So when you have some kids and some dogs and a home based business and you home school, people sometimes think you are some sort of Wonder Woman. To top it off, my husband recently shared his testimony at church and how our marriage has been through some pretty difficult times - some folks were shocked and gave us lots of praise for overcoming much. I was proud of my husband for sharing his struggles and was happy to let people know what God has done in our lives. It was certainly not by our own strength that we overcame what would normally separate two people.
I shared in a previous post that my favorite verse is
2 Corinthians 12:9 and is on my license plate to remind me everyday from where my strength comes. The verse says, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." The verse tells me to boast of my weakness to highlight the power of Jesus.
My husband and I have received so many encouraging messages in the weeks following his testimony. Other couples who are in the middle of their own marriage meltdowns have thanked us for giving them hope. Some people have thanked us for being honest and open because they felt alone in their pain. Some believed we were the "perfect" family and didn't realize we had been through so much.
I received a text from a friend the other night. She thanked us for sharing and said I was some "tuff gal" for sticking it out and standing by my man. The fact is I am not "tuff". I am a total wimp. I hate conflict, I fear being alone, I struggle with people pleasing and I have had to conquer massive amounts of insecurity. I replied to my friend that is wasn't me but Jesus that got us through. The next day I saw another verse that seemed to echo 2 Corintians 12:9 and what I wanted to convey to those who gave my husband and me so much credit.
Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Whenever I tell my husband how proud I am of him and I say, "You are awesome", he says, "I'm not awesome, Jesus is awesome." Or he will smile and simply point up. Always giving credit where it is due. This verse from Galatians tells us when we surrender our lives, it's Jesus who works if we yield to him and His strength in us that gives us life. Our marriage was dead, I was struggling to live and my spouse wasn't sure how to live at all. But Christ in us raised up a new life and we were able to walk through the tough stuff.
When I saw Galatians 2:20, I didn't want to forget it. I thought how can I remember this? And then I heard in my mind, "Be a 220 gal." And that's it. When I am tempted to boast in my own good deeds or capabilities, I need to remember it is not me who lives but Christ in me. Out of immense love, Jesus gave His life that we might have an abundant life - certainly with that realization we can persevere through the "tuff" stuff like forgiving and reconciliation.
So if I could buy another car and order another license plate, I might choose 220 GAL. As my daily reminder to be a "220 Gal" and surrender my life and will to the one who surrendered His for me.