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Tuesday, June 05, 2007
In Other Words




“What used to make us stumble, God can us to make us stand. What once made us bow our heads in shame, He can use for His glory.”
Joanna Weaver – Having a Mary Spirit


When I first read this quote, I immediately thought of all the things in my life that still make me bow my head in shame. First came the “stumble” – that falling into sin – followed by the shame when I continued to stumble over and over again too weak to stop. It isn’t until I exchange my weakness for His strength that I am able to stand. When I give up trying in my own strength to walk in the way I should, and ask Him to come with forgiveness, grace and restoration I can finally stand.

Instead of talking about myself, I am going to use my husband’s story (with his permission) to illustrate what this quote means to me. When he returned from Viet Nam he struggled the way so many of the other veterans of that terrible war had suffered. Added to the wounds of growing up in a very dysfunctional home the pain became too much for him to live with. He began to drink to numb the pain. At first it was just a beer or two on the way home from work with the guys. Soon it took more than just a couple of beers to feel good. He would stay until late into the night and then drive home.

We were married with two little boys. It became routine to pace back and forth by the window looking to see if his truck was in the driveway. Sometimes I’d pack them in the car and we’d drive around just to see where he was. Sometimes I’d call the bar and ask to talk to him. Nothing I said or did seemed to do any good. It was such a dark time. I was too weak in my own faith to handle the situation wisely. I’m afraid I only made things worse for him.

In time he also began to use drugs. It was taking more and more to make him shut out the things that were hurting his heart so deeply. During this time he was playing softball with the local fire department. One of the men on the team was a friend of ours who had just gotten saved. After the games the guys would all hang out at the fire station and drink. My husband noticed that his friend was no longer drinking. It began to bother him that he was supposed to be the one setting the example for this “baby Christian”, having been saved as a teenager. Instead, he was the one getting drunk.

The Holy Spirit was gently working on his heart. One evening he decided to go to a gospel concert we were having at church. He had pretty much stopped going to church with us at that time. As he sat in a pew at the back of the church and listened to the words of the song, it was as if every word was directed at his heart. The Holy Spirit took those words and ministered to heart that was so broken and hurting and began to draw him back to the One who loved him with an unconditional love.

My husband walked back into the arms of the Savior that night. In his weakness he surrendered to One who is strong. That was over thirty-five years ago. My husband hasn’t had a drink since that. God has used his testimony to bring glory to His name. Whenever my husband tells his story, it blesses those who hear it. What the enemy would have liked to use to make my husband bow his head in shame, the Lord has used for His glory. My husband knows that this is his area of weakness. Sometimes the urge for a nice cold beer is just overpowering, but he knows where that one drink could take him. He relies on the strength of the One who set him free.
II Corinthians 12:9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

To read more writing on this quote please go to Joy In the Morning.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 11:22 AM
  17 comments



17 Comments:
At 11:29 AM, Blogger MiPa said...

Thank you for sharing your (and your husband's) story. God uses our weakness to declare His glory. Isn't it amazing?! Bless you today.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Denise said...

Great post, bless you.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Julie said...

Thanks to your husband for serving our country. My Dad was a VietNam vet. When I was a nursing instructor, I had students in the Fargo VA. While it is true that many men died in that war, it is also true that many men left their very sanity there. Sadly, many have not found the strength to come emotionally come home.

I am so glad that your husband found his way back home...

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Diane J. said...

I grew up with an alcoholic Daddy. I know how much it cost my Daddy to quit drinking. He had to love us more than the booze, and he did. Praise the Lord, he was saved when I was 19.

Thank God your husband placed his trust in God instead of the bottle, and that he loved his family more than the booze.

Love and hugs,

Diane

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Wow. This is an awesome testimony. I am going to share it for sure. I am so thankful that he found his way back to God, who was there waiting for him all the time.

Thank you again for your faithful love and concern and prayers for us, who you have never met IRL, but we have become bonded in the Lord. What a blessing.

Kristen actually posted a Wordless Wednesday. Cute!

 
At 6:17 PM, Blogger PEA said...

Dearest Linda, thank you so much for sharing your husband's story with us. It truly is wonderful how the Lord can save us from our weaknesses. xox

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Keep praying! They're trying again. Will tell you more later by e-mail.

I was making a change on my Wordless Wednesday - you must have caught it at that moment. Try again!

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger Rachelle said...

You and your husband have been through so much. God is indeed glorified by your life, and your husband's. Bless you for sticking by your husband and for allowing God to use your story to bless others!

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Wow, Linda, what an incredible story! God can and does work wonders in our lives every day. Thanks for sharing this and thank your husband for allowing you to post it!

 
At 11:00 PM, Blogger Tara Sloan said...

Thank you for your transparency!

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Thanks for sharing your husband's story. It is very inspirational!
xo

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger Myrna said...

Wonderful, and well-told story. Your husband was very gracious to allow you to share that with us.

Thank you, to both of you.

 
At 12:15 AM, Blogger Hopeful Spirit said...

Very powerful writing of a true story. Thanks to your husband for allowing you to share it.

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Chappyswife said...

Linda, what an incredible testimony. I am so glad that your family made it through with such an awesome story of God's grace. I am glad you shared your story, and I am so happy you and your precious family are saved.

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Diane said...

What a powerful testimony!

Please tell you husband he has my sincere gratitude for his service for our Country...and my deep respect for letting you share his story--rich in God's power! I am so glad that God blessed your husband.....and he found his way to real freedom!

Amen! Amen! Amen!

Diane

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger Susie said...

Fantastic story! Thank you for sharing this very personal testimony of your husband's with us.

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger eph2810 said...

Oh, Linda, what a powerful testimony. I am sure that your husband has ministered to many around him who were in the same pit.
Thank you so much for sharing about His power in your family's life.

Blessings to you and yours.

 

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