What I would not give to sit on the front porch of a farmhouse for an afternoon and chat with two of my writing hereos...Stormie Omartian and Ann Voskamp. I might actually have to meet with them one at a time, that two totally different writing styles and life circumstances could touch my heart in such a life changing way. As I begin typing, I realize I will probably have to blog about them separately as well.
In 1979, when I was eight years old, Stormie Omartian had looked divorce in the eye, planted her feet in the ground and told the devil, "No, you do not get to have my marriage." In 2003, I would praise God for the fact that she decided to put pen to paper back in '79, or maybe she used a Smith Corona typewriter, but whatever her means of telling her story, the fact remains that the Yankee and I are happily (not perfectly) married today because she did.
Thirteen years after The Power of the Praying Wife was gifted to me, I still wear the pages out. Thirty different chapters of thirty different topics us wives can pray over our husband's lives (husbands, she has one for you too, so don't think you are left out of this). Sometimes I think, "Oh, my husband is doing great right now, he certainly does not fit in any one of these thirty categories for me to pray over." And then I have to check my logic. Prayer. We all need it all of the time. It's life. It's breath. It's fighting things we can't even see with our earthly baby blues or browns or greens, so who are we to judge that our precious husband's do not need it.
Precious, you say? Maybe right now you are thinking your husband or wife is just about the least precious thing you have been around in quite some time. Your marriage is grueling, it's as painful as natural childbirth, it brings an agony to your life that leaves you daydreaming about days spent alone with no one to answer to, no one to hit that last raw nerve that will push you over the edge. You feel powerless. I get it. I hear your story, because I lived your story. And in 2003, 24 years after she wrote the words, Stormie Omartian said to me, "We can fight for them in prayer and not give up, because as long as we are praying, there is hope. With God, nothing is ever as dead as it seems. Not even your own feelings." Do you know what I learned? A very harsh reality....she was right.
I wish I could invite all of you onto the front porch with us, those who think, "Oh, you don't know my situation though, it is different for me." Friend, if you could sit on that porch with me I would tell you all of the things The Yankee and I survived and what you are going through now is probably on the list, I can't guarantee that, but trust me when I tell you, the odds are pretty high. I have been told I should write a book or two...or six just based on our marriage alone. And as we rock in our old squeaky rocking chairs I would tell you the outpouring of blessing in not giving up. I would tell you that there is no perfection to be reached on this side of earth, but I would paint the picture of twenty five years spent with a man I love who loves me in return. I would speak of the outpouring of blessing I watch daily pour out over our children because of our decision to stay when the world told us to split. When all we wanted was to split.
The reality is, I left the land of farmhouses and rocking chairs on front porches. We now live an hours mileage away from one of the largest, craziest cities on God's precious earth. The reality is, I have never actually met Stormie Omartian, let alone had the privilege of rocking away a summer afternoon chatting with her on the front porch.. Another reality is, marriage is hard. But you probably already knew all of that. Maybe there is a reality you don't know....marriage is worth it. Don't miss out on the opportunity right here, right now, to stop reading and pray for your spouse. It will change their life......and yours.