About this time last year, I had another one of those worship epiphanies that I talk about from time to time. It’s something that I haven’t forgotten and something that, despite what I wanted, has come to fruition. I’m beginning to learn that maybe no seasons of life is meant to be easy and that most seasons of life have their own struggles, unique to that season. But last year, I started to suspect that the one thing I wanted to hold on to more than anything else was the thing I was going to lose. I had thought that leaving fundamentalism was the hardest thing I had ever done and I guess up until that point it was, but I had no idea that I was going to go through much harder things.
Anyhow, on that particular Sunday, we sang a Chris Tomlin song which I believe is titled “I Will Follow”. I was totally consumed in the worship that particular day, and so I sang the song as a commitment:
“where you go I’ll go,
where you stay I’ll stay,
where you move I’ll move,
I will follow”.
And so that was the commitment I sang. But there was more to it than that, and God lead me to sing words that weren’t words to the song but were personalized for me. He asked me to sing them and I almost refused, because I knew that I was making a commitment. It’s a commitment I’ve had trouble keeping, it’s one I’m struggling to keep, but it’s something I vividly remember and so that helps some. There is a line of the song that goes: “if my life I lose, I will follow”. Well, God lead me to sing “if my husband I lose, I will follow.” God had started preparing my heart for the fact that I may lose my husband, even though I lived as if I wasn’t. When I sang it I had tears running down my face because that was the first time, after all the years of praying and trying and hoping, that I truly gave my marriage to the Lord.
Until then I had been angry about the fact that my marriage was falling apart, because I had prayed, I had tried, and furthermore I had tried all those fundamentalism formulas even though I hated it. My heart was for my marriage. But that day, after six years of marriage, was the first when I truly surrendered and I gave it to him. I felt release, and since then I felt him preparing me for what was going to happen.
I just had my 7th wedding anniversary in November, and by that time I’d already been separated for a month. It’s the last wedding anniversary with him that I am going to have. Even though I have left fundamentalism, I was scared because divorce is one of the greatest sins you can commit in the eyes of a fundamentalist. My pride wanted to keep my marriage at all costs just so I didn’t look like a failure in the eyes of many that I know. That pride really isn’t a good reason to stay married, and God showed me that that day.
As I go down a road of separation and divorce, a road I never wanted to travel, I am trying to learn to trust God to be my provider, my companion, my identity. But it’s not easy and I daily face struggles that seem overwhelming and impossible to get through. God has blessed me with some amazing people in my life, people older than me who have more wisdom, to support me. But my heart is shattered and as amazing as those people are, as supportive as they are, it isn’t enough. I have to trust God, and God alone, and he has given me some great people to point me towards him, to help me make wise choices when there is just so much going on that I can’t see, yet my friends can see what I can’t see. Trusting God is a daily battle, sometimes a minute by minute battle that sometimes I win and sometimes I don’t, as my text messages to friends show. I need God to lead and guide me but a lot of times these days I just feel lost in the sea of everything changing. I have friends loving and supporting me, and yet I still feel lonely.
I know that God has got to fill the void, but actually living that out is harder than it seems.