Today’s guest post for “Stories of Redeemed Marriages” is from Ian & Megan from Manchester – England
We learnt the hard way that adultery doesn’t only happen in ‘bad’ marriages. We had what I, and everyone else believed to be a really good marriage: we were the lovey-dovey couple, we went to Church, and we even liked each other! We foolishly thought we didn’t need to set up boundaries because we believed that would never happen to us.
We both desired a family and, since we both come from big families, assumed that this would just happen. After five years of nothing happening, we had lots of tests and were eventually told that it was highly unlikely that we would conceive naturally. Our diagnosis – unexplained infertility.
This diagnosis (if you can call it that!) hit us both hard. I ran to God, hurting but confident that He was able to give us a miracle baby. I didn’t know, but Ian was angry with God, he stayed angry and started to try and run from God. During this time, Ian made some poor financial decisions, but hid them, thinking he could fix it without worrying me.
In 2011, after six and a half years of marriage, during which God had shown his goodness to us time and time again, our marriage ended. Ian, weighed down by guilt and feeling trapped by the financial mess he’d created, revealed that he’d been living a double life and was head over heels in love with a woman from work. After two weeks of limbo where he was deciding whether to choose me or the other woman, he sent my Dad to break my heart on his behalf, and that was it. Our marriage was over, dead, gone.
It was a complete shock, I’d trusted him implicitly, and our marriage wasn’t even ‘bad’ before this. The pain was indescribable. I felt like I couldn’t tread the journey ahead of me but God told me clearly (three times!) to cling on to Him, so I did. I clung on the only way I knew how – praising and worshipping Him, reading His word and being in Church. He strengthened me, He provided for me, He comforted me, He spoke to me, He gave me ridiculous peace, and He supplied me with a superabundance of hope and grace.
During our separation, I was being monitored by my doctor twice a week for two months because he was confident I was going to “fall into depression”, but there was no falling – God held me up! God also gave me ridiculous grace when speaking to Ian, and He spoke to me a lot about forgiveness, so I chose right then to forgive Ian. This transformed me, but the situation didn’t improve. It got even worse as Ian moved in with the other woman.
I regularly prayed a simple prayer for Ian “God, I pray that you won’t give Ian’s soul any rest until he’s back with you.” It looked like Ian was enjoying his new, carefree, head in the sand life, but I carried on praying it, totally confident that this was the will of God too.
I craved being near my husband, I missed him, and I felt like myself around him. In order to satisfy this craving, I chose to endure one-sided cruelty from him. When God said (and wise counsel said after I didn’t listen) to have nothing to do with Ian, initially I had a surge of anger. I felt it was counter-productive, that Ian would forget me, but I did it. We only spoke about house and bills via email; this was the end of my self-torture.
God knew the desire of my heart was for us to be reconciled, but I trusted that He knew what was best for me, and whatever happened, He would use all this mess for good. My initial prayers of desperation and agony changed to asking God to bring us back together, but that ultimately – His will be done.
Suddenly, after three months, Ian started to change as he came to his senses. God spoke to him in the middle of his mess, and that day he made himself single, homeless and jobless without any guarantee from me that I would take him back. I sent him to his parents.
We did start the journey of reconciliation, and God told us both at the start that He would resurrect our marriage into something beautiful, and that we would have children in time. At that point, our marriage was as far away from beautiful as could be. The picture we had was of a garden that had been bulldozed to nothing, and then nuked just to make sure it was all dead, but God is faithful! There were many times we had to remind ourselves of this promise, but God was with us and guided our steps.
Ian recommitted his life to God! We started attending and got rooted in our Church, and agreed that we were going to do our marriage God’s way. What we heard and learnt, we started doing, and in doing so, started sowing new, good seeds into our new marriage. We had a rocky start, and at times it was really hard, but God confirmed what he wanted for us – oneness, unity, togetherness, so we didn’t give up.
We’re unspeakably thankful for all that God has done, He healed our hearts, and did what He said he would. It was so worth the hard work, we get to enjoy this beautiful resurrected marriage that seemed so far away and at times impossible in 2011. Our lives and marriage have been totally transformed!
About Ian & Megan:
They live in Manchester – England, where they lead a life-group in their rapidly growing Church, they also serve on the kids team there. They’re believing for fulfillment of their promise for children – God said it, so He’ll do it! They have a huge passion for people, especially couples, those in hurting marriages and families. Their desire is that their testimony would bring hope to all marriages and glory to God!