Avowal

[ uh-vou-uhl ]: Noun. An open statement of affirmation; frank acknowledgment or admission.

A Christian Testimony; from Acrimony to (God’s) Alimony.

Despite much push-back & criticism from well meaning friends and not-so-well-meaning enemies, & after seven years of healing from divorce, I’m finally moved to share my testimony publicly and candidly.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11

Another word for Avowal is Manifesto. The word Manifesto has a special meaning to me & will be addressed later in this letter.

When sharing the more awkward & difficult parts of this testimony or manifesto, I’ve received (sometimes unsolicited) advice ranging from,”Just get over it.” to “Just keep praying for his heart to change”, to “God just wants you to be His girlfriend.”

…What?

I’ve also been demeaned & judged by some for my prolonged inability to fully heal (in their opinion). My Faith, doctrine & trust is God has been questioned; as well as my sanity.

Healing, like sanctification, is extrodinarily different for each human; thus, it’s an aggregious error to superimpose one’s personal standards of healing onto another; especially if you profess belief in Christ Jesus.

Scripture teaches that God gives Grace, in different ways & different amounts; and to whom He gives Grace. This leaves no room to proudly boast about one’s God-given ability to heal better than others. However, consciously choosing to dwell in defeat is sin & a completely different subject.

Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:6…

“For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.”

Further, in verses 7-9, Paul tells us why God did NOT heal him:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Proverbs 10:19 states:
“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”

For years, I’ve suffered the (deserved) ramifications of aggregious misuse of my tongue. At the same time, I’ve withheld my tongue concerning my (continuing) Christian testimony because it largely involves others who were once very close to me. After much time, solitude & prayer I’m finally moved to share, because:

My Christian testimony wouldn’t be complete without including this integral element:

My marriage & divorce.
Newly & Happily Married October 2012
“Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed.” Proverbs 27:5

This isn’t a victim’s manifesto. It’s a testimony of me being a super ugly person, while being dealt a bunch of ugliness from others. Those with eyes to see will clearly discern:

This is a testament of how God shows His Love & Fidelity, when all hope seems lost.

Hopefully, True and Faithful Christian Believers; perhaps those who may be struggling with divorce, find encouragement. However, my hope & prayer is that whoever reads this, finds the Truth of that One and only source of True Hope and Love;

Jesus Christ.

So, here it is…

When I first met my husband, I couldn’t forget him. Somehow I knew he would be important and have powerful impact on my life. He walked into the shop where I worked, and we proceeded to talk for an hour or so. It was if something was calling me know him and be with him; except at that time, I didn’t really believe in God. When he left the shop, it felt like a piece of me went with him.

Almost one year later, my dad died. It was a painful and heart wrenching time for our family. I had recently gone through a break up with a partner whose Christian mom had given me a little booklet explaining the Gospel.

I read the booklet and began to consider the existence of God and Jesus. God Bless her soul for this seemingly insignificant gift. She had planted a seed.

After my dad’s funeral, I went to a coffee shop to read email. I realized that I had the email address for the man I met a year ago…The one who I hadn’t forgotten. I took a chance and emailed him, asking how he was. I received an immediate response from him. Before I could respond to that, I noticed I had a message for my online dating profile. I forgot I even had an online profile. It was him! Somehow he saw me online the exact moment I emailed him. It was a bright moment in an otherwise depressing day.

The next morning while making the 500 plus mile journey back home, I tearfully prayed for the first time. My relationship with my dad was a broken and troubled one. I believed he hated me. I was questioning why I hadn’t been able to find love in my life, including the love of my own dad.

This is when the Lord first revealed Himself to me. A still small voice; as in a thought that wasn’t my own, said:

“I’m your True Father and I truly Love you.”

Tears poured out of my eyes. I actually felt a wave of love come over me. However, I didn’t really understand what had happened. At that time, I thought it could’ve been the disembodied spirit of my dad talking to me. I was still wrapped up in the new age nonsense, so I didn’t conclude it was God.

