The following blog was posted by permission by one of our counselees. We pray that it will bless you in your own walk with Christ:
Just under a year ago my wife separated from me on our 16th wedding anniversary. She moved 400 miles away with our four children, leaving me alone. She has since divorced me. I say this not to disparage her, but hopefully to grab your attention enough to read the rest of these thoughts.
My own faults of pride, laziness, impatience, selfishness, lust – the list could go on and on – were significant factors in the destruction of my marriage. Small things left unchecked in my life had grown to big things. Unmaintained relationships with other friends and family left no accountability and no support. The worst: I valued my relationship with my spouse above my relationship with God Himself. As my spouse became my idol, the pressure that it created on our relationship ultimately helped crush it.
In the months leading up to the separation I became increasingly aware of the magnitude of my problems and my own fault in their existence. Warning signs I had ignored for years became obvious. As it became evident the most important thing, or person, in my life was being taken away I struggled with depression. I’ll even admit I regularly fought the urge to end my own life.
It was obvious to me what God wanted. God wanted my surrender, He wanted to be first. He deserves to be first. And I repeatedly found myself on my face, crying to Him, begging for His forgiveness, His mercy, until nothing else mattered but Him. Not my spouse. Not my career. Not my possessions. Not my pride. No, not even my kids. Nothing. And God was there. His forgiveness was there, His mercy was there, and grace to change was there.
I can’t help but acknowledge and be grateful for men that God brought alongside me. The removal of my pride found me getting counseling from wise, Godly men. Each of them was gracious as I spilled out the embarrassing details of my mess. Each of them gave me solid advice. Each of them pointed me back to God. Each of them encouraged and supported me in ways I can likely never repay.
I’ve since relocated to be near my amazing children and am so grateful to be their father. I was blessed and humbled to have two of them recently tell me what a better father I’ve become in the past year! Is there still sadness for an important relationship that is gone? Of course. But with the divorce God gave me an amazing peace that He is in control, and His plan for my life is far better than my plan for my life. More importantly now, God has put me in a wonderful church. I have many times more positive relationships and friendships in my life than ever in the past.
For those of you who read this and aren’t a Christian: The God who created you, Jesus Christ, died to bridge the gap between God and man. A gap created by man’s rebellion against Him. Man’s sin. Sin that rightfully deserves God’s judgement. God offers you forgiveness, hope and life that He made possible through His own mercy and grace. I’ve experienced it.
Christian, what things or relationships do you value above God in your life? What problems are you too proud to go to other Christians with for help? What habits or sin do you excuse as insignificant? I beg you to put God in the place He deserves. Build your other relationships in their rightful place. Rid your life of the things that you should. Put other things in their rightful place.
I’m still far from perfect, but I know God is daily changing my life into what He wants it to become. One daily prayer of mine is to ask what change does God want in me today? How can I bring Him glory today? I pray that my life experience will speak to you where you need it most. All my hope is in God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (ESV) “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”