The day was April 22nd and that day felt all too familiar. The arguments were frequent and the resolutions were few. Packing an overnight bag to stay at his cousin’s house for a ride to work turned into an excursion he would never return from. Hearing the words, “I’m not happy” burned me like fire-walking on hot coals. Sure our marriage wasn’t the perfect instagram photo, and the photo we did share wouldn’t be hashtagged with #relationshipgoals; but I loved him.
Love wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough to cure my little white lies I would tell him when I spent too much money while out with my friends. It wasn’t enough to cure my pride that came along with carrying him and our two children on my one income. It wasn’t enough to cure my resentment for his past indiscretions in our relationship. It wasn’t enough to cure his unhappiness and stop him from abandoning his family and our 6 year marriage. Love just wasn’t enough.
Because it’s easier to walk out on 8 years of time invested than it is to work through it. It’s easier to quit than it is to sacrifice, work hard, and change for the person you love. Love and marriage is hard work. It’s hard seeing the worst of someone and choosing to love them despite it. It’s much easier to decide that you would rather be alone than to work hard at maintaining a relationship the rest of your life. Marriage is supposed to be for life. God intends it to be for life. So why did I get a divorce?
This wasn’t the first time he called it quits, but I was determined to make it the last. I couldn’t allow the kids and I to get hurt again. So I hardened my heart towards anyone who thought otherwise. Including God. I knew that God would want me to be selfless and forgiving but I couldn’t this time. I just couldn’t look past the man who abandoned us when we needed him. We needed him and he just walked out.
Over the past few months, things between him and I weren’t getting better. We stayed cordial for the kids and barely spoke in passing. I was hurting from the loss and his pride prevented him from feeling anything. Coming to this point in our marriage didn’t just suddenly happen. We never took the time to address the situations as they occurred, fight fair, pray with and for each other, make time for one another, and support one another. It ended because of years of neglect, hardened hearts and selfishness.
So instead of turning to God, I turned away from him. I did everything I could to rid myself of my feelings. I threw myself into my work, my relationship with my kids, and my side businesses. I did everything but reach out to God to be my comfort and my saving grace in that dark time. I knew that he would want me to salvage my marriage, but I was too hurt to even try. I became numb to God’s conviction and correction because of my hardened heart.
Praying to God to change my husband with my quiet and gentle spirit. Does that mean I wasn’t gentle enough? Does that mean I didn’t pray enough? Does that mean I didn’t fast enough? I know how everybody talks about how God has answered their prayers, saying that God answers prayers with “yes and amen”. But what about when God says no? What about when God doesn’t change your husband or cure your mom? What about his will for your life? Do you feel God truly knows best? What about when he says no my child, I have something better in mind. Will you still trust him? Will you still follow him?
When God told me no, my world shattered and my heart fell in my chest. So I pushed him away. I pushed him away so I could file for divorce. I knew that this season of marriage was ending and I knew more difficult things were to come. Single parenting after a divorce, one income, budgeting, and money management.