May 28, 1994 – our wedding day.
Today Greg and I celebrate 25 years of being Mr. and Mrs. Greg Cassidy!Greg and April – May 28, 1994.
We had dated for almost 6 years from the time I was 15 and Greg was 16. I thought we were SO ready to be a godly husband and wife. In fact, I thought we were much better prepared than just about anyone else ever had been. We weren’t going to have conflict or problems like all those other people. Marriage wasn’t going to be hard for us at all!
The wedding went off without a hitch. It was perfect! Greg’s dad was our officiating pastor. My sister was my maid of honor. Greg’s brother was his best man. We each had six other attendants. The music was beautiful. The food was amazing at the reception. Three hundred-fifty people packed into the church to celebrate with us on that hot and humid South Carolina afternoon. Everything was like a fairy tale.
The first three days of our marriage were glorious. The honeymoon was everything I had hoped and imagined it would be!
But you know what the Bible says about pride, right?
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18
Yep. It took all of about one week of marriage before things began to get really hard. I was completely unprepared and shocked. I didn’t understand the primary purpose of marriage in those early years. And I didn’t have many tools to help me deal with so many problems and difficulties. I thought I trusted the Lord. I had received Christ as my Savior at the age of five. I knew tons of verses by memory. I only listened to Christian music. But I didn’t know how to live out my faith in real life. I was operating in my own strength, not God’s.
Today, I am grateful for everything. The good times and the hard times.Leaving the church on our wedding day – May 28, 1994
It was through the problems we experienced in the first 14 years of our marriage that God opened my eyes to my profound need for Him in ways I had never appreciated or understood before. I am forever in the Lord’s debt for this!
He showed me that the real test of my faith was the fruit of my life. He opened my eyes to see that the fruit of my life was not the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. I wanted to be all of those things and to have all of those things but I was lonely, miserable, and frustrated. I didn’t know how to get where I wanted to be. I assumed it was all Greg’s fault and that he needed to fix it. He needed to make me happy and do everything I wanted him to do. Then my life would be wonderful.
The fruit of my life for a long time was fear, worry, anxiety, control, pride, self-righteousness, complaining, arguing, negative talking, resentment, a spirit of offense, and bitterness. The way I lived didn’t match up with what I said I believed.
We were in a big old mess. If the Lord didn’t intervene 10 and 1/2 years ago, we would not be where we are today. I have no doubt, without God’s help, we would be in a much bigger mess by now, and our children, too. The road we were travelling down was destructive and toxic for all of us.
He opened my eyes first and pulled me out of that nasty pit. For the first time ever, I saw the enormity of my own sin (the ways I fell short of God’s holy standard of perfection – Rom. 3:23). I mourned over my spiritual condition in mortification and horror (Matt. 5:4). Then I stopped demanding that God change my husband and began begging Him to change me.
He set me free from the lies, messed-up thinking, and chains that were choking me. Slowly, the Lord began to heal me first. Then, over the years, He worked in Greg and started to heal our marriage. How can I ever give Jesus enough praise and glory for these miracles?! ????
I am thankful today.
- Thankful for God’s grace for us.
- Thankful for Him illuminating His wisdom for us in our marriage.
- Thankful for His Word.
- Thankful for His Spirit.
- Thankful for His promises.
- Thankful for His faithfulness.
- Thankful for His beautiful design for men, women, marriage, and families.
- Thankful that, in Christ, we don’t have to continue on and on living as slaves to habitual sin.
I want everyone to get to experience the salvation, healing, and abundant spiritual life Jesus provides! That is the greatest desire of my heart! He is the only source of real peace, joy, fulfillment, and contentment. Not a husband. Not marriage. Not children. Not romance. Not earthly happiness. Not religious rules or rituals. Some of these things are good things. But without the Prince of Peace, Jesus, being on the throne of my heart, they will all leave me empty.
When we are walking and living in right relationship with Him, He transforms our hearts, minds, and souls. He pours His healing power through us and changes our desires, thinking, and the way we interact with others so that we can become more and more of a blessing to everyone around us. Not because of our own wisdom, strength, or goodness, but because of His Spirit and His Word working in us.
We will still have to deal with the sinful nature as long as we are on this earth, but in the power of Jesus, He can help us to crucify our old self and we have the ablity to choose each moment to yield to Him so that He can help us live in the power of our new nature, the Holy Spirit. As long as we live on earth, the Lord will continue to refine, prune, and purify us. He will humble us and help us grow spiritually as we trust Him, love Him, and seek Him wholeheartedly. Then, one day in heaven, we will be glorified with Him and completely set free from any influence from our sinful nature and temptation. What a wonderful day that will be!
Jesus is truly the key!
Anything good in me is totally from Him.
I am amazed that 25 years have sped by so quickly already. My prayer is,
“May God be greatly glorified in each of our lives, in our marriage, and in our children’s lives! May our marriage point people to the Gospel and to Christ Jesus!”
I pray the same for each of you, precious sisters and friends!
- Good news, we finally finished working on Greg’s parents’ house to get it ready to sell and just put it on the market this past week! We praise God for this! My prayer is that this home might be a wonderful blessing to a new family and that they will make many memories to cherish there for many years to come.
- I’m still enjoying my new job with my brother and my parents. They are thrilled I am there. I am ecstatic to be there. I know I am where I need to be. I still have a LOT to learn, of course. But hopefully I will grow to be more and more useful. I want to be a blessing to them, my coworkers, and our customers.
- I am adjusting to my new schedule and increase in work hours pretty well. The kids and I have a new balance for the chores and priorities at home. They are taking on additional responsibilities as they are definitely old enough to do so and very capable.
- Our son, our daughter, and myself are each experiencing several medical issues. Some could involve potential surgery. So we are praying for wisdom in dealing with these things.
- We have had some additional trials recently about which I can’t elaborate right now. Thankfully, they have been much smaller than the issues we faced last year. The bigger trials really put the smaller ones in proper perspective!
- I continue to pray and seek the Lord for His direction and vision for me for ministry moving forward. Things have been rather crazy. I’m hoping it will be calming down a bit now with one house from the estate finished. I know God will show me His path for me as I wait on Him.
- I have needed some extra time to allow the Lord to restore my soul and to help me tend to my family in this season. Thank you for your patience, love, encouragement, and support!
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
More Good Things to Come
We have so much more to learn, and we will keep learning every day as long as we are on this earth. I’m excited to see the adventure that is to come.
Can’t wait to see all that the Lord has in store for each of us as we continue this journey together!
“The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord” – my story and a great resource if you need a place to start your journey to become a peaceful wife.
“The Peaceful Mom – Building a Healthy Foundation with Christ As Lord” – Nitty gritty help to really dig in and grow like crazy in your faith in Jesus in ways that powerfully impact your life and family relationships.
What Is the Gospel? by www.gotquestions.org
ARE YOU DEALING WITH TRIALS, TOO?
This past year has been the most difficult and painful of our lives. But God is STILL VERY GOOD! He is with us and He is able to take all of the good and bad and use it for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory (Rom. 8:28-29), in fact, that is His promise to us as believers in Christ. Check out the principles we have learned from Scripture to help us in the midst of problems and difficulty.