I shared the "faith" part of my journey with some people who are standing for their marriages recently, and I thought it might be good to share it here. I believe that God spoke to me so clearly because I was listening. I don't think that if you don't "hear" from God, it means that He does not want your marriage restored... So please don't think that. I just want to share the hope and faith that I was given throughout my journey so that you all might be encouraged, and look for those signs in your every day.
Eric and I have been together for ten years. We were very active and even in some ministry in our church for most of our relationship; in fact, when we met, he was a non-believer until I invited him to a parenting conference at my church. He began coming to the church with me and it just blew his mind. He gave his life to Christ, and then we started dating. Over the years, we received three prophetic words over us through our church and other churches. Not just people that we knew, but even a complete stranger, from New Zealand. It was almost the exact same wording each time, something along the lines of that what we were meant for, was meant for us together- we would not reach the same goals alone. It was such a beautiful promise, and I clung to it through our whole marriage.
When he first confessed to me that he had had an affair, I was devastated and completely blindsided. I left the house, and drove to this remote lake, climbed a rock and sat stubbornly on it, overlooking the lake. I cried and prayed and begged… I told God that I knew I had a biblical right to leave, but everything inside of me couldn’t fathom that. I thought on the words that had been spoken over us all those years before, and I said to Him- God, I will not leave this rock until You tell me what to do. I sat and waited silently, and for the first time in my life, God SPOKE to me, clearly. He said, “How many times have I forgiven you?” At the time, I took that as “forgive him,” so I went home and forgave him, gave him ultimatums in order to continue our marriage.
Fast forward a few months, and we had moved all the way back home from New Mexico, where we had been for 3 years, to Tennessee, which was home. We tried and tried to make things work, but they were only getting worse. He left and went back to New Mexico, leaving me and the children alone. (I homeschooled and had no job!) The first external confirmation came from a friend who I rarely spoke to, but had known for years, a guy friend who is 15 years my senior. I did not spread my business on FB because I was HUMILIATED. But this guy messaged me on fb and said that in his prayer time, I came into his mind. He said I don’t know why… But God told me to tell you to read Hosea. Whoa! We all know what Hosea is about! I read it again, and was reminded that God told Hosea to take back his wife who was prostituting herself. He told Hosea, who was a great prophet, to take her back! I was encouraged.
The second confirmation came when I had been going to my church for a while, and a woman that I didn’t know at the time came up to me. She knew some of my friends, but did not know me. She made some small talk for a moment and introduced herself. Then she said that during worship, God had pointed me out in the crowd, and laid on her heart to pray for me. She then said he kept urging her to pray for my husband. At this, she looked embarrassed… She said, I know this sounds weird, but do you even HAVE a husband?? I laughed, and said yes, I did. She looked relieved (haha). Anyway, a few weeks later, she came up to me excited and asked if she could share something else. I said, of course. She said that God would NOT let her go about praying for me and my kids and my husband. I had still not told her my story at this point, and she said that when praying, she had seen many things. One was that God was emptying our “flower bed” of “weeds” because he wanted to start over anew. She said she also saw a new foundation being laid, and even though she didn’t know we were separated, she said that God told her we would have complete restoration!
The next confirmation came when the kids and I visited my parents in New Mexico (yes, my parents lived where we had been). Sigh. Eric and I saw each other a few times, and it was awkward but not bad… Anyway, I wanted the kids to get together with some people they knew there and called around. There was a couple a few years older than us that had moved there just before we left, but they had a bunch of kids. I called and went over to let the kids play. We didn’t get to know them well… but he was a pastor. While we were hanging out (me and the wife), she casually asked why Eric had come back and why we weren’t there with him. I came up with a very vague response.. and she quieted and asked… was it because of infidelity? Being asked directly, I resigned to answer honestly. She then said, “Let me tell you our story.” She proceeded to tell me about the years of struggle that she had gone through because her husband had fallen “in love” (limerance!) with another woman. They had been kicked out of their church, she had been ostracized for standing with him. She said that the one thing that helped the most was that God kept reminding her of two thing… A verse (don’t know where from), that chastised the Israelites for “committing adultery” against God in their hearts. She said every time she would be wallowing in her pain, God would remind her of that verse… because we are His bride, and the pain we experience is the same as He experiences over us! She also shared that she had done the most growing in her life while going through that dry time. I walked away connecting the dots already lined up for me… God’s question to me, Hosea, this verse she got… It isn’t even about me! It’s about our covenant to Him.
Then, later in my wait, close to the end (I didn’t know it at that time), I was begging God to just take my love away… I didn’t want to keep waiting, I was so broken… and I was wallowing in self pity… My baby woke up in the other room. I went in, and snuggled in with her, and the EXACT MOMENT that I got still enough to hear her radio that was turned waaaay down, a song I had never heard before came on… I mean, stillness…opening notes…It was Glorious Unfolding:
Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold
And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding
God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun
Lay MY HEAD DOWN?? Don’t try to figure it out??? This was DIRECT from God to me that night after what I had just been praying!!!
The last confirmation came when I went to a new church and they asked some people to come up if they wanted prayer. I was just about to the end of what I could take, and I went to the front. A few people came by and prayed generic prayers, but this one guy was walking behind the line of folks, praying, and he stopped right behind me, grabbed my hand from over my shoulder (my hand was raised) and said in my ear, “God said remember His promise to you.” That was it. And all of a sudden, those prophetic words, those words spoken by strangers, the song, the visions my new friend had… it was all this comforting reminder… they were promises that weren’t fulfilled yet. It couldn’t be over yet!! We had a purpose that God created for us TOGETHER, we had a future that had not been written, we had forgiveness to be given, we had so much left undone. I KNEW we would be together again. It took that many times because I’m stubborn , I guess. He knew He would have to keep reminding me because I would lose faith. But He reminded me over and over again. And look at what faith has brought!!! YES!