Keep On Keeping On

Since I haven’t written in over a year, I believe an update is due: I stood, I conquered…then I lost it. But I didn’t give up and I won’t. The fight isn’t over until God says it is!

I began my stand in late May of 2013, and immediately saw results. IMMEDIATELY. It was totally a God thing. He confirmed I was doing the right thing in His eyes. I was relieved that I wasn’t following my own will, and that God did hear me. Everyone was calling me crazy and giving me that weird side glance that smacks of pity with a dash of disdain, making me feel all the lonelier and rejected. But knowing I was obeying the voice of the Almighty, I kept going, even when I received bad news or my husband was hateful. Nothing was going to pull me off the tracks now that I had been given a sign.

The night I chose to stand was in itself miraculous. I was lying in my bed, lights off, baby sleeping next to me, with tears still dried on my cheeks and the ever present stomach ache that came with the hours and hours of worry topped with hate and unforgiveness. I remember surfing the internet, not exactly what for, but I’m sure it wasn’t good. I was probably researching how to rake my husband over the coals in court, or skimming over Craigslist for anyone as lonely as me. Regardless, it wasn’t good, as my thoughts during that period never were. But God! His still small voice broke through the rotten thoughts. ‘Google restored marriages,’ I heard clearly in my heart. I don’t even remember hesitating. It’s as though my fingers were ready before the words even registered in my brain. I obeyed that still, small voice, and the first link was to Rejoice Marriage Ministries’ website. My friends, if you haven’t discovered this pearl from God, I highly recommend you check it out. It is essential for every stander, truly given by God for those of us called for this purpose called standing.

My eyes swallowed every word, my dry spirit glutting itself on God’s truth and His will for marriage. Why hadn’t I discovered this sooner! I would have saved myself so much misery! I read hundreds of testimonies, and with each one, I felt my faith, felt it, grow by leaps and bounds until I wanted to pop with joy. God did want to save my marriage. He was mighty and able to do so. He did it for others, and He’s no respecter of persons. He’d do it for me.

The fight began.

The first thing Satan comes to do is to steal the Word out of your heart when you hear it. And the next night he tried. My husband came over for one of his rare visits to see our three children. And as usual, he ignored me at first, not speaking or acknowledging my existence, acting as though I was a boil on his butt. But I kept in mind all those testimonies of other men and women who were in a similar boat, and how no matter how their spouse treated them, they walked in love as Jesus would. So I gave it a try, even though my husband’s rejection hurt like nothing else. Satan was busy chattering in my ear about the other woman, among many other things that he knew could get me seeing red. But I went to my room, put on my wedding ring, swallowed the tears and the pride, and donned a smile. I sat on the couch while he visited and kept that smile on my face. I even allowed myself to laugh, something I never did anymore, especially in his presence. Our middle child, being a silly toddler, was hamming it up for us(my mother in law was over too), and it lightened the atmosphere. And then I caught my husband looking at my hand from across the room. Not once, but many times. My wedding ring, which I hadn’t worn in two months, was in its rightful place. I don’t know my husband’s thoughts, but it shifted something between us. And the reconcilliation began.

The next morning I awoke to a missed called from 3 a.m. It was from my prodigal husband. You can imagine how my heart was pounding and how I was kicking myself in the rear for turning my ringer off. I texted and asked if he was ok. He replied and said he had butt dialed me. But the Holy Spirit told me different. It wasn’t an accident. And about a week later, my husband confirmed it. He came over to see the kids again, put them to bed, and then plopped down in the recliner. I saw his struggle as he confessed that his call was no accident. The words were caught in his throat, but they came out, sad and dejected. It opened the flood gates for me. I saw my chance to tell him I forgave him, I loved him, and I wanted him to come home even if he didn’t want to, the doors would always be open. Through tears, I managed to do so. Weights lifted off of me. And as my husband got up to leave, he stopped in the doorway and said, “I never meant to tear apart our family.” It was a miracle. Only days before we were in court battling over temporary custody orders and alimony. Only days before he said he’d never come back to me and there was no hope for us, that he wasn’t in love with me and I didn’t make him feel special. But one act of obedience on my part, one act of love, opened a door for him to tell me the truth, something I don’t think he’d ever done in nearly a decade of marriage. It was from his heart, and God had given me a key. It was walking in love. If you don’t understand what that means, please research it. It’s how Jesus lived his life here on earth. It is the greatest commandment, and a mighty weapon against the enemy.

Since then, every single morning has been a battle. I fight every thought that comes in my head. I fight the doubt, the rumors, the naysayers, and the circumstances. My weapon is mighty for the tearing down of strongholds- the living Word of God. And when I get tired, I remember that my fearless confidence will produce great results(Hebrews 10:35).

After six months of standing, my husband came home, only to leave again after nine months. I am now four months into my second stand, and God continues to confirm His will for me.

I will continue to post from my first stand though. I’ve learned more this time around, but God showed Himself so mighty during the first stand that I have to share His wondrous works with you. So, my fellow stander, if you are reading this, just know you have an advocate with the Father who is praying for you, and you have a friend in me. I’m praying for you as well. Fight for your marriage and don’t give up. I’m living proof that God works miracles for those of us He’s called to His greater purpose!

Intro

I am a stander.

What does that mean? It means I have set my face like flint and will not be dismayed, for I am determined to do His will! (Isaiah 50:7).