I began to feel immense sorrow and regret over all the horrific relationship choices I’ve made. Little did I know, this was the beginning of Holy Spirit conviction. I thought about the lack of love I felt from my dad and realized that it contributed to my life of poor relationship choices. My heart truly longed for a faithful, truthful man who would protect and provide for me. Someone who wouldn’t leave me for another. A man who would love me for who I was, not for what I could give him or do for him.

As I continued to drive and ponder, another still small voice came to me; it was a man’s name I was surprised.

Then this thought came to my mind: This is the man you emailed last night…the one you have thought about for over a year.

Wow. I was a little confused by this. Was this real?

I hadn’t talked to, nor seen this guy in nearly a year. But I had never forgotten him. He emailed me again and asked me out. This began our relationship. Our first date was January 25, 2011. We met at a coffee shop called Metanoya.

Interesting, one meaning for Metanoya is repentance.

We talked for four hours and we both departed knowing there was something very special about our meeting, that it was providential. It was a typical dating scenario; i didn’t even know or care that he was a professing Christian.

It wasn’t until many years later, I realized how wrong it was for him to date an unbeliever such as myself. Unequal yoking is warned against in Scripture. However, once we became married in the Lord, it was truly blessed by God; and a vow until death.

We found ourselves in a physical relationship very quickly, which wasn’t uncommon for me, being a liberal free-spirited heathen.

As quickly, we decided that we wanted to pursue a monogamous, exclusive relationship. Surprisingly, we agreed on most social, political and moral points, even though I wasn’t a believer. We fell in love with each other easily & quickly. I decided it was prudent to tell him all about my past and all the ugliness. I wanted complete honesty and wanted him to love me for the right reasons. So I gave him all the dirty laundry so that he could make a reasonable choice before we got too seriously involved.

He decided that my past, as demonic, horrifying and ugly as it was; wasn’t enough to scare him away. I was beyond happy. It was one of the happiest times of my life.

I learned that he was a religious fellow, something with which I had only bad experience. But, I loved this guy. I wanted to love everything about him, so I opened my heart and my mind. I attended church with him. He went to a very conservative Southern Baptist Church. It was an interesting experience.

I continued to go to his church and found it increasingly fulfilling. At first, I was offended by the hellfire and damnation sermons, but God started to give me discernment for the Truth. I started talking about God to other people and God brought other believers into my periphery. I attended other churches alone and enjoyed it! Six months later, while at his church with him, I publicly accepted Jesus Christ.

This, however, was not my Born Again moment.

A couple weeks later; I attended another church, alone. It was then, I was baptized. It was in Powder Springs Creek, in a small suburb outside of Atlanta, Georgia. It was amazing. I felt the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. Praise God! Truly and amazingly Born Again!

I felt at home at this particular church. It was smaller and less formal. The pastor preached on repentance and obedience, just like at the Southern Baptist church, but it was here that I encountered the Holy Ghost and was sternly convicted of the sin I was committing with my boyfriend. I cried out in sorrow and contrition. I knew that I had no other choice but to repent.

When I told my boyfriend about my conviction, he was upset. He was honest with me and said that he thought I was manipulating him into marriage. I wasn’t offended, because I spent most of my life as a godless heathen. In addition, I never heard preaching against fornication at his church.

He had been a Southern Baptist for over 2o years and had at least five lovers before he met me. I certainly didn’t judge him and thought little of it, because I too, had lived a life of “free love”.

I share this, not to shame or condemn him or myself, but to illustrate that anyone can profess to be a life-long Christian, go to church every week for decades, even tithe 10% plus; and still live in willful & deliberate sin.

I certainly did. But God eventually taught me His Truth.

Professing believers who live in sin usually believe in the false teaching called “once saved always saved”, “hyper-grace”; or more flippantly called “one and done”. I lived under this umbrella of errant doctrine, and it almost hardened my heart and sent my soul to hell…but more about that later.

For the next year, I would experience amazing Holy Spirit filled deliverance and conviction events. I would regularly cast out demons in my dream state by screaming scripture that I didn’t even know. Like Ms. Magdelene, I had collected some serious spiritual baggage. I stopped doing certain things, watching certain things and listening to certain things. It was the Holy Spirit working in me. Cleaning me, sanctifying me and purifying me. I witnessed to others and read the Bible with fiery zeal and hunger.

