A Christmas Miracle

BY: Donna Hearn, CK Canada Board Member, Group Leader
In November 2015 a Christmas miracle was in the making. Our daughter, Jodi, and her 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 Mexico. Puerto Vallarta is also the place where my husband, Duane, and I celebrated our anniversary for 15 years of our marriage and 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 as the excitement was building for the birth of our new granddaughter. 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! My husband was very emotional. His baby girl, having her very own baby girl! Duane and I were content to be helping with the driving, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry and of course rocking the baby. Jodi, my daughter, gave us the name “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 loose in the house and it startled me on the staircase. Duane bought me a ceramic frog to remember the humorous occasion. 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 slathered 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!”
 
In December, my son and his family joined us for Christmas. I know this was an answer to prayer from all my fellow Covenant Keepers. This was our first Christmas in 18 years having all of the family together in one place. What a miracle I was experiencing! We celebrated by having a large dinner with Mario’s family joining us. 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. What a 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” by Debi Pearl and “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs. Now it was time to put these teachings into practice. I did my best, expecting nothing in return, by serving my husband with the love of Christ.
 
Duane ended up staying over New Years instead of going home on December 29th as he had planned. I was thrilled that now we would celebrate New Year’s Eve with him as well! He even barbecued steaks for all of us on New Year's Eve and at midnight we watched fireworks from the patio that looks out over Puerta Vallarta. We toasted to 2017 and I thanked God for how the year was starting. On January 5th, we took Duane out for dinner before taking him to the airport. We could all 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 had in years past, and living the stress-free lifestyle of a place we both love.
 
When we got back to the house 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! Every day without him has been hard since then, remembering these wonderful times and what God did. But every day, I continue to thank God for His blessings and kindness during this time. I remain confident because He has promised me that He will complete the work in my husband and my 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.”

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