I’ve asked myself the same question for years, now.
Because I remember how it felt every time I prayed for it. Because I believed that He could do it. And for a long time, I believed that He would.
So imagine my surprise when I came home from a 3+ week vacation to celebrate our 5 year anniversary and instead my husband decided to walk out.
It would be the last time he walked out.
But even in those moments of not knowing, I knew. I knew that He would fix it. That He would make it better. That we would finally have the marriage that I had dreamed about and worked so hard for.
I was constantly praying during those next few days. I think I had everyone praying for me. For us.
So then, why didn’t He restore my marriage?
He could have.
He was capable.
He could hear the desperation in my voice.
I had been faithful, both to Him and to my marriage.
He knew I didn’t believe in divorce.
He knew I couldn’t imagine my life without my husband in it.
He knew the shame I felt as I watched my marriage fall apart and I knew that there was nothing left I could do, and yet, there had been so much that I did to get us there.
He knew my pain. My loneliness. My frustration. He knew it all.
He knew what it did to me to feel that rejection. To know that my husband had already found someone else. Someone that he wanted more than me. He knew how that crushed me. How I let it define me. He knew.
And yet, He chose not to restore my marriage.
Oh I prayed to give Him the chance to let me give Him glory and honor for the restoration. I told Him repeatedly that I would not take any credit, but instead give it all to Him.
This was His chance to shine. This was a chance for my friends and my family and for those who didn’t believe in Him to see just exactly what He could do.
But He never took me up on my offer. Despite my compelling argument.
Instead, He chose not to restore my marriage.
Instead, He chose to show Himself through all the things I never imagined I would be doing.
Instead, He chose to show Himself through starting over. He chose to show Himself in blessing me for my faithfulness. Instead, He chose to show Himself in answering my prayer to get me back home. He chose to show Himself through the strength that only He could provide when it came to raising these two kids all by myself. Instead, He chose to show Himself by blessing my business and allowing me to do all the things I loved without having to sacrifice any of it. He chose to show Himself in the way that I had finally fallen in love with who I was, not because of who I am, but because of who He is.
Instead, He chose to show Himself in my story of love and compassion and forgiveness and grace.
And with that, He brought Himself the honor and glory that I had so desperately pleaded for, on His behalf.
Because by not restoring my marriage, He restored me.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8