Have you ever loved someone so much that you were willing to let them go yet fight for them at the same time?
For the past two weeks or so I have felt defeated. I felt like I needed to let go of George and stop fighting for him and our marriage. I could see I was getting nowhere and was just continuing to get hurt. So I let it go. God said to me through His Spirit, "Let me handle George". So I threw up my hands and said, "Ok, God, he's yours." And I began to picture my life as a single parent, married to Christ. Being married to Christ may sound strange to those who don't know Him, but those who truly do know Him know that He is the perfect groom. And that may be a subject for another post...
George (really this time) moved out on Saturday. I picked up Jackson in Richmond on Saturday and we spent the night at a friend's house, then went to church on Sunday, then came home. It was hard seeing most of George's things gone. George came to pick up Jackson for the day and Jackson wondered why I wasn't going along with them. It was just a hard reality for me--the trading off of the kid. It was all I could do to choke back the tears until I got into the house. I went up to George's music room and looked around. I felt angry at satan for lying to my husband about happiness and freedom. You see, even though I have been through the fire and have been hurt deeply by George, I don't see those things when I look at him. I just see my husband. I see the person who has been designated the head of my family, the person I fell in love with 9 years ago.
God moved in me that day and I knew He was asking me to continue to fight through prayer. I also knew I needed to work on forgiving George and the other girl in his life. Forgiving George is easy because I love him deeply. Forgiving the girl is not easy. I'm sorry to say I felt hatred toward her. I knew I was becoming bitter and that harboring resentment toward her would damage my prayer life. So I started speaking out loud, "I forgive her. She doesn't know what she is doing."
I've felt pretty peaceful for the past week and a half. The nightmares I'd been having did not return and I was pretty much living as though I was already divorced. George hadn't been wearing his wedding ring and so I took mine off too. I felt liberated.
God's timing is always perfect. A friend sent me a book her mother wrote about her marriage testimony. Her mom went through almost EXACTLY what I'm going through and my friend has been through the fire in her marriage as well. I thought it was amazing that God promised her the same thing I knew He was promising me. That His faithfulness is in my decision to be single and married to Christ AND in my decision to let God handle George but to continue to fight for him through prayer. I knew on Sunday that I wasn't ready to give up on George...that my heart is still longing for him to be my husband and the leader of our family. That is what my friend's mother wanted also. So yesterday I went through and copied the scriptures she referenced on notecards and did what she did, inserting our names so that they're personal. I speak those scriptures out loud throughout the day. Of course, I just started yesterday. :-)
I also knew yesterday that I needed to put my rings back on. So pulled out the box and slid them on. Some may say that "they're just rings" but they're really more than that. They are a symbol of my love and commitment to George and to God.
So, last night I crawled into bed and spoke God's Word. I read parts of James out loud and then went to sleep. I woke up at 2:15 am from a horrible dream about George and the girl. It was awful and I was so worked up that I couldn't get back to sleep. I turned on the light and started to read Scripture out loud and pray. I knew I had pissed satan off and I was moved to do it some more! I asked God to show me what he wanted to teach me. I really wanted to know His promises. I waited and listened and got nothing. I was awake for over an hour. I was falling asleep, so I shut off the light and as I was drifting off, I heard, "Isaiah 4:1-5". That's a first for me! I couldn't fight sleep, though, so when I woke up this morning I immediately looked at Isaiah 4:1-5. The subtitle in the New Living Transalation is Promise of Restoration. God is speaking through Isaiah about restoring Israel to a lush and fruitful place. I reread that passage, inserting "your marriage" for Israel. Pretty powerful.
So...that's what is happening these days. In church on Sunday a quote was read (sorry, I can't remember who said this) and it really spoke to me. It was, "In America, Christians pray that God will remove the burdens from their backs. In most other countries, Christians ask God to give them stronger backs." My burden is heavy, but I'll gladly carry it because God is carrying it too. And I'm praying God will continually give me a stronger back.