Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gwendolyn Gage ~ Guest Post

I remember the night vividly. I was sitting on my porch. The air was cool and breezy, smelling like spring. It was one of the darkest moments of my life.

Our house was in foreclosure. My mother-in-law was living with us. My job was simply another place where people filled my days with drama and stress. I faced a spiritual battlefield everywhere I went—my car was my only sanctuary. As I sat there, overwhelmed with discouragement, I evaluated my life and found it far from what I had wanted or expected. And I did what I swore I would never do: I pictured what my life would be like if I left my husband.

Thankfully, I was honest enough with myself to see that leaving would only intensify my problems and heartache, and it would also greatly displease God. Far better to endure a miserable situation with God’s approval, than a miserable situation made worse by His disapproval. But was I prepared to brave my current situation with no end in sight?

Then a lightning bolt of truth shot down from the heavens and struck me. God never promised us an easy, happy life here on earth. In fact, He promised persecution and trials. Yes, He wants to bless us with the desires of our hearts, but He is far more interested in the condition of our souls (and the souls of others) than He is in our earthly happiness.

Four years later, I look back on that terrible experience and smile, for now I clearly see what God was up to. He was opening my husband’s eyes to something, and showing my mother-in-law His love through our Christian example. I’m convinced that if more Christian couples would stop looking at their spouses through selfish-colored glasses and start serving and loving one another unconditionally, the divorce rate among Christians would plummet. Tragically, when we fail to put off selfishness and wreck homes in our quest for happiness, we ruin our witness and give the world reason to mock Christ.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31

This fall, David and I will celebrate our eighth anniversary. :-) And just two years ago, God blessed us with our son, Micah. He is our joy, our laughter, and our daily exercise. His latest thrill is climbing on top of the dining room table. He loves to tease. Whenever David asks him to say "Dada", he'll smile slyly and say "Mama!"


Did I really write this whole article without mentioning that I write books??? I’m not published yet, but I do have two manuscripts I'm seeking homes for–one speculative, and the other historical romance. The Back of Beyond: A wormhole carries a Texan cowgirl to Roman-ruled Egypt where she wrestles with God over the happy life she wants and the destiny He's prepared her for. The Way of Impressions: Louisa Howe is just another girl who wants to be in love and happy, but little does she know that a secret romance with Captain Stanley threatens more than her world; it threatens Georgian England’s national security.

Come hang out with me at my blog, Gwendolyn Gage ~ Serving Through Words. I post weekly on Tuesdays, usually about writing, book reviews, or something God has put on my heart. Occasionally, I offer snippets of my work, updates on my adventures in publishing, and fun facts about the time periods I'm researching.

Thanks, Anne, for inviting me to be your guest!

Gwendolyn Gage writes Christian romance novels packed with history, adventure and humor. She doesn't write to simply entertain, but sees her talent as an opportunity to minister. It is her ambition and prayer that her readers will come away from her stories and blog with a desire for more of God.

Gwendolyn has lived in Hungary, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and visited many other countries in Europe and southern Asia. She attended Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX, and graduated in 2002 with a major in Christian theology. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, David, and their two-year-old son, Micah.

18 comments:

  1. Thanks again for having me, Anne! It's truly an honor to be with you today. It is my prayer that this article will encourage those going through hard times and give them hope to see past the trial to its purpose. :-) Bless you!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this, Gwen. It's always encouraging to see how God has worked through the tough times in people's lives. Your testimony gives hope!

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  3. I'm so glad you consented to doing a guest post :) It's an awesome thing to see how God works in our lives, bringing us through those dark moments, to a hopeful place! Thank you for sharing such an intimate struggle with us!

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  4. Hi Renee! That's my prayer -- that God will use my testimony to give someone hope. Both the good times and the bad times in life won't last forever, and we need to keep a heavenly perspective through it all.

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  5. Gwen, it takes a lot of courage to open up your soul and pour out a lesson that God has taught you in the darkness of pain and fear. Thankfully His Light shines the brightests in our darkest of nights. Your story is encouraging and I'm so glad it has a happy ending. :) Thanks for sharing.

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  6. WOW, Gwen, what a testimony, my friend -- I am SO proud of you, allowing God to work through you like that. God definitely honors those who honor Him, so I'd say you've got tons of blessings coming your way in this marriage, even more than you've seen thus far!!

    You go, girl!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  7. Thanks Julie! Your encouragement brought a smile to my face. He's already blessed me so much. I'm excited for all that He has in store for me and my family, and eager to share what I've learned with others -- preferably through story, but I'm leaving that in God's hands. ;-)

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  8. Gabrielle,
    I totally agree with you! Gwen was very brave opening herself up like this. Thanks so much for coming by and being an encouragement as well :)

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  9. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
    Im encouraged by your words..to not give up..

    I am a widow..my Husband died just 3 days after we got married last year.
    Ive been divorced in the past..choosing not to live in a unhealthy relationship..
    ( it turned out to be a good decision )

    I wish you well and Congratulations on your Anniversary and your little boy sounds
    so cute!

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  10. Thanks Gabrielle! I appreciate you! It's certainly not easy to talk about, but for the sake of encouraging others, I will gladly set myself aside.

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  11. So glad to encourage you, Melissa, and I'm sorry to hear about your husband's passing. Sometimes God allows things that we don't understand, but we must trust in His plan and in His goodness. He always has our best interest at heart. Thanks for your well wishes and congratulations!

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  12. Melissa,
    I'm so sorry about your husband! I know it's difficult to understand loss, and I will pray for you as you continue to move through your grief. Thank you for coming by and sharing with us today.

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  13. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for coming by! Isn't Gwen such a dear to open her heart like that?! She sure has an uplifting testimony :) God is good!

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  14. Hi Renee,
    I just love how God uses our trials to encourage other believer's along the way! Thanks for coming by :)

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  15. I hope in story! Especially a Regency :)

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  16. And we appreciate you doing that Gwen! That's what we're called to do...put others first. Thank you for doing that :)

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  17. Helen WakefieldMay 6, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    Hi Gwen!

    I'm a few days late, but here nonetheless :) Thank you for sharing this post - and your personal struggles. It's not easy to do, I'm sure! But I'm so pleased to hear how God has brought you through it, and that you are reaping the blessings of your faithfulness.

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  18. Hi Helen! It's good to see you over here. :-) It's true -- when you put feet to your faith and God and otherself before yourself, great things happen. I hope that by sharing this hard experience, others will find hope in the midst life's trials and remember that God always has a plan. Bless you, my friend!

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I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.