Friday, October 17, 2008

A Marriage Saved Through Prayer

My Brother sent me this e-mail. These people were classmates of my brother and sister as we were growing up. It's kind of long, but a strong testament to the power of prayer and submitting our cares to God, and the blessings that flow when we do! (I've changed the names for privacy)

Anne: I thought you might enjoy this email. Jim Bower was in Carly's class and Margo Bower was in my class.
xoxo JMCIII


From: Margo Bower
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 12:04 PM
Subject: MARRIAGE ALERT: One Saved!!

Over one year ago, on October 10, 2007, I sent out this email. I had no earthly reason to think that my marriage could be saved. Our divorce would be final on January 28th, 2008, the day before our 14th anniversary.

Four months after I wrote this email and asked for prayers, on January 29th, instead of divorced, Jim and I found ourselves at the University of Michigan hospital. On our fourteenth wedding anniversary, as we waited for Katie to get out of surgery, we were having dinner together in the hospital cafeteria,. Just the two of us. We were still married. From that day, the direction of our marriage changed. We began the journey back to each other.

What Jim and I have gone through has been an awakening and learning experience for us both. . We have been enlightened by our pain, we have traveled this road, separately, yet never truly apart.

We are continuing on the promises we made to each other almost fifteen years ago.

I am sending out this email as a testament to the miracle that we have been given. To what God can make possible when we walk in faith, hope, and choose to love. To the power of prayer.

Today, Wednesday, October 15th at 4:30 pm., Father Ken will be in our home to renew our marriage vows. It will be the kids, Father Ken, and Jim and I. Father Ken will then bless our home (don't know what this involves but we are interested to find out).

So, thank you for your prayers a year ago. Please continue to pray. To pray for us, our children, our marriage, and all marriages. To pray for all the couples that are tempted in believing that there is no hope. That they may continue to believe in their marriages and each day make the decision to love.

"Love is gentle, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not
boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love
does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always
protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13

May God continue to answer all of our prayers, through mercy and grace.
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Bower

----- Original Message -----
From: Margo Bower
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 12:49 PM
Subject: Marriage ALERT: Another one taken

I am asking for a prayer. I do not know what else to do. I hear that I should "give in, give up, it is not worth it", "You have done everything you could", "It is too late".

My story is not uncommon. Married 13 years, 3 children. My husband filed for divorce this summer. Lets just say. Its the oldest story in the book. If things go as they are, we will be divorced in January 2008, exactly 14 years from the month we stood on the alter and promised "until death do us part".

I know I would be fine. I know life would go on for our family. I know everyone would be fine. But I can't help thinking that, no matter what, a lose in faith in a marriage is nothing short of a tragedy. It has been simply the result of.....a lack of faith.

To clarify, our relationship was not abusive.

I have seen the devastation of divorce personally and throughout my life. It has become an everyday occurrence in our society. It is a human tragedy to all involved. Not only do children suffer but they learn in time that that it is a part of life, an acceptable outcome.

I am finding it hard to believe this is what God intends. That this is what God expects us to accept.

I believe God gave me this thought. I have heard we need to be specific in our prayers. I believe this is a thought (like so many these days) that he would like me to carry out.

Anyone who has been through a divorce knows how things are twisted. This simply email could probably come back to be used against me. That is, I guess, what God is asking of me. To have faith. To believe even when faced with my fears. At the risk of what people may say or think about me. I am going to do as He has asked. I am taking a leap of faith.

I handed this all over to God months ago. I am now handing it out to others. I ask that you look in your heart. Ask yourself what you believe in. To pray for my marriage. To pray for a miracle. If one marriage can be saved by the power of prayer and belief in Gods word, maybe we will all be strengthened.

I ask that you stop what you are doing right now and say:
one Hail Mary for Jim and Margo
one Hail Mary for our children
one Hail Mary for the marriage of your choice

If by some miracle, if my marriage is saved. I am hoping we will be able to tell our story. To share our experiences. To bring hope and strength to those who have lost faith in marriage, in relationships, in themselves, and in the power of prayer.

Please send this email on so to as many people as you would like, so that at the very least God will hear how many people still believe in Him!