During this time, my boyfriend and I made efforts to practice celibacy. It was especially tough because of how we started out. He proposed marriage to me in May of 2012. I was elated and certain that this was God’s plan.

We went to pre-marital counseling at a new church. We planned a wedding in August, and I moved into a separate room in his house in July. While moving, I seriously injured my back. The wedding ceremony was postponed until October.

It was at this time, while living at his house, I saw family dynamics that confused & concerned me. He also, saw how I reacted to these dynamics, and had his own, valid concerns. He had four daughters, at that time, ranging from age 17 to 26. We shared our concerns and talked candidly about them. In the end, we decided that we would work it out because we believed that our love & marriage was in God’s Will.

As I grew more in God’s Word, I began to denounce long held worldly beliefs. I was a feminist, ultra liberal, pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ (etc…)

My fiancé told me that my strong Christian moral convictions would be a good influence for his 17 year old daughter who still lived with him. His concern was that his two eldest daughters, (who are lesbians); and the middle daughter (who departed from her Christian upbringing), would influence his youngest. This obviously caused him distress.

As a childless woman in her early forties, I eagerly looked forward to being a semi-maternal part of a family. My fiancé’s encouragement fueled this. I loved him with every fiber of my being and wanted desperately for his family to accept & love me. I truly believed that our marriage was to be a ministry of repentance, forgiveness, regeneration and hope.

However, as Jesus states, a person of God is most hated & rejected in their own home. To be fair, I made epic mistakes, said too much, said the wrong things, tried too hard and at times, didn’t say enough.

However, no matter what I did or didn’t do, I was seen as a threat to the established routine. Jealousy ran rampant and I didn’t have the maturity, self-esteem or skills to navigate this type of reviling.

The day of our wedding was one of the best and worst days of my life. Best, because I was marrying the man of my dreams!

Worst, because the morning before the ceremony, while praying, I received a message from the Holy Spirit that shook my being to the core.

During prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, but in a foreboding and alarming tone. He said, “Your marriage will be in the hands of (her).” (My husband’s youngest child). I started to cry and shake with anxiety. I questioned the message:

Would the Spirit of God cause such feelings??

The answer is yes.

The Holy Spirit warns, as the prophets in the Old Testament clearly illustrate. The Bible also states that prophesy is correct, if it comes to pass; good or bad.

I told my soon to be husband. With his wonderfully stoic nature, he calmed me. He told me that I was just anxious and that we’ll work through any and all problems with love. I loved and trusted him. We were married a few hours later.

In retrospect, this was not a happy, fluffy blessing. It was instead, a prophetic and stern warning from God. I was being warned as if I were being prepared for impending battle.

Little did I know, but I was being shown where my future husband’s loyalty would rest and who would be given power over our marriage. At that moment, I was given the choice to either fully accept this reality or reject it.

Goodness…this man is the first and only man that I’ve ever truly loved; so I accepted the challenge to remain faithful through the upcoming storm.

Our Wedding Attire, which took several months to design & construct.
This was also a challenge & test for me; to prove my Christian Faith.

I’m reminded of the Israelites telling Moses that they would keep all of God’s statutes, then went on to worship other gods. Or when Peter proclaimed his fidelity to Christ, then denied Him three times. Likewise, I failed miserably when put to the test.

As mentioned, my husband had four adult female children. Three rejected me immediately, without even getting to know me, however, in their defense, I soon gave them plenty of ammo to fuel their disdain.

Shortly before our wedding, my fiancé shared his Manifesto with me. (Yes, this is that aforementioned special word). It was a handwritten fifteen or so page testimony of his first divorce. The very raw, personal, private & comprehensive details of his first wife’s adultery and his pain through the two year ordeal left me sobbing & stunned. How could someone do this to such a loving husband & dad? How could someone break up their family like this?

