I need to walk this mile in my journey with no one but God. My mind can’t get in the way. Your input may cloud what God is doing.
Yesterday I was given hope. Hope is such a small and simple word, but with a big impact. I am learning that now.
Hope for a situation I had deemed hopeless a year ago.
And quite honestly, my flesh doesn’t want this hope. The ramifications of it could be life and death.
This is hope for my marriage.
Hear this, nothing with my soon-to-be ex-husband has changed. He still has the girl living with him who has been a problem in our marriage since before we were married. He still has never owned how his actions and inactions have contributed to the failing of our marriage. He still doesn’t have obvious fruits of God working in his life.
Believe me, this is a hope I didn’t ask for, nor do I want.
But still it is here.
For years during our marriage, I begged God to get through to Mike. I knew if Mike could feel the power of His touch, he could be transformed. There was a short time in our marriage I believe Mike actually did experience this. It was evident in his behavior. He was unjudgmental. He was complimentary. He was…different. But that didn’t last long. Because in order for transformation to be life long, one must repeatedly submit to God’s Will.
I believe Mike’s heart was good intentioned most of the time. He didn’t want to be judgmental. He didn’t want to break every bit of self confidence I ever had by withholding love when I didn’t perform to his expectations. He didn’t want his wife to contemplate suicide as an alternative to living the rest of her life with him and all that entailed.
But unless we are real with ourselves, and therefore one another, it can’t function in a healthy manner. And a problem came in when one was real and the other was not.
Because everything I do is done at a hundred miles per hour, no waiting here, as I came to know God during our relationship I grew much quicker than he. But I’m human and I fall. And I also understand people will fall but if we confess and repent, we can easily get back up, dust ourselves off and continue on our journey. Mike hadn’t developed that understanding, so when I fell (usually with my anger towards him at that time), it was frequently said to me, “Well that’s real Christian behavior” or “Some Christian you are”.
I began to resent my faith.
Over the course of the years, I had been given reasons to distrust him. Well, trust didn’t come easy for either one of us considering we had both walked away from marriages to be together. It became harder when we decided we didn’t want to date one another any longer and ended our relationship, only to find out I was pregnant with our son. Trust was difficult.
It was difficult to trust him when I heard him on the phone with a woman who he had been intimate with in the past. It was difficult to trust him when working with him, a girl who had moved out of town but was head over in heels in love with him came into town and left him a message when I answered the company phone that she is at this hotel and hopes to see him. It was difficult to trust him when that same girl moved back into town and started to attend our church, sitting behind us where she could watch us every week. It was difficult to trust him when I received a phone call that he had been out spending time with a female co-worker. It was difficult to trust him when information was always relayed to me through other people, but never from him being forthcoming.
But I trusted…and nagged how important it was for him to be forthcoming. I understand being pursued. I understand women not caring if a man is already married. But not being forthcoming gives the devil a foothold for problems. And it did. His response over and over through the years is he “didn’t want to worry me”.
I get that. Not every detail has to be shared. But satan is sneaky and uses everything he can to get in the way of God’s work. Forthcoming never happened. And finally one situation broke the camel’s back of trust. I couldn’t do it any longer.
And that started the whirlwind of the next two years of ending our relationship.
I cried out to God to release me from this marriage. I sought counseling from the church, where I was then employed. I couldn’t get the release I wanted. What I felt I needed.
So by the time I left staff at the church, eventually walking away from God all together, it wasn’t long before I fell into my first affair in our marriage. A one night, out of town, alcohol-induced time. It made me feel alive and sexy, appreciated and loved. At least for that one night. My self esteem lower than it had ever been, it felt good to be built up by this handsome stranger…never to be seen again.
It took 3 months before I fell into my next one affair while living under the same roof of my marriage. This one wasn’t with a stranger and lasted a few months. This is the one I shared with my husband.
I wanted to die. I couldn’t stand who I had become. I was depressed, angry and hurt. Why couldn’t I feel released from my marriage?
My husband wanted to make it work.
Our whole marriage happened for the sake of raising our son, therefore in my mind I never believed he never loved me. And to be honest, I didn’t love him either. But there was a point in our marriage I did fall in love with him, for how I knew to love, and I wanted more than anything for the same. But I never felt his love. There were so many conditions attached to it.
I asked him for a separation. He gave me a hundred reasons why we shouldn’t separate, including because he loved me more than he’s ever experienced love before. This was my time to find out if he was in the marriage for us or for his son.
I never had to tell him of my affairs. I could have hidden all of this for the rest of my life and no one would be the wiser. But God knew. And if I truly wanted peace and to live within God’s plan for my life, I would once again have to be forthcoming.
To start, I told him only of my second affair.
His response told me he wasn’t in this relationship for us.
That ended our marriage.
There were many other problems attached to our marriage. He had many issues with me. His story would read drastically different. And he would be valid in much of what he would say.. I failed our marriage before I ever had an affair. I could not be who he wanted me to be. I could keep trying but I was miserable feeling I had to walk in the shoes of someone who didn’t exist in my body.
I think it would be fair to compare it to someone who is heart and soul a woman, trying to live day in and out as a man. It’s confusing, exhausting and left me to feel not good enough just being the woman I am…if that makes sense.
So I took my own will back from God, made my own decisions and moved on from our marriage. That was New Years Eve, 2009.
Next month my divorce is scheduled to be finalized. I have walked this time at peace with the divorce, surrendering to God’s Will and creating a new life for myself, with God’s help.
I like who I am today. I still struggle. I get lonely at times. But I know I am a good person and I am learning to love me as God does. I am starting to see the good in me others see. I’m mostly independent, although times I have to be shown that to remind myself in the times of trouble. I am living out loud for Christ and I have been told I am an inspiration to many.
I don’t want that to change.
So this “hope” that I was given yesterday…the only thing I want more than this feeling to leave is for my continued obedience to God. The last thing in this world I want is to repair this marriage. I never want to be vulnerable to my life even remotely resembling what it did when Mike and I lived under the same roof.
Yet that release from my marriage still has never happened.
And I am anticipating that this mile journey I am walking right now is God testing my obedience to Him. So I will continue walking, surrendering my will and taking the next step He directs.
And I would appreciate your prayers during this. Not prayers for what you think you know, but prayers for God’s peace and strength and protection to fall over my family and I.
Hope is such a small and simple word, but with a big impact. I am learning that now.