My husband was barely down the road 10 minutes and my phone rang. It was him. My heart raced! This was either really good…or really bad. Very timidly I answered the phone. Was he calling to say he has made a huge mistake? A mistake leaving? A mistake to try to let it work? Was he going to tell me he actually missed me? Or to say he never wanted to see me again?
“You can’t be telling me you love me.” He called to put me on notice that I already put this trial in jeopardy. He called to tell me that he was about to change his mind. But instead of going with his first instinct to run as fast as he can in the opposite direction from me, he was going to give me very specific ground rules and expectations to at least have a fair chance and opportunity. “When a guy and a girl meets and goes on that first date they are NOT using the words ‘I love you.’ You can’t be telling me you love me. Because I do not love you. And quite frankly I do not want to hear that you love me because that is just going to make me run from you.” We are literally starting from scratch in this relationship.
When he said he wanted to start over and fresh with me, he meant from the very beginning. As far as he was concerned, he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him. He didn’t know if he could have any attraction toward me, but he was willing to find out. He was very clear, however, with what he knew and felt about me only based on our marriage, he had no desire to be with me. No desire to want to know me or be attracted to me. But he noticed something different about me this day. He saw something different in me that…intrigued him I think.
He said that I seemed different. He could see a change in me just in these past few days. He was willing and interested to get to know what appeared to be a new side of me. And for that he was not going to run. The fact that he has been praying for the right thing to do, and he felt the right thing to do was to at least give me a chance. A fair chance. But I needed to know where not to cross the line. He did not love me, he didn’t even know if he liked me. And regardless of what my feelings are for him, he did not want to hear from me that I loved him.
My heart sank when I got off the phone with him. I already felt defeated and doomed. I felt like no matter what I did, said, or tried he would be looking for a way to justify that I failed his test. For a moment I thought this was all going to be for nothing. That he still had his mind made up and he was just going through the motions…just for a moment…then I took a deep breath, regrouped, and started praying through those fears, those insecurities, those lies that the devil was trying to whisper in my ear to distract me.
I prayed that God direct and guide my steps over the next couple weeks and give me exactly the words that Chad needed…wanted…to hear from me. Give me a tender, gentle approach in all of my actions and speech. Help me to back off. Help me be patient. Help me to win his heart.
I spent the rest of the evening in prayer. Before bed time the kids and I joined hands in our prayer circle as we have been doing for the last 3 nights. In order for our marriage to be reunited, our entire family had to be united. We had to stand together strong and committed.
Friday was like a breath of fresh air that I hadn’t had all week. I had a big corporate meeting and luncheon to attend for work so it was actually a pretty low pressure day. The drive time allowed me some additional time with God as I was still fervently still seeking his voice and guidance, and the laid back itinerary helped me to ease back into life. The day wrapped up with attending a concert downtown with my kids and some people from church. Honestly, I still wasn’t really in the mood to be around people, but I did know that my spirit needed some refreshing. What better way to rejuvenate your spirit than spending a few hours in praise and worship. Not to mention be in the company of good, prayerful minded friends and family.
I came home that night and collapsed on my husband’s side of the bed. Once again I prayed for him. Not just to come home to me and to love me, but to feel a refreshing in his spirit as well. To feel God and to know God. To feel God’s love and care for him. To feel at peace in His presence and to feel a reassurance as he moves forward with clear direction. I prayed Proverbs 31 not only over my own life but over both of our lives and into our hearts.
So many things I prayed for over the last several days. That God would forgive me for letting my husband go. For not making him know that I love him or appreciate him. For not sacrificing more when he sacrificed so much. I prayed for patience and slow reaction. I prayed that my husband would forgive me and could find love for me. I prayed that he could heal-that we could heal. That he could feel my love, that he could feel God’s love. I prayed for a new heart, not only for him, but for myself. A new heart for God and His purposes and desires. I prayed that God loved me enough to hear me and that my hurt and passion would move Him to hurt for me and to move for me.
And oh, how God loves us…Saturday morning my phone rang and it was Chad. My heart caught in my throat. Our last conversation had not exactly been…hopeful. But this was different. He sounded calm, peaceful. I wasn’t supposed to see him until Sunday night when he was going to come over to be with the kids while I was at work. He said he couldn’t wait until Sunday to tell me…he felt like I deserved to know now…he has made a decision. He wanted to call me first thing so that I didn’t have to go any longer worrying and thinking about what he was going to do.
Divorce was no longer an option! He wants this marriage to work and we are going to make it work no matter what. He began telling me how he has been praying and seeking God like he never has before-like I have never heard him do before! He desires God not only in his life but completely in CONTROL of his life. His desire is for God to be 1st in this marriage so that this marriage will work. He knows that if we would put God first in our marriage then everything else would just fall into place and we will have the best marriage ever!
I was stunned! Overwhelmed with emotion, relief, excitement! I almost could not believe my ears. And the timing?! I was almost confused! God had worked and answered so many of my prayers so quickly and so specifically that it almost didn’t seem real. Didn’t seem possible. But that is exactly how I know that God worked in this. To have seen the look in Chad’s eyes as he said the words that he said to me at the beginning of the week…to have heard the tone in his voice on the phone…this was not an empty threat to get me to change my ways. He wasn’t interested in me changing my ways. He wanted out very plain and simply. He was cold and stern. So to hear him say now that he wants this to work…that it WILL work…I knew that God got ahold of his heart and changed it. I also knew that his heart could not have been changed if I wasn’t willing to allow God to change mine as well.
Now, he still wasn’t moving back home just yet. He still did not feel that we were in THAT place. We were going to move forward as planned by starting to date again. Get to know the new people in each other that God has started and is creating. He felt we still needed time apart to allow God to keep working on our hearts and spirits individually. Once we allowed God full control over our individual spirits then we could allow Him to work on our spirit as joined back together as one. But we needed to be strong apart first so that we could be even stronger together. He had been staying with his parents during this time, instead of the friend he had originally made plans with. Staying in his parents’ home, surrounded by Godly influence and a faith filled atmosphere was exactly what he needed…what we needed.
I have never been so excited for what the future holds. The anticipation of the “what it will be” is overwhelming! I just can’t wait to see how God uses Chad and me separately and then how he is going to use us together. I am just so thankful right now that I get to think about my definitive future with my HUSBAND!
“Lord, I pray for my husband. Make him a strong leader in our family. An example not only to the kids but to me. Give him passion to pursue you and passion to make sure his family is a Godly family. Allow him to have deep understanding as he reads your word so that his spirit and gifts grow and that he can share that word with his kids and his wife…
Give him a burning, passionate desire for me…Fill every space in his mind and heart (that is not taken up by you) with me. Let my face be the last face he sees when he closes his eyes at night and the first one he sees before he opens them in the morning.”
“Lord thank you for answered prayers, thank you for mercy, thank you for grace, thank you for my husband! I am so thankful for Chad’s heart. His new heart to follow you closely, to take in your word, to listen for your voice, to obey your commands. I am grateful for second chances. That not only did you show me grace, but that my husband showed me grace.
Help me now as I continually pursue you and strengthen my faith and prayer life. Help me as I pursue my husband. Let the pursuit never end! Let me always want to chase him, love him, hold him, long for him. And let him always pursue me.