For the past year I’ve been certain that my spouse has slowly moved closer to embracing faith. I’m not even sure why I came to this conclusion over time. Perhaps I interpreted subtle comments or gesture for more than they were intended. That was until a week ago when suddenly, as if from out of nowhere, I was hit with a Mac Truck of realization. He hasn’t.
A Mac Truck can level you. Ouch!
Living in these very real moments and seasons take every bit of my faith to rise up and keep walking. I think over the past two weeks I’ve lived through the five stages of grief….. at least twice. And for all of us who are hoping and believing for the salvation of your spouse, a dose of realism can wreck you. At least that’s how I’ve felt recently.
My reality came in an instant where after almost nine months my husband decided to attend church with me. I’m at a point where I really believed that I no longer held expectation or hope about my husband and church. And that morning as we stood in the row while the worship band played, I discovered I did have hopes and expectations. This realization dawned upon me the moment my hope was crushed as I watch him posture himself in his angry stance, the typical stance I’ve seen so many times before. And then later in the day when I asked him about the message, his comment was so hurtful, I can’t write it here.
365 days of hoping, prayer and believing came crashing down upon my tiny heart. My husband doesn’t believe and from his comment it appears he never will. Ugh!!!!
When we, spouses of unbelievers, face this devastating disappointment, we wrangle with some very familiar questions. And we wrestle with them throughout our marriages because we are a people of great hope. It’s our nature to be hopeful because we believe in a Great Big God. We hope.
The questions we have to bring back out of the past and muse over again and again are questions we hate to ponder. Questions I’ve asked God are: Why? How was I deceived? Am I going to live in a marriage like this for the rest of my life? God I know you hear my prayers but why aren’t you moving? And if we are truly honest we stare down the road of the years ahead and our heart aches because we may never have the intimacy we desire with our spouse because of our faith differences.
I’m writing to you in my pain. I want you to know that I have an astonishing love relationship with God but there are moments when living in our everyday, ordinary are challenging, hope-crushing and painful. But I’ve learned a few things through the years that I need to remind myself about and I pray they bring encouragement to you, who are also feeling pain about your mismatched marriage.
The way through the pain is to reach out to others in theirs.
It’s in the pain – we can KNOW- truly know God. It’s in the hurt- we can truly bless others. It’s in this way where we reach out to others and we will see God. He picks us up and restores our hope and we can live authentically in joy.
So for today, I’m reaching out. And I’m holding you who are hurting. Those of you who think no one knows how you feel. They don’t see the loneliness, the hurt. I see you and I love you. And I know that our God feels our pain. He sees us and He asks us to press in closer into Him.
I ask that you leave me your name because I’m determined to take you with me to the throne room today seeking a fresh anointing of grace, hope and joy. I love you. I really love you… From an ordinary woman who truly knows your pain, Lynn
Lord, Our Almighty God,
Today I declare that this life-altering disappointment no longer holds power over the people of this community. I decree and announce that the enemy will not use our setbacks to steal away ground we have fought to take through perseverance and relentless prayer.
Lord, reach into our homes and restore your gifts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Today, I choose to take my pain and to press into you, seeking your wisdom and discernment for my marriage and my relationship with my spouse. Answer my questions kindly and satisfy my heart. Restore my hope and let me walk like a giant again in your power and authority. In King Jesus name. Amen.