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The Choice To Love By Kathy Collard Miller

When Larry and I had been married for seven years, we were completely disillusioned with each other. When we'd married, he seemed to be a godly man. He said Christ would be at the center of our marriage, but in time he choose his two jobs and his hobby of flying as his joys. He never went to church because he was rarely home.

One morning Larry announced he was flying to San Jose for the day. I quickly suggested, "I'll get the kids ready and we'll go with you..." Larry interrupted me. "Kathy, I'm sorry, but you can't go. I rented a two-seater plane and I've already asked Joe to go with me." "But Larry, we never see you. Can't you stay home just this once?" "I won't disappoint Joe.” Larry walked away from me down the hall as I stood with my hands on my hips, trying to show my disapproval with a disgusted look on my face. He walked through the laundry room into the garage, closing the laundry room door behind him. I had been eating an apple and before I realized it, I hurled it toward the  door, wishing it would hit him. The apple shattered on impact and pieces flew throughout the laundry room adhering to the ceiling and the walls. I whirled around and marched into my bedroom, dropping to kneel beside my bed. "Lord, make that plane crash! I don't care if he ever comes home again."  

During the following months, the pieces of apple began rotting on the walls and ceiling of my laundry room. I saw them as a memorial to my rotten marriage. I worried that we would get a divorce or I would live in a loveless and Christ-less marriage for the rest of my life. One day several months later, I sensed God say in my heart, “Tell Larry you love him.”

I was shocked. I didn’t love Larry and I believed he hated me.

I refused because that would make Larry think I approved of his unloving behavior. God said it a second time and I refused again! Then a third time the Holy Spirit nudged me with a different message: “Then think it the next time you see Larry.” I thought, “If he doesn’t hear me then he can’t use it against me. Alright, Lord, I’ll do it.”

That evening, Larry returned from a flying trip and as he walked down the hall toward me, I stared at him, gulped, and thought, “I love you…” and then after a pause, I added, “but I don’t really.”

The most amazing thing happened. By making that choice to love Larry—a small step—and as I continued to make that loving choice, the feelings of hate dissipated and loving feelings took over. I also recognized that I’d been holding Larry completely responsible for my happiness. I realized I couldn’t change Larry; I could only change myself as I surrendered to God.

That day I went into the laundry room and washed off those rotting apple pieces. I no longer needed a memorial to my rotten marriage. Little by little, I became loving and caring. Larry noticed the changes and agreed to go on a couples retreat with me, which God used as a turning point in our marriage.

That was in 1978 and today, we are best friends and consider each other the most important person in our life—and Christ is truly at the center of our marriage. We tell each other several times a day “I love you,” and we are committed to choosing the best for each other, led by God. I’ll never forget those rotting apple pieces because now I enjoy a laundry room free from them, just like my heart is free from bitterness and anger. And I never worry that we'll get a divorce. BOOK SUMMARY AND BIOGRAPHY:

Partly cloudyIt is possible to worry less through trusting God more. Regardless of the storms of trials, temptations, worry, uncertainty, confusion, or regrets that you're facing, you can trust God more. Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries offers a conversational style, personal testimonies, practical illustrations, and solid biblical teaching for breaking anxiety and the devastating effects of worry. Each chapter includes Discussion Questions for individuals or groups, along with a “Letter from God.” In addition, a profile of a woman in the Bible who struggled with or experienced victory over worry is featured in each chapter to inspire every reader to see God's hand in her life. Kathy Collard Miller is a speaker and author. Her passion is to inspire women to trust God more. She has spoken in 30 states and 7 foreign countries.

Kathy has 49 published books including Women of the Bible: Smart Guide to the Bible (Thomas Nelson) and she blogs at www.KathyCollardMiller.blogspot.com. Kathy lives in Southern California with her husband of 43 years, Larry, and is the proud grandma of Raphael. Kathy and Larry often speak together at marriage events and retreats.