Thursday, April 14, 2011

On whose authority?

I am a church girl. I do not know anything bout life without church or without God. While these are two separate things, they are intrinsically intertwined. The church doesn't promote divorce.

My church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal church, promotes marriage and the sanctity thereof; we do not believe in walking away from a covenant because it is inconvenient or uncomfortable for you at this moment. We believe that just like all relationships, marriage takes work, submission to God, and there are some times when you have to ride out the storm in His grace.

I believe the very same things. Even as I have talked to women since going through this transition, my first advice is to pray about it, seek God's face, and submerge yourself in His word. Sometimes we may find that if we follow Christ, and forsake the world, our marriages can be saved from destruction, revitalized and strengthened. Other times, as in my situation, God moves another way.

My divorce was the end of a 20+ year relationship. The sheer number of years should suggest that I intended to work through changes, heartbreak, infidelity,  growth spurts, and demon possessed family members, in season, out of season and with seasoning salt. When the unraveling began, I started praying for my marriage, for my husband, for our children, for instruction, for deliverance. Anything I could ask of God and do in right standing to fight for the health and strength of my marriage - I did it. I read Stormie O''Martians book 'The Power of a Praying Wife,' from cover to cover.

I have since given that book away, and refuse to read any other power of the praying wife, mistress, concubine, bedbug or any other such book It's not that the premise didn't work: my ex husband is saved, and many of the things I prayed for him are a reality for him today. It just never warned me that what I was asking God for might mean the end of this relationship.Man, that hurt. But God never intended me to be anybody's second thought, last minute lover, or at home woman. All of my junk is treasure. He didn't design me to live in an unfaithful marriage with an undelivered man who did not seek or see God. The key word in that statement is unfaithful.

I had to find it out through prayer, a close personal relationship with God, and by casting down my imagination. God can do anything, so surely He can restore my mind body and soul - all of which could have been lost in the midst of the mess. I don't doubt that, but God's solution is not always the one man determines. I was admonished by all kind of people to stay, tolerate, wait, don't give my husband away to another woman, and even more grand advice. My Pastor supported both me and my husband through the whole demise, and prayed with and for us, and sought God on our behalf. She wanted our marriage to be restored and our faith to be enlarged. There were several prayer warriors who prayed for us.  

I took my instruction from God, lined it up with the Word, and moved in accordance. This was not a situation that I wanted to look back on and say I made a decision based on what anybody else told me or on any counseling of the unwise I had sat among. These decisions require a solid understanding of God's voice when He speaks to your heart. I had to hear from the source.

After the birth of my husbands second child outside of our marriage, when I knew for sure he was not only intimate with another woman but in a whole different relationship, God led me to stop all intimacy with him, and to initiate the separation. I didn't kick him out, I just talked to him the same way God told me. After about two months, he moved out on his own. In that two months, God started a significant transition within me. Before that, in our marriage, intimacy was never an issue. I know that sounds strange, but it just wasn't.

God sometimes uses intimacy between a husband and wife to reignite the remembrance of the bond of two becoming one, and restore balance and focus to an unstable situation. When married people are intimate, it is not only  a physical act, it is a spiritual act. That is part of the reason the marriage is not complete until it is consummated. Ima leave that alone for now, as it needs to be taught in a whole 'nother forum. Suffice it to say, the Holy Spirit uses intimacy between spouses an a relationship way.

When that intimacy stopped, and God removed all desire from my heart and body (because you know your body will make you do some stuff your heart is not even involved in...), I became deaf to the all of the usual pleadings, begging, 3-4 day change of behavior to get me in line with forgiving and forgetting episodes, distraught ultimatums and natural cries for forgiveness. I could only respond to the things I saw and heard in the spiritual where my husband was concerned. I prayed continually and with great effort. I read the Word, and I reasoned and planned. When a man makes a plan, God orders his steps. It's in the Word.

Now, I did not want my marriage to end. That would be a lie from the pit of hell if I told it. I loved my husband. I wanted him to want to get well, to be saved, to honor God, to honor me and his children. I wanted all of those things - but when I submitted to God what I wanted, and told Him it was okay to do what He needed, things began to move.

During this time in my life I got a divine revelation on God's ultimate goal for His children. Some people don't like it when I say it, but my happiness on this earth is not God's ultimate goal. It is, however, that all of us be saved, and not one be lost. If that means a season has to end on a relationship, so be it.
I often had church folk to tell me this would all work out to my good because I was called according to God's purpose. There were also a many of church folk that told us that if I was not willing to move back into a marriage relationship with my husband, and be a wife, then he could leave me and find a wife. I was not willing to move back into the situation, because God didn't tell me to and I was aware that He alone was the one who knew what this end would bring.

People, when we get saved, we do not change 180 degrees over night. Although our healing was delivered and sealed when Jesus took the stripes upon Himself, we ourselves have to claim and walk in that healing. We have to want to be delivered and made whole, and then accept the same. That happens over time, not overnight. My prayer was for healing and wholeness for me as well. God could not change this man with me being right there catching him and fixing things and protecting him - I was in the way. The same could be said for me as well.

If I could give you a vision of how it seemed, even before he got saved and we were in the midst of the mess together, it was like this: Picture a tornado, the way it is wide at the top and narrows until it the coned end. All kind of whirling activity was going on around us. The consequences of human failure, the visitation of generational curses, the condemnation of people who had committed to pray with us and e our support, our own misdoings, the beginning of the bottom falling out economically, the lies of the enemy, my own feelings of inadequacy, the religious intentions of 'saved' people, and even the happiness of haters who were excited and delighted about the turmoil and distress of the marriage.

Do you know where the safest place is in a storm? The place where there is complete calm and quiet? That is where I was -in the eye of the storm, riding it out with God. Sometimes my husband was in the eye of the storm as well, but there was deliverance at hand for him, so he was fighting trusting God completely.

It's where God kept me safe and keened only to the hearing and doing of His word and will. In the next three years, God began the unraveling of the tie that  bound my marriage. I wish I could explain the way it felt when the actual unbinding happened. It was horrific. It was the most piercing feeling outside of loosing someone that I love that I can say I ever experienced. I guess it was losing someone I love, now that I think of it. It felt as if a ripping had happened - like a veil ripped from the top to the bottom. It took my breath and my balance. After it was done, though, it was finished..

Today I can say that I love my ex husband, and he loves me. That love we will have for one another just because. But going through this process with God at the helm allowed us to arrive on a distant shore in a place where we could begin a new relationship - the one of divorce. 

1 comment:

  1. The ascribed purpose for a valley and/or storm experience is for molding, shaping and filling character and integrity by submitting and surrendering to kingdom living and kingdom building