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“I Can’t Do This Anymore!” – GraceAlone

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We are going to continue to follow GraceAlone, the wife from last week’s post “My Husband Refuses to Have Children with Me!?!?” on her journey. The beginning of this road is often excruciatingly painful! This group of emails is from over a week ago. I kind of wish I could post all of the past week’s progress in one post. But it would be so long, no one could possibly read it all. So we will take this in stages.  It is amazing to watch all that God is doing in her. She is just beginning this journey. She is in the most painful part, the part with the most questions, fears and struggles. Please pray for her and her precious husband (who is trying to lead her and be a godly man in so many ways) and encourage her as she learns and grows and waits on the Lord to heal her broken heart and to transform her into the image of Christ.
My hope is that although I can’t email every wife anymore, the volume is just too great when I try to do that, that maybe I can take a few wives at a time and email them and share their emails to bless everyone. Hopefully in another month or two, I will be ready to add 1-2 more wives and we can follow several wives’ journeys together.
GRACEALONE’S EMAIL
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April,
I’m at the point now where I don’t even want to try because right now I feel like I don’t want to stay married to him. 
This all started because about a year ago when I left a full time job to work part time. My husband has always complained about our financial situation since then. I always ask him if he wants me to go to work full time and he will say, “No, I want you to stay home because I know it makes you happy and if you were to go work full time again you would be miserable.” So, I feel like I have never ever gotten a direct answer from him. I never know what I’m supposed to do in that area. But, I am so tired of listening to him complain or act depressed about our financial  situation.
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I feel like literally everything in my life has suffered more because of bring married to him. I feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life, and that I should have dated more, etc. I’m so miserable right now, and I am barely hanging on. I cannot even honestly say that I want to stay married to him.
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Right now, I feel the only thing keeping us together is if we were to divorce we would be looked down on from family and friends etc. When I look at all the things I have had to deal with/accept on his behalf – I just feel like I made a mistake.
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Any thoughts and advice and prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
FROM PEACEFULWIFE
My precious girl!!!!!!!!!!

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Let’s take a deep breath and let’s lay this before Jesus.
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He did give you a concrete answer about the job. He wants youto be happy. You’ve been crying every day. He knows you are not happy. He is trying to make you happy. But I imagine he feels like a huge failure knowing you are so sad all the time. I am sure that he feels the pressure every husband does toprovide well financially for his wife/family.  I vote to thank him for providing and for allowing you to workpart time and to enjoy this incredible gift he is giving to you, allowing youto bepart time. And I suggest tocooperate with any budget he sets. When husbandstry and try to make their wives happy, and their wives are never happy, never satisfied with the husband’s efforts – eventually men will give up and not even put forth anymore effort. They know that no matter what they do, their wife will still be unhappy, so it seems like it is just “not worth it” to try anymore. Why try when she is still goingto be upset no matter what a man does? One of the greatest gifts you can give him at this point isto be happy about being ableto bepart time and appreciate that generous gift he is giving to you.

Even if you did make “the biggest mistake of your life” by marrying your husband – which I am not convinced you have, (by the way, almost everyone feels this way at some point!) – God is still sovereign, my sweet sister. And it is God’s will for you to stay here based on what the Bible says about the marriage covenant. I have a feeling that there is much to be learned at His feet right now. I don’t want you to miss any of the good things He has in store for you!
You don’t have to want to be married to him right now. Feelings are not the basis for our actions as believers in Christ. THANKFULLY! There will be times with emotions like this to work through – but then, you have to “boss your feelings around” (Shaunti Feldhahn – “Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” ) and decide to honor Christ anyway, trusting Him to be able to bring something beautiful from this situation. He is totally capable of doing just that!
  • ALL spouses have to deal with and accept painful things and all spouses are sinned against and hurt. This is not an unusual case at all, my friend.
What this experience (and his sin against you) is doing, is bringing all of your true motives to the surface so that you can allow God to remove all the sin and refine your faith and purify your motives. It doesn’t matter who you married, God would use the problems, conflicts and difficulties to refine you like this.
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How is your time with God going?
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GRACE ALONE’S EMAIL

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I don’t feel like I even know what love is anymore. I don’t know how to trust God – I’m so scared.

