FreeinChrist Fights with Heavenly Weapons

Last night, I got to do something that I will remember for the rest of my life as one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. May it bless you, as well!

FreeinChrist is a friend of mine and has given me permission to share. For more of her story, check out this post.

FreeinChrist is so strong in her walk with the Lord now, that she knows God has good things in store for her life no matter if her husband returns or not. She faces the future with great joy – seeking only to live in the center of God’s will. At this point, it would be infinitely easier for her to continue on without her husband. But she is seeking to be available to work to restore the marriage if that opportunity arises so that she can honor her marriage covenant before the Lord – simply to please Him and keep her vow, if the Lord provides the way. It is her heart’s desire to see her marriage restored if it will honor God.

She is not desperate or despairing. She has emotions to deal with, of course, and pain to hash through at times, but she is completely filled up with God and such a powerhouse of faith. The Lord has provided abundantly every step of the way for every need – housing, jobs, medical care, spiritual needs, everything. She says, “My story for His glory.” Whatever will bring the Lord the most glory, that is what she desires with all her heart, whatever that may be. Most of all, she wants to see her husband find peace with God.  She wants him to experience the healing and abundant life that can be his in Jesus.

Today in just a few minutes is their court date to finalize the divorce that her husband has filed against her.

When the judge asks her if there is any hope for this marriage to be reconciled, she plans to answer, “Yes.”

Last night, she assembled a group of 6 other strong, godly women to pray with her who have been praying and, at times also fasting, with her for quite some time.

  1. First we sang a song of praise together in the parking lot – Resurrecting.  Her reasoning was that when King Jehosephat went out to battle, he sent the worshippers out to sing praises to the Lord before the army went into battle in 2 Chronicles 20. (I LOVE that story! It is a great one to read in your quiet time this week.)
  2. We walked around the county courthouse 7 times – just like Joshua did with Israel around Jericho – another amazing encounter with God’s power and victory for His people. Before each lap around the courthouse, we all read a passage of scripture together out loud in unison. Then we walked around the courthouse and prayed – some silently, some out loud. We received God’s work, His power, His truth, His promises, His Word, and His Spirit to work in this couple’s situation.
    1. Lap 1 – Divorce. We prayed for FreeinChrist and her husband and for all people coming to that county courthouse to get a divorce for healing for their marriages and glory for God.  “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” Mal. 2:16 NLT
    2. Lap 2 – Marriage. We prayed for FreeinChrist and her husband and for all those coming to the courthouse to get a marriage license and for those in our county getting married – that they might honor and understand the significance of a marriage covenant in God’s eyes. “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matt. 19:6 NIV
    3. Lap 3 – New things. We prayed and thanked God for the new things He is doing in FreeinChrist and in her husband and prayed for new things for those coming to the court house and in our county – for a great awakening. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isa. 43:19 NIV
    4. Lap 4 – A new heart. “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart, and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Eze. 36:26 NLT
    5. Lap 5 – New life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17 ESV
    6. Lap 6 – God’s sovereignty. We thanked and praised God for His sovereignty in FreeinChrist’s life, in her husband’s life, and in their marriage. We thanked and praised Him for His sovereignty in this courthouse and in this county. “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'” Isa. 46:9-10 NIV
    7. Lap 7 – God’s sovereignty. “I know that You can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2 NIV
  3. After the 7 laps –  we stopped and sang Holy, Holy, Holy together in the parking lot and thanked and praised God.
  4. We walked an 8th lap – a victory lap for new beginnings. And we prayed and received these scriptures:
    1. “‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Hag. 2:9 NIV
    2. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Eph. 3:20-21
    3. I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten. Joel 2:25
  5. We sang Victory in Jesus together at the top of our lungs.

It was amazing to walk behind this precious sister in Christ and to pray with her and to see her faith. She had the biggest smile on her face all evening and was simply totally yielded to the Lord. Praising Him, thanking Him, worshipping Him, trusting Him. She doesn’t know what will happen today. None of us do. But she was radiant with His glory and beauty last night. And we are all confident that the Lord is going to move in this situation. We are excited to see how.

You know something? It hit me that if all of us approached trials in our lives in a manner like this – we would have a VERY different world!

Imagine if every marriage had this kind of prayer. If every lost person had believers praying for him/her like this. If every school, courthouse, city, state, and country had believers bathing them in prayer and faith like this.

