Liz: In our last post we confessed our sinful attitudes and failed relationship with the love of our life. It was heartbreaking. Yet, throughout the breakup we still cared for one another. We would wish each other a Happy Birthday, a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year; it makes me want to tear up just remembering it. We still loved one another while living in a frozen state of hurt, shame, bitterness and grief. Then something happened. Something terrible. Something so horrible and hurtful it was either going to be the final goodbye or the first step in moving toward each other; but this time for good.
We chose to forgive. We chose to move forward. Notice the word “chose”. This was not some mystical magical happening where the hurt and pain suddenly disappeared, on the contrary the hurt was now larger than we could ignore and thus, we had to face it or lose each other forever. This is where God met us.
Fresh with pain and little hope we were invited to a Bible study by a mutual friend. I hate to admit this but I did not want to go. I had never been to a Bible study before and I had no idea what to expect. Cody led me there. He told me, ” I think it’s what we need to do.” So I said okay. I again did not want to admit being lost. I thought I was owed something by God. I thought my actions were justified, “Well, God if you didn’t want me to act this way you wouldn’t have given me these experiences and these people in my life. You would have protected me.” I didn’t know God. I didn’t know just how wrong my attitude was. I had turned away from God and God being the good and wise Father that He is, stepped back and let me do things my way. He knows His children so well. It almost cost me everything. I had turned my back to God, on prayer, on love, on forgiveness, and when I finally, by His grace turned to God in brokenness and sorrow do you you know what happened? He accepted me. He welcomed me back with open arms. He had been waiting for me that whole time. He had to show me who He is the only way He knew I would listen; by the pain and humbling experience of doing it my way. He pursued me. I am so thankful.
Cody: We met so many awesome believers through our time at the bible study. Some we count among our close friends today, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without their support and fellowship. Which brings us to a great point. Fellowship is something every person needs, believer or not. It allows you to share parts of you that hurt, and for someone to be there and listen. We had friends to talk with before this group, but we didn’t feel comfortable enough with them to share our troubles. We would meet together as a big group, but then once a week the men and women would split up into separate groups. This allowed us to talk about topics that were more gender specific, the things men struggle with are sometimes completely different from women.
This small group was affiliated with a church in Austin called Hope in the City. Liz and I were feeling God start to soften our hearts to his word again, but it was still a while before we felt the call to attend church again. It was one Sunday afternoon when we decided to go to service, I cannot remember what actually set it in motion. All I know is Liz googled “Sunday Evening Service Austin” and that is how we found The Austin Stone Community Church.
God wasn’t finished with us, he was just getting warmed up. Stay tuned for the next installment in our marriage testimony!
Always Travel Devoted,
The Biggers Life