I was headed down a road of self-destruction. I knew it, yet I kept going. In my mind I was going crazy. In my soul I was wanting sanity. All but one child had left the roost and I wanted to run away. My marriage was falling apart, my spiritual life was all but dead, and I had very few friends left to console me. I wanted to go away and hide from this life.
When my boss called me into his office I wondered what else could go wrong. But, as it turns out, it was a blessing in disguise. There was a job in Washington, D.C., aka D.C., that he thought I would be perfect for. It was a temporary assignment for six months, in my field of expertise and he recommended I apply for it today!
I didn’t think about it for even two seconds. I went to my desk and looked for the temporary assignment notice and began the application process. I was selected for the job before I told my husband I was leaving. I was living with a girlfriend (separated from him) so I felt little obligation to let him know.
I secured a furnished apartment over the phone and arrived in D.C. the week after I accepted the job. Although I had been there numerous times, they were only visits. I was going to live here this time.
I felt like I was in a foreign country as I rolled my suitcase to and from the Metro, trying to find my new apartment. When I finally got settled in I turned on the TV, fell on the couch and kicked my shoes off. I was alone. The sound of the TV drowned out the silence and emptiness that I was feeling, but nonetheless they were still there.
After six months my assignment was extended and made permanent, but I was able to negotiate a tour of duty in Atlanta so there was no need for me to move to D.C. I traveled extensively over the next two and a half years, but after that first six months I moved back home with my husband and we began marriage counseling. I would ask myself after each session, “What are we doing?” In my mind nothing had changed. The emptiness and loneliness were still there even after countless hours of recommended book readings; and couples exercises to promote showing each other love.
I don’t know which one of us realized it first, me or him, but we both knew we needed to go back to church. Neither one of us could remember why we stopped going in the first place. We assumed it was to have a weekend off since the kids were no longer at home and we so desperately needed some us time. But, after seven years of not a single Sunday in church we couldn’t say that was what happened; however, that became our story.
We settled back into church and ended up in a Sunday School class, only by the grace of God, called “Growing in the Knowledge of God”. God had led us to a place that I had been running from. It was a place of forgiveness, a place of healing, and a judgement-free zone. We were loved on, challenged and at peace for the first time in our marriage. I had selfishly been praying for God to change my husband, but when I started praying that He change me something glorious happened.
I was set free. Free from my past failures, free from my sinfulness, free from hurt and pain. I was free from the destructiveness of self. God is still transforming me, and I’ve watched my husband as He grows in the knowledge of God too.
When I was a teenager I dreamed of being a writer. I dreamed that one day I would write a novel and be famous. Well, I wrote that novel and it still sits in manuscript form. God took my dream, allowed me to see it fulfilled and then said, “Now follow me and see what I can do.”
I wake up every day and wonder where God is going to take me. Will He put someone in my path that needs to be transformed? When I write, will He direct the letters and turn them into words and brilliantly tell a story that needs to be heard? Will He bring me one step closer to the understanding of His creation, so I can share that beauty with someone who is wondering if there really is a God?
As we approach Thanksgiving, I am so thankful that God didn’t give up on me. I’m thankful that He had and has a plan for me and that He chose to keep it from me for so long; until I truly began to seek Him. And, more than anything I’m thankful that there is a God. What a mess this world would be in without His mercy and His grace. What a mess I would be in. I’m thankful that He saved me from my self-destruction and chose to use me to bring even just one person into His kingdom. I’m thankful there was forgiveness in my marriage and that God has brought joy into it so that we can grow together and be one flesh as God intended it in Genesis 2:24.
Romans 12:2 King James Version (KJV) says, “2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
God took what was broken and pieced it back together as only He can do. My marriage is the best it’s ever been, because God is at the center of it. Is it perfect? No. But neither are the two of us.
Are you considering divorce? Do you feel helpless and hopeless? Are you running away from what God wants for your life? Are you even wondering if there really is a God?
The truth and answers to these questions are in the number one best selling book of all time, “The Holy Bible”. Why not find a Bible believing church who will open that book with you and help you find answers and lead you down your own road of transformation? It will set you free
Happy Thanksgiving y’all!!!
By Annette Burrell