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I’m sure you would like to know what challenge I’m facing (that’s why you are reading this blog). March 1st 2016 my wife and I separated. It was difficult but something we both felt was necessary. With more than 15 years of marriage, we have been through a lot. Good times, bad times, gains and losses. When I think back to our wedding on New Year’s Day 2002, I never would have imagined we would be here.
Why would I write about the biggest challenge in my life and put it in a blog? I feel that I owe it to those who know us (and those wondering what’s going on. Sometimes people ask me on Facebook where’s your wife? What’s going on? So let me explain). There have been numerous people that supported us throughout the 15 years of marriage and ministry.
There have been so many emails, texts, calls, and social media posts about how God used us to help someone relationship or marriage. Although people have purchased my books, listened to the podcast and heard us speaking at conferences, there’s no better feeling than someone saying thank you, you helped my marriage or helped me see dating on purpose more clearly.
I love my wife and always will. She’s a wonderful mother and one of the most caring people you will ever meet. Unfortunately, there were things we didn’t see eye to eye on and eventually grew apart. I felt like I couldn’t be me. I felt I had to be perfect at all times. At first, the separation was lonely and uncomfortable. Then I started to accept my reality. That’s the thing about separation: it can either draw you closer together or push you further apart. In our case, it pushed us further apart.
During this year of separation, I’ve done some crying, repenting, self-inventory, prayer and meditation. I’ve also done a lot of reading, talking to my brother and mother in this process. I want to thank my two brothers in the Lord (you know who you are) who helped me in this transition. I’ll be 40 in February and there’s a lot of change within me. I learned how to be free from people’s opinion of me and what I’m going through. I had the courage to post this blog because I’m free.
There were times I had panic attacks and shortness of breath because of what I was going through. I’ve been to the emergency room twice because I couldn’t breathe and thought this was the big one Elizabeth (in my Fred G. Sanford voice)! When I had the courage to tell my wife that we should divorce (something we both mutually agreed upon) the pressure was gone. No more panic attacks or shortness of breath.
Do you trust God with your life? When things don’t go the way you plan, can you still trust Him and His perfect will? Trusting God is when you give Him the blank check of your life and let him fill out whatever He wants. I married at 24 and never imagined I’ll be single again at 40 in a social media world.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. –Prov. 3:5-6
I don’t regret my 1st marriage. I was taught some valuable lessons. Lord, lead me in the way I should go.
Just to clear the air, there was no infidelity or abuse. Just two people who tried to do the right thing and it just didn’t work out. Marriage takes work and if it’s not a priority, the marriage will suffer. I don’t look at this as a defeat, but a lesson learned. I see my flaws and all the things I’ve done wrong and should have corrected. I love marriage and will continue to speak highly of it. God created marriage and it’s a wonderful thing to behold when done right.
I’ll keep you posted on the next chapter of my life. Keep my family and I in your prayers.