So the gate is open and the chains have been broken, but where does that leave me? Honestly, I’m in the doorway looking out at my freedom and its vast possibilities but stuck between dreams and reality. It’s been a week since my divorce has been final but I can’t say that it has really hit me yet. I am still a bit numb. Like it is officially over? Like really over? Like I’m really done!? I know I did a good job of concealing the depth of the troubles in my marriage. I know that God’s grace made it look like what I went through wasn’t a big deal and maybe didn’t even warrant a divorce but the truth is the depth of my marriage woes were ugly and painful. I never thought I would leave. I never thought that I would stop trying. I never thought that I would move on and at a point in time I couldn’t even fathom what that looked like or how I would even take the first step. I was under the impression that all that I was going through was what I deserved and it ultimately became my normal. I began to think that I didn’t deserve love and that I would never know what love from a significant other felt like.
At my breaking point, I remember asking God this can’t be all that you have for me. This can’t be all that I deserve and this definitely can’t be a reflection of your love. I felt unloved, I felt neglected, I felt worthless and I was emotionally tapped out. I had poured out all that I could to save our marriage the first time and he still hadn’t changed, he still hadn’t forgiven me and he no longer wanted to try. Despite my unbreakable demeanor, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and being on the receiving end of his bitterness. The little hope left in me led me to believe that I deserved more and the truth set in that I wasn’t going to get it from him. He tapped out long before I did but I had finally mustered up enough courage to throw my towel in too. I didn’t care that it made me look like a failure. I didn’t care that people to this day would be saying I told you so. I was dying inside and desperate to live.
By the time he left physically, I had already left emotionally. I knew that God could fix anything and that my prayers were powerful and worked but for some reason this prayer to fix my marriage wasn’t being answered. I’ve now learned that sometimes God’s answer is no and no matter how you rephrase the question or try to answer it yourself, His answer will remain no. We got counseling. I prayed. I fasted. I faithfully stood by his side and I was submissive throughout all our ups and downs but my answer was still no. “No Taty. You’ve done all that I’ve asked you to. Your assignment with him is done.” When I received that release in my heart is when I finally prepared to move on.
Have you been ignoring God’s no? How many tests and trials do you have to go through to come to the grips that maybe it’s you prolonging your healing process? I admit I argued with God, I even ignored Him at times. If you ask me now, I believe He told me no a long time ago. He just honored my commitment to my marriage and covered me in grace while I futilely attempted to make our marriage work. My disobedience in that area wore me out and our problems continued to get worse. Maybe my no was to teach me a lesson. Maybe I needed to learn that no does not mean never but it was just to protect me from my right now. Maybe all that I went through was a result of my disobedience and it just had to get bad enough for me to let go. My theories of the role I played in my failed marriage can go on all day but the fact remains that despite my delayed reaction I one day decided I wanted better. Maybe that’s where you are. Maybe you don’t know where to start. Maybe you think there is more that you can do to change the person that you are in a relationship with. The truth is you can’t change them and nothing you do will change that person. For the change that you are looking for to be permanent and effective, it has to be something they want too.
I’ll leave you with this excerpt from a book that I greatly utilized to get me through my marriage. For me it confirmed that God was listening to my prayers, He was just telling me no.
“I know several couples who experienced adultery in their marriages, but because in each case there was a wife who was willing to pray and a husband open to allowing God to change and restore him, the marriages are still intact and successful today. Only prayer, a submitted heart, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can work those kinds of miracles. I have another friend whose husband had numerous affairs before they finally divorced. Each time it was with one of her best friends. I questioned her choice of “friends,” but I never questioned her godliness or commitment to pray. She prayed. But a heart that refuses to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit will not change, no matter how hard you pray.” – The Power Of A Praying Wife by Stormy Omartian
If you can relate to any of this, I want you to begin with this book. Read it and apply it to your life and in your marriage. If you’re not married or are thinking about marriage, I suggest you read this too to determine if this type of sacrifice is something you’re open to. Marriage can be difficult at times but it can work with the foundation of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. And for the record, I don’t advocate for divorce. I advocate for taking the necessary steps to make you whole. Divorce was a necessary step in my healing but now it’s time for you to figure out what your next step is.