I watched him speed down the street, as if he couldn’t get away fast enough and had been awaiting that very moment for a long time. And maybe he had. I watched him speed off, but turned to go back inside rather than watch him drive away. I had watched him “drive away” for such a long time in our little more than 5 year marriage.
We had started out just fine of course. We had met at Moody Bible Institute my freshman year of college. After getting married, he got a job as a youth pastor in Southern California. I was so excited! This was what I had wanted to do ever since I could remember - work with high schoolers alongside my husband! Yet, before it felt like I could even live that dream, things began to change. He started becoming like our students, rather than leading them. He often did things on his own, rather than inviting me along. After awhile, I saw my husbands values, standards and relationship with God slip. I started praying. I knew my God; I had known Him for a long time and trusted Him. I also knew what He could do. So I started praying that my husband would get God. Four and a half years later, I was still praying- but life had become quite hard for me. I had seen my youth pastor husband continue to spiral away from God. He had grown too close to some of our female students. When I tried to talk to him about it, he saw it as me not trusting him and it would cause a rift in our relationship. As if interacting with all these girls had not become difficult enough - he had also gotten too close to a leader. A female leader who was still helping out, at EVERY youth group event.
I got a call at work from my husband one day asking me when I’d be home cause we had to talk. When I got home, he told me had to resign from his job as a youth pastor. He had gotten too close to some of our female students, as I knew. What I didn’t know was that thankfully, it had been found out and the pastor had talked to him. He had been given three strikes and now he had struck out. Honestly, I was relieved! I had been watching my husband walk away from God while he was supposed to be leading students toward God and it was a miserable place to be! This was good news to me; maybe God would use this to get this man I had once fallen in love with back to Himself and restore our marriage. My husband resigned and we had to move out of the house we lived in because it belonged to the church. They gave us three months. In that time, I found a job offer. When I told my husband about it, it led to a conversation where he told me that he felt he didn’t love God, he hadn’t for awhile, he didn’t love me and so we should separate so he could figure himself out.
I ended up standing in my parents driveway,watching him speed away, likely driving away from our marriage, one final, tangible time. We met up once after that, but he never came back to our marriage.
To those of you who have found yourselves here, hold, no CLING, onto God. I promise you He loves you, knows, cares, aches with you and for you and can hold you like nobody’s business. But you’ve got to let Him. I know that can sound so vague, but it is SO important and so easy. God loves us so much, takes us as we are, and is inviting us all the time to just BE with Him. He will show you what to do, just go to Him.
At first, I just prayed a lot. I journal, so I would write everything to God - how I felt, what reminded me of my husband, if I read a good verse, talked with a friend or heard some good lyrics. Sometimes I would draw pictures. I was processing with God.
I would remember. Remember what God had done in my life. I’m sentimental so I thought this was just me. But then I would read in Psalms how often David talks about what God had done for him. In the Old Testament, they would pile stones to serve as reminders to their children what God had done for them. The writers of the epistles were often telling churches to be thankful. Well, what can you be thankful for? The things God has done! It is good in any relationship to talk about fun memories, cherish the things that make your relationship meaningful - the same is true with God. It is great for your relationship with God to remember what He has done for you.
Then, I would let myself feel. I would cry. I would be upset. I’d be touched when friends showed up for my birthday or wrote or took me out to dinner. The point is I didn’t feel that I had to be okay - because I wasn’t. My husband had just left me. There were things I had to do, yes, but I did them as I was and prayed for God to give me the strength that I knew I didn’t have. What that created was such an intimate, beautiful, very real dependence of me on God and allowed me to see every intricate detail of how He was taking care of me. You don’t forget that. Eventually, I had more happy moments. I saw God exchange my mourning for excitement of a new adventure. He did build me a new life; but in order to rebuild, He had to first rip away pieces of the old. Don't rush or skip over the pain, confusion, and loss in a vain attempt to get on with your life. God has to do His work it if it’s gonna hold.
Piece by piece, God built me a new life. I moved out of my parent's house, down to Orange County, California for a teaching job. I started going to Saddleback Church, making good friends and I lived close to my sister and brother in law! There were hard nights still, more processing, times of crying and calling IRS guys, but there was such a fun adventure with God too! I loved living in a beautiful place- going to beaches, eating at fun places, having girl nights, brunches with friends, etc…God taught me how to enjoy being the single career girl I never imagined myself being in my late 20’s!
One of my new friends was this handsome guy named Drew. His wife had also left him, a year and 11 days after my husband had left me. Drew and I knew each other's stories, kind of knew from living it, what the other was going through and had a silent connection. He would look out for me - make sure I had directions, pay for me, and follow me to gas stations late at night so I was safe. The more we got to know each other, the more we saw we really got along! I saw him choosing God the same way I had.
We got married February 17, 2012 - three and a half years after that day I stood in my parent's driveway. Drew and I fell in love easily. He is so amazing, handsome, protective, confident, smart, silly, romantic,....you get it! ;) He is so everything I wanted and more, everything that I did not have in my 5 year, sad, first marriage, I have in abundance with Drew. My marriage to Drew is amazing BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT GOD DOES. I gave Him my life to do WHATEVER WITH, even if that meant I never got married again, and this is what He did. I mean, even down to my last name. Drew's last name is Moore. At our wedding brunch, I told everyone that I had memorized Eph.3:20 as a senior in highschool when I had to trust God with a disappointment. It says," To Him who is able to do far MORE than anything we could ever dare to ask or even imagine. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen" (Living Bible). I am Amy Moore now; when I was pregnant, we found out halfway through that there was MORE than one baby in there, we were having twins! I am constantly reminded of the far more God has done in my life - glory to Him forever and ever!
He writes great stories, the best stories. Give Him total control and hang on to His hand. He will hold you, guide you, direct you and totally blow you away with whatever it is!
Hold on to Him,
Amy lives with her husband and twin daughters in La La Land, also known as Southern California. She’s a stay at home mommy who spends her days coloring, cleaning the kitchen and finding joy in moments. Amy loves going anywhere with her husband and has a heart for helping women see their relationship with God as the vibrant, fun and personal adventure He created it to be!
Connect with Amy...
Email Amy at AmyMoore320@gmail.com