My flesh easily dove headfirst into this one-sided mini-novel of unspoken, vengeful & continued vitriol & unforgiveness.

Little did I realize at that time, those same feelings would be projected onto me; not for infidelity; not for breaking up the family, but for my inability to gracefully navigate the dysfunctional circumstances.

As I read his manifesto, I could easily feel his pain. I too, had been a victim of infidelity. He wrote that he felt he was losing his mind, even thoughts of suicide surfaced. This made a lasting and powerful impression on me. He painted her as a monster. Because I loved him so much and wanted to be his truest, most faithful friend, I allowed this to affect me. I too, thought of her as a monster and was indiscreet about my feelings.

Pictures of her; found in nearly every drawer & every room in his house were removed; put in a box and put in the garage.

This was possibly the most damaging sin I committed in our marriage. To his kids, it didn’t matter how dad felt; it was MY opinion of their mom and my actions that were wicked and unpardonable. Even though I repented and apologized; even to their mom, his kids continued to hate me.

When we returned from our honeymoon, the youngest, who lived with us, (who was 6 months shy of 18), protested our marriage by not speaking a word to me, and moving her bed into the center of the living room. This lasted for over two weeks. This behavior totally confounded me.

Most confounding & hurtful was that my husband refused to address the issues with his children and it became solely “my” problem. I felt very dismissed; like I was just his girlfriend “dujour”. The more I allowed my emotions to rule, the further I forgot God’s challenge for me to stand in godliness & Trust.

A root of bitterness grew. My ugliest & worst personality traits came to the surface. I failed to diligently seek God’s Holy Spirit to guide me. I reverted back to some of my old behaviors.

Yes, this is possible for even born again believers. Jesus’ parables and the writings of Paul and Peter, specifically, illustrate and warn of this reality.

Many times I would plead for my husband to help me, understand me…support me. He always chose to remain neutral and “let it go”; as he hated any type of confrontation or upset. He falsely accused my pleadings (and nagging), to be a manipulative, wicked tactic, to separate him from his family. This was untrue and the enemy’s way of deceiving him. He failed to acknowledge the big wedge his own children caused.

All I desired was for his godly cleaving and to have my back.

Even though I backslid to some degree, I hung on in fervent love, hope & longsuffering. The Lord blessed me with a deep sorrow and empathy for him. His duty as a husband was being questioned. He was ultimately being challenged to protect his marriage from harm. This included harm from himself, me & his own kids.

How can a loving dad protect his new wife & marriage when it’s his own beloved children causing the harm?

This question was always on my mind. A painful lesson in freewill choice was learned from this:

When a spouse has no intention to fully cleave, nor honor their lifelong covenant; anything, including one’s own children, can take precedence over God’s Word and His perfect Will.

As a woman without children, I had little experience raising children; however, even as adults, I sincerely wanted to love his daughters and be a part of their lives. What he failed to recognize is that they wanted absolutely nothing to do with me, even to the point of hatred.

However, it was I, who failed to stand. As an immature baby, I retreated into complete avoidance, making mountains out of molehills, selfishly feeling sorry for myself and defensively speaking regretful & harsh things to those around me.

In addition to family ostracizing, my husband’s ex-lovers would contact him. During the first year of our marriage, a very persistent ex-girlfriend would call, email his children and send him cards & love letters. In one love letter, she literally cursed our marriage.

Maybe I was wrong, but I so wanted him to defend me & our marriage. Instead, he just ignored her. This is what he would repeat years later with me.

We both became angry and critical with each other. He stopped talking to me; giving me the silent treatment for weeks at a time. This brought out the worst in me. I proceeded to chase after him & nag him; in a pathetic attempt to get him to talk to me.

In an ungodly attempt to medicate severe anxiety, I started to drink wine again, which led to other issues. Oftentimes, I thought of suicide and reached out for help, but was held in contempt and judged for my emotional instability.

One evening, when my husband falsely accused me of harlotry, I pushed him in anger. Although he was a muscle bound body builder and I couldn’t move him, I was wrong to put my hands on him.

He never forgave me for this.

