Sheila had asked some of the standing wives who were once lost with a hard heart to write our testimonies to encourage our standing brothers to combat the lie that “once a wife is done with her husband and the marriage, that she will never come back.”
I was the wife that left
I was desperate to leave. I was looking for any loophole to try to get out of my marriage. My heart had grown so hard towards my husband that I had no feelings or thoughts of love toward him at all. In fact, I distinctly remember that I wished he would die so that I did not have to file for divorce. Even typing this out now makes me sick. But I want you to understand how bad things were. How hard my heart truly was.
I was filled with contempt, disgust, bitterness, and resentment towards my husband. The sight of him made me angry. I felt trapped in a loveless marriage, wondering if my life was doomed to be like this forever.
A little background for reference: I grew up in the church. I’m not sure what my husband’s relationship with the Lord is or if he has ever had one. I know he was not saved when we married. In fact, he was done with organized religion as a whole. I gave my heart to Jesus before I turned ten years old. But, my whole entire relationship with the Lord was based on fear. Not the holy, awe-struck kind. The, “Please don’t send me to hell, I’ll behave, kind.”
I had no idea who God truly was. That He really meant what He said in John 3:16-17
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world might be saved.” John 3:16-17
My whole entire life, I lived in fear and shame, allowing the accuser of the brethren to cause me to walk in all of my past hurts. Believing lies about myself, but worse still, lies about who Abba is and His character and nature. So for most of my life, almost 40 years, I had only given lip service to my relationship with God. I’d only allow Him to have part of me, while I struggled and strove to change to be “good enough” to come to Him in prayer. I found myself running from the work God was apparently trying to do in me and my heart and life, while finger-pointing and blaming and trying to dig the speck out of my husband’s eye, while ignorant of the huge log in my own.
Day in and day out for over a year, I prayed continually that the Lord would release me from my marriage. I was desperate for relief. Towards the end of 2019, there was a shift from both my husband and I, and we had a conversation where we basically came to the conclusion neither of us was happy, and we didn’t know if we were going to make it another year. After that conversation, I was completely done, checked out of the marriage, and disconnected from my husband. I secretly rented a storage unit and began finding things to put in it.
All the while, in the back of my mind and heart, I felt a gentle nudging to stop and be still.
During this period of time, the Lord gave me the scripture,
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 14:1 “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her own hands.”
I privately contacted a lawyer, yet I held off on having my husband served. Looking back now, I can only say it was the Holy Spirit tugging at me, whispering to be still, to trust Him. To let Him change me, change my husband. But I didn’t understand how to do that. I waited over three months.
One day, after my therapy session, I was sitting in my car. I began to pray, and cry out to the Lord. I began to confess some hard things. I confessed that I was angry with Him, for taking my mom away when I was younger and for taking her from me permanently (she died when our son was almost 2).
As I began to cry and confess these things to Him, I heard him say, “It’s okay, you can let go, you can trust Me with this. It’s time to let go.” I felt as though a band was being broken from around my body, and I was being set free for the first time in a very long time. Right after I heard Him speak this to me, I saw a vision of my husband at a church altar. And suddenly, there were hands being laid on him. It started slowly at first, once they touched him, they seemed to light up and glow. Eventually, there were 50 or so hands touching my husband. I sat and watched from a distance. I could tell he was angry, his body had stiffened up and his hands were at his side balled tightly into fists. Then suddenly, I saw him drop to his knees as his hands went up in the air, and he surrendered himself to the Lord. I watched in awe as the man I had known gave himself completely to the Lord, tears streaming down his face.
Right after this vision, I got out of the car and allowed the enemy to come in and do what he does, “steal, kill, and destroy,” and something happened between me and my husband that caused me to have him served with the divorce papers the next week.
