Christian author and speaker Lysa TerKeurst has recently faced some of the most difficult challenges of her life.
In the last few years, the founder of the women's ministry called Proverbs 31 went through colon surgery, breast cancer and her husband's marital infidelity.
But she's an overcomer, and she's giving thanks to God. TerKeurst has recovered from her surgery, is now cancer free, and she and her husband of 25 years recently reconciled.
She shared a clip of the powerful renewal ceremony that took place over the Christmas holiday on Instagram.
"The way that you have loved me with grace and forgiveness gives me an undeniable understanding and perspective of how much God loves me and what He did for me on the cross, you have lived out in my life," TerKeurst's husband Art says in the video. "You never gave up, you disarmed all of the dark with your grace and with your forgiveness."
"You, Art, are the great love of my life," TerKeurst says in her vows. "I've never known love like this apart from you. And I never want to know this love without you. Together is my favorite word for us. And what a together we have."
Last summer she announced she was pursuing a divorce from her husband. But during a recent interview on The 700 Club, TerKeurst shared how God has been restoring her broken marriage.
"It's so complicated and delicate," she said. "But in a nutshell there's two things I would want everyone to remember which are true about my story. One is the word 'redemption.' One is the word 'reconciliation.' Those two words don't necessarily come together and hold hands."
"In my situation though, reconciliation was possible because Art was able to go get the help he needed and trust is built: time plus believable behavior," TerKeurst explained. "So enough believable behaviors started to occur to where I was willing to spend time with him. And spending time with him again allowed just the beginnings of trust to be rebuilt."
She added, "But whether you're in a situation where reconciliation is possible or not, redemption is always possible. Because redemption doesn't depend on the other person's choices. Redemption is the choice you can choose today with God. And so, redemption was always front and center in my life. Reconciliation, I wasn't sure it would happen but I'm praising the Lord that it is possible."
"It was so hard," Terkeurst said. "I'm an over-processor. So if you talked to any one of my children, they would say mom overthinks her overthinking. I'm an extreme over-processor."
"But one situation happened that helped me a lot and it was when I had my colon issue. My colon twisted in the middle of all this heartbreak and they admitted me to the hospital because I was in so much pain. But the doctors kept saying there's nothing wrong with you. And I laid in that hospital bed pain Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday morning finally a doctor came in my room, a surgeon, he said, 'We finally figured out what's happening. We ran one last test and we have to rush you into emergency surgery or you will not make it.'"
"And he said, 'Lysa, I know you've prayed and asked God to take away your pain, but had God answered that prayer, we would have sent you home. Your colon would have ruptured and you would have died.' And so I remember right before I came under the influence of the anesthesia and fell asleep and went into surgery, this thought dawned on me: 'God loves me too much to answer my prayer at any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way,' " explained TerKeurst.
"And so when my brain starts to overprocess, I remember that moment and I remember that God loves me too much for me to think through all the solutions and carry the weight of being my own God," she continued. "God has a plan so I have to surrender those thoughts to him."
In another Instagram post, TerKeurst shared, "Art and I are very committed in 2019 to serving people together. And to showing the enemy HE MESSED WITH THE WRONG PEOPLE THIS TIME."
Art and I are very committed in 2019 to serving people together. And to showing the enemy HE MESSED WITH THE WRONG PEOPLE THIS TIME! The devastation we walked through has made us more determined than ever to recognize the massive need to help those in the fight of their lives to cling to Biblical Truth and hope. One way we are doing this is to support all the many upcoming initiatives @proverbs31ministries to help hurting marriages. And to help those trying to heal from relationships that weren’t able to be restored. We deeply and personally understand how much pain there is and we feel compelled to do what we can. So much so we are making a special year end donation from our family to @proverbs31ministries. I can’t think of a better investment and wanted to invite you to join us. Will you consider giving a gift of any amount to @proverbs31ministries this weekend? Maybe it’s a few dollars from a skipped coffee or a larger gift from a blessing God just gave you. Whatever it is, this is a great place to give a year end donation. Every dollar given will go directly to ministry work and make a big difference! To give, go to Proverbs31.org or click the link in my profile.
"The devastation we walked through has made us more determined than ever to recognize the massive need to help those in the fight of their lives to cling to Biblical Truth and hope," the post continues.
"One way we are doing this is to support all the many upcoming initiatives @proverbs31ministries to help hurting marriages. And to help those trying to heal from relationships that weren't able to be restored. We deeply and personally understand how much pain there is and we feel compelled to do what we can."