My heart is broken. I have random times of being angry, of feeling hurt, of being sad and crying. My emotions seem to change with the wind. The smallest reminder can cause me to move from a place of happiness to a place of sadness, or anger, or a combination. It has not been an easy couple of months. Before I continue with the emotional side of things, let me first share what has been going on. I got married in August to the man I thought would be by my side for the rest of my life. That, however, is not the case. In January he came to me asking me for an annulment; there were reasons given, but the overall main reason seemed to be that he was not ready to be married. I attempted to come up with plans that would save our marriage, or ways that we could work through the challenges of being newlyweds. Every time I spoke with him I was met with the same response: that he wanted an annulment and that he wasn’t ready to be married.
Those words have been daggers to my heart, and even as I write this I can feel tears welling up inside of me. Nothing could have prepared me for the heartbreak and that struggles that I have felt in this process. I have felt unheard, unlovable, unimportant, and just a whirlwind of emotions. This is something that has always seemed to be a hush-hush subject, that divorce and separations are full of shame. While I firmly believe they are not God’s intention, I also am learning that there has to be grace. That there is understanding. And that in marriage, it takes two people that are fully committed to fighting for the unification and covenant of God. My intention is not to portray my husband as anything negative, nor is it my intention to put him down in anyway. I still care deeply about him; which makes this whole thing even harder. My intention in sharing this is to shed light on a taboo subject, and one that needs to be talked about more openly. I know that I am not the first person going through this, nor will I be the last one to experience divorce. I ask that you read this with a grace filled heart.
The first time I heard the word annulment brought up by my husband I was dumbfounded, lost for words. All I could think was this isn’t really happening. But it was. He explained his reasons and why he felt like it was best. All I could do was cry. After that conversation my heart was shred to tiny pieces and I did the only thing I could do. I prayed. I prayed that God would save my marriage; I prayed for wisdom, I prayed for understanding, I prayed for my husband, and I prayed for grace. I began reading a book called One More Try by Gary Chapman. I did the sections of the book, I reflected on areas that I needed to improve upon, I made lists of things that I would need to do differently, how I could love my husband differently, I did some deep soul searching. As conversations continued the focus still remained on being separated and my husband believing that an annulment was the best option. I cried and cried. I prayed and prayed, asking God to save my marriage, spending time in the Word, and reading about marriage and the covenant that it is. I pleaded with God asking him what I had to do to save my marriage. The response I received was not the answer I wanted. The response was to wait. That I was not in control, and that it wasn’t just up to me. I was reminded time and time again when spending time with God that I can only do my part, that God will always do his part, and that it was up to my husband to do his part. There wasn’t anymore that I could do.
A time had come in conversing with my husband where I knew a decision had to be made. I couldn’t stay in the in-between. My heart couldn’t keep hoping and waiting and stay in the uncertainty. An answer came and it broke my heart in a way that I have never experienced. My heart shattered. But I knew what the answer was. I knew that my husband and I were done. That the hurts that had occurred led to broken trust, that it was a one sided fight. That there was not a willingness to work through the struggles. And without a willingness to fight for each other in the way God had designed there was no hope. So I told my husband that he could have his annulment, and that I was done fighting. I gave him the ring back. While my heart was broken in that moment, there was a comfort. I knew that I had tried, that I had done my part, and I had fought until there was nothing left to fight for. I perhaps even fought for too long and was beating a dead horse.
This is where grace comes in. I have to trust that God knows my heart, that he saw the struggle, that he knew the battle I was up against. I have to trust that I sought God out and rest confidently knowing that it takes God, myself, and my husband for my marriage to work. And when my husband’s mind was made up to pursue an annulment that was the end. And it isn’t my place to keep trying to change his mind. My place is to still pray for him, to pursue a relationship with Jesus, and to just do the next right thing. And the next right thing is working on healing and allowing myself to grieve the loss of all that I had dreamed and hoped for in my marriage. That has looked like times of tears, of anger, times of disbelief, of justifying, of taking on guilt and shame. It has meant crying on the shoulder of a friend, praying with women of faith, venting and sobbing with my parents, and using art as an outlet. It has meant chocolate – lots and lots of chocolate. But at the end of the day it has meant remaining steadfast and rooted in the one who calls me his bride, the perfect groom: Christ. It has meant reminding myself over and over again of who I am in Christ. I am loved, I am chosen, I am redeemed, I am set apart, I am free, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am cared for, I am a daughter of the most high King. Sitting in that place is what grace is all about.