FreeinChrist has no need to use earthly weapons or human wisdom and effort. She doesn’t have to try to force her way. She doesn’t have to cry, scream, yell, cuss, or make demands. She doesn’t have to argue or try to convince her husband of anything. She doesn’t even have to communicate with him. Her eyes are on the Lord. His will is going to be done. His glory will be made known through her story. He will do the fighting and all she has to do is to be still and receive the things He will do on her behalf.

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in Him, and He will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine

like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and

wait patiently for Him;

do not fret when men succeed in their ways,

when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Psalm 37:5-7

Please join with me in praying for the Lord’s victory, His greatest glory, and His Name to be exalted in FreeinChrist’s life even now as she is about to enter the courthouse within ten minutes of when I publish this post. And let’s also lift up our other brothers and sisters who have lost spouses and who are facing a spouse going ahead with a divorce. I can’t wait to see all that the Lord will do!

RELATED:

FreeinChrist Stands for Something Way Bigger Than Just Her Marriage

 

“The ONLY Thing I Have Right Now Is the Lord.”

I’m so thankful this wife is willing to allow me to share her response to this post about two ways wives tend to respond when their husbands say they are done. Right now, things are still a mess in her circumstances and with her husband – but what I want us to see is the beauty that God is creating in her soul in the midst of this fiery trial:

My separation from my husband is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My husband has moved out of our home and is staying with family. As a wife of a man who has had trouble leaving and cleaving since day 1, this situation makes our separation SO much harder. Add to it that his family is encouraging divorce, and I am living my worst nightmare daily.

The ONLY thing I have right now is the LORD. He is my strength, my light, my song.

I feel like a psalmist sometimes. I cry out to God, tears streaming down my face, my heart-broken to the point of feeling physically ill. Where is my God? Why is this happening? What does it take to mend my hurting spirit? I have been angry with God, confused, depressed, anxious, unable to sleep, overeating, under-eating, and in the lowest point of despair I have ever felt. Some days. I have asked God to bring me home. I am not suicidal; I simply feel like all I can do is breathe. Going to work is an enormous chore sometimes. Making food is all but impossible. Smiling or laughing feels insincere. But God is with me through it all.

I miss my husband more than I know how to express. I have made GIGANTIC mistakes that have brought our marriage to this point. My LORD has brought me to my knees in dire regret and sadness over my abuse, desire for control, overpowering, mean, non-supportive, and downright selfish ways. My LORD has reminded me that He paid the price for my sins, and I am washed by the blood of the Lamb. My LORD has reminded me in my darkest hour that He will never leave me or forsake me.

The Lord has brought me closer to Him than I have ever been during this trial. For that, I am blessed and eternally grateful.

I lay down my marriage at the feet of Jesus daily, usually multiple times each day. I know healing takes time, and I know our God works in ways we cannot comprehend as sinners. I yearn for quick restoration, but I know I would rather be separated for years than divorced forever. My husband’s heart is resistant to the work of the Holy Spirit right now, and I want him to hear the voice of God. I pray for his heart and for blessings for him often. I want him to feel the closeness I feel to the Lord. I want him to rely on the eternal not the temporary. I want him to trust his God more than his family. I want him to remember his baptism, what Jesus did for him, and let that change his heart.

There is absolutely nothing that I can do. I have reverted to “Wife #1” too many times to count (see this post). Now I give my husband to God. I release him. We are one flesh by the joining we received by God on our wedding day. My heart aches for him, my heart is broken, and hearts can be restored.

No matter what happens, I love my Jesus and I love my husband.

Through this pain, I am firmer in my faith than ever before and I trust that God is working all things out for my good. He is with me through every storm. Praise be to God!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

When I see this kind of faith, humility, and trust in God – I know God is powerfully at work and amazing things are going to happen. I know there will continue to be healing and regeneration for the wife  – that God is using the trial to grow her and bring her to much deeper faith and greater spiritual maturity. Please join with me in praying for God to continue His good work in this dear sister’s life and for healing for her, her husband, and their marriage for God’s greatest glory in His perfect timing.

ENCOURAGING VERSES:

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… Romans 5:3-4

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

RELATED:

Kristin’s Story – a Peaceful Separated Wife

A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience the Peace of God in Her Life

“My Two Year Anniversary As a Separated Wife”

A Divorce and Reconciliation Story – by The Restored Wife

 

The Answer to All of Our Marriage Problems

Praying for Your Husband So That God Will Hear

There Must Be More to This Journey Than Just Prayer

The Treasures of God in the Midst of a Great Storm

storm-over-sydney-2-1507873-638x425

From a wife whose husband threatened divorce a year ago and who wants to share with other wives who are in extremely painful situations similar to her own:

I want others to know that I had many “turn the corner” moments over the last year. I am approaching 1 year since the bomb drop and have been reflecting on it.

