Never underestimate the importance of your pastor and your church. This morning, I wrote a blog post on the pain of a failed marriage. Then, I went to church. If this sermon wasn’t meant for me, I will kiss your foot (and, I hate feet, so that means it really was for me.)
My pastor taught from the book of 1 Samuel this morning, on the idol Dagon, and how God destroyed the idol due to the Philistines believing the need for its existence for them. The challenge was…what is your idol that keeps you from placing God first in your life? And, it hit me like bricks. I had idolized him and our marriage. All these years, I have asked myself, “Did you not do enough? Were you not enough?” The real answer is this…I did too much and I was way too much. My entire existence revolved around the state of our marriage. The joy, pain, contentment, how I felt about myself as a wife and mother, anxiety, depression, struggles with weight gain, feeling determined to lose weight…ALL surrounded what was happening in our marriage.
I completely missed the joy of the Lord. My joy was found in him, when it was there. IT WAS UTTERLY SINFUL. I missed out on the fullness of joy in my relationship with Christ, all these years, because of my idolizing sin.
Then, of all things, the guy who is being considered as the new youth director at our church shared a bit at the end of the service. Lo and behold, he spoke of serving Christ his entire life, but getting married, and placing all of his focus on his wife, and how he lost his marriage. And that he had to lose it to return his focus to Christ. He doesn’t believe that God desires divorce, but He allowed it to bring his focus back to where it belonged.
I was stunned, tearful. God allowed our divorce for a reason. I have always believed he allowed it, for one, to protect myself and our daughter from the dark path he was following. But, now I realize, He allowed it because of me, too. I may have idolized him and our marriage forever, and never placed Christ as first in my life, had it not occurred. Right then and there, I asked God for his forgiveness. I prayed against the desire to place others and things before Him in my life.
Jesus desires for our marriages to bring joy. God would have never declared that marriage brings two together as one flesh if He didn’t. But, our be all, end all cannot be found in relationship with others. Only Christ can fill that place in our hearts.
I will continue the healing process. I will continue to grieve as appropriate because none of this, his actions or mine, were the will of God. We both operated outside of His will. And that is a reason for sorrow. But, He takes our failures and turns them into something good, if we let Him. Lord, may your goodness be shown.