Why Did God Let My Marriage Fall Apart?

By Nancy Flory Published on March 12, 2018

I buried my face in my hands and sobbed. “Why, God?” My husband was gone and I didn’t know if he’d be back. My son was asking questions I didn’t know how to answer. 

Just like the Israelites, I’d found my wilderness. Each day I struggled just to get out of bed. I put on a happy face, but I felt numb inside. Had God abandoned me? I wondered. 

I dug into my prayer time and Bible reading. I memorized Scripture. I even quoted Scripture back to God, especially promises like he’d always be with me, or that His word never returns to Him void. I confessed sins. Still, I wondered why God had allowed my marriage to fall apart.

A wilderness experience is a trial by its nature, I reminded myself. As I walked through my wilderness, I found four sustaining truths.

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He is Always There

God is always there. Even the Israelites in their wilderness experience had God in a pillar of fire or cloud leading them on the way to the Promised Land (Ex. 13:22). After the death of Moses, God told Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (my emphasis) (Joshua 1:5-6).

Even in my wilderness, God was with me. I had to believe it, even though at times I couldn’t feel it. I quoted the Scripture to God many times. “Lord, you said you’d always be with me. Be with me now.” And He was. He was there through His people, like when I needed food and someone provided it. Or when I needed to talk and someone called. He is always with me.

God Wastes No Suffering

My suffering is not in vain. My time in the wilderness was an opportunity for God to refine me just as gold is refined. I had to believe there was purpose in my suffering, that it wasn’t in vain. In 1 Peter 1:7, Peter told exiled Christians that they would soon suffer many trials. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

The end result of my refining is Christ revealed, to me and to others. I’ve become stronger in my faith. I’ve learned that God is trustworthy. These are lessons that I now share with others.

And It Came to Pass

The wilderness doesn’t last forever. Someone once said that “it came to pass” was their favorite Bible saying, because it reminded them that everything comes to an end. I knew my time of wilderness would come to an end. Where or how was up to God; but it would come to pass

I held onto Jeremiah 30:18-19: “This is what the Lord says: ‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.’”

I held onto God in belief that He would restore my joy. My wilderness wasn’t permanent. And it came to pass.

Joy Comes in the Morning

I will find joy again. Each day I reminded myself of His promises that after the wilderness I would find joy. Indeed, He promises, “[W]eeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5). Just like David, I could say “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11).

I knew that didn’t mean that my husband would return. It didn’t mean that my life would be exactly as it was before the wilderness. But joy would return through Christ and my determination to hold onto His truths.

And it has. My life isn’t perfect. I haven’t learned all that I need to know. But these basic truths have sustained me, even in my wilderness. 

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  • Tom Rath

    It’s all same-sex marriage’s fault.

    • Tim Pan

      Come on ! That is ridiculous . Holy matrimony is Holy matrimony. It is a covenant between the man and woman and God unaffected by the affairs of this world.

  • Paul

    Nancy, thanks for what you do here at the Stream.

  • Thank you, Nancy. Excellent. Sometimes it’s not easy to come to a “count it all joy” perspective, but when we see that God is indeed with us, and is using the wilderness to crucify the flesh so that our spirit can become free, suddenly we can rest in God and trust the process. Life becomes so much easier that way, and in a very real sense, our spirits are already delivered, even if our circumstances aren’t, quite yet.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Nancy, if you see this and I hope you do, please consider that it may not be a Wilderness experience that you are in. The Hebrews/Israelites were made to wander in the wilderness because of their lack of faith, disobedience, and rebellion. That may or may not be the case with you or others in like situations.

    If it is then God tells us how to be restored. Remember, there were 3 that got to cross over the Jordan. If it’s not, then we have to figure out if it’s not the Wilderness, what is it?

    I went thru the same thing many years ago. There are things I saw, seeds I had sown, that resulted in fruits I wish I had not reaped. But I also saw that we live in a fallen and sin-ravaged world and sometimes the mystery of how a Sovereign Almighty God works with fallen, sinful human beings, well, just remains a mystery.

    I noticed you did not answer your Headline question. I certainly don’t have the answer. But I know God and I know God’s Word. God did not want my marriage to end in Divorce. I asked the same “Why God?”; countless times. After much time passed the only response I ever got was, “It was her choice. Not mine. But I will work it, like all else, to your good if you continue to love me and stay called according to My purpose.”

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