I know I said I was done with the break-up posts (I lied), but I had one more thought that I wanted to toss out there because I think we all will find ourselves in this place where I find myself, and I don’t think it is relationship-ending specific, though many of you who read my blog are in this very same spot.
I believe that I would have been a very good wife to this good man. And I believe he would have been a very good husband to me. And I believe we would’ve been the kind of partners in ministry that I have always wanted. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we were good to each other and good for each other. Those beliefs of mine haven’t changed just because he didn’t feel a peace about us moving forward in a romantic relationship kind of way.
And yet, I must move forward. I’m not going to try to convince him to marry me, or, you know, trick him into marrying me, or, worse yet, pretend we are actually going to get married. We are done.
But I am moving forward with some unanswered questions. And this is how I am choosing to fill in the blanks, even if I’m wrong. (Denial can sometimes be a beautiful thing.) (And babe, feel free to weigh in on this in the comments if I am just making stuff up. J/K!)
I believe said man would agree that I would be a good wife for him and that we would be good partners.
But I am choosing to believe that this good man’s lack of peace is from God, which I am parsing out in three ways:
1. God withholds no good thing. (Psalm 84:11) This means that this is not a God-kind-of-good-thing for us, for whatever reason. I don’t understand or like it but I am choosing to believe it.
2. God withheld peace from this man as a way to protect one or both of us. Not that we would have brought about utter desolation to each other (sorry, random Alias reference!) but who knows what we can’t see down the road. I’m also not quite ready to jump on the ‘God-must-have-someone-better-for-both-of-you’ bandwagon just yet because I feel it minimizes the sweetness of what we had and, well, I’m the jealous and immature type and don’t want to picture him with someone “better” than me. Icky. (Someday maybe; not quite yet today.)
3. About eight years ago or so, I was absolutely convinced that our family should adopt a little girl from Africa. I begged God. I begged my then-husband. I told God, as scared as I was to pray this, that I would take my then-husband’s answer as God’s answer. The answer came back no. A gentle no but a no that sent me reeling. And I felt the Spirit impress something upon my heart that I have never forgotten. I felt him say as clear as day, “If you think this man can thwart my plan for you, you are giving him too much credit and me not enough.” Bam.
And I can apply that statement to this scenario just as easily. If God wanted us together, oh my lands, God would put us together. And because this good man, as much as he loves Jesus, cannot thwart God’s plan for my life, God must not want us together.
In other words, I am resting heavily in the sweet, confusing, mysterious, magical sovereignty of God.
What is your unanswered question today? What are you walking through that seems murky and non-understandable? A recent, abrupt job loss? A recent marriage ending that doesn’t make sense? A recent death that came too soon?
Are you, like me, able to pull back just a little bit from the pain of the moment, from the details of the situation, and take a broader view?
That, even in your pain, perhaps God is working.
That, even in your pain, perhaps he knows what he’s doing.
That, even in your pain, perhaps he is protecting you.
That, even in your pain, perhaps he is preparing you.
That, even in your pain, perhaps he is providing for you.
That, even in your pain, perhaps he is making a way.
That, even in your pain, perhaps something new and beautiful just may come from this.
And that, even in your pain, perhaps he loves you completely and wants you whole and holy and free and is doing what he feels is best for you.
Can we, just for today, rest in that?
If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.
“And that, even in your pain, perhaps he loves you completely and wants you whole and holy and free and is doing what he feels is best for you.”
Elisabeth-I believe this is true with all of my heart. God allows situations to occur some times just because we so adamantly insist upon it (free-will). At other times I believe He brings us to these times just to remind us that He is in control and is always guiding us. “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2. If God intends for a relationship, or a job or anything else to workout for us; if He has already chosen that path for us, no one on this earth can stop it. This is my comfort and the foundation of my faith. It keeps me hanging on in tough times and God knows times have been crazy tough for the past 9 years or so. Still He always shows up. He always rescues me when I need rescuing and He always gives me what I need just when I need it and not a moment sooner. He is never-failing in that. This I know we can and should believe…no matter what.
Blessings and Peace to you.
