Christmas is coming. With this realization, comes a lot of excitement. Most of us are preparing for this Christmas season. There is much to do with decorating and exchanging gifts. We’ve put the tree up and started playing Christmas carols.
I have many beautiful memories of past Christmas Days. I’ve always particularly loved Christmas and all the astonishment surrounding it.
However, despite all this joy, I know that me and you have painful memories of Christmas time. Maybe you are caught right in the middle of a struggling marriage. Or maybe you have been on your way to restoration. But, there are still painful memories. Whichever situation you are in today, God is with you.
My most painful Christmas memory is the nights I spent Christmas alone. There were about five or six years that my husband would start drinking soon after presents were opened. He was very far from God at that time. He spent most of the day outside, on the back porch, drinking and smoking.
I was inside, enjoying the day, spending time with family. I tried to smile. I had always loved this holiday. But, inside my heart, I couldn’t smile. All I kept thinking is, “why is it like this?” Why does my husband only care about earthly desires? I wanted him to enjoy the day with us.
I’ll never forget the worst moment of all those Christmas days. It was the last Christmas before I found out he was addicted to pornography. I thought he was just addicted to drinking and smoking. My whole family was over visiting us. It was in the evening. My mom had just given us a huge Pot of Gold, filled with delicious chocolates.
By that time, my husband was completely drunk. He thanked my mom and then picked up the Pot of Gold. As he was walking to me, he just dropped the whole box out of his hand. Chocolates fell everywhere. He started laughing uncontrollably. It was a very annoying, drunk laughter. No one else was laughing. He kept talking about how funny it was.
I had to leave the room because of the embarrassment I felt and the tears falling down my face. I think I stayed in the bathroom crying until everyone left. I kept asking God, “why is my husband doing this? Why is he following the world? Why did he turn from You, God? He used to love You so much?” Lastly, I prayed, “Can’t You help us, God?”
The next day, when I told my husband how hurt I was, he still thought it was funny. He couldn’t understand how awkward and embarrassing it was.
Only three months later, I found out about my husband’s pornography. That was when our marriage started to make sense. All the sin in his life made sense. That was also the first day that God began to reform my husband. If you met him today, you wouldn’t believe that he was that man. That’s how much God has worked in our life.
I’m sharing this story with you for two reasons. First, if you are in a marriage that seems hopeless and filled with sin, you are not alone. So many of us are going through this. But, we’re really good at putting on a Christmas smile. Yet, inside we are hurting. Second, I want you to know that God can change anything. I felt so alone on that night. So very alone. But, I wasn’t. God was with me, even then. God heard me cry out to Him. He started moving in my life. It has been a process that has taken years. And God is still restoring my marriage.
God has the desire and the power to restore your marriage. Please trust in Him today. Cry out to Him. He hears you. On Christmas Day, our Savior was born. His name is Immanuel.
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us.”
(Matthew 1:23 NKJV)
God is with us. God is always with us. I am praying for all of you this holiday season. I pray that you will always know God is here.
Do you have painful memories that you would like to share? How are you doing through this holiday? Would you like to share a prayer request below? How has God helped you through painful times? Please share your thoughts below if you need encouragement or if you would like to encourage another.