Sunday, February 10, 2013

Humble Pie- The rest of the story...



Today is a day for celebrating! I post this with complete permission from my husband. This family photo was taken today.

Four years ago I wrote my way through some very difficult circumstances on a blog called, Humble Pie. At that time I was broken, my marriage was broken and I lived consumed by fear and insecurity. After awhile I quit blogging on humble pie choosing to walk out the rest of our healing in private. It's been a long journey- one with big highs but also extreme lows. Blogging is a funny thing. When you post you are able to edit out anything you don't want online. You can choose to only show the most beautiful parts of life. Some may even get the wrong idea thinking that bloggers live in some sort of perfect world with gorgeous meals and clean homes but truly, none of us live in perfection.

My life is a walking miracle. Through the last four years God has been so faithful to fill me with joy every day no matter what the circumstances. It's crazy but the worse things got the stronger my security became because through it all he taught me to find my identity in Him and Him alone and not in this world or my surroundings. I've had JOY and PEACE and actually, FUN as I've walked this road because if there's one thing I can stand on with all my heart it's that, "If God is for us, WHO can be against us." and that you can actually be FULL OF JOY in the midst of struggle.

The last sixth months have been amazing as I've watched my husband begins to walk in COMPLETE FREEDOM from his past. I've watched in awe as the Lord has been molding him into a man of integrity. Sometimes it just shocks me he's so different!! As he's walked with the Lord I've watched him become a man of humility, and generosity, and kindness. I've seen his life of chaos turn to a life full of peace. I've seen him content and happy and so completely grateful!

Fast forward to today.

I didn't get to go to church today because my little peanut has a cold. I was enjoying a slow and quiet morning when suddenly my phone was ringing off the hook with texts. The first one I read was from Neal, it read, "I got baptized this morning!" and then he texted me a smiley face. My first reaction was, "WHAT!? without me???" I sobbed for about an hour so happy but also sad to have missed it."

Neal came home to share the details with me.

He said he was sitting alone in the balcony during a baptismal service when our pastor announced the opportunity to anyone else in the congregation that was interested. Neal was up in the balcony coming up with all sorts of excuses in his head as to why he shouldn't go down; but before he knew it, he was up on his feet and walking down.

Many in the congregation began to cry IMMEDIATELY when they saw Neal begin to come forward. So many people know our story and the victory of this moment was amazing! Our pastor is my best friend's dad and when he saw Neal come around the corner ready to be baptized he embraced him! My mom said she looked down at our marriage counselor sitting in the front row and said he was sobbing- completely broken and so grateful to God! Our pastor said, "Neal, I would've waited ALL DAY."

One of the ladies in the choir turned to my mom and said, "This gives me hope for MY son." And then another,
"If Neal can be set free SURELY MY HUSBAND CAN!"

Before Neal could sit down many of our friends were running over to him and embracing him! So many people have stood by us through thick and thin. This is family. This is church. This is how we're supposed to be!

THIS IS A BENCHMARK DAY in our house!

This is the day that my husband took a PUBLIC STAND before man and GOD declaring to live the rest of his days for him!!

If you have someone in your life that you've been praying for don't ever EVER EVER give up!! Neal was that guy and now he's a NEW creation! He used to search and search for what would make him whole and now that he's found it he will NEVER GO BACK! And there isn't a reason in the world as to why that can't happen for you and your loved ones!









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54 comments:

  1. I have chill bumps reading this!!!! I am so excited for you. This is wonderful news! This is the greatest blessing for you and your family. It speaks volumes to you and how you have lived your life and have helped bring him to the Lord. So happy for you and your loved ones. Congratulations.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Lissa!! Such wonderful news that I'm sure will give a lot of people hope! Congratulations to Neal and may God bless him in his walk!!
    (I can't help crying, this post makes me so happy!)

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  3. that is awesome!!!
    praising the lord right along with you for such a beautiful story!!!
    yay neal!!

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  4. Oh girl this is beautiful!!! So proud of him for being obedient and walking up there even without you. God is so good! He is a new creation. Wish I could have been there. I love baptism sevices. I'm always a sobbing mess.

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  5. What a wonderful day for sure!! PTL! Enjoy!

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  6. GOD does answer prayer, sometimes it seems he takes forever and we wonder why with a heavy heart. BUT this post does show that we are to never give up. Keep in prayer each day and in GOD's holy word.

    I pray that anyone that reads your post will find comfort in knowing GOD will heal the broken heart and lives if they will just turn to Him and give their life over to Him. Never give up hope!

    I too had a lost husband, I was lost as well but with many people praying, I returned to the lord and with prayer, my husband did as well. We recently found a church home and became members last Sunday. We know this is where GOD has led us. My husband has changed much and so have I.

    GOD's peace, grace and blessings is my prayer for you and your family. May GOD continue to bless you in ways unimaginable. GOD be praised for his mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ.

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  7. This is probably the best post of any blog I have ever read! NOTHING is more important then serving God and showing your family and friends how to do it. I'm so happy and proud for you! Good Job!

