other. All he ever wanted to talk about was God and I didn’t want to hear it. What I didn’t know was at the same time that I feeling hopeless and experiencing these things, Paul was also. But, he wasn’t content to let things just drift apart, no! He began talking to God about how He would have to send him a new wife because he (Paul) was so holy and pure now that he simply couldn’t have a wife who smoked and drank and cussed like a sailor. No, he needed a holy wife. (Dang!)

I was already feeling somewhat rejected and not good enough anymore so I’m glad I didn’t know he wanted a new wife! Yes, even though I was mad at him and didn’t understand what was happening to us, I would have been devastated to know what he was feeling at the time. I only learned about this years later.

God told Paul He wasn’t going to get him a new wife but instead, Paul would have to fall back in love with me. Paul needed to start making a place for me in his “new” life. This struggle continued for a couple more years.  In the mean time, we left the Episcopal Church because they began ordaining gay Bishops and although we both had personal friends who were gay; neither felt it represented God at all. When we left the church, we also had to leave the cottage we’d been living in for years and that was sad. The good news was, we were getting our own place and that was a dream come true, finally.

Paul had begun praying in the local healing rooms a year or so before and was now in leadership. He still kept running off to other meetings and conferences while I kept on catering, but now I was working with my brother. We were almost living separate lives, but God was still working on this thing!

This is just an excerpt of the journey but needless to say, Paul did make a place for me. He prayed for me all the time, without me actually knowing about it except things began to feel different. He no longer fought with me or tried to correct anything I was doing. He literally just loved me where I was. And also, by falling back in love with me again, he made a way for me to enter into the kingdom. My offenses began to fall away. God started whispering to me there in that place and I even began to love my husband again.

Prayer works as we know but it also takes honor and respect. When I began to receive that (and I absolutely did not deserve it!), my heart changed. I felt a tangible place being made for me to come alongside my husband. I had no clue what it was, or what it meant. What I did know was that it felt good and it felt safe.

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I pray my story might encourage you to pray for your spouse and simply love them right where they are. We can change nothing on our own, but my Jesus certainly can. Persistent prayer along with respect and honor is a game changer and I know we all need change to happen.

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Note: This post is about a journey, not theological understanding. Many things I believed at one time are not what I believe now. I call it a progressive revelation. That is to say, if something I have shared in this post offends you, stop it; this is not where we land. This is where we have journeyed through. We’ve all come through many things . . . GG

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Miracles happen all the time and today, I experienced one.

Potted flowers

I was carrying out some plants to the front porch to their summer home earlier today and then decided to take them to the bottom of the steps since it was raining and a good soaking would do them good. I had carried three down the steps and was carrying the forth one when my left foot slipped on the slippery step and slid down four of them. Sadly, my right foot stayed behind me and when I fell, it was to slide down 4 concrete steps with my right leg bent behind me and my shin taking the brunt of the impact. (I’m so thankful I had put jeans on instead of the shorts I started to. It would have really been a bloody mess.)

It happened so fast; one minute I was carrying the potted plant and the next it was shattered on the steps and me, I was sprawled halfway down, stuck even. It took a moment for me to get my leg untwisted so I could get up and access the damage.  The flower pot didn’t make it sadly but I had no broken bones at least. What I did have was a nasty abrasion on my shin and shooting pain down my leg that began at the hip socket on the outside of my right thigh.  Ouch! Poor Paul, he was not feeling well himself so was resting in the room just above the steps. He was awakened by the crashing sound of the flower pot and had no clue what it was. When he looked out the window, it was to see me trying to pull myself back up from my sprawl.

I came in the house to changed clothes so I could assess the damage.  I saw that my shin was totally purple where the abrasion was and my joints:  knee, hip, and ankle were shooting pain. I had a nine inch abrasion on my shin, a small one by my knee and a bruise on my big toe and foot. (so much for the flip flops). After taking inventory, I had the thought I wouldn’t be able to work later this week because I was expecting my leg to just get more stiff and sore as time passed since it hurt so much and looked terrible.

Paul prayed, and apparently so did many others and to be honest, I just wanted to go lie down! I was in the middle of baking cookies and when that last batch came out, I limped into my office to get my bottle of water and my tablet so I could then go rest. As I was walking to my office I felt a shift in the spirit, then in my leg. The joint and muscle pain ceased by at least 50 percent and much of the purple bruising had disappeared. That was so cool. But I was still determined to go and rest a while: I took an ibuprofen and went to lie down for about 30 minutes.

When I got up, the abrasion was diminished even more! The pain in my hip and leg was completely gone and I wasn’t walking with a limp. The pain had been so severe than I couldn’t walk without a limping.  Now there wasn’t any swelling, tingling or shooting pain whatsoever!

I have since gone out and ran some errands and still all is well. If anything, the abrasion is getting even better. It’s amazing!

Paul told Jesus, Thank you! And Jesus told him, “It’s what I do.”

And I say: Thank you Jesus!

And thank you everyone else for praying. He’s a miracle working God! I am healed when I thought I was going to be stiff and sore for days! He is so good.

The first picture is kind of dark. I couldn’t lift my leg very well so I had to make do with the lighting.  Notice all the bruising  and purple areas.

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The second picture is lighter in exposure but you can see the huge difference……20150414_154852

A Day in the Life

Woman in a Carboard Box

I have a question: Am I radical? meaning, do I live too far out of the box and would you be more comfortable if I were inside that box?

I was talking with someone yesterday about the weather and our authority over it. You see, we had planned a Christmas luncheon for the Healing Center I work in and by the reports of the weather men; we weren’t going to be able to have it. Those that were coming lived in different parts of the state and had many miles to travel to get here and with all the freezing rain and ice that they were predicting that would be impossible to do. (Not to mention, this is the south and we don’t drive on ice, we just don’t do it).

A few days before the event, we began making declarations to the weather systems, the powers and prince of the air and putting them on notice that we would in fact have our meeting and the weather would not manifest as the weathermen kept predicting. We would not dodge the bullet but instead, we were removing the bullet!  We then sent an email out to everyone asking for agreement with our declarations.

On Saturday, that’s exactly what happened; every person who was to come to this event came and there were NO problems with the roads. They were perfectly dry, and of course, we were not surprised.

So back to my conversation yesterday: This person was commenting about the email we sent out about coming into agreement over the weather. They personally wanted it to snow and become icy but they felt a conviction from God to ‘get over it’ and agree with us, which they did. Also, they wondered about us praying like that in the first place. I corrected her and said we weren’t “praying” at all or asking God for anything, but instead we were declaring and commanding as God had given us authority to do. We can’t keep asking God to do for us what He’s expecting us to do.

While she agreed with this on some level (her words), she thought it was a radical belief. As in who does this??  Don’t we just pray and ask God for protection and to keep us safe and that’s it?

I answered, ME, I do this and I’ve seen too much happen to stop declaring now! And no, we don’t just pray for God to do everything for us. We take dominion and declare the enemy’s hand is removed.

I had this conversation about 5 years ago but the question still remains; am I radical, do I live too far out of the box, or are there better questions?

Are you living in a box?

Are you experiencing the kingdom?

Are you walking out the things you talk about?

Me – I’m living on the edge, as far as I can go, today. Tomorrow, the edge will extend out even further.

To answer the original question, no, I’m not radical; this is normal everyday life for believers and especially me. This is what normal is in the Kingdom, but not normal by the worlds standards. I won’t live in that box! If that scares you, stick around because you ain’t seen nothing yet!

On Good Friday, we were yet again declaring storms to cease. Another day in the life. . . .. .