When asked, every Christian new or veteran, has an answer to how God’s love has been revealed to them, how they know for a fact God exists, and how they’ve grown in their faith.
Some answer those questions with inspiring tales of overcoming great challenges, and others, like me, recount a series of prayers answered by a still, small voice.
So, when someone asks me to give my testimony, I have the pleasure of remembering the many times I’ve experienced God’s glory.
I grew up the way a lot of kids do—in the church. I went to church every Sunday morning with my family, spent my summers at church camp in the mountains, and attended youth groups every Wednesday night.
While my walk with God didn’t begin with the sound of herald angels and trumpets or on the heels of some life-altering circumstance, I’ve been blessed to experience the suddenness and fullness of God’s grace and provision all throughout my life.
One of the ways I’ve seen God work the most profoundly is in my romantic relationships.
It’s a common misconception that growing up in a faith-centered home is a recipe for instant spiritual success. In fact, it can often be the opposite.
I stumbled and fell many times in my walk with God, especially when it came to my quest to find my soul mate.
You could blame it hormones or an overconsumption of sensationalized novels and rom coms, but if I’m being honest, I was only trying to fill a void.
Unfortunately, like most young women, I had convinced myself that the only way to feel whole and validated was with romance and companionship. Sadly, all I had to choose from was a lineup of pimply teenaged boys. But that didn’t stop me.
I daydreamed about finding Mr. Right and tried to piece together a love that would make me feel like I had done something right.
But was I so wrong? After all, my parents had set a great example of what a strong Christian relationship should be, and isn’t that what we’re supposed to strive for?
So, not only was I relentless in my pursuit of romantic love in all the wrong places, I justified my obsession by claiming I was chasing some sort of Christian ideal.
But the relationships I was forming were far from anything resembling what God had in mind: I bent the rules, I compromised my faith, and I got angry with God when my heart was broken. I stopped trusting His timing and plan and opted for my version instead, which naturally only led to shame, disappointment, and regret.
It wasn’t until I met the man who would become my husband that it all changed. We met when I was only 17, and while our relationship wasn’t perfect, God’s timing was.
Throughout our three years of dating, our year-long engagement, and now two years of blissful marriage, we have grown and matured in the ways iron sharpens iron.
My marriage didn’t save me, it simply revealed God and his grace in a way my Sunday school teacher never could.
God certainly validates that love and marriage are wonderful things that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but I realized that those feelings and emotions are only the cherry on top of what God really intended for romantic relationships.
Marriage is designed to directly reflect our relationship with God.
If my husband and I can love each other unconditionally, what does that say about how God loves us? If my husband and I can be forgiving and patient, how could I ever doubt the grace of my Savior? If I would sacrifice life and limb for my husband, how could I ever forget the sacrifice Jesus made for me?
After all those years of searching, of disappointment, of heartbreak, God answered a little girl’s prayer to find the man of her dreams. And while my heart is filled with my husband’s love every day, I’m even more fulfilled knowing that my husband is a symbol of God’s sovereignty and His ability to give us the desires of our heart.
TO CONNECT WITH MADISON ON HER: