THREE YEARS OF MARRIAGE THIS WEEK. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

                                          
 This is a significant week in the life of Sydney and I. We celebrate 3 years of marriage on Wednesday, July 6th. As I reflect back on those three years, I am reminded of God’s Grace and Mercy upon us. We have been through so much together. We have learned to love each other more every day. We have faced so many hardships together, and have had to rely on God to bring us through, because He is much bigger than any trial we could ever face and so our hope has been on Him through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that brought salvation to us both. Where could I start in reflecting back in our 3 years? Well, I can say I thought we would have a normal first year of marriage. You know, the we are in love, everything is beautiful and amazing at all times kind of marriage? It started out that way. We had a beautiful wedding ceremony, the best honeymoon in Branson, Mo I could ask for. I took a week vacation. We did things that were normal for a new married couple. We unpacked our new house together, we got a puppy, we mowed our yard together, she cooked some really great meals. Much of what I needed. I am a very skinny guy, but I was even skinnier then and I packed on some much needed weight early on. We both worked our jobs and came home in the evenings to spend time together. The first few months, I was working until 1 am, so that was difficult, but we adjusted. She would cook meals for me and my fellow coworkers. We did life normally and it was pretty awesome. I was 25 and enjoying life more than I ever had.  

Then we came to a point where we wanted to discuss having children. I remember being scared at the thought. I remember saying “let’s wait” and “let’s pray”. I was focused on my music, and by that I mean being a “bedroom rapper”, it was nothing as glorious as going to a big recording studio, but I could tell my story and promote my testimony. I did that pretty much as often as I could from 2011-2013 and then early 2014, I decided maybe it was time to slow down. I started reading the Bible through the year, was involved in small groups, and in early 2014, I went to a men’s retreat with my church. I remember sensing God’s direction to start having children and I came home after much prayer and said its time to slow down with the music and focus on my family. We did just that and a few months later found out we were pregnant. I was very excited. I was nervous but I had no choice but to pray and trust that things would be okay. At 10 weeks, we found out things were not okay. I have written about this several times, and it’s in the book we are working on, so I won’t go into too much detail on this blog post, but the pregnancy ended in a Miscarriage. We were faced with our first real trial as a couple. We had some choices to make. We chose to allow nature to take its course and let the child pass naturally instead of having a DNC surgery. We wanted to have a second opinion ultrasound to make sure that the baby did it fact pass away. We knew it was still early and didn’t want to solely rely on a machine to tell us whether there really was a heartbeat or not.

During this time I went to Ecuador for 2 weeks to serve by doing a Vacation Bible School. This was during our first anniversary. I had quite a scare for Sydney to hear about as I was nearly “Swallowed up” by the Jungle. Thank God for the backpack and walking stick that kept me from falling to my death. God is merciful. I thank God for men who wear hearing aids as well. Roger Reid finally did hear me hollering “Roger! , Help!”, it’s kind of comical to tell the story but it was life or death at the time and I just wasn’t ready to go. I did make it back on U.S soil and was welcomed home by my bride. We went straight to the doctor as soon as she picked me up from the airport to get her checked out since it had been about a month since the miscarriage. We also went to counseling the next day. I was convinced everything would be okay and that we would mend those wounds. I wasn’t prepared for the next year. I wasn’t prepared to find out that we were pregnant again, and that the baby, who we thought was developing normally, was not. In fact we were told little Drexel Lee, had no kidneys, and that he wouldn’t develop lungs, and without either he would pass away. This story alone, went on for months and to save time and information that I am putting into the book, I will keep it short. I was not prepared to give up our son. I was not prepared to be completely broken. I thought everything was okay. It had been for 20 weeks, minus an early scare, but I wasn’t prepared to fall on my knees, begging for God’s intervention. Begging for God to do something that I couldn’t do. I wasn’t prepared to be faced with the biggest heartache of my life, but I had to. There was no other choice. We could either be mad at God, or trust Him. We chose to trust. We chose to carry, when we had the option of abortion. We chose to deliver Drexel at 37 weeks, via C-Section, and that the outcome, would be up to God, that we would be okay with Drexel either living or passing. Drexel was born, I held him close. Family held him close. Friends visited. After 10 hours, he took his last breath. Drexel passed away due to a condition known as “Potter’s Syndrome”. We witnessed every breath he took, every little cry he could produce and his final breath. We were not alone and I believe God perfected his little life on this earth. We went through every grieving process and funeral service for him.