At this point, my advice is to stop focusing on your problem marriage and focus on your God.

Take your entire life right now, and start looking at what is GOOD. Your marriage may not be in that list, but your health, kids, family, job, appreciating nature, celebrating how much you have learned about yourself and God from where you were, this blog as a resource for encouragement, each and every day that God gives you to be one day closer to fulfilling your destiny. All are things to celebrate.

When I stopped focusing on my marriage day in, day out and forced myself to do something nice for other people, I turned a giant corner! My husband even noticed. He commented that he doesn’t understand how I could be “happy” when our marriage was a mess. Yes, marriage IS a mess, but I everyday I am moving forward with it. And everyday I can also notice all the things that are “right” in my life. Accepting that my life may not or ever be 100% perfect is huge for me, a perfectionist. Trying to achieve perfection in every area of my life was making me crack. As I hyper-focused on my crappy marriage, my health was suffering, my kids were feeling neglected, my work was not getting my full attention while I was there, my family felt helpless.

Eighty percent of what was good in my life was getting sucked into the mire along with my marriage. It needed to stop.

  • I started walking and listening to praise music, thanking God for teaching me every day how to learn from him.
  • I began to sleep. I even prayed for the gift of peace and sleep.
  • I started taking time to talk to the elderly at the nursing home I work at, I felt GREAT when I could comfort them, and if I found a few that loved God too, we would talk for hours!
  • I helped my mom with a few projects.
  • I dove into doing things with my kids.
  • I started my hobby back up. Never in a consuming way.
  • I took care of my needs.

I looked at my husband as an out of control storm. He was hurting me, raging inside, confused, hurting himself, and I couldn’t fix it. I could only stay out of his way and let God calm that storm.

I COULD, however, not aggravate the storm. I did this by not forcing my husband to see my point of view. Not demanding his time. Listening to understand HIS feelings, even though he didn’t want to even hear about mine. Stopped trying to “fix” our marriage, my husband, his feelings or demand forgiveness from my husband. The more I lived to seek approval from God and not my husband, the less guilty I felt and the less blame I took on.

If my husband was going to be in a cranky mood or criticize, I no longer took that on as my responsibility to fix. I focused on me not reacting to it, not barking back, not getting my point across or arguing. We literally did not talk for an entire month because I wasn’t arguing anymore. I knew my husband didn’t care about my point of view, was consumed by his own hurt and emotions and could not give me what I craved and wanted from him so badly. So I asked God for it. He delivered. The whole mood shifted.

Today: things are calmer. I speak very sparingly. More facts, every day items, kids, schedules. Not at all the loving husband I want, but not the monster I feared anymore, either. We do not have sex, we barely touch, but he has started kissing me on the forehead again. No more fist bumps or just walking away. I hear “I love you” occasionally. He is attempting to come home more. I have let him be responsible for his own doctor appointments, prescriptions, schedule, and meals. I am cheerful and pleasant, I include him and invite him, but I don’t berate him if he doesn’t show. His relationship with the kids is his to deal with. I work on my relationship with the kids.

I am still working out how to talk to my husband about my needs, wants, and feelings…I know I am not there yet, but working through it. I think my husband is starting to open his eyes. He feels he has let us down, says we deserve more of him than he has given. Seems like small steps, but I hit my knees in thanks to God when my husband said this! Everyone thought I was crazy for putting up with all of this unloving behavior from my husband, but I stayed because I promised God. I was not being abused, no addictions, no infidelity.

I have seen the small changes and am glad for them. Am I eager to run forward? Yes, but I don’t. Do I sometimes want to lay into my husband and blow like a volcano until everything I ever felt, thought, hurt about came boiling out and I exhausted myself? Yes, but how hurtful would THAT be?

It may feel like a Friday, but Sunday is coming! Jesus died on the cross on a Friday, but He rose again on Sunday and in doing so. Saved us all from death. This is what true faith does!

I know in my heart that God didn’t take me this far just to leave me. I don’t know if my husband and I will be reconciled. I don’t know if he will one day just leave or one day have a rebirth in Christ like I did! All I know is I am NOT sovereign and I can only control and run MY race. The rest, well, God has it covered. Whew, too much for me, anyway.

