We met Cristian and Linda 2 months ago and have developed an amazing friendship in that time. We were able to capture their family pictures while we were in Honduras last week. God has been doing a mighty work in their lives and we wanted to have them share a little about their story and the trials they have been through and how God has been restoring them and bringing them out of such a rough season of their life. It is our hope by sharing this story of hope it could change the lives of another couple who might be struggling and needs encouragement. Such a powerful testimony (As told by Linda):
After being best friends for years and dating long distance for 3 years we thought our happily ever after would last forever when we got married almost 12 years ago. We had dreams of a life together including ministry at some point. However, we had not been married for 5 years yet when the enemy started to creep into our home. Little by little, Cristian drifted from God’s purposes for his life and I (Linda) was not prepared to handle it. We were caught off guard. Deception, anger, pain, hopelessness, and a series of bad decisions accumulated to the point of Linda asking Cristian to move out of the house in April 2013.
Though apart, we both went through the driest desert we could have ever imagined. However, as we look back, we know we never walked alone. Even when it seemed God had abandoned us, he was there. The best of friends had turned into two people who couldn’t see how reconciliation would ever happen. Then God stepped in. On the worst of our weeks, God sent a faithful child of his and me, “If you want to get to your promised land you must step in faith into the Jordan.” I was mad. I felt stuck. I no longer wanted to be in the desert but I didn’t feel like crossing the Jordan, which meant, receiving Cristian back home just as he was. As scarred and bruised as we were, we both decided to be obedient to God and took the step of faith of walking together again. God clearly showed He was interested in us continuing to fight for our marriage as He provided in a miraculous way for us to attend Connect Retreat, a marriage retreat held in Rome, Georgia, where we met great couples like the Siners. At Connect God wrapped us in a blanket of love and grace, a place where others believed in and prayed for a miracle in our lives.
Cristian moved back home after the retreat. From the moment we took the step the of faith, our relationship began to change. God wanted to teach both of us the basics of our faith, which had become at moments as non-existent. Cristian came to admit that fleeing from God would never make him happy, and I realized that I would never change Cristian, only God could do so and the first steps in order for that to happen was doing what the heavenly Father does, showing grace and unconditional love.
Though Cristian regrets leaving for a season there were significant paragraphs God was writing for his life, we are grateful to be out of the desert, together again. Miracles not always happen overnight, sometimes they take months or years. We still need to fight giants in order to conquer our Promised Land. We know it will take time, but the peace of knowing we are out of the desert is priceless, a peace that came only through complete surrender of our will to God. We know that the grinding we have been through has been to mold us into what he wants of us, to be a blessing to each other, our children and others.