Like our wedding, the funeral was beautiful, and Jesus was made famous. Like our wedding day, Jesus was made famous. Our marriage has been focused on making Jesus famous. Do we fail? Yes everyday. Are we perfect? Far from it. We have been told that we are an inspiration to many. I am humbled by that. I can only say that God is good, He is merciful and full of grace. I could have continued a life of sin and separation from God, but He sought me out. He wanted me, he wanted ALL of me, not the part that tried to look good on Sunday. He desires a relationship with all of us, and I am reminded in Scripture, that He loves us, in our filth. He loves us when we are disgusting and ugly. He loves us when we are obedient. He loves us because He gave His only Son and while we were yet Sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Jesus died for those who reject Him. Marriage is a beautiful description of The Gospel. Men, love your wives and be willing to give up your lives for her, as Christ gave up His life for the Church. Stop treating her like she owes you something. Be gentle, kind, selfless. It’s easy to say these things, but we are called to do them. Be Men of Grace, Mercy and Love as our God is. If you don’t know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, then I challenge you to search the scriptures to find out who He is. One day you will become like Him, through a constant growing in Him and His word.

So here we are, 3 years this week. What does the future hold? I have no clue, but I do know that I am not going back to the old me. I am not going to be afraid. I am going to proclaim Jesus more. Our marriage is going to proclaim Jesus more. Will you proclaim Jesus more? Will you stop playing games with the Gospel, if that’s what you have been doing? Will you be willing to die for His names sake? I made that decision years ago when I surrendered to the ministry though missions. I am not afraid. I am unashamed. I will be hated, but not because they hate me, but because they hate WHO I represent. They hate WHO my marriage represents. I am undeserving of such Grace, but I will gladly take it and be obedient to the calling on my life. Will you?

Until next time,

James Virgil Boggs
Answers in Genesis Bookstore

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Grace. 

Many of us like to think and talk about the bad things in life. We like to complain when things go wrong. The negatives always come up before the positives. Why is that? Why does it take us awhile before we realize the good in every situation? I’ve yet to figure that out, but maybe you know. What I do know is, that I have been blessed, and am blessed. My blessings come from God’s Grace. I have been reminded all day about God’s Grace. His goodness upon us. His favor towards us in some situations that only He could control. I have had good Gospel conversations today. The first was this morning in a new coffee shop I discovered in Bentonville, Arkansas. It’s called Onyx Coffee Lab and it’s already becoming a favorite spot of mine. I may write a review on that later but the conversation started there as I sat with a friend over coffee and a ham and cheese croissant. I listened. I responded. I even watched the people around me, those mostly in my age range, but I heard of many times in my friends life where God intervened. Where God showed up in circumstances that didn’t make sense to us humans. The point where we start asking why? Why does God have us here? Why didn’t I die when it was expected? Those kinds of questions. Last night in bible study we asked the same question. Why? As believers we can land on those kinds of questions with the answer to only be, to give glory to God, to spread His Gospel message, to proclaim that the kingdom of God is at hand. Our lives should center on the Gospel of Jesus Christ if we proclaim to be followers of Jesus. So if we are followers of Christ and we have answered the why’s with those statements, then shouldn’t we be so amazed at the Grace of God, that we actually look at the positives first and use those experiences in life as a testimony to others? To our believing friends as encouragement and to our non believing friends as a proclamation of such wonderful grace. It’s all wonderful Grace that we can’t describe other than from God himself.

Many of you will read my blog and say “You have had such a hard life the past few years, how can you be so positive”? I can say that it’s because of God’s wonderful Grace and Mercy that I am still here to share these stories with you, because I am confident that He is using it for His kingdom and that my why? Is to bring Him Glory. Yes I have pains deep inside, but I choose to use positivity to point others to Jesus, instead of being “Doom and Gloom”. I am well aware of my surroundings and the current state of the age we live in, but I choose to look at the best in every situation because I am not in control. If I were, things would be ‘out of control’ and not in any order. We want to control life, but sometimes it’s best to be obedient and let God do the controlling. He knows the best direction for us. We just might see Grace. We just might see Mercy. We just might see Love. We just might see God at work. We just might see Jesus.

Take this as a time to reflect on your life and start looking at the situations that you can only describe as “God’s Grace”, you might be surprised at how many times He showed up when you couldn’t even get up on your own. When you find those situations, share them. Be a witness of these things.

Until next time,
Virgil Boggs

For more resources about knowing God through Creation, please check out the link below.