It’s Holy Week.
A week of remembering the moments surrounding the single-most important person and event in all of human history: Jesus.
Life. Death. Burial. Resurrection.
A week to remember the everything before and after and to rejoice that we can now live from the center of “It is finished!”
Yesterday, my youngest and I occupied a pew in the little Episcopal church here in town for the first of five services our community will host this week. Today we’ll be at the Methodist church. It’s one of the many things I’ve come to love about this small country town. One week out of the year we gather in one another’s churches before God, united in the Spirit to worship our Lord and Savior; Jesus. How beautiful is the body of Christ.
In the brief moments before the service began, I recalled this time from years before and was filled with so much peace and joy for the life in Christ I have today. Because I was remembering how just a few short years ago, I sat in a pew alone, sin sick and heart damaged by so much pain and confusion.
Everything I thought I knew about all I thought I could depend on was falling apart and crumbling beneath my feet. I was lost amidst my own shattered illusions of what it means to be a minister of the Gospel, a woman, a wife, mother, sister and friend.
I’d come face to face with my own empty definitions, which somehow had become detached or maybe had never been truly attached to their meaning in Christ. I was a lost sheep in crisis and didn’t know if I’d ever find my way back home.
I didn’t know where home could be found and mine……… was falling apart.
Two decades of denial had taken their toll and I could no longer hold back my overwhelming dissatisfaction with the temple prostitute I had become. Angry. Fearful. Frustrated. People pleaser. Need meeter.
Years of inattention to details, false starts and unkept promises on both sides of my marriage added more and more kindling to the pile of dead wood smoldering inside of me and before I knew it,
this girl was about to self-combust and burn herself to the ground.
Of course, the enemy wasted no time… slipping in the well-placed attentions of others under the guise of tending to my neglected intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs. Needs I’d forgotten I had; deeper places and pieces of me I’d set aside early in my marriage thinking I’d get to them later…things all too soon forgotten until I couldn’t forget any more. The 2 Timothy “weak-willed woman”? That was me.
I was ripe for the picking and I had no clue.
My marriage was in shambles.
Can I just say that? Yes we are both sold out followers of Christ and yes, our marriage was in trouble.
Honestly, we were both doing the best we could with what little we understood all those years . We’d both come from homes decimated by sin and divorce. Simply staying together would have been enough to do it better than our parents had before. But that wasn’t enough and we knew it. We loved each other and we needed help. But how?
You know I’ve written an awful lot about mentoring and accountability. It’s because God has used these relationships to change my life and marriage.
God has used other men to minister to my husband helping him to stand firm and walk the walk and other women have counseled me and loved me back from the brink of disaster. It’s scriptural (see James 5:13-20) and it’s necessary. Do it.
Divorce was not an option but marriage the way we’d been doing it for 20 years wasn’t either.
We loved God. We loved each other.
However, my husband didn’t know how or where to lead, I didn’t know who or how to follow and after 20 years, we were getting nowhere fast. The fight was on. We fought like we’d never fought before. Something had to change; through the prayers of others and constant humbling, something did:
We got broken.
More broken than our marriage.
Somewhere in the middle of all the battles we stopped fighting…. each other and started to realize we were actually fighting for something far greater, and it was really worth the fight. We also realized we weren’t fighting alone. So we kept fighting for it and kept talking and listening even when it hurt.
I had to find the courage introduce my husband to the woman he actually married (once I found her again myself) and he had to find the courage to accept and encourage me here.
I had to learn how to communicate my needs respectfully and to encourage and spur him on to greatness in Christ –trusting God to do the work in His life, and he had to learn how to listen CARE-FULLY and not finish my sentences. Ha!
He’s learning how to lead…and where; through and to Christ.
I’m learning how to follow in all the same ways.
We’re both learning to trust and share the load of leading and following under God’s direction.
We hope we get to grow old together with the emphasis on the GROW in the midst of the old.
We are partners.
We are friends.
