Our Family’s Miracle Christmas
In November 2015, our daughter Jodi and her Mexican husband Mario were married in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Mario has a successful fishing business there, so they chose to live in the nice warm sunshine of P.V. Puerto Vallarta is the place where my husband Duane and I celebrated our anniversary for 15 years and also took our children for vacations. Now our daughter was blessed to call this home and our family was excited to have even more reasons to visit.
In October of 2016, Duane and I came to Puerta Vallarta because the newlyweds were blessed to have a baby girl arriving in November and they wanted us to be a part of it. In the couple of weeks before the baby arrived, we went for dinners, had beach days, and the excitement was building. I had to pinch myself as my husband and I were staying with our daughter together as grandparents, just as it’s supposed to be. On November 11th, Madi, our granddaughter was born, and oh, the joy it brought to us all! Grandpa was mush. His baby girl, having her baby girl! The couple are blessed to be house sitting a large casa, so Duane and I were happy to be helping with the driving, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry and of course rocking the baby. Jodi labelled us “Team Madi.” So many amazing things happened in this two month period. Duane treated me so well. As an answer to prayer, there was lots of joy and laughter! One day a frog was in the casa, and it startled me on the staircase. Duane bought me a ceramic frog to remember. One of my chores was to sweep the leaves around the pool deck. Duane bought me a long pink handled dustpan and broom. Duane is a master chef on the BBQ. He frequently bought my favorite thin pork chops and one day brought them to me all grilled and lathered in his homemade sauce, saying, “You know, this is a real labor of love.” Our eyes met and I said, “Oh I know, and THANK YOU!”
For Christmas, my son and family joined us, also staying at the casa. Duane seemed to not even be bothered by all the commotion. I know this was an answer to prayer from all my fellow Covenant Keepers. This was our first Christmas in 18 years having dinner all together. What a miracle I was experiencing! We celebrated as they do here on the 24th, with Mario’s family joining us and Duane and myself cooking dinner together. I choked up many times. God had arranged this after all these years of praying! Christmas Day, Mario took us on his boat to a secluded beach (as you see in the photo). What a different but beautiful and miraculous day!
As we stand with Jesus through all our alone years, we work through healing and forgiveness. Now, through all these experiences, God was showing me how He had even kept my true love for my husband alive. For the last two years, I have been reading and studying the books, “Created To Be His Help Meet” and “Love and Respect.” Now I had to put this teaching into practice, expecting nothing in return, serving my husband with the love of Christ.
Duane ended up staying over New Years instead of going home December 29th. I was thrilled that now we would celebrate New Year’s Eve with him as well as Christmas! He barbecued steaks for all of us and at midnight we all watched fireworks from the patio that looks out over Puerta Vallarta. We all toasted to 2017 and I thanked God for how the year was starting. On January 5th, we took him for dinner before taking him to the airport. We could feel his sadness. We all believed that he really didn’t want to go home. God did amazing things in his heart through the birth of our granddaughter, family times together, serving together as we always had in years past, and living the stress-free lifestyle of a place we both love – Mexico!
When we got back to the casa from the airport, I cried when I walked into my room. During Duane’s stay he had insisted on freshly painting my room for me. Seeing the beautiful picture that he had hung over my bed of a young Mexican girl, I realized that I was going to miss him. I had been together with my husband for two whole months! It has been hard since then but every day I thank God. He has promised me that He will complete the work in my husband and marriage that He has begun. The battle is the Lord’s. I did what He asked of me – to walk in love, to serve my husband – now He wants me to turn Duane back over to Him and to trust Him.
When we stand with Jesus, restoration is something we can walk right back into, trusting the Lord. For our prodigals who involve themselves with non-covenants, it’s sometimes a longer process. I am determined to continue to pray him out of that trap. We know it is not too hard for our God! I hope you have been encouraged to keep standing and praying for your spouse. It is a great testimony, not only to our husbands, but also to our children and their marriages. Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV says, Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, (and in our prodigals and our marriages) to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”