3 Strikes, but not out?
God often blesses Monique and I with stories of hope for marriages. Our new friend, John Boring, (see photo) has an incredible marriage story. He and is wife Suzi, divorced and remarried three times. When John encountered the grace of God, everything changed.
Here is John's story as he tells it...
"Suzi was seventeen years younger. I worried about that. When we married in 1973 she was twenty-four and I was forty. We had been together for three years and I held off proposing because of my fears that down the road she would see me for the old man I would become, and then she would leave me. She convinced me my age was her problem, not mine. So, I whisked her off to Las Vegas and we were married at the Little Chapel of the West. Five years later, without any basis for it other than my paranoia about her leaving me someday, I asked for a divorce. I wanted to call it quits on my terms; before she hurt me. She easily agreed because she loved me so much. She wanted me to be happy. On the day that she left I came to my senses but it was too late. I realized I had made the biggest mistake of my life. I had destroyed her trust. I had devalued her love. I had destroyed her dreams."
John's love for Suzi never died and after they remarried for the last time, John had an encounter with Jesus that changed everything. John continues telling more of the story below...
"We walked into Open Door Fellowship Church on a hot Sunday in July, 2005. My first impression was one of love, visible and physical. By that I mean families were greeting each other in the aisle, hugging and smiling. Parents selected seats and wives snuggled close, with the children next to them. The way you do in a movie theater when you expect the lights to dim. I noticed the room was more auditorium than chapel. No windows, no spiritual or religious trappings. No gold or glitter. Then, the music began to play and it immediately hit my soul. I had never experienced church music like this; a rock beat but with Godly lyrics.
Something inside of me released in a dramatic way and I began to sob, loudly. Not in grief for the loss of our son, Dan, but with a feeling of having come home after a very long time being away. Then, John Lynch, the teaching pastor began to talk. He was mesmerizing. I hung on every word, sensing truths I had never before heard. In my mind, I kept saying, “Yes, that’s right.” Yes, I see that now.” Yes, of course, why hadn’t I heard it like this before?? I instinctively knew I was home; in the church I belonged; listening to the man I had been looking for all these years. When I walked out of that church that Sunday, I was not the same man who had walked in just a few short hours ago.
Everything aspect of my personality was being altered. Generosity stepped over my selfish ways. Love was the predominate thought in my heart; Jesus was now real to me now. I had felt His presence for the first time in my life. From this moment forward I would love Suzi more visibly and more powerfully. I hungered now for more spiritual truths, more vivid explanations of the bible. I wanted it to come alive for me as John Lynch was presenting it. I wanted to know it all, and yet, I was satisfied with what I knew at that moment. Nothing would ever change that first feeling. God is real. Jesus lives. I am Christ in John Boring. That conviction has lasted now for twelve years. Suzi experienced it with me for eight years and it was the very best gift I could have given her.
Suzi died in 2013 from cancer, two days past her 65th birthday. During her last days I was with her constantly, tending to her, comforting her, loving her. She died knowing that I had always loved her, even when she thought I didn’t. One of the last things she said to me was, 'Don’t be sad. Remember, you are but one step behind me.'
I still love her so"
Monique and I love John and Suzi's story because love wins by the grace of God. Before John trusted Jesus with his life, much of his marriage relationship was couched in fear. After receiving and experiencing the love of Jesus, John loved Suzi with Christ's love in Him and received her love in life changing ways. So beautiful!
John and Suzi on their wedding day in 1973.
4/10/2017 01:39:00 am
Makes me wonder what I may have thrown away due to others opinions on my relationship. And my own fears of inadequacy. Nevertheless may Gods will be done not mine
4/18/2017 02:45:56 pm
That photo is of our last marriage in 1987, held in our backyard in Phoenix. No more quick trips to Las Vegas. We both wanted something more spiritual and permanent; that our friends could share in and that signaled to God our intentions of "until death do us part." This was an unusual path we both had to walk in order to get to the place where our love dominated all other feelings. It was worth every step we took, every hurt we endured, every day we were apart. In the end, God had us where we belonged; with each other and in love. God bless.
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Vic and Monique
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