I feel like God let me down.

I was the girl who had very high standards, when guys asked me on a date, if I didn’t think they could be a potential husband for me, I wouldn’t go. I was waiting for the “right one.”

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I thought God clearly told me this man was, indeed, that right one, but now I don’t know anything anymore. My husband was the only guy I entered a courtship with. I sat there in premarital counseling listening to him say that he would want kids, and how leading his family spiritually was so important to him. I feel like I was let down by God and by my husband.

  • I always think, here I am, the girl who tried to make all the right choices, and I ended up like this.

I see others blessed in their lives and marriages, and I cannot help but feel like God is punishing me. Every time I think I should spend time with God, I start questioning everything – does God care, does He love me, is He working on my husband?  Millions or questions go thru my head to the point that often I end up not even having a quiet time or at least a good one. If the way a husband loves his wife is supposed to portray an image of God’s love towards us, than I don’t feel very loved at all. I am the girl who is always counseling others and pointing them to God, but I have no idea where to even begin myself. I feel like I’m in one deep depression with no sign of the slightest deliverance. I’m sorry if I am repeating myself. I’m so thankful God led me to blog. I desperately needed someone to talk to.

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ANOTHER EMAIL FROM GRACEALONE:

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Thank you for sending the post “God, Don’t Waste My Time.” It ministered to me.
What I felt like God was showing me was that far too long, I have put other things before Him – including my marriage. I have a lot of idols.  You are right when you say my relationship with God has been suffering – it has.
I realize that I, like you in the beginning, go thru all the right motions without any actions to back it up. I do want to start honoring God in my marriage and I know I need to spend more time with Him. My goal would be to try to get up an hour earlier and have a quiet time. Please pray for me- as this is hard.

Yesterday, I asked my husband if he still loved me – he couldn’t answer. He said that it is hard to separate all the accumulated anger he feels towards me over the past few years.

