Most important of all, you must sincerely love each other, because love wipes away many sin. 1Peter 4:8

Recently I copied this from one of the many links that I have on my FB and the comment that I left with it had to do with forgiveness. After replying to a couple replies, I began to think about what God has been laying on my heart these past few days about sharing what has occurred within my marriage. Love. Forgiveness. Jesus.

It’s been almost four years since I met my husband Chadd Cook. And I can honestly tell you that it has been a hard, painful, and rough four years. We met on May 8, 2008, married December 7, 2009. August 31, 2010 the thoughts of divorce entered my mind, and haven’t left until just recently. Like within the month recent. The other morning while thinking about where we are within our relationship compared to where we have been the majority of it I told him that I thought we were going to be ok. I said you and Lauren started out laughing, and ended up fighting. We started out fighting and we’ve ended up laughing.

It’s not the normal circumstances to recall the first few years of a relationship in this manner, but Chadd and I are anything but normal. And I love that about us. I love that he doesn’t think I’m crazy…even though this poor man has every reason in the world to think I am. But instead, he thinks I’m the smartest, bravest, strongest, most loving, and unique women he’s ever met.

And you know what because of the way he has loved me, and allowed his love to cover the multitude of sins I’ve caused within our marriage. I’m starting to believe in myself the way he has always seen me. He has loved me the way Jesus has loved me and all I ever had to do was open my eyes and heart to see that, and accept it.

Over the next few months I will be asking God to give me the words and encouragement to share with you all that has occurred within our marriage. The reason I want to do this is because this is who I am. This is what and why I want to write. Not to brag about my life, because as you will see my life is anything worth bragging about. No, I do this because it brings me pure Christ like joy to encourage another with the testimony of what God has done in my life. The only way I know to do that is to be brutally honest about all that has occurred. I know there are others out there who love their husbands and want to do nothing more but love and respect them, not out of obligation either. That is what I hope to get rid of; the feeling of respecting your husband out of obligation. Yes, we are called to respect them, but the secret that I keep unveiling is once you do the FIRST most important commandment (which is to LOVE GOD with ALL YOUR MIND, HEART, AND STRENGTH) then everything else falls into place. Once I love God completely, again not out of obligation. Then and only then am I able to see my husband the way God does. Then, and only then am I able to see that he is exactly who I need in order to experience the Love of God. He’s not always who I want, but he is always what God knew I needed.

My prayer is that today you and I will look up and thank God for all that He has already done within our lives. And ask that He continues to refine us, and for us to be able to embrace this refining knowing that we are exactly where and who God wants us to be. That nothing comes as a surprise to Him, and NOTHING done within this world is wasted….unless we choose to waste it.

Thank you Chadd for loving me through the ugly days. Thank you for holding me through the great ones. And thank you for showing me what it means to truly love someone who doesn’t deserve to be loved. You are and always will be exactly who God designed for me at this exact moment in my life. I love you!