We are warriors.
It’s Holy week; the time when we remember the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who is so very real, active and alive in the world today;
Because this is the very real life, death and resurrection story He’s made of my broken marriage. It’s still broken but we’ve decided to keep it that way.
Because God is teaching us both to do whatever it takes to stay broken ourselves before the Lord and this marriage…this broken marriage… is our testimony and offering to Him; broken and made whole again by God
Dear reader, I don’t know where you are today but if you are anywhere near where I once was, I want to offer you this testimony of hope; healing IS possible.
Maybe you or someone you know is struggling in this place today or from where you stand, disaster is on the horizon.
Remember! It is FINISHED! Jesus is risen for you and for your marriage today.
And know this: you do not fight alone. I’d love to pray for you and hear your heart.
38 thoughts on “the view from my broken marriage”
What an uplifting testimony Loretta! Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad we’re still doing our Friday link ups. Happy Easter to you and your family.
Thank you Mimi! I agree…this community has really spurred me on and I’m glad you feel it too. Bless you!
Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability here. I’m hopping over from Emily’s link up, and happy to be here again too. Marriage is hard work and we have wrestled at times too. Thanks for your story here of God healing, changing, transforming, and renewing your marriage, hearts, and lives. He is good, huh?
Your words made me drop to my knees in humble gratitude that our Heavenly Father does heal the broken. Each word evoked such emotion as to all I went through in my marriage that remained broken. It’s hard to admit but healing came after our marriage was over. He has since been called home and has the ultimate healing in Heaven. Blessed by your words and honesty. Happy Easter!
I am glad for the healing….whenever it finally came. I’m sure that it will always be a difficult place for you but I’m so thankful that you can look at life through the lens of hope. Bless you Mary and thanks for stopping by. Happy Resurrection Sunday!
Thank you for sharing your story Loretta. Blessings to you!
Thank you Nikki… I’m glad you stopped by today. Happy Resurrection Day!
Gorgeous words Lorretta. Your broken is beautiful. I’m inspired by the transparent account you share…of a real life marriage..redeemed by God. Blessings to you both as you carry on.
Thank you dear Lisha…your encouragement means so much to me. I have enjoyed getting to know you through your heart writings as well. Bless you friend!
What a powerful testimony to how God heals the broken when we go to Him for healing…I know for me sometimes it can be so hard to first admit I am broken but when I do, God is always so gracious to bind me back together again….Easter blessings to you 🙂
Oh Dolly…thank YOU for being such a long-standing friend out here….your sweet wisdom lights the way along the sometimes dimly lit path and I appreciate you. Blessings upon your Resurrection Sunday as well!
I’m right next to you at Jennifer Lee’s. This is such a wonderful story of God’s work in you and your marriage and a much needed ray of hope for others.
Howdy neighbor! Thank you for popping in and sharing in my joy. It’s just God’s grace you know and all I desire is for the healing to flow into the lives of others. The story could have had a very different ending; but God.
Hi Loretta! Sure appreciated this on so many levels, thanks for sharing! Happy Easter to you!
Thank you Sybil…I’m grateful to God that He’s helping me sift through the stories to help other sift through theirs. That’s what it’s all about. Amen!
Yes, I can relate. Two people, loving God & loving each other, it seems that these struggles shouldn’t be. Currently experiencing bit by bit breakthroughs. Holding on & being held by Him. Tired & weary often, yet I’m growing, learning & as a result loving better. Blessings to you as you continue.
Dear Jolene. I pray that you have some strong sisters and mothers to help you walk day by day and moment by moment. Don’t know if I would have done so well with the exhaustion otherwise because it is so tiring and the wait gets so long. Hang in there sister. Email me if you need more prayer. Blessings!
I read this in tears. My husband had I have endured much hardship over the last 4 years. Unemployment and the loss of our home, near bankruptcy, it drove a wedge between us. We are fighting hard. We have a long way to go. Thank you for sharing your words and reminding me that healing is possible.
