Moving On When My Marriage Didn't
First, I want to give full credit to the Proverbs 31 team for the title of this blog post. This was their email subject line I read 4 weeks ago that immediately had me opening the email because, ahem, it was clearly written for me in the exact point of my life I needed. And these are 6 words I didn't think I'd type this soon, but when God is involved, anything is possible.
And now, here I am. After my life took a turn I never expected, after my heart shattered into one thousand pieces, here I am.
Here I am having been on the receiving end of a miracle. A healing miracle from God that has changed my life forever, that has increased my faith more than I knew possible, that has me in awe at the love God has for me.
It was 2 a.m. in the dark hours of the night. You know those dark hours. In times of trauma and crisis, 2 a.m. is nothing short of what I imagine hell to be like. This was the time and place I'd spend many of nights where I felt both satan and God fighting for me. Some nights, satan won. Most nights, God won. And on this particular night, God did win.
Almost two months had passed, leaving my house empty, me mothering my child only 50% of the time and leaving my anger high and my emotions higher.
These were two words on repeat in my head and out of my mouth all day, every day. I needed answers. I had to know why Rick left. I had to know how, my husband of 10 years, a Christian man, could literally look me in the eyes with rigorous passion and tell me he hasn't loved me in four years. That it was over. That he wasn't willing to go to therapy. "It's done, Ann. It's over. I don't love you."
Many conversations I was having led to this: Ann, let it go. You won't know the why or the how. You have to surrender it.
My best friends.
Hey, everyone! Breaking news! It's not the easy! If I could just let it go, I would! Hell yeah, I would. The pain was so intense I was willing to do anything. Anything. But this? The unknown. The hurt. The void of communication from Rick. The replaying time we had spent together just weeks prior to "I haven't loved you in four years." UGH THE REPLAY. The handcuffs around my wrists and around my ankles. I was sure to be in pain for the foreseeable future. I was sure I would have to spend another year of my life in therapy in order to get healed. I was sure of it.
But in this dark hour, at two o'clock in the morning, as I lie in bed with my pillow drenched of tears and washed out mascara, my whole life changed.
I prayed - with curse words and with passion and with intensity - "GOD! Please! Please! I beg of you! I need answers. Force Rick to communicate to me. I need to hear from Rick. I need to know the why and the how! PLEASE GOD! I can't handle the pain. I cannot handle the pain."
God gently but firmly whispered, "Ann, you don't want to hear what Rick has to say."
And in that moment I shot out of my bed like a loose cannon. Wait, what? Wait...
I don't want to hear what he has to say?
I don't want to hear what he has to say.
My entire system opened up and I received what God said. I had never thought that way. God redirected my thought process in an instant.
The next day, I received an email from Proverbs 31 with a subject line that stated "Moving On When Your Marriage Doesn't."
It was 6:30 a.m. and I sprinted to the kitchen to get my coffee, tying my robe on the way. I went to my office and read that email. Which led to this video from Lysa TerKeurst:
Feel free to listen to it all, perhaps you need this word.
But I will share with you the words that brought me to my knees, crying harder than I had this whole time.
To get better, you don't have to know why they hurt you. Why they misunderstood you. Why they betrayed you. Why they didn't love you and protect you or stay like they should have stayed.
They are dealing with their own pain. Their own heartbreak. And in the end, they may not know all the reasons they made the choices they did.
And then, minutes 9:25 - 10:15 had me on my knees.
And then she says this: If no one has taken the time to say this to you, I will. I'm so sorry for how they hurt you. I don't know why they did what they did. Or why the left when they left. I'm guessing they thought they were better off just walking away or they just didn't think about you at all. They couldn't see you like you needed or love you like you pleaded. They just had to go.
Rick. He just had to go. He didn't love me. He didn't protect me. He didn't see me. He didn't hear me. He just had to go.
And then, a few days later after some conversations with my pastor said this: Ann, Rick doesn't hold the truth. You don't need to seek him for healing. He doesn't hold the truth for you.
Three is biblical. In the Hebrew language, three means harmony, new life, and completeness.
It was complete.
I prayed and God gave me three answers.
A whispered holy spirit response: You don't want to hear what he has to say
A word from Lysa TerKeurst: To get better, you don't have to know why they hurt you.
A word from my pastor: Rick doesn't hold the truth
And in that moment, after these three instances, I was set free. Why would I go to the person that hurt me for healing? Why would I seek truth from a person who doesn't love me? Why would I spend the next year of my life torturing myself with pain and anguish seeking an answer that very likely I wouldn't want to hear and would cause me more pain?
God freed me from it all. From the needing to know the why and the how. From the daily pain and confusion. From the loss and the loneliness. The chains were broken. No weapon formed against me will prosper!
He rescued me, he redeemed me. He is rebuilding my heart daily. He has given me new eyes to see the world and to see Rick. Empathy and grace are rising up in my soul. I tried climbing this mountain for over four years. I tried walking around the mountain for four years. I tried chiseling away at the mountain for four years. I couldn't do it. God had to blow the mountain up, blow my life up, in order to build something new in me.
I've moved on. My marriage hasn't. My marriage is over.
But my story? That's not over.
In fact, it is just the beginning. I feel something brewing in me that I haven't felt in years, perhaps ever. To experience love and grace and redemption like this from God in the midst of the worst season of my life, I can only imagine what God will do in the next season. The best season. If he can rescue me in the pain, he can redeem me in the joy. I am free. I have a second chance (or maybe this is my tenth chance) at my life and a harvest season awaits.
I want to encourage you from the depths of my soul that God is alive. That he is active. That he is a God of miracles. There is no way that after only three months I could feel this sense of freedom and joy like I have apart from HIs miracle in my life. Friend, pray out to God. Open your heart to the deepest pain you have and watch what only he can do. Keep your eyes open and your community wide. Because he can. And he will. He's waiting with open arms. He's waiting with love and tenderness and forgiveness and grace. It's yours for the taking. He will speak through a blog post, a video, a friend, a pastor, a therapist. He will. It's yours for the taking.
The person who hurt you? That person doesn't have to stand in the way of your healing. You are worth being loved, being protected, being seen and being heard. You are. And I am.
I don't know what my future holds but I know this - I am carrying a peace, a joy, a strength and a hope - all from God - into this next season. I have one life to live and I don't want to live unhealed because of someone else's action. I want to live healed and free, with bold faith and bold joy, the way I was designed to live.