(this is a long one)
First of all, I'm pretty amazed at the first comments I got. I didn't really expect anyone to read this (well, other than my SIL because I read hers and she's like that) and I was blown away. I've been pretty quiet about what's been going on because, well, it's painful and embarassing. No one wants to feel rejected or like a failure, so it's not something that you want people to know. God is good, all the time, and I have to admit that reading those comments totally teared me up. He is my rock, but He's put amazing people in my life to give me more tangible support. It helps so so so much.
So here's what was swimming around me when I initially felt like it was time to start a blog.
To set this up, the love story. I met D in the most unromantic way possible, about 4 years ago. I drunk dialed him. That's right. Drunk dial. He had become friends with a good friend of mine via a summer internship in Pensacola (the friend was the intern, D was an employee at the radio station). After the first phone call, we talked and IMed every day for a month before we met in person. We were both hooked from the first minute. 4 months later, we were engaged, 5 months later, he had moved from Pensacola and into my house in Austin. A year and a half after our initial meeting, we were married. Pretty whirlwind, but perfect. He came from a very non-religious home of technically Jewish people, and I came from a background of being, well, a Bible Thumper. I'd loosened up some, but my faith has always been very deep. A few months before we got married, God seemed to give me His final blessing and assurance that D was in fact The One (my meant to be, the one He had created me for and vice versa) in the form of D deciding to accept Jesus as his personal lord and savior. It was one of the best moments of my life.
We've been through ups and downs, and D's struggled with the idea of marriage off and on since before we were married. At the end of the day, our love for each other has been enough to push down his doubts and keep our marriage together. It's not a fairy tale, and there's a reason you say "For better or for worse" in your vows. Since we've been together, we've been through A LOT. We've been through hurricanes, moving cities, deaths, surgeries, job changes, and a slew of other trials. But like I said, "for better or for worse."
In January, my whole world started to fall apart. I lost my job, Denver's sister moved in with us (she took a semester off of college to do an internship in Dallas), and things were getting a little tense. We had a huge fight one night in mid-February, and last thread holding the bottom in snapped and it completely fell out. D announced that he was miserable and couldn't do it anymore. He wanted to not be married anymore. Oh, and he was now an atheiest. So on February 13th, I packed up some stuff and came back to my parents' house in Katy, totally expecting to move back in 6 weeks, tops.
It's been 4 months, 4 visits, and 3 sessions of couples' counseling and, well, my prayers feel unanswered. Every time I've felt like it was time to give up and move on, God has filled me and told me not to. Sometimes, its through scripture. Sometimes, it's a song on the radio. Sometimes, it's in a book I'm reading at the time ("When He Doesn't Believe" by Nancy Kennedy is AMAZING). And then still other times, it's been in the sermon on Sunday. My hope is firmly planted in God. Things felt like maybe they were starting to look up. We've been talking a lot more, and when we see each other, we're affectionate. Being with him feels so natural and so right.
Unfortunately, it got worse. In one of the absolutely most painful moments of my life, I had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago. I felt like the visits had been going well, and obviously we were still behaving as man and wife, and so when the first signs of a pregnancy showed up, I was terrified but ridiculously excited. I'd just gotten the best lab results ever from my endocrinologist, and I've had baby fever for years, so this was amazing to me, despite the horrible timing. But the excitement was short lived when it turned to excruciating physical pain and the deepest sadness you can imagine. I got to go through it totally by myself.
5 days after I miscarried, D came down for a counseling session. I had a bad feeling about it, but I tried to write it off as just my hormones being messed up and the pain of the week. I was totally right to have that bad feeling. D had come prepared to lay down the law, that he was done, he didn't want this anymore, and he didn't even want to have the same address as me any more. That's a hard blow, and even harder on top of the first big loss of the week (which he was unaware of until after he dropped his bomb). I'm pretty numb.
So that leads me to the part that really pushed me into a blog. In church yesterday, the pastor took some time in the sermon to address the "divorce epidemic" that's going on right now. I love that I've felt very prayed for and supported by this church (which just happens to be the one I got married in), as well as the fact that almost every week there's a community prayer for strength in marriages, especially marriages that are hurting. This time was different. This time is was like a horrible stab to my heart. He began talking about the divorce epidemic and how easy it seems to be for people in today's world to just disregard their vows. He chastized spouses who want to leave and told them to just stop it. I have to hope that his words convicted at least one, because they broke me. What about the one who's being left? I'm clinging to my vows desperately, praying unceasingly for God to make this right, for the opportunity to continue to honor Him by honoring my husband. But divorce is still a sin as far as I'm concerned (yes, I've read the scriptures where it's acceptable in God's eyes, but I'm not really convinced we fit into any of those situations) and ending our marriage just doesn't feel right.
I've watched God faithfully provide for my loved ones. I've watched Him answer prayer after prayer. And mine go unanswered. It doesn't hurt my faith, because I can obviously see God working around me. But I start to feel like I'm doing something wrong, like I'm asking the wrong questions, like I'm not faithful enough, that I'm somehow just not ENOUGH for God to complete the good work He began here.
"Fear not, for you shall not be ashamed; neither be confounded and depressed, for you shall not be put to shame. For you shall forget the shame of your youth and you shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. For your Maker is your Husband - the Lord of hosts is His name - and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth He is called. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken, grieved in spirit, and heartsore - even a wife [wooed and won] in youth, when she is [later] refused and scorned, says your God. For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion and mercy I will gather you [to Me] again. In a little burst of wrath I hid my face from you for a moment, but with age-enduring love and kindness I will have compassion and mercy on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer. For this is like the days of Noah to me; as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you. For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall my covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:4-10
I'm not convinced that His face isn't still hiding from me right now.