I never thought it would happen. When Angie and I married I really thought it would be paradise forever. But, it did happen. I know the pain of the “it’s over” feeling. I remember the discussions that brought finality to the end of our marriage. I remember well the devastating look on my kids faces as we told them how much we loved them but our marriage was ending. I remember the Sunday I told the church we were divorcing. As a person, husband, Dad and pastor I felt like a complete failure.
Most days after we separated I felt like I was in a fog. I’d spent over two decades with her and now I was alone. There was so much my mind was futilely trying to process… too much. Like all the little things she did that I took for granted and now had to figure out. I remember trying to buy school supplies for the kids and feeling completely lost and having no idea where to find half the stuff on the list. I also remember the bigger things. I was losing the person I shared everything with since I was sixteen. We met so young and married so young that not having her in my life was the most foreign feeling I’d ever experienced. It felt like I had lost her… and I’d lost me, and everything I knew about life.
During those days God became more real to me than He’s ever been. I chose to embrace the pain. I remember asking God to use it to change me. I didn’t want to run from it or ignore it or bury it to have it destroy me later. I chose to feel it as deeply as possible and there were many moments it seemed unbearable. I held on to grace, often clinging to it. His grace really is sufficient.
That’s why this series, “Forever” at C3 Church is so important to me. As I write these words I’m now in a place where God has restored our marriage (long story for another time). This Sunday I’m going to talk about the one thing that made the difference for us. It may be the most important thing as it relates to marriage. So, C3, don’t miss this Sunday. We have a special baby dedication early in the service and we’re continuing the series, “Forever” with the most important message to married couples and those who want to be married someday that I’ve ever spoken. I can’t wait to see you Sunday!