Love One Another Section

10 Years Melissa & Sean Hildreth

A lot can happen in 10 years. When Sean and I look at each other and reflect on the last ten years, it sometimes feels more like 20 or 30 years. In 10 years’ time we have seen God do some pretty incredible and amazing things in our lives, in our marriage and in our family. We started out young and in love, full of dreams and aspirations just like most. We thought, life is great, life is bliss, and nothing can go wrong. How naive we were. Don’t get me wrong; we have had a blast in these years. We have traveled to some beautiful places like to Costa Rica, two Hawaiian Islands, The Bahamas a couple times, Jamaica, and many beautiful states within our own country. We have experienced laughter at its fullest, those deep belly laughs. We conceived a son, a promised son, who has been a huge blessing and joy in our life and in our family. We have grown as individuals, we have grown as a married couple, and we have grown as a family. We certainly have been very blessed. But, I cannot tell you some of the good without also inviting you into some of the challenges. The challenges are where we saw God move in miraculous ways, move mountains, heal hearts, and restore as only He can do. In our ten years of marriage we have experienced emotional affairs, addiction, overdose, job loss, financial turmoil, verbal abuse, anger, physical and mental sickness, and depression. It would seem as though we would overcome one obstacle only to get knocked down again. Now, what we experienced was not Gods fault, it was ours. We had partnered with our flesh, the world or the enemy and yielded to allow these things in. From where we sat, in each situation, things looked bleak and hopeless. It would seem as if life would never get better and we would never move forward and especially not together as husband and wife. In most scenarios it would seem as though divorce was the only option. BUT GOD…I just love the BUT GOD moments in stories. But God, in His faithfulness, never left us in our mess. In each situation that we were in, God was right there. Not smiting us, not condemning us but simply holding out His loving hand to bring us up and out. At that point we had some decisions to make. Would we stay in our mess or would we turn to God and allow Him to heal us, free us, restore us, and save us? Would we choose to run from the pain of our mistakes or the hurts we had suffered or would we allow God to touch places deep within us that would bring full breakthrough and healing? We chose Him! We reached out our hand back to His. He provided hope when everything seemed hopeless. He provided peace when life seemed chaotic. He provided shelter when the storms of life came crashing around us. He provided safety and comfort when fear came knocking. Life and marriage can have many challenges. For us, God used these challenging times to grow us, shape us and mold us. It’s where God really showed us His true character and nature. Where we learned who God was and is to us and who He sees us to be. It’s where He showed us that when our hope is planted in Him, the storms around us cannot shake us because He is holding us in His hand. I love all of the fun adventures we have been on. I love all of the good times we have had as a family and married couple. But I am also thankful for the challenging times as well. Not that I would go back and purposefully repeat them-I do believe when we are true followers of Christ, there is a better way to learn. But I am thankful for them because each challenge that we faced showed us a greater measure of who God is and His love for our family. Even when we are not faithful, He is still faithful. The fact that my husband and I are not just still together but have a stronger and better marriage than ever is the true testimony of Gods faithfulness. And what He has done for me, for us-He can and will do for you! Just reach out your hand and let Him pick you up!

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