The Little Faith that Could
by Luisa Rodriguez
Twenty some years ago, I saw a picture of a tall, dark, and handsome Marine and I was smitten. That Marine became my husband a little over a year later. We had not planned to get married so soon, but then September 11th, 2001 happened. We both saw the writing on the wall and knew a deployment to a combat zone was inevitable. A few months later, we exchanged vows in one of the shortest and cheapest weddings in history. For $65 and five minutes later, we were husband and wife.
Julio was a good match for me. We complemented each other well. He was (and still is) extraordinarily patient with my roller-coaster moods, disorganization, and absent mindedness. He expected and required little of me as a homemaker. He never wanted me to clean up after him and could care less if I could cook or not. As long as we had money for take-out, all was good in the world.
In as many ways as we were different, we were also alike. We shared a love of military history, reading, and watching good action flicks. I was never a Hallmark movie kind of wife and that was a huge plus for him. But most of all, we loved to laugh. Laughter surely carried us through our first ten years of marriage.
Despite our “good” marriage, something was missing. When I married Julio, he was not a Christian. He was Catholic on paper, but there was no personal relationship with Jesus Christ and for the next eleven years, he had no interest in one either. I would often ask if he would come to church with me, and nine times out of ten, he would say no. Every “no” felt like a punch in the gut. When he did go, mostly to maintain domestic tranquility, I could tell his heart was not in it. However, I would consistently pray that one day he would come to Christ.
We were unequally yoked and as time went on, the consequences of disregarding 2 Corinthians 6:14 became painfully obvious. We hit a really rough patch in our marriage and laughter was no longer enough to carry us through. Our marriage seemed to be holding on by a mere thread. During this time, he made it very clear on several occasions, that he was never going to be that man, the kind of man that gives his life to Jesus.
In the carnal, I questioned how the marriage could possibly survive, and I began to lose hope that my husband would ever become a Christian. I couldn’t see the spiritual battle raging for his life. But most days, I still found enough strength to pray for his salvation.
Even though we were now on an upward trajectory and the worst was behind us, my husband still resisted Jesus and he was vocal about it. I think that in his mind, he wanted me to accept him for who he was and didn’t want me living on false hope.
But I prayed with the little faith I had left because it was all I could do.
Then that glorious day came when angels were rejoicing in heaven. My parents were visiting and, my father, a pastor, asked my husband if he wanted to accept Jesus. It was the second time that day my father had asked that question. I did not expect an affirmative answer as I had been warned the night before by my husband not to expect much from him in that arena. It was the last day of my parents’ visit, and my dad said, “Julio, I feel I need to ask you just one more time.” I almost fell to the floor in shock when my husband said yes.
As I look at my marriage today, there is still laughter, conversations about wars that happened centuries ago, and Marvel movie marathons. But we now have the one thing that trumps it all. Jesus. And I can see the dramatic changes in the life of my husband and his spiritual growth. He is not the same man I married. He is better, so much better because there is a light in him that no one can quench now.
I prayed for his salvation for more than 11 years. And the answer came when I least expected it, but God was faithful. Now when I pray for my biological father who is agnostic, I pray knowing that no matter how many times he tells me, “That is not for me,” that at any minute he could fall into the arms of Jesus. The spiritual battle is raging for his life too and whether I see evidence in the natural or not, I must press on with the weapon God gave me. Prayer.
About the Author
Luisa Rodriguez is a writer and artist who lives in St Charles, IL. Her professional background is in National Security and International Studies. However, recently, Luisa writes mostly about issues that pertain to spiritual growth.
Her daughters are one of her biggest inspirations. Much of her writing centers on female themes and lessons learned from parenting daughters. However, Luisa’s military studies give her a unique perspective on warfare/military themes in the Bible and she weaves that into her articles. Because of this, she appeals to male readers as well.
Because of her artistic background, she often illustrates her own graphics for her written work and website. You can read and see more of Luisa’s work on her website, Fruitfully Living. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can read Luisa’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the first 1st Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.