This morning I was pondering the emptiness that you (I) feel when our spouses have chosen something or someone over their marriage. That empty feeling of wondering if you will ever “belong” somewhere again?
When my husband chose his sin repeatedly over me, it didn’t just effect his walk with the Lord or just his life; it effected my life. It shook my world as I knew it. I had invested years in our relationship and our marriage- he was/is a part of me. Our families merged so to speak and every decision I made included him. Every thought of the future, he was a part of. That one flesh thing God talked about…yeah, no joke. Everything my husband did and continues to do effects me on some level and of course that goes both ways in marriage. One person can’t keep the covenant for the other person though…there is a lot that is shared in the one flesh relationship and that is one important part that takes both. I must keep my end of the covenant and he must keep his end for the marriage to function as it was intended. When one breaks covenant- both suffer immensely and the foundation is weakened.
After years of interventions, numerous seasons of fasting and praying, five sets of counsel/counselors, a library of books on the subject, a few “trial” separations, 9 months at a live in “rehab”, a marriage encounter and a lot of tears; my husband and I legally separated in January of this year. While I have heard so many opinions about it (many of which I never asked for) those that were important to me I did ask for. They included my pastor and his wife as well as close family members (including my husband’s) and a trusted friend. All of whom agreed that I had grounds to follow this course of action. I prayed, fasted and I studied the Scriptures intensely to be absolutely certain that these were the steps the Lord was ordaining. A multitude of counsel confirmed what I already knew to be true.
God has not only led me to and in this place- He meets me regularly to remind me that I did hear/discern his voice correctly and that I am on the right path even though it is lonely, disappointing and especially hard when people who don’t even know us or the facts place judgment on me for making the most difficult decision of my life. What is harder is when those who do know us do it as well. Rejection from your spouse is hard enough, but when people who know the truth of what has gone on for years in the name of God expect you to live under something that God Himself is not asking nor expecting you to live under…wow, that is the icing on the cake of heartache.
In this season I have had a choice. Self pity over all that I gave up for the marriage, invested in the marriage and then lost has reared it’s ugly head on a few occasions, but honestly, I have not stayed there where bitterness can root and ungratefulness aims to set in and weed out the good things of God inside of me. Instead I have chosen to focus on the here and now. To allow what is yet to flourish become just as God intended in spite of the obstacles and to focus on what God is doing right here at this very moment. Most importantly, focusing on the cross and the potential my life has in GOD. Truly without him I am nothing. There is work for me to do for the Lord- there is purpose for my life. There is work and purpose for you too. You do not have to leave your husband to find it and God may require you to stay as He did of me for years.
Last night we had a team photo shoot for an upcoming newsletter. I thought it was going to be a “team shoot” not realizing it was a “family” shoot. Meaning each team member was shot with their families. When I got to the studio and saw all the families around I got really sad. It surprised me how quickly this came on and how instantly I just wanted to run as far away from my life and the constant reminder that I am alone now in everything I do. Almost as quickly as the ‘feeling’ came it was shot down by a fellow team member who sincerely looked at me and said “We are your family, Michelle. It’s going to be OK”. Instantly I knew God was in this moment and sent me this great team. This family. This was really supposed to be the idea for this blog entry… that even in the midst of the chaos and the confusion God always sends someone. He sent Christ for us and in the body we are His representation. Think about the people in your life that God has put there. They may not be your first choice but they are God’s chosen for you. Don’t isolate and take on self pity. God has not forsaken us. We are not alone.