There are some things you simply never want to write. This blog post is one of them.
If you live in San Angelo you may have seen this months ago: B140596F — S N G and Josiah M G, filed Sept. 15
Today, the ugly reality of divorce entered our immediate family. Our son's sweet bride decided in late July she was done with marriage. After months of praying for a change of heart, trying to reconcile, digging for some other reason and believing God would work a miracle - Josiah heard a judge end his marriage this morning. He reports God's grace is overwhelming.
When we hear so and so's wife left him, we are quick to judge. This man must have "done something," "he must be a bad man," "I bet he leads a secret life," will run unbidden through our minds. This isn't always the case. If something had been done, it would have been repented of and changed. Over the months the consistent story has been she simply decided she is not the marrying kind. We ought not to judge what we can't possibly know.
We have watched. We have learned much. We watched our son receive counseling when his bride refused to talk to him or a counselor. We watched him lay his life down for a bride who didn't value the gift of his love and life. We saw him sacrifice to make her happy, and watched his pain when he was told all he had to offer wasn't enough. We watched him faithfully love, when that love was no longer returned. We watched him lose all he had and not really care, if it might win his bride back.
And - I saw myself. How often have I rejected God's call to come and reason with Him? How often have I under-valued the gift of God's love and life? How often have I caused God pain when His sacrifice isn't enough to please me? How often has God faithfully loved me even while I reject Him? He gave His all - gladly - to win back His bride.
We're all broken. Some of us realize we're broken and fall on the grace of Jesus. I have no doubt Josiah's life is not over. God is not done with him. God hates divorce. We hate divorce. Josiah hates divorce. Life doesn't end because a bride chooses to file for divorce. God has a plan for Josiah and He will bring that plan to pass. Only God knows how to prosper him through this time of suffering - but God does have a good plan. God is faithful. God loves Josiah.
Son, you are not a bad man. God, Himself, understands faithfully loving a bride who doesn't return that love. We are proud of the man of God you are becoming. I believe you will one day be the family man and father you dream of being. We can see nothing else you could have done. You have followed the heart of God in the way you loved S. There really was nothing more you could do once she filed for divorce.
This is not a chapter Josiah would have written. It is a chapter we've prayed none of our kids would live through. It's where we are. We had to explain to our 9 year old that, "Yes, you can decide not to be married. Just like that." We had to tell her to quit wasting her texting minutes as the texts would never be answered.
We love you, S. We accepted you into our family. You chose to leave. I choose to continue to love and pray for you daily. I realize I will probably never know how life turns out for you - but I simply choose not to turn love off and on.
I choose to love courageously.
A few months ago God began dealing with me about my anger at the way He seemed to be choosing to answer our prayers for BreZaak and JoBy. The bottom line is this - I've grown most as a person, developed a deeper and more authentic relationship with God, during the hard times. Much more than during the good times. The same will be true of my children. This testing - surrendered to God - will lead to their refining and shining as pure gold. He is answering the desire of my heart.
If you've read this far - we affirm marriage is precious. Marriage is meant to be for life. Treat your covenant vows as a treasure - as something to be valued and cherished. You do not want to walk through this pain.
I'm sorry this isn't the typical Christmas post. It's real. It's authentic.
Note: I deliberately have chosen not to publish S's name to protect her privacy. She has removed herself from Facebook and other online forums. I have to assume she'd rather not be found by us or our friends.
Josiah agreed I could write "something" so those who know and love us aren't left wondering....he has posted on his Facebook page.
Living all of life before the face of God...