Oh Barbie. See! Nothing is wasted…God knew you and I needed to connect on a deeper lever…over a silly blog header and a cup of kindness. I’m here for you lady…really and truly. email me and lets chat and I will pray you through. Yes. Healing is possible.
Bless you Loretta – for your sharing, your faith, your walk. We need more people to be open with their struggles to encourage others. ♥
I love you “Miss” Amie– you have been a sweet spot in my life for a long time and I am so glad this little piece of testimony can minister to you. That’s what I want most… feel free to share it with anyone you know who could benefit because in the hand of our Redeemer..NOTHING is wasted. <3
I was blessed by this post, too. Sometimes I feel like a stranger to myself and so far removed from my husband. I remembered seeing just this picture of the broken pottery being repaired just a day or so ago; and your post reminded me of it again. Not sure where I saw the picture, but I found it again on this website and liked what she had to say as well.
Blessings, MsLorretta. Praise God for His continued work in your life and for the encouragement you are to others, including me!
Oh Naomi yes. I have read about the kinsukuroi too and I love the image and the picture of being more beautiful through brokenness. It’s such a hopeful thought but more so because it’s the truth. I have always admired your quiet and patient faith and to have you stop by, read my piece of testimony and be so encouraging is an honor to me. Thank you. Please stay in touch.
hushed here. just.hushed.
I hope you don’t mind if a man stops by every once in a while to glean from your journey. Keep fighting the fight of faith.
I love and admire you both for your faith, your talents, and your sticking it out.
You Sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. I don’t mind at all. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers–they mean more than you’ll ever know Pastor. Blessings right back on you and all y’all! 😉
My husband and I are 10 years into this crazy journey that is marriage, and we’ve been going through the broken times lately. We, too, decided to fight for something we know is good and a God-given gift. Thank you for the reminder that Christ was broken to make all things whole. I’m still struggling to figure out just who exactly it was that my husband married, but the crazy thing is that when I stop and listen to him he’s often the one to introduce me to myself!
I’m so glad this spoke to you today.Trust me, it was NOT an easy post to write but folk like you and me–that’s why I knew I needed to obey the impulse. Feel free to email me mslorretty(at)gmail(dotcom)…I’d love to pray for you. Blessings!
I inhaled these words.
Be fed my friend. Be full the way you feed and fill others with that same Love from that same Place. Love you!
Wow, Loretta, this is so powerful and real.
Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my Great Redeemer’s praise! I just want Him to use it. Bless you Deb…I’m honored so often by your care, encouragement and presence here. 🙂
Amen! From one broken sister to another I am so grateful for this post. You had me at “Temple Prostitute” and you really have me now. You told our story in some ways. We were broken in our marriage from the gate and God has brought beauty from ashes. We are still in this years later with scars healed and a deep committment to the holy work of oneness between us. THIS is why I am going to host the marriage link up and THIS is why I post about marriage every week – to turn my eyes and the eyes of others homeward – Hearts Homeward. It means our hearts towards heaven, our true home, and our hearts towards our home (not forgetting where we have been called). The accolaides can come elsewhere in life, but we must never let that divide our heart and draw us from the roles only we can fulfill (wife and mother).
And I LOVE that you all get together in one another’s churches. That is true body life!
Love to you, Loretta ~ You go girl!
I can’t wait to participate in your link up girl. God knew what he was doing when he called us out to the same field. Love you too!
“Healing is possible.” Amen! I’m so glad I stopped in today to read this. Much of this speaks to the journey my husband and I have had… seperated twice (once for a full year) but God does heal…he does transform. He is SO good. Our marriage is far from perfect but I’m so glad we never gave up. Thank you for sharing. God bless.
My Dear Friend! Thank YOU for stopping by and adding to the conversation here. I’m so glad you stuck it out to wait for the healing and transformation. I know from personal experience the exhaustion of that wait and I understand to some extent why some give up and walk away. Bless you.