God Is Bigger Than Our Circumstances
Having grown up in a church-going home, I went through a number of religious experiences that made me think I was a Christian. However, I never saw any real power of a changed life. Finally, at 20 years of age,, I realized the fact that I had only been giving lip service. I turned and sincerely asked Jesus to take control of my life.
Hungrily, I wanted to know more of God’s Word and attended a Bible school as a student for two years, and, subsequently on staff for one and a half years. This is where I met my husband. We became good friends and in 1984 we were married. The first of our 13 children was conceived two weeks after we were married. I was so excited. During our engagement I had asked the Lord if He would allow me to be a fruitful vine.
Unfortunately, for me, the honeymoon wore off rather quickly. Unbeknown to me, I had married someone who was deceived and not yet a Christian. After just a few weeks of marriage my husband showed up drunk one evening. This was so painful to a newly-wed and newly-pregnant wife with great hopes and expectations for a godly marriage, filled with service to the Lord.
One night, a few weeks after our second anniversary and the birth of our second daughter, my husband dropped a bombshell on me. He confessed that the nights he didn’t call, came home late, etc, he had been going to strip bars and had been unfaithful to me. God did a miracle that night. I reached past my deep hurt, asking God what He wanted me to do in response to this news. By faith, He helped me show unrestricted love to my husband so that he would know that God’s love was unconditional.
Even though the marriage was very lonely, I had an awesome church family that was instrumental in helping me hang on and persevere in my marriage. Daniel did not go to church anymore, yet he knew everyone loved him. God was faithful to me through these dear Christian friends, who would who prayed and encouraged me in my needs. One dear brother in the Lord kept encouraging me that I was married to the One who would never be unfaithful to me. That kept me going. Another avenue of support was my own dear children. We sang a lot together and kept memorizing passages of Scripture. The joy of the Lord truly was my strength and His word my lamp!
I knew God wanted me to remain in the marriage and I gave 100 percent to our marriage. I found comfort in I Peter 3, concerning winning my husband over by my godly conduct. My husband grew up in a broken home and had a mother who tried to turn the children against their dad. My husband was blown away by the cheerful home he walked into each night and the joy with which his children greeted him. My teaching the children to honor their father tugged on his heart. What miracles God wants to do through our willingness to trust Him!
Thankfully, in my husband’s foolishness, he did not do anything to stop us from having children! When my fifth child was born, my oldest daughter, who was five at the time, asked if we would always have as many children as how many years old she was. We made it to eight children with her still being eight years old! Many people thought I was a fool to keep having children in such circumstances, but I knew better. I was blessed each and every time!
This pattern in our marriage continued for almost twelve years. Towards the end of those years I almost gave up. Gratefully, God helped me to stand in faith because just six months later my husband became a true Christian. He is now seven years old in the Lord. Wow, just think what I would have missed out on if I had given up. It was an awesome sight to witness God reaching down and changing my husband, not only for myself, but also for our children and all our Christian friends who knew him before he walked away. It was so exciting to see the changes. We finally had the fellowship I had been longing for in our marriage! God even helped Daniel memorize the book of Hebrews and various chapters in the Bible.
This is not the end of the story! Two and a half years ago my husband was injured while shopping in a large home improvement warehouse. Some wood fell out of its bin, hitting my husband on the head. This blow made his neck snap over sharply. He now has brain and spinal injury, cognitive deficits, as well as visual and right-sided nerve damage. God has let us walk through many trials as a result of this incident. Yet, it is exciting to be married to a man who now loves God, who knows God is in control and is out for his best.
I read one statistic recently that over 87% of marriages end up in divorce when a brain injury occurs. We are so excited that because of Jesus changing both of our lives, we are not one of those statistics. Certainly, it has been hard to adjust to a man that has been significantly altered by this injury. It has also altered the nature of our husband-wife relationship, but suffice it to say, I would rather take a godly man like this than the ungodly man from before. As I experienced previously in my marriage, nothing is too hard for God!
What excitement to be on this adventure with our loving God who always knows best! A couple of years ago one of my dearest friends, Marjorie Clark, wrote an article in # 53 Above Rubies, Against All Odds. I witnessed her faith in God -- trusting Him to have children at the risk of her health, watched her health deteriorate, then saw her health turn around through the superior supplements she began using. God used her health testimony to help equip me for my current circumstances.
Due to my husband’s disability, he has not been able to be gainfully employed these past two years. Upon seeing Marjorie’s health return, I too began taking these products ten years ago with significant results for my family and myself -- especially with having been pregnant many times in a short span of time! All this to say, God knew I would be in this current situation, needing some way to support our family, to continue to be a stay-at-home mom, to homeschool our children and to take care of my husband. I can accomplish these God given goals by having my own home business.
My life is filled with joy as I trust God for each day.
Lilburn, Georgia, USA
Daniel and Laurie have 13 children – Rachel (18), Naomi (16), Andrew (15), Lydia (14), Sarah (12), Laurel (11), Michael 10), Jacob (9), Ruth (7), Peter (5), Mary (4), Isaac (2) and Phoebe (6 months)
P.S. Laurie shared her testimony with us at an Above Rubies Retreat in Georgia. We wept – but she beamed and radiated the joy of the Lord. Although Laurie faces daily difficulties and challenges, she is not destroying her life by self-pity, but is powerfully building a godly family as she lives in the joy of the Lord.