“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”~Proverbs 19:20-21
Like most people, I like to get my way. Recently, I was compelled to approach my soon-to-be-ex-husband and have a discussion with him about whether or not we should reconcile. It could have been the numerous messages I thought I was receiving from God that day or it could have been that I just wanted to be sure that our impending divorce was, in fact, the right thing for both of us. By messages, I mean to say that when I got up on Sunday morning I watched two televangelists whose topics were about the divine covenant of marriage and whether or not you should marry someone. When I got to church, the message of the day was about, you guessed it, marriages in the Bible. I sat there listening to these sermons thinking, “What if I really didn’t try hard enough?” And so, the pressure to reconcile was upon me. Whether that really came from God or it was just my tendency to doubt that I had already done the right thing by leaving the marriage remains to be seen.
The past five months have been difficult. I left my husband in May after struggling to decide whether or not we should remain in our eleven year relationship. My reasons for leaving were not built upon any earth-shattering discoveries, they were merely the product of years of miscommunications, mistrust, and misplaced loyalties on both of our parts. I loved my husband and thought that he was a good man. When we met, neither or us were active in a church and that, I believe was a huge part of our problem. Without airing too much of our dirty laundry, I just want to say that things like how you view health issues and your ability to work on your own problems are potential assassins in a marriage. These issues most certainly caused our marriage to die a slow, painful death. Between his stuff and my stuff and our distance as a couple from God, we didn’t really have a chance. By the time we went back to church and tried to fix some of it, the wrong seed had already taken root in our marriage and was growing to tremendous proportions. Our egos made it difficult for us to even agree on one church to attend and from there, we seemed to forget why we had married each other in the first place.
Having taken a few months away from church and a few months away from him, I processed a lot of anger and confusion. I spent my time wondering what my husband was doing and if I had made the right decision. By the time I decided to go back to church, my heart had begun to soften a little and to feel as though I really needed to work on forgiveness and mercy. These are two things I’ve never been good at. And so, as we get to last Sunday, I found myself sitting with my husband and talking about what we should do. For a brief moment, we had decided to try and fix things, though he still wanted to go through with the divorce proceedings until we saw whether or not we could work things out. Sadly, after just one day’s consideration, he decided that his loyalties lie somewhere else and that my questions about those loyalties indicate that I’m jealous or hateful or crazy or all of the above. I guess that’s really God talking. I imagine He’s saying to me, “This door is closed, leave it alone.” My only question is, “Why?” I’m not pining away over this relationship, but it really seemed for a moment as though God wanted a reconciliation. However, when I put myself out there to try and fix the problem, it wasn’t even a possibility. Was that God talking or my misunderstanding of something else He was trying to say because I kept hearing what man was saying?
I’m not sharing this to depress you, or to make you feel in any way sorry for me. I strongly felt that God opened the door to get me out of my marriage when it was causing me so much pain. I think, however; that the pressure of hearing man’s interpretations of God’s word can sometimes be so strong that you hope you are hearing God himself in their words. When, in fact, if you spend a little time alone, calling out to Him, He will answer and He will put a hand on your shoulder and point you in the right direction. Even if what you are going through is painful and confusing, filter out what man is telling you and listen to God. He’s talking to you, but you’re probably tuned in to a different channel.
Deep in my heart I say,”The LORD is all I need; I can depend on him!” The LORD is kind to everyone who trusts and obeys him. It is good to wait patiently for the LORD to save us.
~Lamentations 3:24-26 (Contemporary English Version)~