When my husband told me that he was divorcing me to marry my best friend, the bottom dropped out of my world. His words tore my heart out and left me feeling worthless and insignificant. I never imagined that the person I love most on the face of this earth would reject me so violently and speak so many words of shame and anger toward me.
I just knew there had to be an answer somewhere, but our pastor reasoned with me that if Michael didn’t want the marriage, there was nothing I could do. The counselors I sought out confirmed his declaration and added that I must have pretty low self esteem to want a man who so obviously didn’t want me.
We had two children and a third on the way. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to pray, but words failed me. I had walked in relationship with Jesus for a little less than two years at that time and had never really faced a major crisis. I hurt too much to think beyond the moment and I wasn’t even sure what I should ask God to do. Finally I accepted the inevitable and began to prepare for divorce.
With a focus at last in mind, I asked the Lord what my next step should be. He led me to a scripture, “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife” 1 Corinthians 7:10,11.
That scripture astounded me. My pastor and the counselors had all given me many scriptures that assured me divorce was God’s plan for us. They had even told me God had a better husband waiting. Now the Lord was telling me to reconcile or remain single. How could He possibly say that knowing my circumstances? My husband was in adultery. That gave me scriptural grounds for divorce and freedom to remarry. I argued all these points in my heart as I sought to understand the scripture the Lord had showed me.
Again and again the Lord patiently led me back to 1 Corinthians 7:10 and 11. He made it clear to me that was His standard. He also made it clear to me that day that either one of those choices would bring me joy. If I chose to remain single, He would be my husband and father to my children. I knew He would care for me better than any earthly man ever could.
He also made it clear that if I chose to reconcile, He would be the one who would accomplish it. It was not up to me or my “perfection” to see it done. That was a relief to me since I already knew how futile my own efforts had been.
I didn’t really know which choice was better. I had been hurt so much by my husband’s actions and words and I didn’t know if reconciling with him was such a good idea. I also didn’t know if remaining single was really the desire of my heart. For a long time I just sat in the presence of the Lord, feeling His love and unconditional acceptance of me. I alternated between crying out from the depth of my pain and just breathing in His healing life.
Finally I asked Him, “Lord, if I choose to reconcile, how will that happen? My husband seems to hate me and wants nothing to do with me. How could our marriage ever be whole again?”
Have you ever felt the overwhelming power of God in your life? I felt it that day. At that moment I knew that God could do anything. I said, “Okay, Lord. I want to reconcile. Teach me what to do.”
How simple that prayer was and how vast was the answer that came over the next several years. I often think in steps (step 1, step 2, etc.) I was waiting for God to give me His three-step plan to reconciliation. I was sure that much of it had to do with fixing up Michael and I was eager to get started. The sooner he was in shape, the better. How little did I realize that day of what God had in mind. Love, Marilyn
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” Deuteronomy 30:19