October 3, 2014

Holly Lopez – Fully Surrendered

I grew up sitting in a pew listening to a preacher every Sunday, but one morning I heard the message of Jesus…how we need to pray and ask Him to come into our hearts and our lives. I marched myself to the front of the room and asked the preacher to help me. Thus began a very blessed life. That sweet memory was 33 years ago.

I have been married to my husband for 23 years, we’ve been together for almost 30. We have three kids and for the most part have always “looked” like a great little family. However, by the time we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, I was tired of trying to make the marriage work when he was not. I made a promise to God that I would do whatever was needed for the entire year to make things better, but in July, something significant changed with my health.

I couldn’t pinpoint any specific thing and doctors only commented on my age (turning 40) with possible water retention. It took more than a year to get a diagnosis of Scleroderma, an incurable disease with a mortality rate of 50% in 5 years! My only thought was that my youngest would graduate the year I could lose my battle. The deal was off the table. God had my full attention.

It took time, prayer and much discussion to realize that every morning we all have a 50/50 chance of being taken home. So I made the decision to be the 50% that makes it—to live loudly and courageously for the Lord. And that decision began the change in my marriage.

I am embarrassed to say, that God began to work on me in ways that I never knew needed improvement. Not until I fully surrendered everything, could God begin to heal my marriage. I had to face my Savior and seek forgiveness for the part I played, including my need for my husband to change. I now live by the quote that says, “Marriage is not 50/50, but 100/100, only divorce is 50/50.”

I love the story of Daniel 3:13-18, where God shows us He is capable of delivering us from the fire…through the fire…or by the fire! And I am so grateful God chose to go with me through this fire and burn away the “ropes” that had bound me to a life of never looking for the change in me!

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