Meeting new people isn’t always easy for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m sometimes shy, or insecure, or maybe a little of both. However, it’s easy when you feel like you are drawn to someone, such as I was in this situation.
I met a new friend back in August. She was pregnant for the first time with a little girl, and newly married. Instantly, I felt a connection to her, and I felt like I needed to befriend her. Our friendship was easy. We chatted when we saw each other and I was more than excited to talk to her about Ella, and share stories of how it will be to raise a darling baby girl.
I remember planning a small baby shower for her along with a few other friends, and we all gathered to shower her with diapers and goodies, in celebration of her new baby. After the baby was born, she sent photos, and we ooed and aahed over the bundle of joy that God sent her. Holding that sweet baby was the highlight of my January! Oh, how I was overjoyed for my friend.
However, what I didn’t know was all of the turmoil that had been going on during her maternity leave. I am disappointed that I did not check on her more often and REALLY make sure she was doing okay.
I sat next to her in a meeting in February. I asked her how the baby was doing and how things were going. She bluntly said, “Well, other than I’m getting a divorce, the baby and I are good.”
I felt my chest tighten.
My heart lumped in my throat.
People around us confirmed her choice and told her that she’d “get through it.”
I sat there, and offered words of sympathy.
Then, I felt God tug at my heart.
“Remember?” God said to me in that still, small voice. “Divorce is not the answer… tell her.”
I sat there, nervous, not knowing how to react. No one was saying anything and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to talk without the dreaded flow of tears that were bound to come spilling out of my eyes as soon as I opened my mouth. I instantly worried if I’d be seen as blubbering and weak. Everyone around me sat as close to me as she was so I had to say it aloud and I knew everyone would hear. My image of perfection would be found out. All of this was running through my head, and God prompted me again.
“You need to pray about this,” I told her, as tears welled up in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks. And then I began to tell her my story. One that I felt so shameful about up until this very moment… I almost divorced. As I spoke the words to her, her face softened. I shared with her the pain, sadness and fear that I felt, and the realization that I had also done many, many things wrong. I shared with her the hope of prayer and trusting God. Because that’s what I did. And He not only saved my marriage, he made. it. better.
After the meeting, another friend came up to me and said, “I’m so glad you said something to her, I really wanted to say something, but I’m not married and I didn’t know the right words to say. She needed to hear that from you.”
I prayed that God would help me know the right words to say to help her through this.
I stood by her as she struggled, as she became tired of waiting, I encouraged her to keep praying and have faith. The story began to unfold and a divorce lawyer was hired. A motion was filed. We continued to pray. Their anniversary went by, mother’s day, and father’s day passed by. We continued to pray. Houses were divided, child custody battles ensued, grandparents became angry, and we continued to pray. Her husband was not budging. The hurts were too deep. I shared scripture with her that nothing is too big for God, and encouraged her to keep praying. Many friends were praying for her as well.
And just as things began to get really ugly, it all came to a screeching halt.
Her husband called.
Told her he was sorry and that he loved her.
And that he wanted to work things out.
They were able to come together and talk things out. They decided on a Christian marriage counselor to work through some of the deeper issues.
I was among one of the first people she called. When I answered the phone, she sounded different. A good kind of different.
She sounded happy.
She shared with me the news and out loud I was so filled with joy you’d of thought that I just won something big!
I won answers to my personal questions. God uses our trials as a testament to others, and this story was a gleaming confirmation of that.
I am reminded of the scripture in Romans 8: “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him.” – Romans 8:28
And when he says EVERYTHING, he. means. it.
Even the ikky stuff.