Today is my 34th wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary! I texted him.

It’s a mixed bag of nuts for me I won’t lie. We’re married but haven’t lived together in the same house in five years. We still talk and we never seperated finances or anything on paper. I basically worked as his assistant for the last 5 years. Managing his and mine and our finances and household as if nothing changed. Nothing did except the relationship and living quarters.

To just throw away 34 years of marriage is not an easy thing to do. I pleaded with him at first when he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. He was clear what and who he wanted and it wasn’t me. It stung. Stabbed me deep. Destabilized my entire being.

First, it was another woman that he wanted more than me. In the long run, the feelings weren’t reciprocated by her. They’re just friends now he says. Nothing physically ever happened he tells me. Like that makes it alright. Ok, if you say so, but that doesn’t change the fact you loved and desired her over me. You looked upon her and committed adultery in your heart against me. When he told me he loved her and wanted her in his life. I was shattered. He was leaving and he refused to put her out of his life and work on our marriage. I said I wasn’t willing to share with her being in your life. So he left me. Alone. Abandoned. Desecrated. Left me the wife now turned his assistant, to figure out the broken mess of debt, foreclosure, closing my business and the ramifications of a life altering car wreck.

After 6 months, when I began to get things stabilized he wanted to come back home. He would give her up. Turned out they had fought and she kicked him out of her house. Her and her fiance. Yeah it was a messy unhealthy situation he had himself in. Why now I asked? What’s changed since you left?

I prayed and asked God for a sign of protection for me to know truth when he answers me. I asked God to give me the wisdom to know what to say and to know if he had really changed. I didn’t want to say yes just because I was lonely and sad. Nothing had changed or been fixed. I needed God’s duscernment to let me know if he had changed and wanted our marriage and me for the right reason not just because he had no where to go.

I was weakened then. I knew I couldn’t make the right choice without God.  When I heard his words answer why and him giving the reasons why he wanted to come home I knew I had heard those same words before. Oh yeah, those were my words when Icwas pleading with him to stay. I felt it the sign I had ased for hit me in the heart. I knew the protection from God was raining down over me in that moment. God’s peace flooded my soul frim my head to my toe. I felt the peace that it was ok. When he answered me why now he should come home and I knew his words had been my words not his own. I knew he was saying verbatim what I said to him in. He was telling me what he thought I wanted to hear and not the truth of how he felt.  It’s like a ton of bricks fell from me. I felt the release from God to move on. I had God’s permission to let go of my marriage..

I, the wife turned assistant, partly mother, helped him search for apt and found him one. He didn’t want it. He took the offer of staying with a friend of ours who had a house on the lake. A free camper he could stay in when he was home from driving the road.

I held on longer praying and hoping I would see his heart change for God. I focused on my healing and time went on. I prayed for him to see his need for God during the last 5 years. I asked his forgiveness for any wrongs I may have caused him in our marriage. I apologized for reacting harshly with my words out of hurt and frustration. I had to say these things. I wanted a clean unbittered heart.

In five years, I have seen him return to his old ways of drinking, partying like he is still in high school instead of a 62 year old man. He has changed his language, he’s cursing continually like taking a breath, smoking heavier and living only for himself. That’s the peace he told me he chose. I could clearly see he wants nothing to do with God. He told me so. Our hearts are so far apart now. Not connected in anything but memories and for now legal contracts and paperwork.

A couple weeks ago, he just up an quit his job. The job that provided our health insurance and paid our bills. It was his decision to take early retirement now. He earned it he said. And he did. So, he abandoned me once again with no discussion of how my losing my health insurance and income would effect me. He just did it then told me. Left me with all the finances again and bills and no guaranteed income. No longer wife ou r assistant, just disabled senior woman who has to wait for 4 years before retirement. I have no insurance to cover my medical health issues.. he just decided he deserved his retirement and he was taking it. Great! But what about me? I was still attached to you we were still working together. Not anymore…nope…now I am Hanging… justa hangin!

Left me to figure it all out again. Abandoned. Brokened. I’m shaken again but this time I’m not down.

Feeling maybe this is part of the good God intends for me. Like a bird being pushed from the nest I felt. Maybe God is moving things I did not have the courage to move for myself. Shaken and covered in dust but I am still standing.

Now the hard part must begin. The final goodbye. The last anniversary we will ever share. I had to be sure it was truly over. It is.

This week, I tried my last ditch effort one last time to salvage us and our marriage.  Now, he tells me, his excuse for not wanting our relationship is the lake life..he chose peace.. he wants more country life… he’s not a traveler.. he just loves the country and lake and being able to sit by the fire and watch what he wants too when he wants too (btw.. I don’t get that when we had a tv in every room and we enjoyed many shows that he chose together) he now can sleep when he wants too, I never stopped him from sleeping ever.

He now has his alcohol drinks and smoking by the campfire as many as he wants with his fruends when he wants too. He is happy to share the posts of himself and the lake and drinks in hand on his social media. He’s proud of who is and the life he has now. It breaks my heart to see him like this. The man I knew and loved he was sober for 15 years in the first part of our marriage after coming out of drug and alcohol addiction. I can hear you critics right now thinking, You married an addict/alcoholic what did you expect? For 15 years, his testimony was one of overcomer. He prayed and asked God to remove that addictive desire from his life and God did.  A few disappointments in life and back to the bottle he went. My question is where did that man go? The one who looked to God for help. The one who now tells me that godly man is not him. Was he a pretender? Where did he go? The man I see today is not him. Honestly, I don’t believe he ever truly was. He changed his behavior for what he wanted not for God. Now he is looking over the water at his lake house and getting to do what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, that’s him that’s who he is, he proudly tells me. God doesn’t leave you. I always questioned if he was saved where is the desire for God. The fruit. I never saw it in him. I wanted too. It was bv ever there. A person can only fake it for so long. Truth always comes forth and shows itself.