Almost a year later, I got into a heated argument with his youngest, (who was 18 years old). She happened to be engaged to be married. Her disrespectful behavior to me had brought me to a boiling point. I made the wrong choice to talk to her in anger. She, however, stoutly retorted and told me that she hated our marriage and would never respect me; because there was nothing about me worthy of respect.

At least she was honest about her feelings and I now had the full truth of her deep disdain for me and my marriage.

I repented and apologized for my angry confrontation, but things didn’t improve. Her account of this event caused his entire family to revile & hate me; even though nobody sought to ask me or know my side of the story.

Sadly, soon after, my husband requested that I leave our home and live with my mother, so his daughter could plan her wedding in peace.

I felt rejected, offended, overwhelmed and alone. I was officially public enemy #1, and felt plenty of self-condemnation for giving them sufficient reason to judge me. There was no forgiveness, no mercy, no love, no desire for relationship, and no hope. Demonic attacks regularly occurred in and around the house. I literally felt like I was losing my mind, and sadly, behaved like it on occasion.

I desperately begged for my husband’s strength, love, help and support; but this was a big mistake; it only made him run further from me.

What I really needed was to press into Jesus and into God’s Word much, much more.

What we both didn’t realize is that we were both caught in the confluence of multiple ongoing spiritual battles; ones that began in each of our lives; long before we met and involved others outside of our marriage.

My past was used as a weapon against me, by both the enemy and my husband. I think he expected this ex-new age, occult, heathen, baby Christian to be transformed overnight. We both had no idea how persistent the devil would try to get me back & destroy our godly covenant.

I had forty years of being his wicked child behind me. Heavy spiritual baggage indeed.

Deliverance was needed for some things and my husband no longer cared.

The enemy wanted nothing more than to destroy our marriage and he used those closest to my husband to help make that happen.

Two months later, my husband asked for a divorce. I was stunned & angry. With provocation, he removed his wedding ring. He told me that our marriage was a mistake and he married me simply because his mind was on sex. He then revealed to me that he truly wanted a woman who was financially independent from him and didn’t need him for anything.

He told me that his first marriage & 25 years of raising kids had drained him of any desire to provide or care for another.

This was especially hurtful because before we married, he assured me that his desire was to provide anything his wife wanted or needed.

These words devastated me. They cut to my soul. I sought the help of our church.

Our pastor convinced him to stay in the marriage and give me more time. Though we remained “married” for two more years, my husband refused to cleave and refused to wear his wedding ring. He retreated into passivity and silence. I attended church services alone. I began to clean up my act and lean on God more, but sorrow overwhelmed me.

He decided to join facebook for the first time in his life. Coincidentally, one of his first “friends” was an attractive young blonde woman, who I would later learn, went to his gym. This tore me to pieces.

I was faithfully living with and trying to serve an already emotionally divorced man.

This caused great jealousy to arise within me. My spiritual life was put on the back burner…again. Anger, betrayal and competitiveness took it’s place.

Instead of pressing into the Word and seeking God’s Face, I sought to win the love of my husband by becoming the fiercely independent, super sexy career woman I thought he wanted. I joined myself with the world to gain contracts and contacts. Looking physically attractive became an idol to me. I was set to prove to him that his accusations against me were false. I was set out to win his affections by rivaling “miss facebook”, who was fifteen years his junior.

In doing so, I neglected to study God’s Word to know what a godly wife should do and what a godly marriage should be. At times, I worked three jobs. I hoped to impress him with this. Consequently, he began to falsely accuse me of infidelity. These false accusations further lent to the decline of my mental & emotional health.

I sought professional psychological help. Another unwise choice.

Years later, I realized that unwarranted false accusations of infidelity are sometimes attempts to ease the guilt of lust of the accuser.

As revealed by his manifesto, my husband also held onto deeply rooted & bitter unforgiveness for his first wife; who committed infidelity five years earlier.

Nonetheless, my poor choices reflected my spiritual laziness and double mindedness. In an attempt to win the friendship of him & his family, I eased up on my Christian values. I attempted to “go along to get along” and “fake it till you make it”. In other words, pleasing my husband and winning the affection of others became more important than God.

