When I first heard God speak to me about praying for our marriage to be restored, I thought He was crazy. Then I thought I was crazy for thinking that, because I know that really, God is the only one of us who is completely not crazy. As crazy as His ideas appear at times.
Trust me, there was a whole lot of craziness just beginning.
At the time of our lives that this was happening between me and God, my husband and I weren’t even speaking to each other. We were both still healing in our own ways, and for a time of several years couldn’t communicate effectively with each other directly. God gave us an amazing blessing in the form of my mother-in-law, who kept the lines of communication open between us (albeit indirectly), and who helped us maintain what had become the normal routine for our kids.
So how on earth could this marriage be restored, completely renovated and rebuilt when neither of us had the tools or inclination to even want to make it happen? We didn’t even remotely like each other at that point, let alone want to be married again.
Here’s the thing I know now – it was never up to us to make it happen. That was God’s job, His desire and His plan, and He knew how it was all going to play out. And so many times along the way, I really wished He’d given me the script of how this story was to unfold, because for the most part, I was completely lost.
It took me some time to actually become an active participant in this grand plan – well, active in that I decided to take part. That makes me laugh so hard now, thinking that I actually had a choice about this whole thing. Of course, I had a choice (we can always choose whether we follow God’s leading or not), but ultimately this was God’s master plan for us, and He created the desire in me to want to follow the steps along the way.
A month or so after I reluctantly prayed the prayer to see our marriage restored, I went and saw the movie ‘The Lake House’. It’s the story of two characters separated by time, communicating via letters left in a letterbox at a lake house they both lived in at different points in time. Without wanting to spoil the story (and I highly recommend you do see it if you haven’t already, it’s a favourite of mine), there’s an event that leads Sandra Bullock’s character to implore Keanu Reeves’ to wait, to just wait.
As I was watching the scene, I heard God speak to me again, as clear as day, in the voice I was coming to recognise as His. I heard Him say ‘Just wait, I promise you it will be worth it’.
I came out of the movie completely energised and so excited to see what that would mean, what this promise of ‘it will be worth it’ would look like, how it would come to life. I was convinced that it would be in the form of a new relationship, and that it would happen soon, because surely His promise was about fulfilling the deep-rooted desire I had to be in a relationship.
It totally was.
Just not exactly how I was picturing it. Or in my ideal timeline. Or by my reckoning.
In fact, what I thought I wanted did not even remotely look like what God had in store for me, and had I known the details of what would make up the journey ahead, especially without knowing the ending, I doubt I would have been a willing participant. It was my first real lesson in faith, in trusting God, and learning to understand why God doesn’t give us a blow-by-blow description of what’s ahead of us because if we knew, what would we need Him for?
It took another several months before the first signs of repair and rebuilding between my husband and I really started to show. During that time, we were both in the ‘planning stage’, much like when you build or renovate a house. Not that we knew it at the time, but God was doing His work in both of us, quietly and without fanfare.
He was laying the foundation for a new building, a new life, a new love. I had no idea how painful and difficult that would be, but man, was I about to find out.
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