Chapter One

“This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long…”

We’ve sang these words a lot. Singing without obedience means nothing. What if your story doesn’t always point to praising the Savior?

What if your life is riddled with conflict and you feel like your best effort to keep up appearances becomes a lie? What if you convince yourself that the worst thing you can do is the best thing for you?

Can you fall from grace? Can life get so complicated to the point that the desire for the feeling of momentary peace actually overshadows the need for true confession, repentance, and real transformation?

Can we actually cheapen grace to the point that we convince ourselves that God is giving handouts and Jesus’ blood is worth less than a bottle of Clorox to clean up the mess? I mean…all we have to do is ask…right?

These are the questions and issues that we think that all people face.

Sometimes we hit snags on our journey with God. If we’re REALLY honest…these happen far more than we would like. They aren’t always caused by us and sometimes they are. Either way, they take place more frequently than we would prefer.

This blog is designed to tell our story and provide a helpful resource for people walking on their journey with Jesus. Whether it’s day 1 or year 100, hearing how God has worked in someone’s life can be prolific and encouraging.

We can’t thank you enough for joining with us as we talk together and share some of our story with things we’ve learned. We are not proclaiming our actions. We are not proclaiming our goodness. We are simply proclaiming the greatness of God and His continued redemptive work in our lives. Walk with us as we discover the true meaning of what it means to have and know grace….unidentified grace.

-Chad & Gia


Chapter ONE

Unidentified Grace

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

*sigh*

Life experience.

Also wrinkles… something I haven’t feared and never understood why people feared the inevitable. Why fight against something that just happens? My reply, I’m excited for wrinkles because I believe, just like gray hair, it’s a sign of wisdom. That statement should definitely be taken with a grain of salt for sure. But, for now life experience = wisdom…

Now, while gaining “wisdom”… not so much the wrinkles quite yet.. still leaving room for more wisdom, I suppose… ironically enough, I fought against the inevitable. Wisdom isn’t just handed over on a silver platter, while being hand fed grapes from the stem and being fanned with palm leaves… nope, it’s gained… just like those wrinkles and gray hairs.. for those of you that have wrinkles – I’m sorry for this terrible analogy.

I’m not speaking about the wisdom of man. Man has pretty much been an idiot from the start. And as the Bible says “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’ Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-21

I’m talking about biblical wisdom. I’m talking about the knowledge of God. A knowledge given by the One who knows all things. Kind of makes you want to say “BOOM” for that mic drop. So, let’s change what I said earlier…

*sigh*

Life experience, by the grace of God.

See. Wisdom. Already. Yay! 👏

Some of you will know what I’m talking about. Some of you won’t. I would like to preface what I’m saying with, this IS NOT a gossip column. This is not a place to retrieve information about Chad and I… yes, I realize that I’m calling out probably more than half the people who clicked on this blog post… at least, from all of the rumblings I hear as Chad and I are avoided as we walk through the church on Sunday mornings. I figured I could at least tell you guys that I love you anyways and it’s okay that you don’t know what to say or what to do. My hope and prayer is that it only gets better.. God is and has always been bigger than this situation. I do, however, want to share a few things that God taught me through all of this.

Grace. Love. Forgiveness.

Those who forgive much, are forgiven much. Forgive, choose to not remember.

HIS love never fails, yours will.

We deserve God’s wrath, but we were given Jesus instead. Mercy & Grace.

God prepared my heart from the beginning. He knows me so well. He didn’t have to prepare me for anything. He is so gracious to me. He knows that I like to anticipate things. And while I couldn’t predict the future, nor would I try, my heart was prepared for the worst to happen even before it happened. And it definitely wasn’t gracefully achieved on my behalf, you could say “kicking and screaming” was a great way to describe it.

Hi! 👋🏻 I’m Gia and I’m a sinner. Saved by grace since my sophomore year in high school. Haven’t stopped kicking and screaming. Waiting for the wrinkles…

I wasn’t your “know it all”… but I was and am still pretty rough around the edges. My words were sharp. I was brash, blunt and sometimes rude. These are/were my biggest downfalls. Back then, I would say: I’m often direct and more often misunderstood. BUT for those of you who gave me a chance and could get past the awkward rough exterior, found that I’m loyal to a fault and usually to my own detriment. I love deeply and desire the best for people. I just have zero tact, which I’m working on, but I always meant well.

Without going into too much detail, I come from a divorced home. Both of my parents were in the military. My mom, a Navy Commander. My dad, a Navy Seal. No real roots anywhere, we moved every year or two until I was in middle school. Way of life = survival of the fittest (and NO, not Darwinism). My emotional capacity was very limited. Happy. Sad. Mad. Or unidentified. I had loads of life experience by the time I graduated from high school. Although, still no wrinkles… I met Chad in college. We were both dating other people at the time, I really never thought I would get married. I always thought I was too stubborn and independent. Again, why fight against something that was inevitable?

Chad and I agreed from the beginning, pretty much the only two things we discussed about marriage before we got married – 1. Divorce is not an option and 2. Don’t ever cheat on me. Some of you may ask, what about premarital counseling? Did you go through that? No, respectfully, we didn’t.