To be a little less vague, I am fighting for my marriage by standing on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Maybe you are visiting this blog because you, like me, don’t want to see your marriage end. Because like me, you need help, guidance, and an assurance that someone, anyone, is on your side and knows the hell you are experiencing. Because like me, you refuse to let your marriage, namely your spouse, be stolen away and destroyed right before your very eyes. You’ve found the right place, my friend. I am here to be a witness for you, to give you encouragement, and a lend a shoulder. I am in the midst of the most tumultuous battle of my life, and I plan to share it, so that when I win the fight for my marriage, others will know that it is possible. All things are possible for those who believe! (Mark 9:23)

To protect my spouse and my children, I shall go by the name of Vivien. I will call my spouse Hector. I will leave my children unnamed.  I will write a lot using story form-it’s a little more engaging I think. By using my testimony, scripture, and other sources such as like-minded blogs and websites, I will purpose to give you a hope that can be related to. I hope you are inspired as I share my journey, which is still underway.

I will start with a conversation, which is only one of many, that was life changing for me.

“I think we have already both agreed that we are going no where and it’s just not going to work.”

My husband’s voice is hurried, but without strain, like he is simply blowing wind between his teeth, no different than if he were trying to whistle casually while taking a stroll.

“Yes, we’ve come to that conclusion, haven’t we?” I choke in return, holding the phone away from my mouth, so he can’t hear me gasp for breath. God is this really happening? Is he divorcing me via telephone?!

“Okay. I have to hurry so I don’t cry and cause I got a guy I’m meeting here in a minute. You won’t get served.”

“I won’t?” I ask, plopping down heavily on the guest bed, which is actually mine now. We haven’t shared a bed in almost a month. I’m trying to nurse our newborn son. He lets out a little wail, frustrated that he can’t get a good latch. I’m shaking all over…

Wait. What does he mean, so he won’t cry? He sounds more normal than I’ve heard him sound in weeks! Why is this so easy for him? It’s like he’s wiping dog crap off the bottom of his shoe instead of leaving his wife, his kids, his home!

“No, you won’t. I can’t keep our names from being in the paper, but you won’t get personally served.”

“And how is that?”

“Look, Vivien. We can work together on this. This doesn’t have to be dragged out or cost us thousands of dollars. A long, drawn out divorce will break us. We don’t want our kids to go through that kind of thing and we owe it to each other to be civil. I will give you 2100 dollars a month in support for as long as I can. I will support you. You know I will.”

My mind can’t even form a coherent thought for at least thirty seconds. Vile sentences swirl around in my mouth though, bitter as vomit. I am ready to spew forth the hate that I feel for him, wishing badly to make him pay for all the hurt he’s put me through the past six weeks. All I can reply is, “Where did you come up with 2100?”

He lets out a weary sigh, finally showing some sort of emotion. He hesitates before he answers, “My lawyer.”

That’s it!  How dare him! He’s had this planned out! He got a lawyer behind my back! He’s known all along that he had no plans of reconciling! I’m sure his girlfriend talked him into it! 

“I will get one too, then,” I say with a confidence I do not feel. It’s because my hackles are raised, I know. It’s fake, a weak front to try to maintain some control. I’m shaking in my shoes, not really believing this is happening to me. Why, just three months ago we were planning on renewing our vows…

“Vivien,” he starts, the frustration evident in his voice, “That’s stupid. We don’t want our kids to go through this…”

“I will defend myself,” I interrupt angrily, “It has nothing to do with the kids. I’m getting a lawyer.”

“I’m not out to get you!,” he declares tersely, but I’m adamant. I will not forfeit control anymore. I’ve been doing it for almost a decade. I. Will. Not. Let. Him. Win.

“It’s not about that either. It’s my right.”

He sighs again, and then splutters, “Fine, but don’t just pick one out of the yellow pages, Vivien. There’s a lot of crooks out there.”

“I’m not stupid, Hector,” I retort, “I’ll find a decent one to defend me.”

“I’m not out to get you,” he repeats, “I wish you knew that. We can do this together.”

I hang up rudely, not wanting to hear anymore about doing this ‘together’, about being a cohort in his plans to dissolve our marriage. He’s the one who wants this. Not me. He’s the one with the girlfriend. I’ve been faithful. He’s the one with the money, the other life, all the friends, all the control…

What have I got, besides a bruised heart and a stomach ache from hell?

I lay my son down and collapse, unable to carry the weight of the sadness anymore. No, sadness is an understatement. This is utter despair, a despondency that I did not know could possibly exist. I feel as though I being severed in two. 

And then I realize I am. 

My husband and I are one flesh, put together by God, til death do us part…but of course Hector doesn’t feel that way. Those were just words to him, not a vow, not a covenant with the most high God as a witness. And how many times has he gone to church with me? I can actually count the number of times on one hand.

It only makes me sob all the harder, my bones rattling with each ragged breath. We are unequally yoked. A house divided. A believer and an unbeliever. 

Well, at least I won’t be in the wrong by divorcing him. The word says let the unbeliever leave. Plus he’s been unfaithful, meeting that woman late at night and lying about where he’s been. I won’t be in the wrong. God will continue to show me His favor. I’ll eventually meet someone else who invests time in me and the kids, who doesn’t call me boring or whiny, someone who tells the truth and loves God.

I try to find comfort at this thought, but something still doesn’t set well. I feel as though the vice around my poor heart only becomes tighter when I think of life after Hector, and God knows I’ve thought about it plenty. I’ve been forced too. 

I look over to my newborn son, barely three weeks old, and try to imagine another man raising him. Again I’m left with that tightening in my chest. 

No, it isn’t right. It just isn’t natural.

“Help me God,” I whisper brokenly, “Help my children…”