Stuck - Matt's Story
A Season of Stuck
I want to start by saying that there are a number of people who see this that know my ex-wife and some that grew up with her. Those that celebrated with us on our wedding day, and a few that walked with us in the season leading up to our separation. It’s very easy to direct blame, but I want to be clear, it’s sin that ripped our relationship apart. No one person is fully responsible because we are both fallible. Whether it’s sin we committed during our relationship against the other, or just the nature we inherited through Adam, sin and depravity are the reason for our split. To all of you that have walked with either of us throughout this process, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. The love you’ve shared with me is immeasurable and God has used each of you as an enormous blessing in my life.
I got married in 2013. We had big plans: buy a warm inviting home, have a couple of kids, and get involved with church. Yet, not too long after, she began to question her faith in God. One day, she came to the conclusion that she didn't believe. From there, everything our relationship was built on unraveled. She realized this wasn’t the life she wanted anymore. Today, I’m closing in on 3 years since the day she left.
The home that was intended to be a warm, inviting space to bless others became a space of stress and division. Even today, endless “mights" and “maybes” linger. I continue to be stuck in the "what-if’s". If I'm honest, this season has been the most frustrating and heartbreaking experience of my life.
The season has affected me significantly, as everyday seems to be met with a battle against depression to some degree. I’m glad to say it’s nothing like it use to be, but it’s still a battle. I still have days where I just don’t want to wake up. I don’t want to face the day because it can feel so impossible to accomplish anything.
Throughout this season, I constantly find myself questioning God. Why is this taking so long? What is your purpose in this? I can desire, plan, and wish for change, but it’s God that does the moving. He moves things forward when He knows the time is right and my heart is where it needs to be. In the midst of all my questions, He reminds me to be diligent in the moment with the things I can be, and to wait on His perfect timing.
He has been a constant pillar in the tears and frustrations. When I’m most worn, He comes beside me and reminds me He has a plan for this. To try to sum all this whole experience in a few words, It’s been an experience of sorrow and hopelessness to the lowest depths, and joyous laughter and love that far exceed the expectations I ever thought I could have in life.
1 Timothy 1:12-17 put words to one of the biggest focus’ God has placed on my heart in this season. I can get so wrapped up in my frustrations and my perspective.
God, in his mercy and grace, likes to take those moments to remind me of my sin and my brokenness. To take it a step further, He then likes to ask me why I trust Him so little with this. Despite my brokeness, all the sin that I am so aware I have committed and do commit, He gave me mercy. When I acknowledge that I am the one who’s committed the most egregious acts, those being my acts of defiance against God, Jesus gets all the glory because despite my sin, He saw fit to save and redeem me.
He’s always chasing after me and chastening me because He loves me so dearly. While I can’t see the end of this season yet, He never stops loving me, even when I neglect and sin against Him. When I’m mad at him for drawing this season out, He draws close. It’s the messiest moments that truly define someone’s love, and because I constantly fail Him, I experience nothing less than a constant, humbling draw to God.
It’s the messiest moments that truly define someone’s love
Another thing God revealed to me in this season was how deep my desire is for children. I was excited at the thought of kids before, but didn't fully grasp the weight until 2018 came and I had no hope of having children. Tears streaming down my face on the drive to work as I see kids and parents waiting for the bus was when I realized how deep that longing in my heart was.
After realizing the value kids have in my life, I actually found His call for me to join the Middle School Youth Group. I truly believe that wouldn’t have happened without my life circumstances. I can't begin to speak to the thankfulness I have to God for the relationships that have developed since joining that team. It has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.
This season has taken a toll on me in a lot of ways. One way in particular is that it’s a lot harder to believe that I can be in a deep relationship again. I believe God can move in that, but, the truth is I fear I can’t measure up and I won’t be worthy. I’m not looking for another relationship right now, but that’s always been a fear of mine and unfortunately those roots have dug deeper.
While I will continue to struggle in my brokenness and depravity, I’m not defined by it. I am defined by Jesus and His sanctification in me, and that’s been a beautiful lesson that I hope will continue to shape my life moving forward. While I’ve always been aware of this, being stuck for what feels like a lifetime some days, I’ve been given the opportunity to see it in a much different light. I have had to rely and focus on Him in everything, both the good and the bad.
While I will continue to struggle in my brokenness and depravity, I’m not defined by it.
It’s also been a season that really taught me the importance of prayer. I was always one to say “God knows everything, prayer seems pretty pointless”, but prayer is for us, not God. We need to form a relationship with God, and we do that by communicating to Him and reading His Word. I can look over my life to so many instances where He’s used prayer as an invitation to see His heart, or as an invitation to see His blessings of others through my heart.
As I’ve reflected over this season of my life, I can see God hasn’t wasted the years I’ve been stuck. Time and time again He allows me to get to a point of humbling so I draw closer to His heart. It’ll be a beautiful day when I look back and see the full picture of how He used this season to make me more like Him.
I can see God hasn’t wasted the years I’ve been stuck.