Monday, January 17, 2011
Charlie and I have been together now for over 10 years and married for almost 9 years. When we got married I just knew we would have the "perfect" marriage. We had our normal weekly date night and always put each other first. Then we started our family and we both had different priorities, our kidos. Not only did we have kids, we also owned our own business. We have both always loved athletics, health and fitness so we opened a gym. For the first 1 1/2 it was smooth and business was booming. We built it and people came. We were the new business in town and everyone wanted to work for us and workout at our gym. We became so consumed with our members and building the business, then we had our children to take care of and our finances to juggle. We began to lose track of each other. We by no means had a bad marriage but it got to the point where we let everything around us consume us instead of keeping our focus on each other and God. This is so easy to do when you are playing Church and God, just going through the motions.
We went to Church on Wednesday nights and on Sunday mornings, because that is what you did. We appeared to have it all together. "The Parish's" had the perfect life looking from the outside in. Inside me as a wife I knew deep down that God would not tolerate us taking advantage of Him or His bride, the Church. But, yet I continued down the slippery road. For a while I began to crave attention from Charlie and I noticed that we were not each others focus. He was busy running the business and making money and I had to take care of the kids and juggle the business and personal finances. I also began to pursue fitness modeling and acting jobs. I became so into Lacy, how vane and lonley. I had several opportunities with being a double in movies and I took them. My focus was not on my kids who needed me or my husband who was too busy to spend quality time with me. I again craved and wanted to be noticed again by Charlie and I wanted him to lead me.
I was on a road of self distruction and heartache. It felt like I was crying out inside "save me, love me, help me, lead me!" But, Charlie couldn't hear me. We were Satan's playground and were to blind to see. 1 Peter 5:8 "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." We were becoming Satan's dinner. He knows we are both children of God and he wants nothing more than to bring us down with him and destroy our family, our children.
Several months pasted by and although we didnt see it, I was drifting farther from God.. I was being pulled away by The Prince of this World (Satan) and in the mean time I didn't realize God was working on Charlie and his heart. Charlie was being transformed into the Man of God he was suppose to be, the leader I dreamed of. I began to notice the way he would look at me and the way he played with our boys, the way he was reading his Bible (something I had not seen in a long time). He was so different, he had a new heart, he was a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
But, I was so involved in Lacy that I was blinded and was being tied up with chains of shame. I could see the change in my husband but I felt so far away from him and God. I knew something was different about my heart when someone would use my Lord's name in vane and it didn't make me sick to my stomach anymore. I was empty inside, my heart was black.
Quickly Charlie began to fight for me.
He saw that it was way more serious than Lacy has lost her focus, it was there is a spiritual battle going on inside her. Charlie knew that I was saved years ago when were dating because he was the one who had led me to Christ, but he also saw that Satan had sunk his teeth into me. Charlie began to pray for me all the time and he would even pray with me but I was numb. I felt like I was being strangled and that I was so far gone that God wouldn't want a sinner like me. Every negative thought that you can think of was being poured into me by Satan. He had me and was fighting hard to pull me into the pit of hell with him.
I remember wanting to pray and cry out to Jesus but the words couldn't come out. My mouth was zip tied. I would cry a lot to Charlie and tell him "I want what you have. I want to know Jesus again. I want to be washed clean and start over." He would encourage me to pray and he would hold me as I tried but again no words could get out. My heart was going to explode wanting to be full of Jesus. Then it happened, it was May 6, 2009. We had just woke up one morning and I was crying as we sat in our bed. I was so tired of being a victim and I wanted victory. I closed my eyes and held Charlie's hands and the words came to me. I asked Jesus to come back into my heart and make me new again. The way I felt at that moment was supernatural and only Jesus could give me that. I was being washed clean by the blood of Jesus while in my husbands arms. WOW, what a powerful and unforgetable moment.
About 2 weeks later, Charlie and I took a trip to Destin, Fl to get away. Our boys were with grandparents and it was a much needed trip for us.
While on vacation, I got a text one morning at 5 am. I remember thinking "who on earth is texting me and it better be good!" I grabbed my cell and it was Charlie. I looked next to me in bed and he was gone. The text read "go down stairs." I was still confused and shocked because Charlie Parish never gets up at 5am especially not on vacation.
So, I got up and walked down stairs. At the dinner table were 3 candles and my Bible opened up to the story where Jesus washed the disciples feet. A note was attached to the story that said "Read me!" I had heard the story many times growing up and so I read it again. But when I read it this time I understood it. In so many words Peter told Jesus you cant wash my feet because you are my God and in Peter's mind he didn't want Jesus to demean himself and serve a unclean man. Then Jesus told Peter basically if I dont wash your feet you can't walk with me, so Peter said wash my whole body. Next to my Bible was another note from Charlie that said come to the beach. I went right away.
As I am walking down the steps to the beach I see the most beautiful sun rise and rose peddles cover the beach for several yards. I see a blanket with Charlie and lots of wonderful food (donuts and fruit). I was so excited and it was so romantic. He had me flustered and giddy inside. I sat next to him and he told me how much he loved me and how he would never let our family fall away from God and that he was going to lead me and our boys by God's law. I began to cry and I could see Jesus's love pouring out of Charlie.
Then Charlie got up and walked over to me and kneeled down infront of me and he had a bowl full of warm water and a wash cloth.
He began to wash my feet.
Talk about crying, I was sobbing and couldn't control myself. He told me Jesus had laid it on his heart to have me read the story in my Bible about Jesus washing the disciples feet and then he wanted Charlie to wash mine. Once again I got to experience God's power and love poured out on me.
Wait, it gets better.
After he washed my feet he asked me to dig in the sand. I did as I was asked. I found a box and as I am opening Charlie kneels down infront of me. I look into the box and it is a beautiful diamond cross ring. I look up and he takes my hands and asked me to marry him again with Christ as the head of our marriage. Again, tears are pouring out of me like a faucet. Of course I said "YES!!!" He told me that he wanted me to wear this ring and when I look at it think of Jesus's love for me and of his love for me. I experience Jesus's unconditional love and my husbands unconditional love.
I share this story openly as a testimony to prove what Jesus said in the book of Revelations..."Behold I make all things new!" Think about when you first got married, if you are married. Do you remember your vows and what they mean? I am being honest when I say "No, I don't remember!" That day was a blur to me. I just wanted to be married and on my honeymoon. So, we decided that we would renew our vows on our 10 year anniversary which is still 1 year away. We will do them on the beach at sun rise infront of our Savior and the head of our marriage, Jesus. Our parents, siblings, and children will be there. We want our 4 boys to see Mommy and Daddy renew our vows and for them to understand how much we love each other and that marriage is forever.
I would strongly reccomend the washing of your spouse feet and making Christ the very center of your marriage. Jesus can fill your marriage with a love that is stronger than anything on this earth. Ecclesiastes 4:12: "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." We had this verse engraved in our wedding bands.
Through this last 2 years of growth in Jesus Christ he has Blessed us beyond what we deserve. As most of you know we are expecting twin boys, Abel and Luke. We are so excited about these 2 little miracles and raising 4 Godly men. And one other surprise is God has called Charlie into the ministry. This was something I never would have guessed in a million years. He is following God, and He is leading our family. And it is my lifes ambition to be the wife described in Proverbs 31. It is amazing what God will do with you when you are totally sold out to Him and His purpose for your life. Below is a video that means the world to me and I hope you enjoy it. Listen close to the words.