In doing so, I made one of the biggest spiritual errors ever. Just before our final divorce, I lied and neglected to share God’s Truth. His youngest, (who was now 20 years old); had already gotten a number of tattoos and approached me with a question. She asked what my opinion was of her getting tattoos.

In retrospect, I now know that the enemy was using her to entrap me, because she didn’t truly care about my feelings…nor my opinion.

I lied to her so that she would like me. I was convinced that my marriage would survive; if only she liked me. I told her that there was nothing wrong with her tattoos because she was now an independent working woman; supporting herself.

I deeply regret telling her this lie when I should’ve stood firm on God’s Word!

Years later, I confessed this to my ex-husband and apologized. My biggest regret is denying God for the affection of a person. Ironically, she never liked me & my marriage ended; just as was prophesied to me the morning of my wedding day.

Hard lesson to bear. I failed God’s challenge.

Looking back, I came to the realization that my marriage and it’s preservation at any cost, became an idol to me.

God was challenging me to stand firm in Him, not cling to people. Instead, I allowed the rejection, hatred and the spiritual attacks to drive me into backsliding. But even worse:

I nearly lost my Faith.

YES. God’s plan for marriage is permanency, even unto death. However, God was asking me this:

“Will you still follow me; even if you lose that which you love?”

The long & painful process of confessing, repenting, grieving, forgiving & healing, has taught me that God allows the free will choices of man to work WITHIN His sovereignty.

True Love is a CHOICE…powered by God’s Holy Spirit. God can do anything, but nowhere in His Word, have I read that He FORCED people to love Him. Likewise, God does not force others to love us, even in a covenant…it must be chosen, freewillingly.

So, NO, God didn’t want my divorce. Christians who tell others that their divorce was in God’s perfect Will is denying the eternal Truth of God’s Word.

Imagine telling a mother that it was in God’s Will that the child she carried and delivered, was kidnapped and brutally murdered.

God Wills no such thing.

He allows it.

There’s a BIG difference between the two and it’s part of His Sovereign gift of freewill choice he bestowed upon all humankind.

Romans 8:28 states that all things work together for the good of those called ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.

We are to serve, as Jesus served. In Romans 8:28, “good” isn’t about fame, fortune, personal pleasure & happiness. It’s about the goodness of sanctification & godly perfection (maturity). God provides what we need to serve Him; for His Glory…not ours.

Unfortunately, the devil blesses people too, and that has many professing & prosperous believers in complete denial and deception.

Divorce is not in God’s perfect Will. And although God gave Israel divorce papers, He did so for her repentance & reconciliation, as illustrated in the book of Hosea.

God doesn’t contradict His own Word. He allowed my husband to divorce me. For His reasons, God could, but didn’t place Holy conviction in my husband’s heart, instead He allowed it to harden and move far into unforgiveness.

Yes, unreconciled divorce is a blatant act of unforgiveness. It shows a lack of trust for God to work miracles & disregard for a most Holy Covenant.

Several months after our divorce, and my moving 700 miles away, my husband asked for a reconciliation. This hit me like lightning. I was certain that the Lord heard my prayers and was softening his heart.

This wasn’t a flippant decision, but I accepted his offer. I did so because he finally apologized for allowing his children & his distrust from past infidelity to interfere with our marriage.

I moved back to Georgia to be with my husband.

However, when I tried to discuss that which he promised to fix, he avoided it. Instead, he fixated upon a post-divorce trip I took with a male friend.

The key word is post-divorce.

He falsely accused me of lying & infidelity. This confused me terribly. Instead of holding up to his promises, he demanded that I tell him every detail about my post-divorce activities.

I told him no lies, however he had no right to demand anything from me. Divorce left me feeling rejected & unprotected. It was his choice to divorce that helped usher me into a state of deperation & hopelessness.

He, in fact, dated soon after our divorce, but I didn’t demand that he reveal everything about it.

Six months later, after hours of arguments; defending myself concerning this one trip to Florida; plus enduring a blatant attempt by his youngest to provoke me to anger; he decided that reconciliation wasn’t what he wanted after all.

