I spoke with a woman recently who has fallen out of love with her husband. She wants the marriage to be over. They are living apart.  And she is “sort of” seeing someone.  (I know. Don’t even get me started.)

Her description of her marriage made it sound more annoying than abusive. And to be honest, it sounds to me like she’s bailing when she perhaps shouldn’t be.

Now, to be fair, we only had about ten minutes together, but I could tell she was looking for me to give her permission to divorce. (That is something I not only do not do as a rule but would not have done because of her circumstances anyway.)

But here’s the part that really got me.

She told me that she had met with a pastor who told her that he didn’t think she could possibly glorify God in her hard marriage.

Hard-marriage girls (and I used to be one of them) sometimes thrive on crap like that.

Let me broaden that statement a bit:

When you’re in pain, you want to hear what you want to hear.

And that woman wanted a professional spiritual person to basically give her a get-out-of-jail-free card and that pastor did just that with those slippery words.

Now, I don’t know if that’s what he really said or if she tweaked it to sound like what she wanted to hear. But either way, it’s malarkey and I told her so. (Gently, of course.)

I told her that I completely disagreed with that pastor. I told her that she could absolutely glorify God in her hard marriage, just like there would be grace enough that down the line if she got a divorce, she could glorify God then too.

I told her that right now, she had two difficult, yucky choices in front of her: stay or go.

I told her that both roads would take strength and courage.

I told her that I couldn’t tell her which way to go.

I told her that only she could decide that; that she could keep asking people but no one – even if they told her she could go – could really decide that for her, and that she’d be held accountable for this choice on her own at the end of her life, and she needed to be prepared for that.

I told her that Jesus would be on either road and that only he could tell her what to do.

I told her that on the other side of either choice, there’d be grace. But it would be hard either way.

I’ve met enough women to know that some are already gone well before the divorce (or even separation) takes place. That they may (or may not) be going through the motions of a reconciliation attempt but their hearts aren’t in it.  This gal is one of them.  She wants what she wants and I have a feeling that she’s going to make it happen to get the life she pictures for herself (read: happy).

(Reminder: life isn’t all about being happy for those of us who follow Christ.)

So if this sounds like you, sweet one: if you are in such pain and all you want is to be out, I know. I get it. I was you.

You can force into place the life that you think you want. Yep, you totally can. It’s called free will. But I guarantee that it will be messy and there will be regrets.

And though, yes, Jesus and grace will be on the other side of any door you walk through, your life will be infinitely better (including all that happiness stuff) IF YOU WALK THINGS OUT THE GOD WAY. Which means, the harder way…the longer way…the slower way…the not-what-you-necessarily-want-to-hear way.

But it will be so very worth it, you won’t even believe it.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. –Isaiah 55:9