John 11:21:  Lord, if you have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.

It is a question that every person with a broken spirit asks: Jesus, why did you let this happen?  I know you could have intervened, but you chose to watch me suffer in this pain.  Why would you do that?

In my situation, I knew at least in my head that there was a good purpose behind my suffering.  My husband had hidden a pornography addiction for year.  Getting caught and being released from ministry was exactly what needed to happen – for him.   But what about me?  I was the victim of collateral damage in God’s plan and I wasn’t happy.  The least God could do was make it a little easier…but he didn’t.  Everything was getting worse.

Our mentors had abandoned my husband, who was barely existing somewhere between shell-shock and depression.

Our house wouldn’t sell and we couldn’t find new jobs.

Our money was running out.

And the pain was unbearable.  Everything we had ever known was gone.  Ministry had been our life, now it was over.  Our congregation was our family.  Gone.  We had once enjoyed the support of many friends.  Gone.  The good thing was we sold our house.  The bad thing was, now that was gone too.

Jesus, where are you?  Why don’t you love us anymore?

During that period, I heard a pastor preach a sermon that led me to the answer.  He said you can either judge Jesus’ love  through the lens of your circumstances, or you can judge your circumstances through the lens of Jesus’ love.

Jesus hadn’t stopped loving us.  It was out of love that he had allowed our life to be turned upside down.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the Lord had to break us down before he could rebuild us in his image. Sometimes that means chiseling.  This time it meant demolition.

Only in suffering can we know the fullness of the healing power of the Lord.  Was I willing to undergo pain and loss if it would bring glory to God?

Four months after my husband’s revelation, we moved to a rented home in a new state.  We found new jobs (not in ministry) and we started a new life.   We were glad that chapter was behind us.  Little did we know, that chapter had just begun.  While our lives had stabilized somewhat, our emotions were still on a roller coaster.  We sought out Christian counselors in our new hometown to  guide us towards Jesus.  Our greatest challenges were still yet to come.

Marsha Fisher is a professional communicator and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Marsha’s world came to an abrupt hault when her husband’s pornography addiction was exposed ten years into their marriage.  Marsha and her husband Jeff launched to share hope, encouragement and resources to other individuals and couples struggling with sexual sin.