I have copied some words of wisdom on the subject=)):

STANDING FIRM
by Charles R. Swindoll
1 Corinthians 15-16

I heard a statistic the other day that blew my mind. Anna Sklar, the author of a book called Runaway Wives, (published in 1976 per Anna Sklar the author) was a guest on a local talk show. In the course of the discussion, she cited that ten years ago, for every wife or mother who walked away from her home and responsibilities, six hundred husbands and fathers walked out. Today for each man who walks away, two women do.
Pause and let that sink in.

Understand, I’m not advocating either, nor am I taking sides. I’m just amazed at the unbelievably rapid rise in the number of women who choose escape as the favorite method of coping.

Contrary to our great American heritage, many of today’s citizens would rather quit than stick. That which was once not even an option is now standard operating procedure. Now, it’s "if you start to sink, jump, don’t bail" . . . or "if it’s hard, quit, don’t bother."

Every achievement worth remembering is stained with the blood of diligence and scarred by the wounds of disappointment. To quit, to run, to escape, to hide—none of these options solve anything. They only postpone the acceptance of, and reckoning with, reality.

Churchill put it well: "Wars are not won by evacuations."

No, battles are won in the trenches . . . in the grit and grime of courageous determination . . . in the arena of life, day in and day out, amidst the smell of sweat and the cry of anguish.
The apostle Paul, the man who bore on his body "the brand-marks of Jesus" (Gal. 6:17), was a living example of his own counsel: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. . . . Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong" (1 Cor. 15:58; 16:13).
Giving thought to giving up?
Considering the possibility of quitting?
Looking for an easy way out?

Entertaining the idea of running away . . . stopping before it’s finished . . . escaping from reality?
Don’t! The Lord never promised you a Disneyland. In fact, the only time He ever used the word "easy" was when He referred to a yoke.

Every journey is accomplished one step at a time. Don’t stop now.

CHANGING CAN’TS TO WON’TS
by Charles R. Swindoll
Romans 12:21

Can’t and won’t. Christians need to be very careful which one they choose. It seems that we prefer to use "can’t."

"I just can’t get along with my wife."
"My husband and I can’t communicate."
"I can’t discipline the kids as I should."
"I just can’t give up the affair I’m having."
"I can’t stop overeating."
"I can’t find time to pray."

Any Christian who takes the Bible seriously will have to agree the word here really should be "won’t." Why? Because we have been given the power, the ability to overcome. Literally!
Any good psychiatrist knows that "I can’t" and "I’ve tried" are merely lame excuses.

We’re really saying "I won’t," because we don’t choose to say "With the help of God, I will!"

Now, go back and change all those "can’ts" on that internal list you carry around to "won’ts" and see how that makes you feel about yourself. Not very good, huh? It’s the same as "choosing" to disobey. Today you can choose to be an "I will" person.

An excuse has been defined as the skin of reason stuffed with a lie.

PLEASE PRAY THESE THREE HAIL MARY's FOR MARRIAGE
God Bless us all. Thank you for your prayers, Margo

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Margot,

I received notice of your blog today. My book about Runaway Wives was published in 1976. Thirty-two years ago, NOT TEN as you wrote, more women were leaving their husbands. I doubt the figures would be the same today.

Warmest good wishes,

Anna Sklar

Anne Marie said...

Anna:

I'll let her know, and make a note in my post.

Thanks, Anne Marie

kristen said...

dear Margot,
I am in a similar situation because my husband of 11years has filed for divorce. Our 1st hearing is January 10'. We have 3 children and have tried everything to save my marraige but he wants to start his new life and does not love me anymore. I am devestated and heartbroken and find it hard just to get through the day. I love him with all my heart but am hopeless and all I have left is prayer. Please pray for myself, husband and children that my marriage can be saved.

Thankyou,
Kristen

Anne Marie said...

Kristen:

I have begun praying for you, and will continue to include you in my prayer intentions.

May the Lord bless and keep you, may his face shine upon you, may he bring you peace.

Anonymous said...

Margot...This was a great post. I am not Catholic but I am Christian and I have been laboring in prayer for months concerning my marriage. My husband of almost 12 years have filed for divorce and I have fought this fight on my knees. I have solicited the assistance of others who know the power of prayer. We've always said that divorce is not an option...but for my husband apparently it is an option. I am devastated...we were trying to have a baby one minute and the next he was asking for a divorce. Please pray that God provides us with a chance to restore this marriage.

Anne Marie said...

Anon:

May the Lord bless and heal your marriage and may your witness bring glory to God's name.