The Assignment You Never Chose

BY: Carolyn Johnson, Former Director, Restored Marriage
Each CK’s story is unique, but there are often similarities woven through each one when shared. While keeping covenant with our spouses, each of us has suffered loss, struggled with God’s timing as we’ve waited for our prayers to be answered, and dealt with thoughts of betrayal. We continually need to be reminded that Jesus sees our pain and is doing something to help us in all those areas.

Our stories of loss and heartache may be different on the outside, but the grieving and wrestling with “a marriage that is no longer” often have a similar storyline from one person to another. Somehow our questions, fears, and grief over a “marriage gone wrong” draw us together. That is the reason why being with other CKs feels like something better than a family reunion.

Personally, at the beginning of my stand, I was mad at God because I didn’t view Him as being “good” like the Word said He was. A broken heart seems to do significant damage to our human soul. There is a considerable gap in our life as well as in our hearts when a spouse departs. But being angry with God was a waste of my energy because it was caused by misplaced anger. Remember, God and our spouses are not the problem nor our enemy.

A marriage relationship can be a sweet gift to experience. There truly is nothing else like it. However, a broken marriage can cause tremendous pain. If we allow the Father to do so, this painful experience can thrust us into His loving arms. I have often wondered if I would be the spiritual woman I am today had I not walked through those years of divorce. I have found that Jesus is always ready and able to meet us with comfort and hope – no matter what the situation appears to be.

The death of a dream or joy for a family that lives “happily ever after” often gives birth to another plan – what if God would restore my marriage to something even better than I ever hoped or dreamed? But the devil tells us that waiting for that dream to materialize is hard and that I deserve a better life now. He is a liar; there is no truth in that statement. You can be assured that God is growing something beautiful in your life. A scripture that we don’t often quote is Roman 5:3-5 (MSG), “There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience, in turn, forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”

How often have we all heard Craig Hill (the founder of Family Foundations International, FFI) say that the process of keeping marriage covenant is not about you but rather about the Glory of God on earth? Somehow, during all the struggles with keeping covenant, these same struggles teach us that God is indeed sovereign. What the devil meant for evil, the Lord, will turn into good. In an article, Sarah Walton, “Desiring God,” gave me many of the thoughts expressed in this posting. She says, “What has gradually changed my perspective on my life, my child, and my family’s struggles is that it’s never been about me. When I believe that life is all about my happiness, when I think that I could do more if I didn’t have this hardship or miss out on what life could have been, I get discontent, anxious, and downcast. But when, by God’s grace, I trust that nothing happens apart from His will and sovereign plan, I am encouraged and strengthened, knowing that He is working in and through even my darkest days, to make me more like Him. It is in the midst of our darkness that His light shines most brightly to those around us.”

When we are in the middle of a “pity party” and no one is in the room with us, we need to be reminded that we need more of Jesus. He is the only one that will fill the gap created by our missing spouse. The book of Revelation says that He, the Lion of Judah, the Root of David, is the only one worthy to open the seals on the scrolls in heaven. Revelation 5:8 tells us that there are bowls of incense filled with the prayers of the saints in heaven. Think about all the prayers you have prayed for your family. Those prayers fill bowls and bring a sweet fragrance into heaven. The next time the devil tells you that God doesn’t care about your struggles, be reminded of this truth. You are so crucial that your prayers are a sweet fragrance in heaven. He knows each family member and is working out His good purposes in each of our lives – often in ways we don’t expect.

Sarah goes on to say, “If you have been entrusted with a road that has been marked by loss in your parenting” and marriage (added by Carolyn) “and are struggling to see beyond the pain, I pray that you will be strengthened by remembering that your family has been divinely chosen to display God’s glorious redemption story. Although we aren’t promised healing (physical or mental) on this earth, we are promised that Christ will not waste one tear we shed over the painful effects of sin and brokenness within our world. You are not hopeless, you are not alone, and your losses will not have the final word.”

CAROLYN JOHNSON:
Carolyn is a woman of faith who believes the Word of God is Truth and loves to teach others. She knows there is nothing impossible for the God she serves. Knowing the Lord as a “Heart Changer,” nothing brings her more joy than to encourage someone to trust in the Truth of the Word and to watch how God changes someone’s life. God performed miracles in her life, so she tells anyone who will listen how God changed her heart first, showing her how to be the woman that He created her to be. Then He showed her how to pray for her husband until he was drawn back to the Lord, who restored their broken marriage. Her true-life stories, told with great insight and humor, will encourage even the most brokenhearted to expect a miracle, no matter how bleak their circumstances.

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