I have two equally-weighted fears when it comes to my ministry.

One is that there is a woman out there who I don’t reach, and she languishes physically or emotionally or spiritually when she doesn’t have to, either in her difficult marriage or in her divorce or as a single mom. That she could be taking steps to protect herself and her children and her heart, that she could be moving forward into a peace, into a wholeness, despite her circumstances, but because no one has told her that she can, she doesn’t. This breaks my heart. (Because I was that girl for a very, very long time.)

There is little I can do about this one except continue to pray that God will get my message into the hands of the women who are in need of some grace and hope and resources and compassion; to ask that if you’ve benefitted from my work, that you pass along this hope to any friends who are struggling under the weight of life’s hard, hard circumstances.

But other than that, I absolutely must trust that God will lead the way on this, that he will ‘expand my borders’ as he sees fit.

But my other fear – on the completely other side of the spectrum, and it terrifies me – is that at the end of my life when I’m standing before my Maker, God says to me:

“Look over there…see all those women? They left their husbands because of you… and I’m not okay with it. What were you thinking??”

Now, before you balk and say that no one would ever leave their marriage because of something I’ve done or not done or said or not said, this is not something I’ve made up.

I recently received an email that said, “Someone I love left their marriage because they found you and felt justified to do so after reading some of your posts.”

I held in my breath when I read those words. I felt shame. And a huge, crushing weight. And a sadness that was like a drop-kick to my gut.  It made me instantly sick to my stomach.

If even ONE PERSON leaves her marriage when she doesn’t have biblical grounds and says she felt she could do so because of even one word I’ve ever written, it will be too much for me to bear.

So, let me say this is clearly as I know how.

This is my stance on divorce. It might not be what you think it is. People tend to think because I’m divorced that I’m super liberal in my views. That is absolutely not the case.

I do not believe you should just up and leave your husband because you don’t love him or aren’t happy. (Sorry.)

You cannot say that because I left my marriage you can leave your marriage. Because I didn’t just up and leave. Not by a long shot. (I was released to legally separate by church leadership and then I was served divorce papers. I was the leavee {in more ways than one} not the leaver.)

If you are in a hard marriage, there are good, solid, productive things you can do about it.

And at the end of everything, I believe to my core that we will each be standing in front of God alone, not being able to point to our ex-husbands or dysfunctional parents or some random blogger we’ve never met as to the reason we made any of our life-changing decisions. If you are a follower of Christ, YOU have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you; YOU have been given a sound mind; YOU have the mind of Christ. YOU make all of your own decisions and will be held accountable for all of your own decisions.

If you have left your marriage because of anything I’ve written and you shouldn’t have left OR if your spouse left your marriage after reading something I’ve written when they shouldn’t have, I am so very sorry, from the bottom of my heart. I know an I’m sorry can’t put your family back together but it’s all I’ve got.  Along with the commitment to continue to try to communicate as clearly and gently and strongly as I possibly can.

I never have told even one person that they should divorce their spouse, and I never intend to.

Some of you CAN leave your marriages. Some of you CANNOT leave your marriages (without being disobedient to God and having to live with the natural consequences that comes with that).

But no matter what – and I have to keep coming back to this – God loves you. No matter what you’ve done or not done, what you’ve said or not said, whether you’ve stayed or left, whether you did everything you could and you were still walked away from, God loves you. He loves your ex-spouse. He loves your cheating spouse. He loves your abusive spouse. He loves your addicted spouse. He loves your codependent spouse. He loves your needy spouse. He loves your lying spouse. He loves your critical spouse. He loves your spouse. And He loves you and He loves you and He loves you, and He will never stop loving you.

God gave us sound minds. Let’s use them carefully to think and pray for ourselves.

Holy Spirit, please protect each person who makes their way to this blog, allowing only your Truth to penetrate their hearts and minds. Please minster to each one individually. Please fight for marriages and fight for wholeness. Amen.

If you are in a difficult marriage, you can find two of my resources – Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage and Should I Stay or Should I Go? – available here for whatever amount you can afford.