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It seems as though I am and have been in the middle of a whirlwind lately. My husband of 22 years has told me he is not in love with me any longer and wants a divorce. I was served with papers this past Saturday. I am scheduled for a complete hysterectomy the 15th of this month as well.
I have stood and believed for this marriage for 22 years. I love my husband and our two children and believe in the sanctity of covenants before God and man. I do not believe in divorce but realize that I can't stop it if this is the path he has chosen, but I also know that with God ALL things are possible.
Either I can't hear God's directions through all the emotional turmoil, or He is silent. I don't know which. Am I supposed to continue to stand in faith for our marriage or am I suppose to let it go, release it as the past and move on?- Caught In The Whirlwind
Dear Caught In The Whirlwind,
I am sorry to hear of your difficulties. It must be horrible to have all that stuff (medical and marriage) hit you at the same time. It is a sign of real Christian maturity that you are looking to God for His will and direction in the midst of the turmoil instead of just reacting to it.
Either of those two things by itself is very traumatic and painful, and could shake a person to the core. I am not surprised that it is hard for you to hear God clearly right now because there is so much going on in your life. The sad truth is that it is much more difficult to hear Him clearly from a place of trauma than from a place of peace. Our own heart and emotions get stirred up and will jump in to imitate God's voice and tell us what we want to hear. That means we have to go slower when hearing from a place of trauma and we have to double-check our hearing with the Lord.
I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you to go through both of these major crisis at the same time. I think you have done very well to look to God and ask Him for His will and direction. A lot of people would try to get God to buy into their will (desires for the situation) instead of actively seeking His will. I am sure that your heart after God in the midst of all that pain pleases Him immensely. He considers that sort of yielded vessel a great treasure, one into whom He will pour His glory. I know that right now it is just an awful situation for you, and it is hard to look for the silver lining. But there will come a day when God's blessings will be on you so strongly and you will see His glory come into the midst of your situation.
Regarding your marriage: I don't know if God will step in and save your marriage or not. If He doesn't step in, I can promise you that in due time, He will give you something much better.
Here is my advice to you. Why don't you lay your marriage on the altar like Abraham laid Isaac on it? Abraham was fully prepared to sacrifice Isaac (who he loved dearly) and he had no idea that God would step in and stop him at the last minute. Sometimes when we lay things on Gods altar, He takes the sacrifice instead of restoring that thing to us. Other times He restores it (like He did with Isaac).
But either way, we commit it to God and leave it in God's hands as a sacrifice to Him. When we do this, we must assume that He will require it from us, but we are also hopeful that He will restore it to us. That means you will need to stop praying and warring for your marriage to be restored and pray for God's will in this situation. Give it to God and ask for Him to accomplish His perfect will in this situation. (We know that God's will is for all marriages to survive, but His higher will is for people to exercise their free will. Sometimes He turns the spouse's heart back to their mate, but there are times when God can't do that without violating the person's free will in a way that He is not willing to do.)
I am advising you to stop praying specifically for your marriage to be restored. Lay it before the Lord as a sweet smelling sacrifice, and leave it in God's hands. However, I am not advising you to stop praying for your husband. Pray for him to be restored as a person. It sounds like he may have a lot of inner turmoil and unhappiness of his own. He may be confused by it. When He says, "I don't love you anymore," he might really mean, "I am hurting/frustrated/etc, and I don't know how to make it stop."
Or maybe he really means what he said--maybe something inside of him changed towards you so that he doesn't want to be with you anymore. (If that is the case, then no amount of prayer will change that, because God will not violate a person's free will in the area of relationships.)
Men in our culture are not good at getting in touch with their real feelings or expressing them to others. Many times what they say and what they really mean are not the same thing. We can't read your husband's mind to know what he is really thinking. But we can desire for him to be fully restored and mature in the Lord. We can pray for him to maintain a good relationship with your children even if he does leave you. We can pray for God to bring His best into your husband's life, and for him to grow into deep intimacy with God.
At the same time that you lay the marriage on the altar, you can expect God to actively be with you, to take good care of you, to saturate you in His peace, and to work His glory in your situation. I know it is really hard right now, but God has this way of bringing His glory into the most awful of situations. Some time may elapse before this happens, but God will cause you to be filled with joy and He will bring some very good things your way, because He loves you a lot.
For now, I recommend you put the marriage on the altar and trust God in whatever He decides to do with it. He is good and He is smart and He knows what is best in your given situation. He may speak to you clearly at some future time to tell you to start warring for the marriage again. If He does, then do what He says when He says it. But for now, until He clearly shows you otherwise, place your marriage in His hands and trust Him.