Yes, Trixie, he always rescues us. So good. Thank you for reading and commenting! -Elisabeth
Thank you for this wonderful post!!! And I love what the Holy Spirit said to you those years ago…WOW. I can identify with this so much. Love to you, Elisabeth.
Thank you, Rebecca! So glad I was able to encourage you. -Elisabeth
WOW! I really needed to hear that today, especially today! THANK YOU DEAR!
Marcy, it’s seriously just my honor. Keep reading! -Elisabeth
Just wanted to say that I feel confident that the word “perhaps” so repeatedly used in your post today should be removed. Sweet girl there is no “perhaps” that God is working, nor is there any “perhaps” that He is making a way. He IS doing these things once we are His…no need to say ‘perhaps”. Another thing sweet girl, He is not doing what he “feels” is best for us He is doing what he KNOWS is best for us. Blessings!
Lois, I know it’s not “perhaps”. It was simply a writing tool to get people to think. I completely agree with you. Keep reading and commenting! -Elisabeth
This is my take away: If God wanted us together, oh my lands, God would put us together. And because this good man, as much as he loves Jesus, cannot thwart God’s plan for my life, God must not want us together.
Although I haven’t dated and don’t have any desire to date, I still have to remind myself of this truth. I saw my ex at my son’s highschool graduation and he asked me would I like to go out sometime. So then that begs the question….is this something God wants? My youngest son has told me time and time again, if God reconciles our marriage there will be NO QUESTION in either of our hearts that it is HIS hand doing the work.
So I agree, the lack of peace that this good man had was a protection for both of you. You CAN trust God’s heart even if you don’t understand it.
I’ve been divorced for over two years and separated for another year, and I’m still trying to figure out WHY this happened. I may never know. But I can trust God’s heart and know that He alone can bring good out of this very bad situation.
Thanks for another great post!
Kim, “…but I can trust God’s heart…” Yes, yes, yes. -Elisabeth
So your best post ever!!!! Can you put that last set of affirmations together that can be shared on fb? Powerful good stuff.
Thank you, Rebecca! And, as you wish, I posted a portion of this on my writer page (https://www.facebook.com/elisabethkleinwriter). Feel free to share it. Thank you! -Elisabeth
God BLESSED and encouraged my heart with this post!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This was perfection. God knew I needed this encouragement and He knew I needed it today!
Big hugs, sweet lady!
Latosha, this means the world to me. Thank you! -Elisabeth
This really struck a cord with me. Two summers ago, we hoped to adopt twins from an orphanage we had been going to for many years, We loved these boys, and they loved us. We went to all the classes, paid all the money, got our hopes up, then…..someone from Mexico adopted them, overnight. We never got to say goodbye to them. I was heartbroken. It was like I lost two of my own children. This loss took me quite a while to recover from. No’s from God are hard to hear aren’t they? Later that year, some really difficult things occurred in our family. It became clear to us why God had said this “no.” We had to thank him, even though it was hard. I pray you will also be able to accept this “no” from God in time as well.
Oh Caroline, I am so, very sorry. That’s a heartbreak I will never understand. But so grateful to hear you say you were finally able to thank God for that no. Whew, girl. That’s faith. -Elisabeth
I am resting heavily in the sweet, confusing, mysterious, magical sovereignty of God. That is so great to know Beth! I also want to rest in the same way! I am thankful to God for letting us realize this.
Melanie, yes, he’s so gentle with us, isn’t he? -Elisabeth
Item #3 leaves me with an unsettled feeling and I do not know why!
“And I felt the Spirit impress something upon my heart that I have never forgotten. I felt him say as clear as day, “If you think this man can thwart my plan for you, you are giving him too much credit and me not enough.” Bam.”
Are you saying your then husband was wrong in this decision and God had a different plan for you apart from your then husband? Confused I am.
Elwin, I have no idea if my then-husband were wrong in his decision…no way for me to know. I believe what God was telling me was that He was big enough to work around/through him despite his decisions (if they weren’t from seeking Him). And now, looking back, I can see how having a third child, let alone an adopted one, would not have been the best for our family because of our marriage. Hope that clears it up a bit. -Elisabeth