This was like a second, or third divorce…a knife digging in deeper. I was facing yet another 700 mile journey and something in me snapped. Heavy depression hit me, anxiety attacks followed.

Over the next few years, my former husband and I would talk, even meet; when I was in town. He told me he still loved me & would never love another as he did me. Two years after our divorce, he sent two dozen roses to my home; stating that he will always love me. This gave me renewed hope. Albeit, it was false hope. Whenever I was moved by his words & tried to reconcile, the effort was shut down or he was dating another woman.

Nobody understands why I wanted reconciliation. This was seen as insanity to all my friends & family. I truly loved my husband & was determined to be faithful to God’s Word. I was sure God would eventually bless me with a marital reconciliation.

Years went by and my former husband offered no apologies about the divorce, and he moved on. I, however, didn’t feel so free. I made a couple big errors; attempts at dating; but it was obvious that I still loved my former husband.

For years, I saw myself as married & still in love with a man who never fully cleaved to me, nor truly loved me. To be honest, I spent years believing that he owed me at least an apology.

This was so wrong. I lived in various stages of victimhood. My health, finances and friendships suffered.

It’s been almost eight years since the divorce. Am I healed fully? Only God knows, but I now realize that it’s not the divorce that’s kept me down, it’s myself!

God has taken the feelings of anger & entitlement away. I’m now able to pray for him and his children.

Forgiveness isn’t forgetting, shutting down emotions and moving on. Forgiveness is remembering & feeling the pain; but allowing Christ to heal & guide you to this endgame:
Loving, Blessing & Praying for those who hurt you.

It would’ve been easier to forgive & forget if I found an outlet or substitute; submerging myself in work, relationships or whatever. Instead…

God, with His Loving Grace carried me through the darkest days, months & years. It was through HIS WORD; and the strong preaching of It, by fervent & godly men, that finally knocked me back in line…just in time.

God was calling me back to Him, and through submitting to His Power alone, I accepted His Gift of True Reconciliation.

Eventually God revealed to me directly, through very profound dreams and through His Word, (specifically 1 Corinthians 7), that my marriage had become an unequal yoking.

He and I were moving in completely opposite directions. At our last meeting, my former husband revealed to me that his Jesus is not my Jesus, and that by adhereing to Biblical precepts, I was “putting God in a box”. The conservative godly man I fell in love with, had fallen in line with the world around him and now embraced liberal “christianity”; even supporting things which God abhors.

Contrastly, I sought God’s Will in a conservative & Berean-like manner; testing everything against scripture.

Furthermore, God revealed to me that because my husband refused to fully cleave to me, trust me or protect me,

I was nothing more than a kept concubine…not a wife.

Because I love my former husband, these revelations seemed at first, rather grievous. However, there’s an immense Blessing, as well as profound spiritual lessons within them.

“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8

God has shown me that having a deep & lasting love is possible for people who don’t love you back; or even despise you. This isn’t based on emotion & feelings; it’s possible only through God’s Grace and Love. It’s a Spirit led concern for the eternal salvation of souls, not a shallow effort to gain popularity.

God knows the heart of every person. I’m convinced that God knew my husband would never freewillingly choose to cleave to me or sacrifice his & his family’s needs for mine. If we remained married, perhaps the situation would’ve killed me, or worse; destroyed my Faith.

Amos 3:3 asks, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?”

As far as alimony, I never requested nor received alimony from my ex-husband; however…

God provided His own spiritual alimony; and that’s more valuable than anything material.

God allowed His Word to heal me, comfort me & enlighten me. There’s no provision greater than being fed with God’s Holy & ETERNAL Manna.

Jehovah Jireh.

To be continued, however….
There’s only one conclusion thus far, to this:

No matter what circumstances befall a person, Faith in Jesus Christ as the True Messiah is the most important asset anyone will ever possess. Marriage, children, real estate, a career, even one’s own health & life; should never become more important than one’s Faith in God Almighty.

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”
Romans 13:8-10