How do you make the decision “To Walk or Stay”?

March 22, 2013 | Book Review, humility, marriage | 8 comments

the friend

Her* tear-stained "Hey" over the phone told me something wasn't right. Then she simply asked if I was home and if she could come over.

And while I waited for her to arrive I prayed…for wisdom…for words…for His presence.

But when the front door opened and my friend's husband stood next to her, while her head hung low and eyes hid behind sunglasses...my stomach churned. He proceeded to share very bluntly and bravely about his infidelity & how my friend needed me today.

My response was other-worldly. Having never been in that position before, only the Spirit could have given me words. How do you counsel a couple facing the end of a marriage? I took the husband's hand and put an arm around my friend's shoulders: "God can make this right. If you want to stay in this marriage He can make it beautiful again. This isn't over yet. God can redeem it."

Nothing from my past would cause me to believe infidelity in a marriage should lead to reconciliation. Wasn't it the one reason we claim from the Bible as grounds for divorce?

Yet. God.

another story

Prior to my friend's visit, God placed me in a blogging community where women share stories. I've learned quickly how fellow sisters in Christ can come from such varied pasts & extreme brokenness. I know of several cases where infidelity could have destroyed a marriage, but by God's grace the relationship was restored.

My online friend, Lara Williams tells her story of marital infidelity & reconciliation in her new book:

To Walk or Stay Cover

When I first met Lara two years ago and read some her writing over at tooverflowing.com, I automatically assumed she was just like me. She had three little kids. She loved Jesus. She struggled with giving herself grace & loving her kids well. Same, right? (Do you ever view relationships in a self-centered way? Thinking others are just like you & not considering their journey to that point?)

But I as I continued to get to know her I heard more of her story. A story which included her husband's infidelity & a choice of whether to end the marriage or press through. More than anything I learned the extent to which her relationship with God grew through the reconciliation process.

"My God knew. If He had answered that initial prayer the way I thought He should, then I would have idolized my husband. I just know it. That's why God protected me. He broke me to heal me. He crushed the idol of a man's love so that I would truly know the beauty of intimacy with the Lover of my soul."

Lara's words have ministered to my friend. Helped her know she is not alone. Give her hope there is a way to stay in a broken marriage & it can be a beautiful thing.

growth {for us all}

For those of you who haven't dealt with infidelity in your own marriage or a friend's, I'm sure God has walked with you through a challenging season. In the midst of your hard places He has given you a hand up.

To me, Lara's book was less about marriage and more about getting God-centered. She openly shares her struggles with symptoms of pride (people pleasing, control, perfection). Then she talks about the humbling of a struggling marriage. Lastly she gives the reader tools to growing closer to God...the disciplines of faith. Throughout every chapter Scripture is artfully weaved. You feel closer to God by the last page. towalkorstayquote

Lara’s chapter on prayer stirred something in my gut. I’ve been feeling like a hamster in a wheel, doing and doing in my own efforts. Yet, how much time have I actually spent in prayer? Her words about God’s purpose and strength and the necessity of prayer will make a gal fall right on her knees.

"Prayer doesn't make us righteous. Jesus makes us righteous. But prayer does make us effective. As we delight in Him, our desires transform to match His will."

So, how do you make the decision to walk or stay in a marriage, in a relationship, in a church, at a job?

You get closer to God. You follow His path. You know Him.

To get this fabulous book of truth & grace in paperback click this link*To Walk or Stay: Trusting God through shattered hopes and suffocating fears or on your Kindle  (*Amazon affiliate links).

Lara (& 9 of other bloggers) will be hosting a book club starting April 15th. Each week the sites will write posts about the chapter and all link-up at one of the sites. Here is the link to the book club.

To Walk or Stay book club

Want to see Lara's sweet face? Watch this little promo video for the book: 

 

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/62175321 w=500&h=281]

To Walk or Stay Promo Video from Lara Williams on Vimeo.

*Prior to publication, I asked permission to share my friend's story. She approved the contents of this post.

8 Comments

  1. Jae carpenter

    I’ve read this book! It’s absolutely incredible! It points to Jesus throughout and is so encouraging. I felt like I was reading a bible study. This is what it’s all about, we are all likely to go through trials, God never promises we won’t. However, he does promise to walk through them with us, if only we will open our eyes to see Him.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks Jae for sharing your review! I totally agree. Jesus is throughout this book. Her thorough discussion questions at the end of each chapter definitely allow the reader to engage with God in a personal way. And yes…He will not let us walk the trials alone. That is a promise.

  2. Susie Cantrell ~ SusieMM413

    Heather,
    Well said!
    Prayer for your friend & her husband. Thanks for sharing.
    Love Ya! Susie 🙂

  3. Heather MacFadyen

    Susie, thank you sooo much for praying for my friend. Even in the decision “to stay” (as I’m sure Lara can attest) you need daily reliance on God & prayers from others to follow through in grace & truth. God is doing a good thing in my friend’s life & I am so thankful to have Lara’s words to minister & encourage her. love.

  4. Mai Bateson

    Sending a prayer for your friend and her husband. I know it’s hard but choosing to stay is worth it! Stay blessed and encouraging 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks Mai for your prayers. I know she & her husband appreciate them greatly. It is hard to stay but when God calls you…He will equip you. Blessings!

  5. Windy

    Thank you for sharing this book! I look forward to reading. I jsut discovered your blog tonight–hurray! Love it! 🙂 xoxo Windy

    • Heather MacFadyen

      you are very welcome! Lara is an amazing, godly woman. She has come a long way and down a hard road but God is using her in mighty ways. So thankful you found me here. hope to chat again!

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