PART 2: Separation Day

BY: Deana Bell, Director, Restored Marriage
THIS JOURNAL CONTINUES THE THREE-PART SERIES OF JOURNAL WRITINGS THAT I DUG UP FROM 2012-2013…
 
Dear God,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You, oh Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)
 
Ten months ago, three days before my 40th birthday, my husband of 15 years and partner for over 20 years left our marriage. The days leading up to this were some of the worst in my life. My husband has traveled for work since before we got married, and on this particular week, he happened to be in Herndon, VA, where the headquarters for his work is. The week started with fighting over the phone, tears, angry hang-ups, and, ultimately, a phone call to a lawyer.
 
When he returned on Friday night, there were no kisses, no hugs, and barely even a hello. As I fought back the tears of hurt and anger, my six-year-old daughter caught a glimpse of my glassy eyes. "What's wrong, Mommy?" she asked. My response was, "Honey, I just want Daddy to hug me, too." WRONG. THING. TO. SAY.
 
Immediately she came to my protection and confronted her Dad. "Why won't you hug Mommy, Daddy?" (No answer) "Daddy, Mommy, wants a hug, will you please hug her?" The response she got went something like this..." I can't right now, Sweetie."
 
The rest is a whirlwind. The next thing I knew, I was calling my parents to get the kids so that my husband and I could talk.
 
They arrived, took the kids, and left my husband and me alone at our house. I don't think my heart has ever beat faster, louder, or more defiantly in my life. As we sat across the room from each other, I asked the question no one wants to hear the answer to: "Do you still want to be married to me?" (No response) Let me rephrase that. "Do you want a d---orce?" (Still no answer) Knowing that one of us had sought the counsel of an attorney in the days before, I knew I had to get the answer to my question.
 
AND BOY DID I GET IT! Five times I got the answer NO ONE wants to hear. Five times it took to settle in my heart that I had just lost the only man I have ever loved. Five times it took for me to wrap my arms around the idea of being single again for the first time in 20 years. Five times it took for me to swallow the lump in my throat and ask the question again. Five times I got the same answer.
 
ONE TIME, God gave me HIS answer...
 
"Deana, this isn't the end. Just pray and be still. Be still and know that I am with you."
 
So I was still AND calm AND, amazingly, I felt safe. Safer than I have EVER felt in my life.
 
As we gave the news to the kids, my complete horror returned for just a moment. They screamed in disbelief and begged us to say it wasn't true. I held them both on my lap and let my husband talk. I held them tighter and closer than I have ever held them in my life. I held on to them with the arms of God, strengthening and calming them, knowing that although this would be hard, it would not be the end. I prayed for the peace that passes all understanding to envelop them and give them hope. I prayed that this news wouldn't crush them beyond repair. I prayed that God had them in His hands, although I was confident that He did.
 
I have to stop my story now. I thought I could write in a few paragraphs; I now realize it needs more time, words, and more detail. This is me. Raw. Vulnerable. Sad, but with a HOPE and knowledge that I pray will touch many, many lives.
 
THIS IS A STORY OF RECONCILIATION AND HOPE. Make no bones about it. God is in control here. Not me, not my husband. Not our friends, not our families. JUST GOD.
 
And for now, I leave you with...
 
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
 
Thank you, my friends, for letting me share my story.
 
To be continued...
DEANA BELL:
Deana is currently one of the Directors of Covenant Keepers, International. She graduated from the Dove School of Leadership through Chesapeake Bible College and received her Pastor's license in 2019. Previously she and her husband, Koji, served as the Mid-West Regional Directors of Covenant Keepers and as small group leaders in that area. She has a degree in Secondary Education as well as experience in counseling from a biblical standpoint. For the last 20 years, she has also served her family as a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher. Deana's marriage has been restored since 2013.
 
She is passionate about having a relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. She has seen many miracles in her life as well as in the lives of the people around her. At her core, she is an encourager and disciple of Christ, spending most of her days ministering to people and digging into the Word. She also speaks at conferences, loves to write, and teach the Word of God. She and her family currently live and attend church in the Charlotte, NC area.
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