Our 40th Anniversary Testimony
On Sunday, Rick and I celebrated our 40th anniversary. I can honestly say I'm even more madly in love with this man today than I was the day we married!
To be honest with you, the first 12 years of our marriage was quite trying. I was only 17 years old and past abuse had left me angry and insecure. Oh, I loved the Lord with all of my heart and even then I had incredible experiences in His presence, yet I still struggled with anxiety, anger and depression. The slightest thing could send me spiraling out of control.
One day I realized that my focus was misplaced. All I could see was all that was wrong in my life, instead of taking time to just look deeply into the eyes of Jesus and finding my identity there. As I made a vow to seek Him daily and to put Him before anything else in my life... the tide began to turn. You see, for so long I had put pressure on my marriage to satisfy me. I blamed my husband for the empty and unfulfilled place in my heart. Frustration built up in him because he was not equipped to fulfill me in a way that only God could! The chasm between us became wide...too wide for our flesh to close...
I had to learn to go to Jesus for everything I needed...I would literally excuse myself when I felt the frustration rise up and run into His presence...many times I would share my heart with Him and weep for hours until I felt the warmth of His embrace and the healing of the dark places in my soul. Slowly, each new day, It was Him I began to long for... His sweet words that brought me joy, peace and comfort and His touch I desired more than any other.
While I was going through my own spiritual growth, Rick too was seeking the Lord for His growth and healing. After a year of this and giving Jesus our full attention, the struggle was over in our marriage. As Rick has shared in a marriage conference, we are no longer Rick or Martine, we are Rick and Martine. No one thinks of one without the other, because we are one! I love that! I would not have changed a thing about our lives and certainly would not have wanted to live it with any one else! He's my best friend and the love of my life! I'm thankful for the blessings, but also for the struggles that have brought us closer to Jesus and to each other.
Remove the pressure from your relationships and the stress from your life. Passionately seek Jesus, find your identity in Him, experience His love and study His Word...it's the only way to live!
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Psalms 16:11 (TPT) Because of you, I know the path of life, as I taste the fullness of joy in your presence. At your right side I experience divine pleasures forevermore!
Proverbs 8:34-35 (TPT) If you wait at wisdom’s doorway, longing to hear a word for every day, joy will break forth within you as you listen for what I’ll say. For the fountain of life pours into you every time that you find me, and this is the secret of growing in the delight and the favor of the Lord.