Exodus 9:16 (NIV)
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Maybe you are wondering why you should go through all the pain of restoration. I mean, standing itself is hard enough, right? One could easily get discouraged discovering just how difficult the restoration journey is. Here’s where I encourage the socks off of you!
Let me remind you that God has this grand plan for you. In this plan, He changes you and your spouse to become different people. A peculiar people set apart for His work (Deut. 14:2). He changes your family tree. No longer is the curse of divorce passed on to your children and grandchildren. Finally, He changes your marriage. It will no longer be what it was, it will become this amazing thing you couldn’t imagine.
God changed us. I honestly tell others that God changed me on a molecular level. I saw the world in a different way. When I saw my husband struggle so much spiritually, God gave me a glimpse of just how real the spiritual world is and the battles that constantly ensue. My husband saw that too, after he came back home and realized what happened and what he came out of. We learned that we must be on guard at all times, because Satan really does go around seeking whom he can devour (I Pet 5:8)! We saw God on a deeper level, too. No longer was He this obscure, distant being we called ourselves serving for years. Instead, He became very intimate and personal with us. This amazing God of the universe talked to us, comforted us, really cared about us. Prior to the destruction of our marriage, this was head knowledge. Afterward, it became real and tangible. And as time marches on, He continually amazes us with the depth of His infinite love of us…from the great big things, to the tiny things too numerous to count!
God changed our family tree. For us specifically, we couldn’t have kids prior to restoration. We’d been infertile for 10 years. God promised me kids, though. So a month after JW came home, we got pregnant. Haha, God really changed our tree that way, but what I mean is the legacy passed on to our children after God restores marriages. Divorce is a curse that plagues our society, and it gets passed down more and more into future generations. Restoration is the blessing that stops that curse and teaches our children to never give up. It tells them, “See, look what God can do! Nothing is impossible for Him (Lk 1:37)!” It’s concrete evidence of faith that passes down to our kids and changes their lives as well as our own.
God changed our marriage. There’s this country song that’s popular. She calls her man a “Good One” and describes how wonderful he is. I think it’s sweet, because that’s how I feel about my husband. And I say that understanding there are those out there that would stop and ask, “Wait, how can you think that when he left you, cheated on you, and wanted to divorce you?” EASY. He’s not the same guy who did those things, just like I’m not the same person I was either. I’ve mentioned before that I felt, at times, that I hated my husband for what was done and begged God to release me from this marriage, but God wouldn’t. God just kept telling me that what He was doing was the beginning. Now I understand. Those times I begged God for a more worthy man, a better marriage, and a fresh start weren’t unheard…they were on hold. I had to wait, let God do His thing, and change us. Oh how much would we have missed if we had given up! Our marriage is so strong now, tried by fire. My husband knows that I’d stand by him through anything, because I have. And I know my husband loves me beyond words, because (as He told me) one who is forgiven much, loves much (Lk 7:47). We are that one flesh that God planned, and we desired.
I am so grateful for where we are and who God has changed us to be. It has been such a blessing in dark times like our daughter’s leukemia diagnosis, a failing business, the loss of our dads, miscarriages, etc. etc. I know that God has a purpose for all of it…the greatest of which is to tell others what God can do: that He is REAL and HE LOVES YOU! God has a purpose for your marriage restoration too. And it’s worth all the agony, because whatever we give to God, He multiplies (John 6:1-14), including our pain.