It’s a cold Saturday morning and I’m glad to be home! Traveling is grand but there’s no place I’d rather be than here. The dogs are a handful but our joy, the house is small but we absolutely love it. We are blessed!
Patty and I still marvel at the second chance we’ve been given in our marriage. To come through divorce and re-marry each other and realize the weight of each others loss only to recover it is no less than miraculous. Though we are more diligent to work on it, vigilant to protect it, grateful to have it; we know only too well how much opposition there is to marriage. And that it requires ultimate surrender to God to maintain.
Though she is my life and I love no one more, she is completely God’s first! I can’t control or dictate what she does or thinks to my own liking. I also don’t want to! The beautiful thing is how her devotion to God only strengthens her desire and resolve to be a great wife to me and not because I ask her to be.
We know and pray for many marriages in the grip of heartache and death. We’ve come from death to life again in our own so we know it’s possible. There are two things I know from our own experience. One is, though we do all we can to save it-God alone holds it together. Two, He won’t force His way on either one of us. His best is there for having but comes at a cost and begins with our own death.
The miracle you may need can’t happen till all the old dies first. A counselor said that to us early on in our descent to divorce and I felt like punching him. Turns out he was totally right. Our will, our plans, our desires, our pasts, our issues, our sin; have to go in the ground and be buried properly for new life to come. We won’t feel like we did always, we won’t have what we want-when we want it always, we won’t have a perfect spouse, etc… etc… But we can always count on there being a struggle and battle for marriage! Most fail because they refuse to fight fairly and communicate through it.
If you wish to hold on to and honor the vow you made “to never let go and leave the other,” first there needs to be a laying to rest the false picture and reality that it’s supposed to look and feel a certain way for it to be God’s best. If you’re in it, it’s God’s best. Any tempting to believe it’s better elsewhere is a lie. I can’t make you trust in truth nor convince you of what is truth, you have to decide first to believe what God calls truth or not. If you have chosen to accept His word as truth then my encouragement is to call the lie a lie. You are not better of somewhere else, alone, or with another. You will be your best if you allow God to restore what is destroyed.
To help pick up the pieces and move forward I want to also challenge you to do something:
One-even if you’re sick of the other, learn to pray together. Bring your deadness, numbness, pain, hurt, anger, etc. to God with complete honesty and candor. He is Big enough to deal with it.
Two, realize you can only control You so focus on You and not your mate. The problem is always half Your responsibility and the solution can only come if you’re working on you and not trying to mend the other first.
Three, get help if you need it. Let a trusted and proven advocate of God’s truth and way speak into it. Don’t stop after one or two counseling appointments fail, they’re a bit like medication-you have to try more than one sometimes to find the right cocktail. Christians are just as, and sometimes more than, clumsy as anyone else. They say funky things, betray confidences, make mistakes, take sides, gossip, etc.; welcome to humanity- keep trying anyway!! You need the strength of others to help carry you.
Last, though time is not the healer itself, it does facilitate the process. Takes years to get into our messes and time to get out. So far I’ve never experienced a magic wand type of healing. Thankfully God is merciful and works over time as a skilled surgeon to cure the inner problems. We can fully believe that we’ll never get over something that’s happened or been done to us. But over time He really can change what a heart believes. That’s the miracle we lived and experienced. A bit of advice; watch your words to yourselves and each other in the process, their power is strong and can add years to the recovery.
Let Your own idea of the ideal marriage go and start the miraculous adventure and journey of surrender. It works and it’s worth it!