Today I had my first major outing since my 5 hours in the ER in the middle of the night Thursday night/Friday morning. My temperature spiked to 100.2 briefly yesterday afternoon, but has otherwise stayed under 100 for over 24, plus I'd been on antibiotics for over 48 hours (which is the recommendation to end being potentially contagious) so I headed to church. I made it to the zone coach meeting (we only have 2 a year... I can handle that) at 7:30 and taught my class at 8:45. Unfortunately, my lungs started to ache and I started to get woozy during the praise portion of service, so I spent the sermon snuggled up against Sheldon.
We had a guest speaker named Daniel Henderson because today was our church's prayer conference. The part of the message he was preaching that I actually got was to start your prayers in scripture. This is imperative because prayer is meant to be a CONVERSATION with God, and what better place to start a conversation with God than in His word? It's so simple and seemingly obvious, yet we as Christians forget that part all the time. When we pray passionately, and pray scripture based prayers, then God will answer them and delight in them.
There's also a part that emotionally filled me, and I didn't even see it coming. I know Mr. Henderson had no intention of doing this for me, either. But that's part of how awesome God is. He loves to just sneak little things in there for His beloved children. It came out of one small sentence said in passing to kind of stir up images to people to be more compassionate towards each other, to feel their anguish. It had to the total opposite effect on me. He said, "Agony over broken marriages, broken homes, broken families." Until today, every time I've heard mention of "broken marriages", I've felt a little sting. After all, no one actually wants to be a divorcee, no matter how bad the marriage was. Today, instead of that oh-so-familiar sting, I felt something completely different. I was AWED BY MY GOD. My God took 2 people who come from broken marriages, from broken families, and put them together to make a new family. He patiently and painfully watched all the hurt, anger, and pain we went through with our divorces and when we were ready, He put us together. He placed us next to each other and gave us hearts that passionately love each other and more importantly, HIM. He shaped us through those adversities to create us into people who are determined and devoted to making Him the center of our relationship and the foundation of the new family He's building with us. That is AMAZING. There are a lot of people in the church who look down on us for being divorced, regardless of the reasons for the splits or the fact that neither of us are the ones who initiated them. There are people who see us as used and unable to get God's full blessing from marriage because we've been married before. I was scared for a while that I would always be "used" and now I see so clearly how untrue that is. I see how the woman that was in that marriage is no more, just as the man who was in Sheldon's marriage is no more. We're new creations, and we were designed from the beginning of time to walk the paths we have walked to bring us to the present, where we are 2 people preparing to spend a lifetime together, loving each other and loving our Lord.
Getting divorced SUCKED. But then again, it also gave me the greatest gifts I've ever received. So at the end of the day, I guess you could say I'm grateful. :-)