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  8. Oh, Lissa, my eyes are full of tears! I wish you could've been there to witness it, but even that seems like a detail God orchestrated for reasons only HE knows. {Did anyone happen to video it?} My husband and I have just re-entered the marriage counseling journey. The move has exposed many layers we had tucked away when life was familiar. Even though things have been HARDER than ever, I'm more full of HOPE than ever. I know God is on the move in my husband, in me, and in our family. I'm not writing it out on the blog. It just feels too raw and sacred right now. Hard to blog about other things right now. Feels like all my energy at this moment is invested in healing. I know you know the feeling. Hugs and love to you!

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  9. Lissa! I'm SO SO SO SO SO happy for you all! Tears streaming, your marriage, your story, has been such an inspiration for our little piece of this life - and I know the Lord brought us together for at LEAST this purpose and I'm excited to see what else He has in store for us all! NEAL! You know how I/we adore your husband - and I am SO excited to call him Brother in Christ. CELEBRATING YOUR FAMILY TODAY! Love you all. xoxoxo

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  10. I'm the Mom in the choir...that's waiting for "joy that cometh in the morning"...thank you for being obedient to Him and sharing. WoW! Oh and To God Be The Glory for the things He has done! Amen:)

    Rita

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  11. Girl, I am bawling my eye's out for your family - tears of JOY, mind you!! That final photo of Neal being embraced and embracing is a photo of a thousand word's!! Our own sermon today was about, "Where there is HOPE there is life...where there is life there is HOPE..." for God scored OUR victory at the cross.

    THIS is a keepsake post. Love LOVE love it!

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  12. Best post I have ever read! I have followed your blogs for a long long time now and this is answered prayer no question asked! I am so happy for him, for you, for your family! Blessings blessings blessings!

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  13. Just rejoicing with you, and thankful for the encouragement of your story. Tears of joy for God's goodness and mercy, and hope for my own life and struggles. Praising God for and with you !!

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  14. Wow, what a cool story that gives me hope! I have a friend who is struggling in her marriage since finding out that her husband fell out of love with her. Together they are working at trying to make things whole again, but it's really hard. Thanks for being open about such a significant happening in your lives, so that others may learn and be inspired.

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  15. Hi Lissa,
    My friend, Tammy, from Simple Southern Happiness, sent me this post. It is just the encouragement I needed today.
    I am having bad difficulty with an adult daughter, but I continue praying for her spiritual, mental and physical healing.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

    charlotte

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  16. A beautiful story! I am so happy for you and your family. I am a firm believer that God is with us in all things. He saw that your husband was worth saving and put the Spirit to work. What a glorious day!

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  17. Thanks for your beautiful testimony!

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  18. I'm so happy for Neal, for you, and for your family that you've come out together through such great trials. Your post does give me hope for a near hopeless situation in my own family. I trust God's will but some days it's hard to have hope. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope the future brings you even more joy in God's light.

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  19. I should not have read this at work! I am so weepy. Your authentic honesty makes me adore you more. God is good!

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  20. Lissa I am so happy. You can see in Neal's face that this touched him deeply. You and your family inspire me in so many ways. Wonderful.

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  21. Glory, Glory, hallelujah!
    I have a 26 year old son who has a past of addictions. Praying to the One who delivers us to a life of freedom.
    Basking in your happiness. Thank you for the continual reminder God is working out all things for the good of those who love him.
    Blessings!

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  22. That is AWESOME! What a glorious day......Rejoicing with your family...
    xo
    Kara

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  23. I knew more than just cooking was going on in your life. ;) I am happy you wrote about it. What a blessing and encouragement to others!! Praise the Lord and may God continue to bless you and your family. Hope you will continue to share what god is doing in your lives too!! ;)

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  24. I loved that you shared this story! Your husbands journey will change others lives.

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  25. You know what i love most about this post?
    Its that he was able to do this on his own and even though you wish you could have been there
    i'm sure that it was his confidence in himself and God...... that led him down that path to the front.

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  26. PRAISE GOD! so wonderful!!! thank you for sharing! i started reading when it was humble pie. LOVED your honesty! i can appreciate your privacy FOR SURE and respect/admire that you don't put IT ALL out there. it's not EVERYONE'S biz-ness! and i also admire you wrote this with your hubby's complete permission! so proud of him that he wants to shout this from the mountaintops! awesome! God is good!!!

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  27. Oh LISSA!!! I am so thrilled and happy for you. I texted you about a week ago (not sure if you got it?) to tell you how I was going through my prayer journals and came across your encouragement and words here and there over the past years from your blog and your journey... it made my heart just fill with joy. What a transformation and what a GOOD GOD. Love you friend. :)

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  28. Having followed your journey for a while now, I am beyond grateful to hear this! Thank you so much for sharing this newest development. God has had such an amazing plan for your family all along, and your faithfulness working in tandem with His love has brought you to where you are. As always, much love to you Lissa! Neal is so blessed to have you. :)

    Amy in CA

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  29. Dear sweet Lissa, so happy for you and your family and the amazing encouragement you are to others through your blog. I don't inow you in real life but I'm sending you a big ol' hug and kisses!

