Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Silver Linings and Confirmation

I would like to preface this blog by reminding you that you don't have to read it.  If you have clicked on it, you have chosen to read my thoughts and opinions.  I do not write to judge or hurt others.  I write as part of healing process for myself.  And, I am writing my story.  I am absolutely not lumping everyone's situation in the same pile as mine.  I write what has been impressed on my heart and mind...so, if you are offended by what I write or don't agree with my point of view...that's ok...just don't read it.

I know God hates divorce.  In the Old Testament, the Bible clearly outlines the importance of the bonds of marriage, the legalities of divorce, and God even says "I hate divorce" in Malachi 2:16.  You can't be more cut and dry than that.  He hates it.  In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jesus again shares the reason marriage is so important and should be honored.  He speaks of that special, beautiful relationship designed to be shared by one man and one woman.  And, again, Jesus addresses divorce and His admonishment of it.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7 of God's plan for marriage and that divorce should not happen.  So, without a doubt, God hates divorce.  The Bible speaks out against it.  There are citations in the Scriptures that recognize "Biblical grounds" for divorce.  And, believe me, in my case, I held tightly to what the Bible teaches about divorce and God's disdain for it.

In my story, I fought for 5 years as hard as I could for my marriage.  I tried changing who I was and who God made me to be to fulfill someone else's expectations.  I used everything in my arsenal to try and keep peace and happiness in the home.  I sought counseling to help me identify the negative things I was bringing to the marriage, and I looked for help as to how I could correct those things.  In NO WAY did I do everything right in my marriage, and I am not at all trying to sound victimized.  I allowed things to happen that shouldn't have.  I shut down when I shouldn't have.  I messed up multiple times everyday.  But, I refused to give up.  For years, I knew I had to do what God commanded in His Word.  I knew I did not have a Biblical reason for a divorce.  And, honestly, I wanted very much to fix everything and restore a broken relationship.  I wanted my children to grow up with both of their parents.  I wanted to defy all the scary statistics that my marriage had facing it.  There were many nights where I struggled with "the grass is greener" syndrome.  But, I never, ever wanted to do anything that would jeopardize my marriage and my family.

No matter how I fought, changed, and compromised, I could not fix what was broken.  When my husband told me he wanted a divorce, I was heartbroken.  I spent weeks begging him to come back.  I prayed endlessly for days.  I sought the counsel of strong, faithful Christians.  I spent so much time flat on my face crying out the the Father, begging Him to fix what I couldn't.  Even as the months passed, I knew in my mind and heart that I would do the right thing, the Biblical thing and let my husband return if he chose to.  I learned that my best friend had also been praying for me for those 5 years.  She knew the depths of my struggles and pain more than anyone.  She knew the issues that haunted our marriage.  And, she too had been praying for years that whatever the hidden thing was that was causing these reoccurring conflicts would be brought to light.  Her prayers were answered.  The result solidified my concerns of having a divorce that had Biblical grounds.  The information and proof devastated me.  The overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, rejection, betrayal, and self-loathing consumed me.  I could not believe what my life had become.  I could not understand why and did not seem honor my fight in the battle.  I felt as if everything had dropped out from under me.  God did not plan for me to have a divorce.  He did not ordain the dissolving of a marriage.  Sin is what happened.  Having free will and the ability to make choices is what happened.   Sin infiltrated our home and tore it apart.  I know this was not a part of God's design.  He hates divorce.

However, God does love His children unconditionally.  He has honored my faithfulness to Him.  He has provided for my kids and me in ways that I cannot fathom.  He has wrapped us up in His love.  And, while there is still so much pain, He is brining healing.  My kids' pain has been the hardest thing in all of this for me.  Seeing how their personalities have changes has been alarming.  Dealing with behavior issues that I never saw coming has rocked my world.  In spite of the hurt, this season has brought me so much closer to my children.  And, the three of us have clung so tightly to our Heavenly Father.  Our spiritual walk is far from perfect, but it is so much more real in our lives...it is a constant part of everyday.

Please understand that I am not advocating divorce.  If you come from a home that has been blessed enough to be devoid of divorce, you may not understand this post.  And, I know every story is different...again, I am not lumping all divorces together.  From my life, a person can give and fight with everything they have, but then breaking up of a home still happens.  It all goes back to sin.  If you are having marital problems, I would encourage you and your spouse to seek Christian counseling.  I would implore that you spend time with Christian friends who will lift you up.  I would advise that you find a Christian couple who is older, wiser, and has been married a long time and ask them to mentor you and your spouse.  Divorce is too commonplace in this culture.  It should not be taken lightly.  I have been blessed to have several wonderful, godly women friends who are divorced...each one gave everything they had.  But, when sin is present and if Satan can get a foothold, the only way to combat that is with the power of God.  God's power is able to solve, heal, fix, restore anything.  The problem is self and sin can get in the way.  This is why it is essential for spouses to work together and to surround themselves with Christian influences, to spend time alone and together in God's Word, to pray with and for each other, and to make God the top priority and the center of the marriage.  

I am so thankful for the friends God has placed in my life who are survivors of divorce.  I love seeing how He has restored their hearts, how He has blessed them, and how He is using them.  I have been greatly encouraged by these awesome people.  If you are divorced, you aren't broken...God can use you...let Him.  If you are blessed to be in a marriage, fight for it!!!  I am equally blessed to have wonderful friends who have never been divorced and who are still with the person they started out with.  These friends have also given me great hope.

Now, this post has been heavy.  Y'all who know me know God has given me an interesting (often inappropriate) sense of humor...I call it silver lining logic.  It's my view of God confirming small things in my life that make me giggle and know He's not through with me.  So, here are some silver linings I have experienced: the option to wear high heels, the need to buy new clothes because I have lost weight, the victory of dropping 3 pant sizes because of said weight loss, the ability to prepare "kid food" 3 meals a day (because I like cereal, ramen, and PB&J as much as my kids do), the gift to be able to give all of my attention to my kiddos...especially because they need it right now.  Believe me, this in not me taking my situation lightly.  This is me making the best of the most painful season of my life.  All I know is God is at work in my heart and mind.  I have never felt closer to Him.  I have never felt that I could reach out and touch Him like I do now.  I have never felt so "heard" by Him.  He is with me.  He is bigger.  His plans for me will surpass any I could make for myself.  I am so glad to know He loves me in spite of my faults, and that He holds my and my kids' future in His hands.  I am thankful!

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