I needed to hear from God stat. My world had caved in all around me, and I felt like I was in a deep abyss searching for any amount of guidance I could find. The consequences of my husband’s actions were being hurled at me with a force that knocked my breath and hope away. I had a decision to make. And I worried that if I took too long to make it I would waste more of my life than I felt had already been wasted by the so-called man of my dreams.
The decision? Whether or not to get a divorce. The thought of being divorced was more than I could fathom. But staying with a man who had repeatedly broken my heart and my trust was also unimaginable.
Yet I kept moving forward toward reconciliation even though there was very little in me that believed it to be possible. Yes, people around me were telling me to have faith, and while I knew they were right, my heart didn’t seem to get the memo. My faith walk hit a fork in the road: either I believed what I said I believed my entire life or I didn’t.
Because I was unsure, I decided to go toward the path of believing God, because the alternative seemed too hopeless to bear. I read and reread the verses in the Bible that say God does the impossible. And I personally had seen a few impossible scenarios in my life unfold toward the possible. I held on to these assurances as uncertainty threatened to drag me deeper into the abyss.
Even though I had allowed divorce to enter my list of options, I still pursued God and pleaded with Him daily to show me His path. I know that though God hates divorce, He allows it in my situation according to Matthew 19. Still, just because I had the right to divorce didn’t mean I had to. And that’s where I was stranded. That was the huge, life-changing choice I had to make, and I desperately needed to hear from God to make it.
Seeking a word from God
I lived in an ongoing state of confusion for those few weeks and was thankful to receive amazing, godly advice from others. I had wise people surrounding me and praying for me. I had the support of my pastor, his wife, our mentors, our family, and our ministry team. They didn’t kick us to the curb; they embraced us, wept with us, and prayed for us.
But I needed a word from God.
Not an audible, bust-through-the heavens kind of voice, but a still, small voice that gently and persistently told my heart that He was near and He had a plan for my mess of a life. Have you ever been there? On your knees and pleading for the powerful whisper that would let you know without a doubt that God was speaking?
I wanted a word from His Word to stand on. I had been on this journey with God long enough to know that everything around me would fade, wither, and go away (Isaiah 40:8), but God’s Word would hold strong and never diminish. So for three weeks my prayer was, God I need a word.
I became so desperate to hear from God that I took off for my home state of Texas to get a new perspective. My oldest son, Noah, and I spent some time with my mom before I headed down to San Antonio so see another friend. I planned to stay Friday night through Sunday morning because I wanted to attend my friend’s church before returning to my mom’s house.
But when I got to my friend’s place I learned that her pastor was out of town and would not be leading the service. To say I was discouraged would be putting it mildly. I loved her pastor and found myself thinking that he would be the one to give me what I needed to hear. I almost chose not to attend because of this news. But then I decided to go. And I am so glad that I did.
On that day, Sunday, March 10, 2002, He delivered that word. Not once, but twice on the same day by two different people who did not know each other or know me. The word, you ask? Habakkuk 2:3: “The revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay.”
Now you might be wondering why in the world God spoke to me through a minor prophet named Habakkuk. Most people don’t know this book in the Bible, and when they get to it they certainly can’t pronounce it. Why not Jeremiah or Isaiah? Or why didn’t He show me something through the apostle Paul? Not only that, but how did He speak through that verse? Well, I will explain it to you, but it may not make much sense.
You see, this was God’s specific word to me at this time in my life for my situation. I believe that with all my heart. And upon hearing Him speak through His Word, I felt as if God was standing right behind me with one hand on my shoulder and the other pointing out into a future that was muddied to me but profoundly clear to Him.
It was as if He was saying, I know you don’t see the road ahead or how I can make this better. But I can, and I will. The final part of that divine interaction with the Creator of the universe rested in His concluding question: Do you trust Me?
And there it was. The question that haunted me and thrilled me at the same time. The faithful part in me wanted to shout a huge, loud YES! But the fearful part of me knew if I said yes then that truly meant trusting God and staying in a broken marriage, since trusting my husband was not an option. I spent the next several hours that Sunday afternoon wrestling with God over that.
This would literally mean walking in blind trust for the rest of my life, because even though my husband confessed his sin, repented of his sin, and wanted freedom from the bondage that tied him up for two decades, he could fall. I knew in my heart that he didn’t want to cheat on me again, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of doing it. He most certainly was. We all are, actually.
My friend and one of the women who shared the word with me had just finished praying over me before I headed back to my mom’s house. When they were finished, I sat there silently before the Lord and simply said, Lord, I trust You.
And immediately the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) did just that. I do not understand what happened in the spiritual realm when I said that. I cannot describe to you what covered me in that moment. I cannot fathom the transformation that was occurring the second I tapped out of my wrestling match with God.
All I know is, I was hopeless and scared one minute and completely at peace and trusting the next. It was as if God then said, Thank you, Cindy. I’ve got this.
Chris and Cindy Beall talk openly about Chris’s one-time porn addiction and multiple affairs on FamilyLife Today®. Cindy shares how she forgave him and explains how she learned to trust Chris after he owned up to his secret life. And in her book, Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New, Cindy writes about how she and Chris rebuilt their marriage over the years and encourages couples who have made a commitment to see their broken marriages healed.