Even the day before I knew he was going to be served, I wanted so badly to call the lawyer and call it off, but my pride and anger would not allow me to do it. Our divorce process took over a year. Praise the Lord, He was giving us time to make things right. I was still angry and didn’t want anything to do with my husband. We were living together for most of the process. It was very strained. However, even in this the Lord was working. I kept seeing “How to save my Marriage” articles on the internet everywhere I looked. But, my heart still needed some help.
A few months after our mediation, on my 40th birthday, I was admitted to the hospital with a serious case of COVID-19. I was afraid. I had never been away from my husband or our son for more than a night or two, and now, now… It was there in the hospital that the Lord began to deal with me. The care team was concerned that if my condition didn’t improve, I may need more drastic measures. I was now terrified that I would die here. Away from my husband, and our son. And with all this bad blood between us. And for what? My pride? I cried out to the Lord, and mercifully, He heard me and answered me. He gave me an awareness that if I died in the state I was in, that I would hear, “Depart from me, I know you not.”
My Journey of Repentance Began
So there, in that hospital isolation room, I began my journey of repentance. I cried out and repented and sought God’s mercy. He heard me and spoke and said, “I am going to heal you, but things have to change. Because I LOVE you too much to leave you this way.” I was weak but saved from the pit of hell. I spent the rest of the time in the hospital, praising God for His mercy and goodness. I was released after just 4 days and 3 nights in the hospital. My journey back home began there in the hospital. I was still angry and hurt when I came home, but quiet.
I came back to the Lord first. It wasn’t until my husband moved out a month later, on Christmas Day, that the Lord began to deal with my heart. He showed me myself. All the ugly, ungodly things that I had done to tear my home apart. He showed me the contentious, bitter attitude I had been treating my husband with for years.
In February, I remember crying out to the Lord knowing how I had grieved His heart with my actions, and I heard Him talk to me on standing for my marriage. He began to speak to me of restoration. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, before the divorce was granted, I went to my husband on three separate occasions to let him know I no longer sought or desired to divorce. Where he once had asked me not to go through with it, he now said it was too late and that he didn’t want anything to do with me.
Over the past two years, I have come to know the Father so much more than I have ever known Him. He has asked for me to stand for my husband’s salvation, and I believe that I will see it come to pass.
Our divorce eventually was given by the state last year, 2022, and my husband quickly moved on and joined himself legally to another. But that has not changed God’s mind or what He has asked me to do, and so I stand. I am not even angry about what my husband did. I understand it. I understand how a hurt and angry person could do what he is doing. I have compassion for him because I was there once. That could be me, lost, needing someone to stand in the gap for my salvation.
At the very beginning of my stand, when I was still angry and throwing tantrums about how God could possibly allow my husband to do what he was doing, God spoke so clearly to me and told me that it wasn’t about me or my husband. But it was for His glory and the glory of His kingdom. I have held onto that and the promises He has made to me over and over again.
Over the past few years, the Lord has softened my heart towards my love and his partner. I can have compassion because I was once lost. My soul was perishing. I didn’t even know I was lost until that night in the hospital.
I was asked if I knew if anyone was praying for me during the time while I was in the far country and hard-hearted. Our son, who was between the ages of 6-10 was praying during those years that his dad and I would stop fighting, love him more, and treat him better. My heart was and is still so broken over this confession, I had to repent all over again for how I had treated our son during my season of hard-heartedness. He told me this only recently after the divorce was final, and he began to see the changes God had made in me.
God took a hard-hearted woman and turned her 180 degrees back to Him and, in doing that towards my husband and our marriage.
Don’t believe the lie that the enemy has put out there that once a wife has left, she will never come back. But make sure that you don’t give up either. Keep standing on the solid rock of God, stand on every promise He has given you, and that is in His word. Wives DO come back home. I’m now standing forever until God calls me home. I pray that I will see the restoration of my love for the Lord soon. And the restoration of our marriage and family soon. Until then, I stand and wait.
A Standing Wife
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Want more testimonies from Wives? Here is Donna’s Video Testimony of how God changed her heart.