As a lot of you know, I separated from my husband. We were separated for a little over two years.
I simply couldn't live with some things. The entire situation could only be described as chaos. Complete and utter chaos. There was no trust. There was an immense amount of anger, hurt, and bitterness. There were wounds so large that I truly didn't think that they would heal.
Before I separated, God gave me a mental image. I know that it was Him..because this was the one image that I, in all of my hatred and anger, would never have wanted to see.
Jesus showed me an image of a flower. It was very simple, but He spoke to me and said that "My life..and my marriage, were like a tiny seed. If I would let Him be the source of living water, then both would grow into something wonderful and beautiful."
Around the same time, my sister called me. "Rachelle, she said, last night I had a dream that you had roots." Very deep roots. As I hung up the phone, I couldn't help but cry as I saw that if I truly submitted my life and my marriage to God..then, He would give me roots. Unshakeable, unwavering..roots.
I was ready to surrender my life, in its entirey... but, I still had reservations about my marriage.
So I separated.
Many times I prayed for God to let me take the easy way out. A part of me hoped that if I stayed separated for long enough...my husband would move on to someone else.
It was a secret wish that I wished out of all my anger and bitterness.
But, as I grew close to Christ.. I felt Him bidding me to pray for my husband. So I did.
Every time I would kneel down to pray, I felt the anger and the bitterness leave me. I felt the "peace that surpasses all understanding". as I chose not to worry and instead to pray about the situation and instead place everything in God's hands.
I began thanking God for my freedom from the drama, but also thanking Him for helping me to love again.
There was a verse that kept me hanging on every time I was tempted to quit. There were many days when I felt the anger returning, but there was this one verse...
12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man[a] has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. 13 And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. 14 For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband[b] brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. 15 (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife[c] is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you[d] to live in peace.) 16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you? 1 Corinthians 12:16
I think the part that stood out the most was the part that said.. " Don't you realize that you husband could be saved because of you?.."
One day, during the course of my separation, I saw my husband as God sees him. It was a visual image that He gave me.. God showed me an image of my husband laughing. He was laughing purely..from the heart. What is so remarkable about this vision is that my husband never laughs.. at least during that time period..he simply did not laugh... I don't know if he has ever laughed out of true God given joy..
But God showed me what my husband would look like in Heaven and on this earth..if he surrendered his life to Jesus...
He would laugh with joy.
God.., " I ask.. Is one soul really that important to you.. that you would have me to remain in this marriage...of lies and hurt and all sorts of other shady things..? Just one soul..Is it really that important..?
God showed me that He would would have loved me even if I had quit. He would have loved me if I had decided to let it go..but He also showed me that the narrow path is best carved through sacrificial love.
And even though..a marriage undoubtedly takes two...sometimes, it starts with one... One willing to love even during the hardest and grueling of times.
One willing to relinquish the situation and put it in God's hands..
I had to do that over and over again.. I had to learn to put everything in God's hand's.
I had to trust that Father really does know best.
There were days when I was sitting with my two boys. I began to wonder how their lives would look through the lens of divorce... I watched as my three year old boy lovingly talked about his dad. I saw the innocent, childlike love that my son had for his father..and I didn't want him to have to face a divorce..
Sure, he would have survived it ..just like the millions of children who go through it every year. But, I realized that if things could work..then I was willing to pick up my cross and forgive.
One day I was praying for the spiritual gift of discernment and God began to open my eyes to many things. One thing that He showed me was that I was just as guilty of sin as my husband. You see, I had played the role of the Accuser in my marriage. There were things that I had done that I wasn't willing to take the blame for... I was just as bad, but somehow I saw his sins as bigger and badder.
But God showed me something about grace that day... You see, through God's grace, there is a "forgetting." Grace forgets the past.. Grace says..I have forgiven you as far as the east is from the west.
Grace says, You are free..
I write to a few people in prison... One is a man that I knew when I was in high school. The other day he sent a letter and told me that he has given his life to Christ, but realizes that he is paying for his sins in prison.. He thinks that God is punishing him..
But you see, Grace..forgets.. God isn't punishing him.. The same grace that forgave me..forgave this man of his crime....It is man that is punishing him.. There is God's law of grace and then there are man's laws that are imposed to protect society.
anyhow, back to the marriage story..
I am happy to report that God still hears us.. God still moves.. God wants your family to work out..
And even if it doesn't, He loves you anyway..
But I will say this... Submit to God..He longs to produce a change within you...God changes things. He changes people.. And if you are changed..then who is to say that your marriage won't get better...
And what's amazing..Is that I have seen some true changes within my husband.. i have seen him slowly begin to grow in maturity..
There is still a ways to go....but God is still working and moving.
There is now mutual respect between us and only God could've done such a thing.