I can’t believe I didn’t blog about this when it happened.
My husband, who was not a christian, attended the mens’ retreat which was held by one of the two churches we go to. It was held in early April. I had attended the womens’, which was in late February, but the experience was not what I had hoped for. The enemy had a strong hold on me the whole time I was there. I came home disappointed and hurt, but shortly thereafter my pastor held the sermon about the orphan spirit, which I blogged about before. That changed everything. As I was saying about my husband….
I think he went there looking forward to having some fun playing sports and such with the friends he’s made at our church…being a man, of course, he wouldn’t even have needed to be friends with any of these men. But Brad is a sociable guy (much more than I am) and has made several pleasant acquaintances at our church and can have a good time with anyone. I’m sure it helped that several of the men from our small group (like a bible study, but we studied a book) were going to be in attendance.
But God works in mysterious ways…I had prayed the day he left (and several time previous to that), that God would soften Brad’s heart and he would come to know Jesus personally. If anyone needed peace in his soul, it was Brad. The retreat started Friday evening and ended Sunday after lunch. Brad called me at 11 in the evening on Saturday to share some news. He had accepted Jesus into his life. I had told him on the phone that night that I would let him tell everyone, but after we hung up, I couldn’t help it. I called my parents & even posted it on Facebook – “my husband has become my brother in Christ!”
It was clearly evident when he got home on Sunday that it was true. There was a peace surrounding this exhausted man where tension usually reigned.
In weeks following there have been some interesting changes. For one, Brad is giddy about his new faith…he is excited in a child-like way. It’s interesting to see this. He’s been keeping a journal and reading the bible regularly – it took accepting Christ to get him to read something; go figure. There are some interesting changes in his behaviour as well. Brad drives for a living. He’s a trucker. It’s been a mystery to as to why, because he always got so angry & frustrated at other drivers all the time, I could never see how he could enjoy his job. It’s a little different now. He still gets a bit frustrated (you can’t help it driving the streets of THIS city) but not nearly as vehemently. But he also drives differently. When we’re in the minivan, he would usually make short left turns – making the turn when there is some fairly close oncoming traffic. That has stopped completely…now he drives like me. I never make a turn in front of somebody if I know it will cause them to have to brake because of me. Now Brad is doing the same. It’s weird.
He’s also beccome a bit of a soapbox preacher, except his soapbox is Facebook. Pretty much every day, he posts some insight that God has given him. And they’re usually pretty profound, especially for someone so new to the faith.
It’s interesting when this all happened as well. Very shortly before the retreat, we had an issue (I call it that because we really don’t fight, but we have discussions that can sometimes end up with someone sleeping on the couch) that was at a point where if he would have said he was moving out, I would have said I’ll help you pack. We do have some pretty serious issues in our marriage – deep ones that may yet require counselling to work through (that happens when you both come into a marriage (and surprise child) from deep messes of our own). But I have felt some healing happen to some of the fissures in my own soul that have happened as a result of my husband’s new faith.
So as he learns & grows and I learn & grow, there may be hope for us yet. I admit that I may have naively hoped that all our marriage problems would be solved if Brad just became a Christian. But I also thought that because I knew what it felt like to have a baby that, when I had my second one and knew what to expect, I wouldn’t scream during labor…yeah, right. I can be naive. What we do have now is something we never had before…a common focus for our lives. That is serving Christ. So we have more than just being committed to this marriage come hell or high water to keep us together…we have a commitment to Christ. We may yet see some peace in our house.
Amazing things can happen….