Finding Strength Through God and Friends

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Love and Marriage
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I can’t emphasize enough how much the support of a few friends means when you’re going through a tough time.  It’s not so much what they do, but more the knowing that they are there.  Knowing that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to face it by yourself can get a person through some of the longest days and darkest nights.  I don’t know what I would have done last summer, had there not been several people who stood by me. 

I’m a teacher, so I didn’t have work to keep me occupied. This was a two-edged sword.  On the one hand, it gave me lots of time to read, pray, attend my therapy sessions, and be there to show love to my wife as much as she would let me.  On the other, there were many long hours of unscheduled time where I had to fight the loneliness and pain that threatened to overwhelm me and pull me under.

The pattern of me staying with my wife on the weekends, then being sent home to my apartment on Mondays or Tuesdays continued, and it never got any easier.  We would have a great time for two or three days, then she would tell me good-bye again.  I desperately wanted her to say or do something to give me hope at those times, but she didn’t, and it always seemed like everything that had just taken place hadn’t mattered.  I respected her boundaries, but also took advantage of every opportunity that presented itself. 

Sometimes she would call during the week and ask me if I could give her a ride, or help her with something.  I always did, and I tried to not expect anything in return.  I wanted her to see me as someone who was able to give without taking.  I figured that any positive interaction between us could only serve as a building block to repairing our relationship, so I tried to be very careful not to push.  I failed at times, of course, and did push her to talk about things she didn’t want to, or deal with my pain, which only pushed her away.

Many times, when I would return to my apartment with no assurance of anything in regards to our future, I would seek God’s comfort through prayer, but also that human aspect of a friend who would listen and be there in whatever way I needed.  There were a small number of such people, and they may not think they did much, but their willingness to give me advice, come over and sit with me, listen to me vent and cry, and spend time with me made an immeasurable difference. 

My primary source of strength was God, and I spent a great deal of time crying out to Him, reading the Bible, and listening to His voice.  More than at any other time in my life, He was real to me in tangible ways.  I would read verses and I knew that they carried a message for me.  My thoughts would be all out of whack and He would help me to see things in perspective and get a grip.  Beyond that, He spoke to me, clearly and unmistakably during this time of need.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”  I was seeking Him more sincerely than I had for a long time, and probably ever.

He was proving Himself true, and showing me that He was deeply interested in what I was going through.  I understood that my wife had the same free will that we all do and that nobody, including God Himself, was going to force her to love me against her will.  I also was greatly encouraged by the knowledge that the creator of all things wanted our marriage to work out, and was helping me on my end.  If you’re reading this and you have a difficult situation in your life, draw close to God and spend time with some true friends who will support you and lead you in the right direction.  They are truly worth more than gold.


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