As I am going through my books that are stacked on the floor (I need an extra bookshelf!) to find the right one for the class I am taking this semester to attempt to complete my master’s degree, I am finding so many books I read all throughout the past 16 years of being a believer. Actually, this winter it is exactly 15 1/2. I am running into a lot of marriage books, Army wife books, etiquette books, parenting books, and Holiness books. I love that this has been my life. But, my life was so suddenly changed just over a year ago, I have been trying to make sense of my sense of purpose lately. I love being a mom and hope to be the best mom I can be my whole life. But, what now? I always thought I’d be married my whole life and had every intent to pursue that direction, but when life so suddenly forcibly changes on you, what do you do? The first book I read on marriage, ironically enough, was one that taught in such a beautiful way that marriage was sanctifying. Brian and I read it at the same time, while we were apart from a deployment. I loved that book and all the succeeding ones I read about marriage.
I know God works all things according to His purpose for the good of those who love Him. This is such a comforting verse. I was such a fervent wife, praying hard, trying hard, never stopped caring. I think the hardest part of a divorce for me is the “what now?” Dealing with all the questions. When you are so used to a role, a responsibility, a routine, working at cultivating feelings of love and commitment to someone and all of a sudden everything changes at once. People have told me that divorce is worse than death. I think it is in the sense of the deliberate intention of the other to reject combined with a total loss of relationship. I remember reading “Uninvited,” by Lisa Terkeurst at the time, and boy what a timely book God put in my hands!
I think after one recovers, by the grace of God, from shock, deliberate rejection, and all the hurt that goes with a divorce…there are the tangible concerns about such a big change in finances, concerns about children, the future. I think my head could spin all day each day if I let it.
Sudden divorce has really challenged me to trust God in even deeper ways. I’ve always had a gift of faith in God, but something I have come to see is that God is always in the business of growing that faith more and more. I know God never planned or wanted this divorce for me. But, I do believe it is His Grace to me. We were so unequally yoked. I can say that with love and forgiveness in my heart now. I wish the best for him.
But, what now? I know spiritually, I am married to Christ. But, I honestly do not know how to do that either! I am looking at my marriage books, and I love to be a good student, but I want to understand now what I did well in my marriage before and what I need to do differently. I know as I focus on being in submission to Christ and growing in my faith, it won’t be so hard if God calls me to marriage again. And really, the way I feel right now, it is truly is His choice! Some days I think I am very happy alone and other days I cannot imagine not having a life companion and partner in Christ. But, it must be IN CHRIST. I feel as if I know that I know that God knows what is best for me. I feel content with that. Each day, each step, He knows the way. I am a forward thinker and planner by design, but I have learned and continue to tell myself each day that the Lord is in charge of the day. I begin my prayers in the beginning of each day thanking God for His day and asking Him for the strength to know and follow His plan each day. I deal sometimes with restlessness, particularly when I am counting pennies, and wondering what direction He wants me to go, but I can rest in the fact that He will speak to me, He will guide me, He will never forsake me, He has a plan to prosper me and not harm me, plans for a future and a hope. I can REST in God’s great and precious promises.
So, what being married or betrothed to Christ means to me right now? Submission to His Word. Read His Word, Do what it says. We belong to Christ.