Life in the Back Row

ImageThere are things that bring back very vivid memories for me…some painful some not.

This evening I was playing through some praise music I found in my organizing spree and I began to play “Mighty to Save.”

Everyone needs compassion

Love that’s never failing

Let mercy fall on me

Everyone needs forgiveness

The kindness of a Savior

The hope of nations


Savior He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save

He is mighty to save

Forever Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave


So take me as You find me

All my fears and failures

Fill my life again

I give my life to follow

Everything I believe in

Now I surrender

(Ben Fielding & Reuben Morgan, Hillsong Publishing, 2006)

It brought me back to the last Sunday I stood next to my husband in church.  We were on the last row.  That was an unusual place for us to be, way in the back.  It was okay, I wanted to be back there too.

It was a weird Sunday all the way around.

Standing back there with a clear view of all the people I’d worshiped with for years, I found myself feeling like I no longer belonged.  Only a handful of people knew the tragedy that was occurring in my family.  Most of these dear people had no idea. I felt like a sham.

A friend commented on my weight loss – she asked how I was doing it like she wanted to do it too.  I stood speechless…what could I say?  “It’s a very effective diet but I absolutely don’t recommend it.  It’s called the adultery diet…you are so full of pain there is no place for food.”

As worship began, I stood barely touching my husband.  He very clearly did not want to be there…did not want to be next to me either.  I felt helpless and hopeless.

“Mighty to Save” started.  I knew these words by heart.  This song had to be for us.  For both of us.

I inched closer to my husband and slipped my hand in his.  Although he allowed me to hold his hand, he did not hold mine back.

That summed up our marriage at that point.  I was holding tightly…with fingers grasping for any sign of warmth.  Even while I held firmly to his cold hand, I felt my palms sweating from fear of the future alone.

I sang those words begging God to make those words ours.  Love that never fails…mercy, forgiveness, kindness, hope…

Oh God please, please move mountains in my husband’s heart.  God you are mighty to save.  You are the author of my salvation.  You are the author of his salvation…please remind him of the joy of his salvation.  Jesus, you conquered the grave…Jesus, please conquer the death of my marriage.  God, take me as you find me.  Please God, I have more fears than I thought possible and the failure of my marriage is devastating me.  I give you my life, Jesus.  I give you everything I believe in…everything I have hoped in and hoped for…I surrender God.  God, please.

It would be easy to say that God did not answer that prayer, because well, He kinda didn’t.  But I surrendered to Him.  I put my trust in Him as I sang those words.

I understood that the love that never fails is His…it’s Him.  He never fails.  He had offered me mercy, kindness, forgiveness and hope in my Savior.  He did move mountains, just not the mountain in my husband’s heart.  He could have, but for some reason He chose not to…and I trust Him.  He took me as He found me – broken, hurt, bleeding, and terrified…and He filled my life again.

He has filled my life with more beauty than I could imagine.  I will not pretend that this life He has called me to is at all easy, but it is blessed.

Each day I see the blessings…each day I know the beauty of His provision…each day I sense His power sustaining me…each day I feel the depth of His love.

I wouldn’t trade where God has brought me.  I wouldn’t trade what He has done in my life.  I wouldn’t trade knowing His faithfulness for anything.

There are days when I complain and moan and groan and wail, but ultimately I know that He loves me.   He will take care of me and my children.

He is indeed mighty to save.

11 thoughts on “Life in the Back Row

  1. I can totally relate to this post. I remember when we first separated, it was so hard. So hard to believe God had a plan, but now looking back I can totally see His might hand keeping me safe. I still can’t even read the lyrics without getting tears in my eyes. He has saved me over and over. He is mighty to save and He will do it over and over again.


  2. Thank you, Sue. You describe so eloquently the struggle that so many of us are going through. A struggle that only those who have walked this path can truly understand. Thank you for reminding me that I am indeed blessed, for although I often feel so scared and alone on this journey, I have the beautiful assurance that He is always by my side. My children and I are in the midst of packing up what we thought would always be our family home, to move to a new city and make a fresh start. It had begun to feel like such an overwhelming and unjust task. Your post today was just what I needed.
    Thank you for your dedication to helping others through your beautiful spirit.


  3. Love this song! It means so much. We may never know what God has kept us from and protected us from by allowing these painful things to happen. Perhaps our children, too. Thank you for your posts about your struggles. There are so many of us going through similar situations.


  4. This post amazes me. I had a similar Sunday, standing beside my husband, singing “How Great is our God” while no one knew that our whole world was falling apart.

    I am thankful for how God is bringing me through the pain, but I can’t yet thank him for the pain. The knowledge of my husband’s affair is too painful for me still. I hope I can get to that point, but I’m not there yet. I know our God is a great God, I just wish I knew what is going to happen to me and my children. I’m so scared.


  5. Very touching, my heart hurts for you, your children. God hears your prayers and He so desperately wanted to keep your marriage together, but one thing He won’t do is over-ride someone’s will. It wasn’t that God didn’t answer your prayer, it was that your ex-husband didn’t respond to God’s dealings and convictions. How wonderful that you have seen how He has been mighty to love help and save you through these difficult and heartbreaking years. God bless you!


  6. This is quite touching. God sees and knows it all. He can feel all our pains and struggles. This reminds me of the day I got to know of my husband’s new marriage and how I almost collapsed looking at the pictures of him and his new wife.
    That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.


  7. Thank you for sharing, friend. When separation and finally divorce happened to me, there weren’t blogs on the subject. But God took my three boys and me through it, and He’s brought us out into life. He’s healed us, taken our anger and fear, been Father to the fatherless, and now the boys are married men who love and serve God and walk in love and compassion toward their families and others. I am so very thankful.


  8. Bless the Lord for His healing, and for your writing.

    Let me second Rachel’s comment above.

    May His presence be your strength, your joy and your peace.

    In fellowship, Peter Warner.


  9. Looking back on the pain and fear I walked in after my marriage ended in divorce, I stand in awe of His love and mercy and I am often reminded of how out of the ashes of our heart, spirit and soul He bring RESURRECTION!! It was the hardest time frame of my life going thru the death of my marriage, oh but how glorious on the other side. To Sue who posted earlier — keep pressing in to Him and He will get your through.


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