He Is My Aaron

It is hard to believe fifteen years ago tonight (because my husband says it’s not official until the hour we were married) I became the wife of Chris Paden. While it seems like yesterday, it also seems like forever.

For me, it’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had (other than the title of mom). The old Stacey went through relationships like toilet paper.

For Chris, he said just a few nights ago, “This is the longest I’ve ever done anything.”

We have both grown so much during these fifteen years. 

parents and grandparents
My scanner isn’t working well, but in this picture, the only one left with us is my mom. My heart hurts when I look at this picture, but it is also filled with thankfulness that God kept them alive to see a new creation before them – no more hoochie – no more thief – no more liar – no more drunk. It also represents acceptance from a mother in law that never said I wasn’t good enough for her boy and acceptance from a man that accepted me as his wife. My heart is full

Through the last fifteen years we have become parents, married off my oldest daughter, buried loved ones, become grandparents to two amazing babies, buried more loved ones, fostered and rescued hundreds of cats and dogs, fed and clothed the homeless, and in the last few months we been able to minister to women coming out of addiction.

Why do I credit him also for the ministering to women? 

Because I couldn’t do it without his support. Because he is the backbone of our family that allows me to serve in the areas God has called me to serve and I could have never do it without him. Because he washes and dries clothes, washes dishes, helps grocery shop and cook suppers when I am too exhausted to even get out of bed. I am who I am because he is my biggest fan and supporter. I can’t imagine doing life without him.

He is my Aaron (Exodus 17:12).

I believe we have had the most growth in our marriage during the last year. Since dad passed away I have been in counseling and have been able to dig deep in to the roots of rejection. It has been hard. Nauseating – heart ripping out of my chest, hard. But I see now how those core roots have affected every area of our marriage. It hasn’t been easy for him to be on the receiving end of that pain because rejected people reject people.

But God is faithful.

 

Many months ago, my Sunday School teacher sent me an email. It was titled, 5 Powerful Prayers Every Wife Needs to Pray over Her Husband by Jennifer O. White. I must confess though, my heart was not in a place that I wanted to even work through this prayer. I had been wounded, and while forgiveness had taken place we were not reconciled.

But God . . .  

My plan was to pray this prayer over him in hopes HE WOULD CHANGE.

But God . . .

When I got to the bottom of the prayer that I had to pray over myself – the parts that would unveil my weaknesses, faults, and all the other things that I brought in to our marriage, I didn’t want to pray it. I wanted him to be the problem, and not me.

But God . . . 

I began writing this prayer out, looking up the scripture references and writing them out under each section, including the part about “the wife” and something amazing began to happen.

God began changing my heart.

The scales began to be removed from my eyes and through this prayer and the timing of some incredibly hard counseling sessions, God began to minister and heal my rejected heart. In fact, in my opinion, and I believe if you asked my husband, he would probably say the same thing, this last year, though a tough one with many deaths of loved ones and personal challenges, it has been the best year of our marriage. Through this last year he has become the person I go to. He has become my supporter and my friend. My good – good friend.

And I am thankful.

I have always heard people say when you want someone to change you don’t try and change them, you ask God to reveal in yourself what needs to be changed. As angry as that used to make me (just keeping it real here), there is nothing more truthful than that statement. I don’t know the condition of your heart, your life, your marriage – but I do know that in this world, we will have sufferings and pains – and I do know, if we truly surrender our will, our arrogance and pride, our wants and our desires, and truly surrender them to our Lord (and sometimes I have to do that a hundred times a day), then He will move mountains. He will remove the scales from your eyes. And He will break your heart for your loved ones (even the ones who have hurt you) that will allow you to see them a broken jars of clay that need the same grace and love you do. I promise. If the thought of that sends you in a panic and think you might hyperventilate then it is also possible you are dealing with unforgiveness and control issues because you are afraid of ever trusting again. Oh my friend, I know that pain so well that I should write a book about it – know this – the God of the universe that hung the stars, moon, and sun, the God that set the borders of the tide and knows the amount of every single grain of sand,  knows exactly where you are this very moment. He knows the pains in your heart that you have not even dealt with or told anyone about. He is with you. I also need you to know that He didn’t cause that pain – but He can heal your pain and He can set you free.

Lord I thank you today for my husband that you chose for me so many years ago. I thank you that he never judged me because of my lose past and never made me feel inferior or that I didn’t deserve the best. I thank you that he accepted me with all my baggage that came with me. Thank you for making us one. Lord, I pray for the person that is reading this today, and if she is hurting I ask you to heal her heart. I ask that you restore the years the locust has destroyed, and I ask that you do it gently and lovingly, one layer at a time – set her free, Lord. I pray for the women in broken marriages – I ask you to be their comfort and that they would seek you like seeking water in a desert. I love you Lord, Amen. 

He Knows

All the bitter weary ways
Endless striving day by day
You barely have the strength to pray
In the valley low
And how hard your fight has been
How deep the pain within
Wounds that no one else has seen
Hurts too much to show
All the doubt you’re standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees
He knows
He knows
Every hurt and every sting
He has walked the suffering
He knows
He knows
Let your burdens come undone
Lift your eyes up to the one
Who knows
He knows
We may faint and we may sink
Feel the pain and near the brink
But the dark begins to shrink
When you find the one who knows
The chains of doubt that held you in between
One by one are starting to break free
He knows
He knows
Every hurt and every sting
He has walked the suffering
He knows
He knows
Let your burdens come undone
Lift your eyes up to the one
Who knows
He knows
Every time that you feel forsaken
Every time that you feel alone
He is near to the brokenhearted
Every tear
He knows
He knows
Every hurt and every sting
He has walked the suffering
He knows
He knows
Let your burdens come undone
Lift your eyes up to the one
Who knows
He knows
He knows
He knows
Songwriters: Jeremy Thomas Camp / Seth David Mosley
He Knows lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

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