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  30. Lissa, a dream come true, you all have worked so hard, what a great part of your story!

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  31. This is your best post yet, Lissa! It brought tears to my eyes.
    I'd love to know you and Neal's story in detail, but I know I won't get to. I love these kinds of stories the best.

    Love to you and Neal and the girls.

    x

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  32. ps. I love what you said about bloggers only sharing the best parts of their life. I personally get a little caught up in how perfect other peoples lives, homes, cooking, parenting seems to be and it's so relieving to realise that everyone has something else going on that makes them relatable. x

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  33. That is an awesome testimony of God's power. Thank you for sharing. What encouragement to me and many others. Blessings. Jamie

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  34. What an amazing day for you and your family. I got chills reading your blog today. Thank you for sharing with all us, this is better than any decorating tip or recipe. The power of prayer is amazing and God is good and with him we can become new. Thank you again for sharing, May God continue to bless you and your family. Teresa

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  35. Amazing. God is faithful, God is faithful. Your life says this so well. Xo!

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  36. Lissa, I've been reading your blog for a few years, but this is my first time to comment. I read this post with tears streaming down my face. I'm so excited for all of you. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your story. It encourages me to keep praying for several people. Blessings to you!

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  37. I have goose bumps, and I am so joyful for your family...as you well know, you have inspired me along the way, through your story and encouragement. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness, and for restoring, healing, renewing, transforming. "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" I speak these words, know they are true for others...may they be true in my life as well. Thank you, Neal and Lissa, for sharing your story, for allowing others in. Your testimony to God's faithfulness reveals His glory mightily!

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  38. I commented on IG but I have to comment here too - this is just awesome. Praise God. So happy for Neal... and you. Blessings to you both. xo

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  39. Lissa, this is such an amazing gift!!! Thank you for your sharing. I've followed you since Humble Pie and watched you emerge into a ray of light. I love this story of redemption and trust. Neal is amazing and so are you!
    XOXO
    Nancy

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  40. Congratulations, Lissa! So wonderful.....I got teary just reading it! So happy for your family!

    much love,
    Dawn

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  41. So wonderful! Tears streaming down my face... Praise God!!

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  42. Lissa I have always loved to hear your hope-giving testimony and love that you are so honest, so transparent. Thats so beautiful.
    Oh what a beautiful day this must have been...I am so filled with joy for you, for Neal and your family!
    Thank you for sharing this with us...your friends and sisters in Christ!
    Hugs!

    In His love,
    Deborah xoxoox

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  43. Just BEAUTIFUL Lissa! So much hope and joy in this story.

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  44. I started reading your blog about 4 years ago when you shared your struggles, I too was in a similar position and your words have always given me hope and peace, knowing what God can do in others lives, he can do it in mine as well. My husband was saved and my dad was able to baptize him as well. God is so good, thank you for sharing your stories and updating us on your journey! :)

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  45. Lissa,
    I've followed your blog for a few years now and I have prayed for healing for you, your husband and your sweet little girls. Many times I wanted to reach out to you to thank you...for giving me hope as I struggled with my own broken marriage. Today I am cheering for you...jumping up and down with pure joy.
    God is always with us...God is GREAT and heals all things. I am genuinely so happy for you and your family.

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  46. Lissa and Neal,
    Thank you for sharing this story because it is a true testament of the power of prayer and healing. How thoughtful of Neal to share...I hope he knows how many lives it will give hope too. I have been reading your blog since the Humble Pie days and throughout your trial I admired you for the unconditional love God had given you, even when Satan was trying to take it away. Both of you are truly God's angels and he is using you both to help others in their trials. You both are a blessing to your readers. Thank you for sharing.

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  47. Lissa,
    I am just reading this now and I am so happy for you and especially Neal. I have followed you and your story, reached out to you on occasion and have found inspiration in your journey. We are now on our own journey and I thank you. Thank you for sharing.

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  48. I don't know you and have never been to your beautiful blog until now, but I'm wiping tears as I type. Marriage is hard work; we celebrate 33 years this year. We've been through the fire, through counseling, you name it, and staying together, no matter what, brings such rich rewards down the road. Not only for you, but for your children.

    And thanks for encouraging me to never give up praying for the prodigals in my life.

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  49. I have the same sentiments as Dayle, never been to your blog and honestly have no idea how I got here but GOD knew I needed to read this, and I too am wiping the tears off my face for this beautiful testiment of Gods Grace and Blessing upon your family... Thank you for sharing and being real... and mostly for encouraging us with those to whom we love dearly to not give up on them just as Christ did not give up on us..

    JEANNIE

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  50. Lissa...
    Reading this touched me and blessed my day, thank you for sharing. You have a most beautiful family inside and out. I love reading your blog and always find something wonderful in it to carry with me. Thank you!

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  51. thanks for share.

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  52. I have tears in my eyes reading this. SO happy for your whole family!!!! He rewards the faithful. I read humble pie for a long time and this is the beautiful continuation of your story. God has used you both to inspire others, Lissa.

    Kim

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  53. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

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