Shannon here: Historical author, Bonnie Leon shares how God saved her marriage. Comment on any post dated August 1 -5 for a chance to win a copy of her book, Wings of Promise. Deadline: August 6, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Bonnie:
Never Give Up On Love
The first time I met my husband I knew he was the one. Less than two months after our first meeting we were engaged. And four months after that he was on his way to Viet Nam. We put off our wedding date until his scheduled return, nearly a year later.
By that time I wasn’t sure I wanted to be his wife. I felt as if I were marrying a stranger. On our wedding day I walked down the church aisle thinking, If it doesn’t work out we can get a divorce. It’s hard to imagine a marriage surviving with a beginning like that.
Our first year was full of unhappy surprises. We were a mess of a couple, living a life of sin. We fought a lot and our neighbors knew most of our business. We had a bad habit of settling disagreements loudly and then finishing our fights in the middle of the apartment complex parking lot where my husband would tear out of the lot in our car. I thought I’d made the biggest mistake of my life.
When we moved from Southern California to Washington State I hoped the new environment would help us. I was wrong. Things got worse, not better. Finally, one day my husband told me he didn’t love me and he wanted a divorce. I moved out and he filed the paper work.
I was a wreck, but tried to move on with my life. Heartbroken, I cried my way through most days. I didn’t know where I was headed and had no hope. I wasn’t a believer and didn’t realize how powerful and full of love God is.
A series of tragedies followed the separation and God used my desolation to get me on my knees. He loved me enough to do what was necessary. With no place else to go for help, one day I placed my life in His hands. I started praying. I had a lot to pray about, but more than anything else I remember asking God to restore my marriage and to bless Greg and I with children and a Christian home.
Nothing is impossible with God. Months later, Greg told me that even while pursuing a divorce he’d be on his way to a friend’s house or to some event and he’d end up at my place. It happened again and again. He was never quite sure how he got there.
Gradually we became friends. And over time, love was reborn. Greg asked me to return home, which I did after much prayer and with some trepidation. He still wasn’t a believer and I was afraid we’d end up right back where we’d been before I left. But I felt strongly that I belonged with Greg and so we were reunited.
Two months later, friends invited us to listen to a Christian speaker named Father Bennett. I was curious but didn’t expect anything extraordinary to happen that evening. I was wrong. God had big plans.
After sharing his personal testimony, Father Bennett invited any who wanted to learn more to join him in the chapel. I was surprised when Greg said he wanted to go. Once everyone was seated, Father Bennett shared the gospel with the small gathering. He asked if anyone wanted to place their faith in Christ and if so, would they please stand. I was stunned when Greg stood up. That night he prayed and accepted Christ as his personal Savior. It was a new beginning for him and for us.
I’ve learned that nothing is too difficult for God. He had a plan for our lives, even when we dishonored Him. Through heartache and sorrow he drew us to Himself. And all those many years ago after we’d both had an encounter with the Living God we were truly one and stepped onto the path God had laid out for us.
It has been thirty-six years since the night my husband trusted in Christ. It’s not always been easy, but our love for one another and for our Lord has remained strong. On August 14th we will celebrate our fortieth anniversary. It’s hard to believe that I was once that young woman who walked down the aisle believing marriage was something that could casually be tossed aside. God blessed us with three children and four grandchildren (plus one more who will arrive any day). They all belong to the Lord. My love for my husband is deeper and richer today than I could have even imagined all those years ago. He was the right one, but it took God to set us straight.
Never give up on love. The Lord can do the impossible.
About Bonnie: Bonnie Leon is the author of eighteen novels, including the popular Touching the Clouds, Wings of Promise, the Sydney Cove series and the bestselling Journey of Eleven Moons. She also stays busy speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.
About the book: Her spunk has always gotten her through tough times. But does she have what it takes to go the distance? Kate Evans may be a woman in a man’s profession, but as Alaskan bush pilots go she’s one of the best. If only her personal life wasn’t so complicated. Torn between her affection for fellow pilot Mike Conlin and doctor Paul Anderson, Kate longs for clarity in her heart. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, her mind may be made up for her.
Full of high-flying adventure and tender personal moments, Wings of Promise will sweep you away to the Alaskan skies.
Come back August 5th for an excerpt from Wings of Promise.