What am I doing? Why am I here? Where is God in all of this? These are the questions I have wrestled with for almost five weeks and will probably continue to wrestle with. Here are some answers I have received.
What am I doing???
To most of those around me, including my spouse, the choice to stand is pure foolishness. My Christian counselor, upon hearing a description of my wife’s most recent interactions with me, said “get out as quickly as you can.” What am I doing? What on earth am I doing?
I am standing. I have decided to stay. I will not sign papers. Our home will remain open to my wife. This will be very difficult for me. As long as I can endure financially and physically, I will hold onto my marriage. I was only recently served papers, but the bills for this process are already rolling in. May God grant me the strength to stand, and when I fall, may he grant me the strength to kneel or lie in that gap, in Jesus name.
I am praying and fasting. My priority is my relationship with Him. I need prayer that in all of this I will draw near to Christ and him to me. I need prayer that my wife would not be my god or at the center of my life and thoughts every moment. May I fix my eyes on him. I am fasting from media, such as my car radio, which is my favorite source of distraction. My commute now belongs to God. We talk. I cry. I shout. I listen.
I am writing it down. I share what I feel lead to share here. The rest, I put in my prayer journal. Some I write to my son, my daughter, and others in my family in a Moleskine my wife gave me for Christmas.
Why am I here?
Why am I standing here? Out of obedience, I will stand. I will submit to the authority of God. It is about time. It is sad that it took this to get my attention. I’ve fought personal mental battles with adultery throughout my marriage. I never thought that they would reach physical fruition in my spouse, who had seemed so grounded. Our mind is a battlefield. The extent to which I gave Satan a foothold in my mind was foolish and irresponsible. Those battles are being put to rest in me now, for the first time in years.
I am standing here as a testament to others who think I am crazy. I will write these things down for my son and my daughter. They will see a father who stood with God, no matter how much it hurt and how much he lost.
I am standing here because I love my wife. I do not feel “warm fuzzies” for my wife right now. I feel as though I have been betrayed by my companion, confidant, lover and best friend. I still struggle to believe that this is happening. Love, real love, though, is a choice. I made that choice five years ago when our marriage was struggling under the weight of my own battles. I love my wife in a in a willing-to-change-her-bed-pan-someday, jump-in-front-of-a-truck, have-my-name-defamed-in-court kind of way.
Where is God in all of this?
My spiritual director often asks this question. “Where are you seeing God in all of this?” He is everywhere, of course.
I have received incredible prayer and support. People at my church, people at work, friends of my wife, a six-year old I barely know and numerous people I’ve never met are in serious prayer for me and my family. So many people have gone out of their way to minister to me and talk with me and call me and text me and send cards and pray for me.
My needs are being met. I am having the practical needs of childcare covered. God has helped me find a reliable car.
The school in which I work now has an active group of teachers, getting together weekly to pray for each other and our students because I walked into the classrooms of other believers in my brokenness and asked for prayer. People have taken me aside and told me that their walk is better and stronger today because of what I’m going through and how I’m reacting to it. That’s crazy! Just a month ago, I was sitting at Bible study, playing games on my phone and cracking jokes when I should have been listening. Who am I to make an example of my walk?
In the end…
In the end, none of these are answers to the big question I face. Will God restore my marriage? I have to move forward with faith that he will. I can’t put a time limit on his working. I can only stand and pray and rest in him. I want him to move that mountain yesterday, but I trust him to move it just the same. Now, I must try to wait without worry.
Here are the verses I read this morning. May you take strength in them as I am:
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. (Hebrews 6:13-15)
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15)
Here’s a big one:
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)
And one more… It’s a Monday!
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:4-9)
No matter what happens. I know that “Aslan is on the move”. I have seen and felt evidence of his passing. May he do a mighty mighty work. To God be the the Glory.