Do the Desert Well
January 08, 2019

God had always been a central part of my life. The home I grew up in as a pastor’s daughter served as a safe haven for visiting evangelists and missionaries. Back then I never dreamed that one day I myself would be out on the mission field and there meet my future husband.

Not long after Glen and I married, we began having children. When he obtained his first job as a pastor, I felt as though we would serve God side by side for the rest of our lives. Six months into that first pastorate, I decided to take our kids to my parents’ house for a visit. When I returned home, something had dramatically changed.

I remember walking toward our bedroom and somehow sensing the Holy Spirit say, “This room has been defiled.” I tried to shake off what I felt, but the feeling lingered for days. Prior to this, I’d heard a story about a person who led a double life, and I wondered aloud to Glen how such a horrible thing could happen in a marriage. Soon I would realize that Glen himself had started down that road.

One afternoon following church, Glen left early to come home because he said he wasn’t feeling well. The children and I stayed behind. When we got home, I expected to find Glen resting. Instead, he had packed his bags and left a letter on the kitchen table. He was gone.

Everything that happened after that was a blur. Although Glen came and went from the house several times over the next few years, he eventually gave way to his other life and moved out of state.

I didn’t want a divorce, but it seemed the godliest thing to do under the circumstances—to give Glen what he wanted. When anger would arise over what he had done to our family, somehow God would always remind me, Glen is not your enemy. I am the judge, not you. Sometimes I just gave in to self-pity, anger, depression, and crying. On those mornings, I’d wake up with that hangover headache you get when you’ve been drained of every tear. How long would I have to wait for God to respond to my cries?

Can you relate to Nancy’s story? In our book Marriage Off Course, we will surround you with a community of brave men and women who can fully connect to what you’re experiencing. You aren’t alone in what feels like a forsaken wasteland.

For today, we encourage you to reflect on this grain of truth: separation is a journey of faith through the desert, not a race to get out as quickly as possible.

Painful circumstances ignite a rush to find an immediate solution. But resolution and restoration are processes that requires faith and time. Your faith. God’s time.

Many people who find themselves in an unwanted separation or divorce want God to provide that one special, instant fix, with emphasis on the word instant. However, it is essential to realize that God is calling you to a longer journey of faith. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7 NASB).

Reconciliation is a process that cannot be measured by favorable signs (or a lack thereof) or by how swiftly a positive resolution occurs. Regardless of the final outcome and how long it takes to get it, you must decide if you will truly believe God can do the impossible. No matter how hopeful or hopeless the reconciliation of your marriage may seem right now, trust God to see you through every aspect of it. 

Marriage Off Course
Clint & Penny A. Bragg
Clint and Penny Bragg have experienced the excruciating pain of separation firsthand. They also have a decade of helping hundreds of other hurting spouses. From the lessons they've learned, the Braggs have crafted this guide to navigating marital strife, separation, or divorce, showing readers what to do when your spouse is done with the marriage--and what not to do.