Six years ago today I gave God a year.
January 4, 2004.
I’d just confessed to an affair, my marriage was in shambles and I had no idea what the future held. I didn’t know if my husband was going to leave me or if he’d take our daughter with him.
I couldn’t bear to think about the next day and I didn’t know what would happen tomorrow. My “future” was as hazy and undefined as it ever had been.
So I gave God all that I had, because honestly at the time, I had very little of my own. My integrity was shot. My marriage was fractured. Every one of my relationships with friends and family members were iffy at best and rocked at worst. To be the most hideous of clichés, I had hit rock bottom.
The only where to go was up.
The weekend after my life fell apart (or rather began) my pastor preached a sermon. He asked us to “give God a year” and see what could happen.
A year. At this point I was ready to give God and my husband the rest of my life so a year seemed easy. I was ready to do all that it took to piece my life and my relationships back together the right way.
We began to go to regular marriage counseling and in addition to that we met with pastoral counselors. We read through the Bible beginning with Genesis in January and ending with Revelation in December. I erased phone numbers, emails and memories from my life that would tempt or hinder my healing. I made calls to friends and members of my family explaining, apologizing, and weeping with them. I focused on my husband, on my daughter and creating the safe home that I’d failed so desperately to make before. I centered my life on living righteously for God and making wise choices from this point forward.
It took a year.
A year to grieve.
A year to mend.
A year to learn how to move forward together as a couple, to learn how to communicate, to learn how to love each other.
By the end of that calendar year when 2005 was looming before us, we looked back. Although unfinished, our healing had taken huge strides. Our growth as a couple and as Christ-followers had leaped ahead of what we had ever thought possible. We had new friends, had repaired old friendships and were enjoying life as “newlyweds”. Yes, we had to mourn the death of our old marriage, but what was occurring in our hearts now almost made up for all the pain.
Why? Because we were willing to give God our whole hearts and a year’s time and see what He could do with it. It ended up being much more amazing than we could have ever hoped.
Are you willing to give God this year?Leave a Comment
EXCELLENT! I will not add words to it.
Good morning Sarah! I just began writing about adultery today. I plan to come from both angles, but I wanted to say thanks for your story. We all need to hear about the realities of adultery.
Am I willing to give God a year? I’m trying…
brooke clarke says
Thank you so much for your openness. I actually did give God a year of my time as a single woman because the men I chose to date were so ungodly and wrong for me. One week before my “year” of being single my husband asked me out on our first date. I have never been so grateful for a year in my life. I have never been happier and I have a man who is far more amazing than I ever thought I’d be with. You’re post was a great reminder of God’s faithfulness to me 🙂 Bless you, Brooke
brooke clarke says
One week before my year ended…I forgot to write ended in there 🙂
Angela Nazworth says
Oh Sarah…thank you for writing this…so poignant and true…just the encouragement I needed today.
Cathy Davis says
I was going through my google reader, trying to figure out what to read this morning before work when I saw the title, “Give God a Year”. It’s wild because that’s exactly what God has been impressing on my heart. Though my experiences aren’t the same as yours, I’ve been battling with one defeat after another over the last few years and I truly feel like God has shown me it has everything to do with the fact that I haven’t given Him control, my whole heart and my whole life. I am challenged today. Thanks for writing this Sarah, I know it is a deeply personal matter, but you have blessed so many for sharing your life with us.
I really admire your honesty, especially about such a taboo subject.
Ashleigh (Heart and Home) says
So good, Sarah… thank you for this. This past year was just such a year for me (though for different reasons) and I learned not only how to heal but that it always looks differently than we imagine.
Kristen - Moms Sharpening Moms says
I so admire your courage in transparency. Thank you for showing us that our struggles and strongholds do not have to be in vain. When we let God’s light shine on our dark sins, He will transform our brokenness into beauty. No situation is “too far gone” for Him!
May God bless and keep you this New Year and always.
Tammy@If Meadows Speak says
AGAIN a year to give, not only in mine but in HIS. Many of my past givings soaked in caution, tempered with smallness, treading reality. Secretly whipsered to Him this week, I’m giving Him dreams. Not just the ones I’ve imagined. No, better. Ones He’s imagined for me.
Sarah, thanks so much for your courgeous journey, and even more courgeous sharing!
(Ps. Like Brooke, in singlehood, I gave God a year. In the end HE gave me a Husband to share many more.)
Thank you for your honesty. :o) Too many times christian women hide behind their masks and miss the opportunity to testify about what God has done. Have a blessed year in the Lord!! :o)
Praise the Lord! Thank you so much for sharing your heart so openly – He is truly Our Jehovah Rophe – The Lord our Healer!
i love your honesty! thank you for being so open. i am so encouraged to give god this year…to start fresh, refocus and grown! thank you!
grace & peace
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
Thank you Sarah for your courage and honesty. I will give God this year for my son. I pray He can heal what is broken and inspire J’s path. I give Him my mother’s heart.
Blessings and grace…
Back in October/early November we hit bottom financially. It was bad. We started seeing our pastor for counseling and wisdom, started tithing on every penny, started praying. Our pastor basically said the same thing– give God a year and see what happens. It’s only been 2 1/2 months and He’s already done’ so much. Thank you for the reminder.
mmm, love this! so speaks to my right now because God has totally called me to give Him a year and placed that vision and call on my life for a specific area.
Cindy Beall says
You gave God a year and He gave you a new life.
Love that God of ours.
And love you.
So, so much.
Thank you for being so open and honest. For sharing something so deeply personal.
Congratulations to you and your husband for choosing the hard road, the road that meant that you had to work for your marriage. If only more people did the same.
So beautiful, and so needed. Thank you.
Sarah, thank you for this authentic post. So glad I tackled my overflowing Google reader today. What will it look like to trust God more than my fears for a year??? I’m excited to find out.
Faith Barista Bonnie says
WOW. Sarah. WOW. You are so brave, it is powerful to see God’s love and power through your confession. I am so humbled by how you made Christ bigger than everything.
I am relatively new to (In)Courage, so I was blown away by your story. I just watched the video and it is incredible to see the love you & your Hubby have for each other — locked shoulder to shoulder to share such a vulneraable and victorious time in your life.
You guys are beautiful couple, reflecting great courage and Christ
“You do what you gotta do…”
It’s wonderful you were willing to share everything and not sugar coat it. Amazing.