I am honored to be sharing a testimonial from Lara Casey about how the impossible is possible! She is real and transparent about what led to the breakdown of her marriage, but then explains how it was healed! And it had to do with being unveiled. This is a must read for every marriage!
The light flashed green on my dreams, so I pressed my foot on the gas pedal as hard as I could. I said yes to everything.
I took every speaking engagement, every interview, and every travel request. I turned the master bedroom in our tiny apartment into the Southern Weddings office so I could accommodate three new employees and two interns. I worked late nights and was glued to social media to try to network and grow. People asked me for business advice, so I started a consulting company too. I continued to plan weddings with my event planning company, traveling between states for meetings and wedding days. I didn’t dare say no to anything, in case I might miss an opportunity. A magazine, a blog, a wedding production company, a consulting company, speaking engagements, conferences — I was like a freight train… full speed ahead.
I was speeding so fast toward success that I couldn’t see what I was demolishing on the way. I thought I was doing the right thing: grow, grow, grow.
I didn’t see the crash coming.
Ari and I became roommates. We never saw each other, and when we did, I’d be working and he’d be disconnected, lost in video games or TV. We spent our days searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places. I built friendships with popular people and did whatever I could to win their approval, including flirting with guys on my travels. They made me feel beautiful and sought-after, a stark contrast to what I was feeling at home. I escaped to my growing magazine and to relationships that distracted me from what mattered. Ari escaped to work and late nights with friends. Our relationship began to feel beyond repair again. We fought constantly, as we had in our first year of marriage. We slept in separate beds. I shoved my faith aside in favor of work, and Ari declared that he didn’t believe in God anymore. I worked nineteen-hour days, seven days a week, chasing the uncatchable once again.
It’s so easy to get off track. The world’s standard of perfect tries to lure us in at every turn. The world makes a lot of promises: If you are perfect, you will be happy. If you have money, you will be happy. If you have fame, you will be happy. If you aren’t the best, you will be a failure. If you aren’t the best, you will be nothing.
Well, friends, the world is a liar.
I was miserable. I was moving at the speed of light, driven by fear instead of God. I talked about how busy I was all the time, like it was a badge of honor, as if busy equaled successful. Well, I was successful, all right: I was a pro at covering the bags under my eyes with tons of makeup. I was stellar at feeding my ego to try to bandage my shattered soul. I was an expert excuse-maker, quick to reply to invitations from friends with, “I have to work.” I was so good at being in control that God couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I was great at living a happy life online so I could escape from the turmoil in my crumbling marriage.
Have you ever believed any of the world’s lies about success?
Read the list below and circle the lies you have believed:
If you are perfect, you will be successful.
If you have money, you will be happy.
If you have fame, you will be loved.
If you aren’t the best, you will be a failure.
If you aren’t the best, you will be nothing.
What does God’s Word say in contrast to these lies?
For starters, read Psalm 119:35:
Make me walk along the path of Your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.”
Out of the blue, a friend sent me an e-mail telling me that my fast-paced life was “going nowhere.” He told me that God wanted my marriage with Ari to be put back together. He said he didn’t care if I hated him for this e-mail; he had to tell me the truth.
I fumed, thinking, How dare he say this to me! I cried and resisted the urge to punch things. I was angry because what he’d said was true, and I feared the truth. God was speaking to me in those pixels on the screen:
You are living a sinful life and going nowhere, fast. I want your marriage with Ari to be healed. Kick and scream all you want, but Lara… I am the Truth and the Way and the Life.”
It was Saturday. I had just finished a long two weeks of travel, during which my employees told me they were disappointed in me for a laundry list of things. I was afraid to face them on Monday, for fear they would all quit. My mom had just called to tell me she didn’t like a photo she had seen of me having drinks with people on my travels. I hung up on her. My bank accounts had dwindled to next to nothing, thanks to my extravagant travels and frivolous spending. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make my next payment on the flashy car I couldn’t afford but felt like I needed. I didn’t know where Ari was that weekend. I assumed he went out of town, maybe. And this ridiculous e-mail lingered in my inbox. Everything was crashing in, and I felt like I was powerless to change it.
But God… But God isn’t a God of logic. He is God.
God doesn’t care about the mistakes you’ve made in the past. He wants your heart.
Read those two sentences again, this time out loud.
Do you believe that, friend?
I didn’t. If I had read my own words a few years ago, I would have said a firm and resounding, “Yeah, right!” If that’s you, stay with me. I wrote this for you.
The Impossible Happened
I didn’t believe the “impossible” could happen. Sure, God made miracles happen for countless people in the Bible and for friends I knew, but our miracles were just too big to happen, right? I thought it was impossible for our marriage to be healed. I thought it was impossible for my faith to be renewed and for God to forgive me for my many shortcomings. I thought it was impossible that Ari would ever accept my faith in God or that our arguments would ever stop. I didn’t even let my mind go to the big impossible most of the time — that Ari might someday believe in God and Jesus. Yeah, right. We were too far gone.
I had zero hope. But, that’s the thing about God’s word. It changes us, if we let it in. When God wrote these words, He meant them. Not just for “perfect” people or “other” people or “good” people. He wrote them for sinners. For me. For Ari. For all of us. He gave all of us this truth:
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26
As we surrendered more and more to His ways, He began to transform us in ways we never imagined. None of this happened overnight or without buckets of tears and times we felt like things would never look up. But, God didn’t give up on us.
The biggest turning point happened when Ari came home early from work one afternoon, stepped into my office, closed the door behind him, and said, “I need to talk to you.” He came close to me and sunk to the floor as his words poured out. He had done something he never thought he would do — cracked open a Bible. He often read it late at night while I was sleeping. God had been working on his heart and he felt he needed to ask for forgiveness from those he had hurt. He confessed in the most tender words his past unfaithfulness to me. All I could think was, “Lord, you are real!” His presence, grace and love, were so powerful in that conversation. My heart was torn in two and I confessed the same to him.
Years of shame.
All changed in our surrender.
I can’t explain this experience in words that fully convey what we experienced in that moment. I just have one word: grace. His grace. In our deep weakness, His power was made perfect.
I never thought I would type these next words: Ari became a believer exactly two months after our daughter, Grace’s, birth. The impossible happened. Your impossible can happen, too, friend. God is big and real and good. His desire is that we would all come to know His transforming grace.
We began the process of healing and forgiving each other for the hurts of our past through the lens of our new shared faith. It took time and counsel and much prayer, but God is faithful. His grace has and continues to flip every iota of our lives upside-down as we get to know His heart more and more.
We aren’t perfect, but we now know our purpose.
Because of what I’ve experienced in my own marriage and life, the work I do—the heartbeat of our company—is now driven on this truth: the impossible is possible. No matter how lost or forsaken you feel, God’s love never fails. He can change what feels unchangeable. God is real and always at work, even if everything in your life is telling you otherwise right now. Don’t just pray about what seems logical and possible. Pray hard about the impossible. Don’t give up just yet. God can make it happen.
– Lara Casey
Portions excerpted with permission from Make It Happen by Lara Casey, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2014.
BIO: Lara Casey is a believer in the impossible, author of Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take The Leap, Live On Purpose, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Southern Weddings magazine, founder of the Making Things Happen movement, blogger, mom, and a grateful wife. Lara lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with her daughter Grace and husband Ari.
Make It Happen book: www.LaraCasey.com/book