Restored and Redeemed

Has your marriage been restored? Restored & Redeemed is a devotional for those in a restored marriage.

The Death of the Camp

Each week we share guest devotionals written by a fellow stander. The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.

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2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.

My husband wanted a place to get away: to hunt, see his parents, be on his land, and get away from me. He wanted to move here, and I didn’t – so he began building his camp. Before it was completed, our marriage fell apart, and then it was restored. Then we kept having babies, and it became this burden of something to complete that began from roots of bitterness, unhappiness, and a desire for separation. We didn’t know what to do with it, nor had the time to finish it.  

A few years later, our septic system stopped working in the middle of our daughter’s leukemia treatments and she just got out of the hospital. It was too wet for anyone to fix it for six months, and we had to go somewhere. So, we put it in high gear and finished the camp enough for us to move in. It had no kitchen, bathroom, or floors. We literally built a kitchen after we moved in. Our family of six had to abandon our two-story brick house to move into an unfinished 800-square-foot camp in the middle of the woods. The baby stayed in our room while the other three kids squeezed into the laundry room and slept in a triple bunk. (I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a triple bunk!) 

We knew God had moved us here, but we didn’t know why. So we sold the family house once it was fixed, with the intention to build here, except that Covid made building materials skyrocket. So we stayed cramped like that for almost two years until we expanded the back to give the kids an ACTUAL bedroom, another bathroom, and much-needed space.  

Now, almost another year has passed, and we’re beginning the front addition of our house. It’s no longer “The Camp.” Today, we took off the front porch, which has held many memories these past three years and made a barn. When the barn is complete, the framework will have come from the trees we took out for the pool, the walls from the front porch floor, and the roof from the camp’s tin skirting. The roof of the porch will make the animal shelters on either side of the barn. I want to make and place a sign on the barn that reads: “Here lies The Camp; the rest we made a HOME.”  

It’s symbolic, that little barn. We repurposed what was originally created as a way to get away from marriage into this wonderful place for our farm animals that we can sit and watch from our new porch of the home we built together as a family! 

By the way, that same new porch now directly sits in view of the very spot where my husband proposed to me over 20 years ago – the exact place he wanted to build his house, his family, and his life with me.  

Genesis 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

God bless,

Jennifer

When I read Jennifer’s testimony, I was amazed at the story that God will write for us if we are willing to wait on Him to complete it. Who would have thought the place her husband used as a retreat from his marriage would be the place the Lord decides to use as a foundation for their restored marriage?

Just as God is writing a beautiful story for Jennifer and her family, He wants to do the same for you. Don’t give up! You may be in a season of hardship and worry over if you will ever truly have a restored marriage. Trust Jesus.

We recently heard of a restored couple who decided they could no longer put forth the effort in their marriage and wanted to separate again. How sad that they both gave up. Don’t let that be your story. There will be days when you need your spouse to help you lift your arms and carry the load, just as Aaron and Hur did for Moses in Exodus 17. Then there will be other days when you are the lifter of your spouse’s arms. Trust Jesus to restore what the enemy has tried to steal from your family. Do it together and with a willingness and unconditional love that can only come through Jesus Christ.

Are there still things you are holding onto from your time apart that you need to give to the Lord so He can transform your restoration story? Be willing to let those things go. Better things are waiting for you and your spouse! ~ Lori Steinkamp Lassen

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