Life part 1 by Christina Bedwell
When Jason and I were young married parents, we had many discussions about where we would travel when our kids were grown. Our main goal at some point in life is to travel to Ireland and Scotland. Our kids are now 23 and 20. They are old enough that we have started in the past couple years taking some extended weekend trips to celebrate anniversaries or birthdays. It has led to some great adventures already, and I look forward to many more. We often start with just the place to stay and then let the daylight lead us on the journey for that day. I’m beginning to see these journeys are celebrations for all God has done in our lives and our marriage. Our lives and our marriage are far from perfect, but I know that if we keep trusting and seeking the Lord it can only get better.
For many reasons and circumstances, We may not have survived 23 years of marriage without him. I was raised in church; Jason was not. He never questioned going with me when we first started dating. We married in a church and attended church at special times with family for the first 12 or 13 years of our life together. However we just went; we did not have a close relationship with God. He was not the center of our household. The enemy kept us distracted for years with things of this world. Then in 2012, we began again to find God. I was hungry for anything I could get from God. If the church was open I was there. I sought out studies, activities, ladies to lead me and devoured the Bible. Before 2012, the enemy's schemes came against us often, but returning to church taught me to stand on the word and claim it over my life. Romans 8:31 “ What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us who can be against us?” We learned that we were the biggest ones against us and our marriage; fighting each other and not understanding what the other needed. So the trips began and we got quality time to renew our life together. Now my point of this is God has been doing some amazing overwhelming things in our lives. Our lives together came close to ending at one point and I want to give God the glory for all he is doing.
In October 2016, I went on the Walk to Emmaus and, even though I still have struggles at times, I have never been the same. Immediately I began talking to Jason about going and praying for his heart to be open to it. He was resistant, which is typical for Jason when it comes to anything that will involve other people. If you have ever known someone who has been on a walk, you may have been asked to write them a letter. In his letter to me, Jason said “I hope you get all you want out of this walk and grow in the Lord as you want. I can only hope to be where you are with the Lord one day. “ Finally in 2019, He bargained with me; If Christian and Him could go to Universal for Halloween, He would sign up for a walk. We made the trip happen and he was signed up for the next walk. Then in 2020, the whole world went crazy and we were in a “pandemic.” His walk was canceled for 2 years while the world lived behind a mask and stayed indoors. February 2022 Jason finally took his walk. He is not the man I left there on Thursday night. I was afraid when I left him that first night I would have to go pick him up in the middle of the night. He is changed; not perfect, not 100% healed and whole, but changed into a man with a new lease on life. He came home with a light in his eyes, joy and a peace that surrounds him. He has a better understanding of how to walk this life with God and that God is not expecting perfection. He knows he will still have moments, but he also knows God will not leave him because of those moments.
Now, when I say God has been doing amazing things in us, I mean he has been speaking to me in songs, scriptures and dropping incredible thoughts into my head. When they come I have no doubt they are from God. Sunday morning, The last day of Jason’s walk, and I already knew he wasn’t coming home the same, I sat down to journal out of the Passion Translation Bible. I closed my eyes and asked God what
verse he wanted me to look at. 2 Timothy 1:7 came to mind, but I pushed it aside. I knew that was my own thought and not God because I turn to that verse often. Then 1 Peter 5:8 came, and having no idea what it said, I knew it was God. The verse says “ Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.” I felt it impressed on me that the enemy would not be happy about Jason coming home a different man; a man who could become light in this dark world. This word was to prepare me or us for the attacks, and remind us that we have to live our lives in a balance of God’s word, prayer and praise. Not to let the things of this world be a distraction to keep us from putting God first. Be alert and watching for the enemy's schemes that want to take away the good God has done. I knew it would turn into a battle that we would have to fight together.
When I picked him up Sunday afternoon, this man of few words had a lot to say. I am forever grateful for all God is doing in both of us. Just as Philippians 1:6 says “ being confident of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” He is still working on all of us. I shared with Jason what I felt the Lord saying and he agreed. He has a hard job in a dark place, and so began our routine of reading the Word and prayer. We even started reading a suggested marriage book. It’s the only way we know how to fight this battle, and even when we stumble, we keep going. It has been 3 months since his walk and he is still not the same man who went, but he is a man trying to just live life. Now we get to work on our spiritual lives together as we travel through this physical life. We want to let God lead us into the John 10:10 life; the abundant life together. I am prepared to battle with Jason for the life God has for our future! I want the rest of our life to be the best of our life.
In an attack, a woman’s strongest defense is her voice. When the enemy comes to deceive, Do not remain silent. ---Lisa Bevere.