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For me, It seems almost unbearable to try to “respect” him when I don’t even know if he loves me or not. Nevertheless, I want to try. I told my husband that I want to change… He sarcastically laughed and said, “Yeah, right, I have heard that before. The fact of the matter is that neither of us will probably ever change.”
  • He is right- I have tried changing before and I seem to always go back to my same old ways.
I am worried about telling my husband I want to change “sticking to it for three days” as he says, and then reverting back. I don’t want that to happen. I also feel like I am having a very hard time even being generally motivated in life. I don’t feel like cleaning my house I feel very tired, I don’t feel like exercising, or trying to eat right- etc etc etc.
I don’t know how to live a life that is not driven by my emotions because that is all I have ever known. Letting go of kids completely, seems impossible to me. I want to try… I just am afraid it will be very short lived.
Thank you for being such a blessing and ministry in my life right now. You will never know how grateful I am. 
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FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
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WOOHOO!!!!
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This is exactly what I prayed would happen – that God would begin to convict you of your idols and that you would be willing to surrender to Him and to begin to do things His way. 🙂  THANK YOU, GOD!
A few suggestions (my own personal opinions, for whatever they are worth):
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1. Do not ask your husband if he still loves you. That means that you are probably putting your security and identity still in him and that you are looking to him for acceptance and safety instead of to Christ.  Your words about the marriage and spiritual things are probably going to be destructive right now. I Peter 3:1-6 is your assignment. Your power is not in words at all, but in learning to allow God’s Spirit to empower and change you in a radical way and in showing genuine respect, honor and godly unconditional love to your husband no matter what he does or does not do.
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Your husband is DEEPLY wounded – as wounded or more wounded than you are. (GraceAlone shared a number of disrespectful things she has said/done in the past 4 years when we met this week. Some of them have created MASSIVE damage to her husband’s soul and this marriage.) Please focus on what you can do to bless him, not how you want him to meet your needs. He is so wounded right now, he may not be able to meet your needs. One day, when he is stronger, he may be able to. Right now, my prayer is that you will allow God to heal you and allow God to work through you to begin to heal your husband, too.
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2. I’m glad you apologized to him. Awesome.  But – don’t apologize any more, is my suggestion – unless there is a new disrespectful or sinful thing that you did. Then apologize without any explanation or justification of yourself.
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3. This is going to be a LONG, LONG process. Like a year or several years. Maybe longer. That is a good thing. It forces you to refine your motives even when it seems like your husband is not changing.  Your husband is going to be skeptical at first. That is normal. Thankfully, you are not depending on him but on Christ from now on, so it doesn’t really matter what he says or feels – I hope that makes sense. His feelings matter. What he wants is important. Listen to him. Care about what he says. Honor his leadership. But what ultimately matters is what God says and to seek to please God.  That is all that matters. That is all you are responsible for. You are only responsible for yourself, your sin and your obedience to God. We will trust God to take care of your husband in His timing.  So, you are going to have to put your own desires on the back burner for awhile because your husband is so wounded, commit your needs and desires and dreams to Christ – and focus on obeying God and blessing your husband. Not to get anything in return, just to love him with the love of Christ and to bless him. God is plenty able to change your husband’s feelings as He changes you. But even if He does not, you can trust God and seek to live for Him alone.
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4. I would recommend starting in John with a chapter a day or so. And, I would recommend reading at least one post on my blog, if not several, each day.  I suggest starting a list of all the things you admire/respect about your husband and add to it every change you get. Take that list with you into your prayer closet. And start a list of all of your sin and take that list with you, too. Pray for God to change you and bless your husband. Don’t demand that God change your husband right now. God will handle him. Right now, it is time for you to get out of God’s way so that your husband can begin to hear God’s voice again. And the only way to do that is for you to obey God for your end of things.
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5. God is sovereign. He is able to give you children if it is His will. He is able to change your circumstances, your husband’s heart and all of that. It is a small thing for him to do that. He may allow you to have children later. I don’t know. Your job is to be sure that you are able to lay that dream down and be content even if you don’t have children.
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Your job is to find all of your contentment in Christ, not in your husband, in feeling loved, in having your way, in “worldly happiness” or in having children.
Please understand, idolatry always destroys and brings death. Sin always brings death.
Desiring children is a good thing. Children are a blessing. But – they are not more important than Christ and they are not more important than your marriage covenant and they are not more important than your obedience to God and your walk with Him.
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  • Children (in and of themselves) do not bring contentment and satisfaction. I can promise you that!
  • Husbands (in and of themselves) do not bring contentment and satisfaction.
  • Only Jesus can bring true contentment and satisfaction.

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As you surrender yourself fully to Him, saying, “Not my will but Yours be done” and as you rest in His love and sovereignty – you can be content as you trust Him to do what is ultimately best for you and your husband and what will ultimately bring glory to Himself.

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6. Your motivation has to be to please Christ and to be a godly steward of your body, your time, your marriage and all of your resources. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God! That is your motivation! You will stand before Christ very shortly when this life is over – your motivation is that you want to hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” He has called you to fulfill His purposes for you. You are His servant. When He asks you to do anything, your answer is, “Yes, Lord!” He gave all of Himself for you – now, you give all of yourself fully to Him. It is an adventure every day to see what He will show you and teach you and what He might do. He gives good things and good surprises and even all of our suffering is a tool in His hand to make us more like Christ. You cannot lose!  If good things happen, God is behind them and He will use them to bless you and cause you to grow. If bad things happen, God will use them to bless you and cause you to become more mature and complete, lacking nothing. You cannot lose when you are abiding in Christ. That is the best place in the world to be – in the center of His will. That is where there is overflowing love, joy, peace, fulfillment, purpose, acceptance, security and power.
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Much love to you!
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