Thursday, October 17, 2013

#perfectlove

Online Bible Study (OBS) - A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

How I define His perfect love for me:

I was able to relate to Sam’s story since I have also been married multiple times not to mention the numerous failed relationships in between those marriages.  There was infidelity and abuse in my first marriage and once again infidelity and lies in my second marriage. Going through multiple divorces made me feel like a total failure. I’ve always asked myself, “what is wrong with me?” and “why can’t I have a healthy, lasting relationship?”. I could blame it on the environment I was raised in, seeing divorce and failed relationships throughout my family…and that may very well be, but what I never did was turn to God during those times. I’ve always believe in Him, of course, but I never had a relationship with Him. I never thanked Him for the good things in my life or what He did for me. I knew He was there, but I didn’t know how He was working in my life until now. I’ve remarried, and now that I have a relationship with Him, I know that He is with me and my marriage every day.

A few months after I was married to my husband now, I decided to go on an ACTS Retreat. It was there that I saw clarity. I spoke to God and He spoke to me. I confessed my sins to a Priest and he told me that he would pray for me, but he couldn’t provide a blessing for my new marriage because I didn’t have an annulment from my first marriage. This devastated me. So when I returned back into the real world (versus the sanctuary of the retreat) I put a lot of focus on getting an annulment. It was a painful and long process. Months went by, a year went by, and it got to the point where I felt like I was never going to be granted an annulment. I thought that was my answer so that I could move on and have a successful and blessed marriage with my new husband.

My husband and I had been going through a rough season and I reached out to my sister and a friend regarding the Baptist church. We were recommended a church to attend and I felt an instant connection with it. My family was welcomed into the congregation with open arms. Within 9 months of attending the church I was Baptized (I had been Baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church), both my children were dedicated, then, my annulment was granted. Just by attending service, being a part of a Bible Study, and serving when we were called, it opened my eyes to all God has to offer me and my family. He has made our marriage and family so much stronger. I’m just so thankful I reached out to Him when I did. He has changed my life forever. He showed me His perfect love when my annulment was finally granted. All I had to do was follow the path He made for me.

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