Guest author Katie has opened up and shared the truth about being separated from her husband. I was blessed by her story, to know that even in hardships she trusts God. I am also encouraged to pray for Katie and her husband. I know there are other wives who have been through a separation or are currently experiencing separation and I hope that this article brings peace to your heart. Please join me in praying for marriages that are separated! Thank you Katie for being so transparent as you retell what you have experienced.
There was a point in my marriage that I would spend days praying that my husband would change. Really, for our last two years together I prayed this more than I prayed about anything else. In addition to my prayers I bought him every book I could find on being a better husband and a better father, probably dozens. I pressured him to be what I needed to make me happy. – do you see a theme here? Me, me, me, I, I, I!
In August of this year he finally had enough, and called it quits.
About a month into our separation I was still praying essentially the same prayer.
“God please change him so we can work this out and be happy together, the girls need a father and I need a good husband.”
And then I heard God speak as clear as if he were sitting on the floor of my bedroom with me.
“Your husband isn’t the problem, YOU ARE.”
What?! Me? Poor innocent Christian me? There’s just no way that I could ever be the problem! Obviously the problem is him! But God was very firm and stood his ground. Then over the next few days God showed me what it was like to live in our house with me and I was shocked. Devastated and shocked. I may have been the most angry, unforgiving person ever to exist on this planet. It was, to say the least, humiliating. But it was also humbling and life changing.
Christian author Donna Partow has an idea of what she calls “Da Bucket Lady” it is based on the story in John 4: 1-40.
A story I’m sure every Christian is familiar with, the story of the woman that meets Jesus at the well. This woman has husbands (yes plural) and in addition to her 5 husbands Jesus also reveals that she is living with a man that is not one of her 5 husbands. Obviously then this woman could never be satisfied. She arrives at the well with her empty bucket, and empty heart. The woman comes to the well at the hottest part of the day rather than in the morning like all the other women, most likely because she was shunned by all of the other women in her community. But Jesus is there, and he does something extraordinary for this empty woman with an empty bucket for water.
First he speaks to her, which would have been considered wrong on several levels because; A. she was a Samaritan and B. she was a woman. He also asks her to give him a drink from her container, which in those times would have automatically been unacceptable as he would then have been considered unclean. Jesus tells this woman everything about her, and she quickly realizes that he is the Messiah. At receiving Jesus’ “living water” the woman leaves her bucket at the well and runs to tell everyone that she knows that she has met Christ.
My purpose of sharing this story is to explain that my focus on changing everyone around me to fill my empty “bucket” was wrong. This woman had 5 husbands and a lover and was still not satisfied. The problem wasn’t that my husband wasn’t a good husband; he was actually a wonderful, loving, selfless, caring man that any woman would be lucky to have. The problem was me. I didn’t love myself, and since it’s impossible to give away things you don’t have, I couldn’t give him my love. But with Jesus you receive an understanding that you have to trust his living water to fill your bucket and your heart. Nothing else can fill it, not your spouse, your job, your children. Only Christ will fill you, and once you’re full you will receive so much that it will begin to run over – that is the moment you will be able to share it with others.
It takes a very mature person to face the truth about their self without condemnation. It’s not easy to look in the mirror when you’ve caused such an upheaval in your home and say “God loves me, he made me the way I am for a reason and he loves me” but I have found that even if you don’t feel like saying it, or believing it, it is true. My separation from my husband, though it has been beyond difficult, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In the beginning I believed it was absolutely the right thing to do, to go our separate ways. But after a few weeks of separation and my previously mentioned revelation I was convinced that, while God may not have caused the devastation that caused my marriage to fail (I did that all on my own) he will see me through this trying time and hopefully into a testimony about the restoration of my marriage some day.
God knows what I can handle, and what you can handle. I know that everything I go through brings another level of peace and a new level of joy. God weathers every difficult experience with me and it allows me to grow and on the other side of each storm I’m freer.
After you’ve suffered a little while God will complete you and make you what you were called to be, so while I am suffering this separation right now, I am confident that I will come out of this a stronger woman of God and a better wife and mother.
When facing separation from your spouse you have to face the truth, not about them but about yourself.
– Katie Doherty