Things, don’t always go according to plan. Spiritual warfare was an everyday thing for Chad and I. It was a chaotic relationship, to say the least. Which happens when neither of you understands your role. Our community was lacking. Our circle was so tight, not for lack of trying.. it was a lack of trust. Solely to blame on Chad and I. Our understanding of ministry and pastoral leadership was skewed to our own detriment. We thought any sign of trouble could be seen as disobedience and not leading our household well. Grace is often received but not given.

My unmet expectation of marriage grew into resentment and disappointment in my husband. I built a wall against the man that I love the most. The sad part is, I didn’t even know it was there. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” My discernment was most definitely thwarted… I remember the argument Chad and I would have daily, and it was always about the same thing. I didn’t understand then, because I couldn’t see past the huge wall that I built up against him. I couldn’t see that my harsh, brash words were crushing him. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t understand where I was coming from. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt. I couldn’t see that I was giving him the middle finger and telling him that I loved him and expected him to understand and judged him when he didn’t. You see, life experience does not always equal wisdom. Prime example here. I didn’t want to get hurt. I knew what getting hurt by the people that you love felt like. I knew it all too well. NO THANK YOU. I definitely didn’t want to imagine what it felt like to get hurt by the one I love the most. God had different plans.

Like I said, He prepared my heart before all of this happened. I’m not saying I did it 100% right. Nope, again… kicking and screaming. The moment divorce was mentioned, that’s pretty much when it all fell apart. The option that we agreed was never an option, suddenly became one.

Some of you might ask, have asked, or will ask… what good did this bring? I can’t speak for everyone.. but I can speak to what I’ve seen and what I’ve been through.

God used every moment of this situation to grow me closer to Him.

He tore down every inch of that wall, in the most gentle, loving, and kind way…

He showed me that I had to love without expecting anything in return to truly understand what unconditional love is.

It started with the simple question during a counseling session, what is it that you love about Chad? I couldn’t find anything… I knew I loved him, but I didn’t really love anything about him at the moment.. he wasn’t very likable… so I had to start thinking and praying for God to reveal those things and to grow my love for Chad.

“The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”

2 Timothy 2:11-13

My next step, accountability.

Stay tuned.

 

34 thoughts on “Chapter One

  1. Thank you for sharing such a raw and beautiful aspect of marriage. Thank you for being so open and allowing God to use your life as an encouragement to others. Looking forward to reading many more posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart is so full in reading this! I love you both so much and keep y’all in my prayers. As much as we can screw things up, our God is so much greater! Living proof!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I look forward to reading more about how God worked and is continuing to work the worst thing that you could imagine into the best thing, for His glory. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an incredibly inspirational blog. You have a story that exemplifies the true character of God and how he loves his children. While I have no marital experience, you have inspired me to meet with God and take a closer examination over my own life in hopes of tareing down the walls of lies Satan has built up. Thank you sharing your story! I am praising the Lord for his passion to restore his people and praying for continued endurance over this season of life for you and Chad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing your journey. My first marriage ended in a painful divorce, as did my wife’s. In our 6+ years of marriage, God has put many in our paths who experienced troubled marriages. It is part of my burden, and my joy. It is a joy because I can share with them that our God is a God who make beautiful things out of broken things – The things we break as you so eloquently wrote. Your words are encouraging, and I always tell people God can heal your marriage. Your journey illustrates that. I’ve been praying for you and your husband, and will continue to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for sharing praying for both of you and I can see a lot of this in my marriage too. Love you both.

    Love Vera & Russell

    Like

  7. Chad and Gia,
    So happy that you were as able to walk through this fire and come out on the other side.
    Marriage is never easy but with someone who loves and respects you, it can be wonderful. Prayers and blessings to you.

    Kimmy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your honesty Gia. I too did a bit of kicking and screaming over the years but I’m so grateful for how God is relentlessly faithful to us in the midst of it all! Thankfully He sees us through and doesn’t leave us hanging. Love you guys

    Like

  9. Gia-you are a very gifted writer.

    We recently celebrated 30 years of marriage, and I can promise that you cannot even comprehend the lives you will touch with your story. Jim and I are constantly amazed how the things we have been through help others. As you can imagine we’ve been through the good, the bad, the ugly and the really ugly!

    I am really looking forward to your next post and have already recommended your blog to a few others I know will get a lot out of it. God bless you and Chad.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a beautiful and timely reminder of how incredible God’s love, grace, mercy and faithfulness is. Thank you, both, for your transparency and willingness to serve others through your story! Will continue to pray for you, Chad and Gia!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gia and Chad, I love you both so much! I am thankful to God that He has blessed your obedience to Him. You two are a blessing to me. 🤗

    Like

  12. Gia and Chad,

    Wow, what an incredible picture of love, grace, and our Incredible Savior, this season is bringing. I just wanted to thank you. Thank you for having the guts to be real and raw. You have already encouraged my walk and marriage. Thank you for choosing the hard right versus the easy wrong. Thank you for not running away, and staying here, even though that’s the more challenging new normal. Thank you for sharing your story, in hopes to encourage others, and magnify how Incredible Our Lord and Savior is. Thank you!

    Marriage is hard work, however God is bigger than any of it. How lucky are we that He loves us so much and greets us with His loving and forgiving arms over and over again. I will continue to pray for you as a couple and how you can encourage others who are struggling. May God richly bless you two with favor, love, and endurance on those tougher days. We aren’t strong enough, but we know the ONE who is! Proud of y’all! Can’t wait to continue with you on this journey. Keep it up, He’s got you!

    Like

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