RELATED:

My Husband Wanted a Divorce (same author as this post)

A Peaceful Separated Wife – Kristin’s story part 1

A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience the Peace of God in Her Life!

A Peaceful Divorced Wife – Kristin’s story part 2

Can You Pray Too Much for Your Marriage?

My Husband Said, “You Worry Too Much!”

Why Doesn’t My Husband Support Me More As I Try to Change?

Twenty-three Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

Could Your Husband Be Trapped in Shame?

Six Things I Learned from Having an Unbelieving Husband

"My Husband Wanted a Divorce" – by LMS

 

Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Today’s post is by one of my readers. God has done an amazing work in her in the past year. She has been walking in the power of God’s Spirit so often – in spite of the fact that her husband has not been very responsive to the changes God is making in her life so far. I’m so thankful for her willingness to share a bit of her story:

MY CHILDHOOD

I was raised as a Catholic by parents that were raised in Catholic school. I attended catechism and confirmation, but to be honest, as a kid, it was just more school work to me and meant nothing to me, really. I memorized what I had to and went because I was a “good kid.” I was an excellent student and always A/B’s in school.

When I was 11, I distinctly remember seeing my parents lovingly gazing into each other’s eyes and I asked them if they would be together forever, they promised me they would. A year later, my mom picked me up from school and told me they were getting a divorce. My world imploded.

I felt that I could not trust anyone but myself if I could not even trust my parents.

My dad was a workaholic and my mom had an affair. I always blamed my mom for the divorce because of that. I had recognized the fact that my dad was trying to take care of his family by working, but I really didn’t know how that felt as a wife of a workaholic.

My grandmother had always been a happy Christian who adored me and complimented me on how I would always find a way to solve my problems by reading a book about them. She encouraged that in me. I remember thinking the Bible was just a fantastic story. I began to look more to scientific explanations of the meaning of life and how we got here.

MY “ROCK BOTTOM” ALMOST A YEAR AGO

I pretty much stayed at this level of spiritual maturity until – as a 42 year old married woman for 18 years with two tween-agers – I went on a family vacation to Florida and the moment we got there, my husband told me he wanted a divorce.

Needless to say, it was the worst week of my life.

On the drive home, I was lost and desperate to figure out how to save the marriage I worked so hard for. I pulled out my smart phone and Googled something about loveless marriage or how to save a marriage and “The Peaceful Wife” blog popped up.

The light bulb moment was the article about “how men feel disrespected.” The 50 point list of items were so convicting. I could check off probably all but 8 that I had done. It was no wonder my husband was so discouraged that he wanted to end our marriage. I was brought to my knees with repentance. I apologized to God and begged for forgiveness when I realized what I had done. I knew at that point I could not do this on my own. I had no idea what a real relationship with God was, but I had nowhere else to turn.

I asked my husband for forgiveness, he said he forgave me, but did not act that way.

I begged my husband not to just pick up and leave, he agreed that we would do this together or not at all. He was looking to do DIVORCE together, I was looking to SAVE THE MARRIAGE together. Thus began my journey to find myself.

MY BABY STEPS

With April’s help and many suggested books, I began to learn about submission (to God and in marriage), how to put God first on my priority list and how to run my own race. I discovered the true meaning of agape love and how to love my husband and kids unconditionally. I learned healthy boundaries and how to love my husband even when he doesn’t deserve it. I practiced being godly with the lovely seniors I work with at the nursing home I work at and I was able to talk to my mom about my journey.

My parents have both gone through 2 divorces each and I really had no good example of how to be a godly wife. I faced my past fears of workaholic dads, irrational responsibility of other people, control, pride and many other idols. It was very painful and heart wrenching. However, my mother has even grown closer to God and may benefit from my journey as well.

Thus, I am on a journey along with many other women to find the true meaning of a relationship with God. With April’s help, I am eager to pass on the truth about how to live in God’s love for everyone on this planet, especially with those we love the most. Relationships are not to be disposed of like so much trash, God does not treat us that way, we shouldn’t treat others that way either.

RELATED:

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”

PS FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This couple is still together although there is much healing that still needs to be done. I’m so thankful for this wife’s faithfulness to seek Christ and to obey and please Him even as her husband remained quite distant and skeptical for many months. Her husband has recently begun to soften a bit toward her. Please pray for God to continue to work and to heal them both!