He said he is choosing peace today. The only problem with his peace is you can’t have his peace of nature without seeing the one who created it.  You cannot run away from God. He is ever present. Always there. He says to me that I’m not the godly man you wanted. I never will be. He tells me I pray when I was driving for safety and not wanting to hurt others. So, he is praying when he drives. So he thinks he is good with God and a good person yet, he says I am not the godly man you need.

Its a clear contradiction to our faith. I told him of the warning of Truth in scriptures of trying to be a lukewarm christian and what a true Christ follower desires God and has fruit evident in his life. I told him I am speaking now not in judgement but in love and concern. I told him he doesn’t truly know the gospel and the power of God’s love over his life because if he did he would never just walk away from it.  I told him.. in love.. I pray for your soul that before you breathe your last breath you will know the love of God. I pray before you die.. God will say to you well done my good and faithful servant now come enter in and receive your rewards. I pray that he won’t  wait too long and continue to reject God in his life and in the end he hears I never knew you.. now depart from me. 

Then I told him what a godly man was that I had wanted with him was simple… I iust wanted a man who put Christ first. A true Christ follower.  All  I wanted was to just share the love of Christ in my heart with him. After that he ghosted me. Texts ended. Silence. Crickets.

First, he didn’t want me he was in love with the other woman..who now doesn’t reciprocate his feelings and they’re still just friends.  He says he still loves me he always will. Today, though he just wants the lake life. First younger woman now great lake life how do I compare or compete?  I don’t.  Guess I should have let go 5 years ago when God gave me the ok to release from the marriage. But I needed time to heal to see if he would return to God. I never wanted to have another divorce. I loved him. I still love him part of me always will. You don’t share 35 years as a couple and be friends for 44 years to just walk away from it. At least I couldn’t. He didn’t struggle as much as I did obviously.

What I realized now in all of this I just never felt I deserved to be loved by him or by anyone.

Now I do. Now it’s time to say Happy anniversary for the last time. I have waited and given him every chance to choose and fight for our marriage and he has shown repeatedly not only doesn’t he want our marriage but he no longer wants godliness in his life.

I have to move forward from this unhealthy bondage I am in. God does love me and He wants so much more for me than this. It’s just so hard to let go of the oneness we once shared. The memories.

I’ve been through some stuff in the last 5 years. Not just my marriage ending..there was the car wreck, surgery and sexual assault then losing my business and nearly losing my home.

In all of this pain and suffering the one thing sustaining me through it all is my faith in knowing God was and is with me. Ever present always protecting and healing and loving me. 

I have done everything I could possibly do to keep peace in my marriage and try to save it. It is beyond repair at this point. I have to accept that and move forward in the freedom of Christ.  I can walk away now with a clear conscience knowing I did all I could do to save it. 

It’s time now to move on to the next stage in life God has for me. I’m a little shaky in my legs like a new colt who can barely stand.  I know God is beside me helping me leading and directing my every move. I am in his hands and nothing or no one can ever pluck me out.

I have a true relationship with Christ.  It isn’t about what he can do for me it’s about what he has done for me at the cross.  The fact he willingly lay down his life and bled to death for me and you is the truest of true love there is. That pure love sustains me in everything. He chose me the lowliest of sinners as the one to die for in order that I could be reconciled to God. He chose me to be in relationship with Him.  He willingly laid down his life for me when I didn’t deserve it. How could I not give my heart and life to live and to abide in him always? How could I not want to please him and obey his commands for my life? It’s impossible for me to choose anything else.. person or creation or any other way of living than Christ and Christ alone.. 

Having Jesus first place in my life is me. Once you’ve truly tasted the love of God its impossible to turn your back on it.  I won’t lie, in my angriest time at God, I tried to disengage but I couldn’t. He protected me and drew me back into his healing wings. He is my life and breath. 

I’m not perfect by any means.  I fall short every day. But the one thing I never fall short in is God’s love for me. His grace and mercy are always new and  never ending. Because of his great love, I have hope for healing and a future of joy being made complete in him. 

That’s the testimony. His love is enough for me to have an abundant life. I may suffer, I may struggle but I will never be lacking in the fruits of His Spirit to bring me all I need for my best life. Though My husband.. my man.. may reject me for others, for a certain lifestyle or just for pure evil…My God never will…he will never abandon or leave me nor will he ever forsake me. He has my back. 24/7. 

It’s his word and promises I hold onto today, on this final anniversary. Though hurt is present right now there is a god given guarantee that His joy will be present in me in the morning. God is for me so who can be against me. No one! Notta!!! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!! I do not fear what man can do to me. My legs will become stronger and I will rise up on wings like an eagle. My spirit will be strengthened and renewed for His glory. What my man meant for evil God intends it for good. He will work all of these sufferings over my life to the good because I love Him and He has called me for his purposes.

This is my story and God’s testimony.  To him be the glory forever!