Kelli Thompson’s journey of faith

The hardwood floor that I lay prostrate on – crying out to God – might as well have been a gritty, dry desert floor, cracked by the relentless heat of the sun and worn by the winds of change. And the literal puddle of tears that had pooled where I lay praying was no oasis of refreshing. Instead, it represented the truth of a failed relationship that had been no more than a mirage.
My marriage wasn’t supposed to end this way. It was supposed to end at ALL!
Twelve and a half years earlier, the man who would become my husband had swept me off my feet. I fell in love with his voice before I fell in love with him. The manner in which he spoke and the timbre of his voice were so warm and inviting. I was asked my opinion of his “sound” as I listened to the audition tape he had submitted for a job at the radio station where I was working at the time. “Hire him!” I exclaimed. I wanted to meet this man who spoke so eloquently.
Right away, this man and I discovered that we had so much in common! We shared the same taste in movies, music, food, hobbies and humor. We each had solid church backgrounds, too, though, at the time we were not walking with the Lord as either of us should have been. But that did not stop me from saying yes when he knelt before me at the edge of a duck pond in a quiet little park we loved and presented me with two dozen roses in my favorite color and a request for my hand in marriage. I will never forget the two precious little senior ladies sitting nearby on a bench and how they gasped at the site and then squealed with delight when I accepted his proposal.
Our wedding was followed by a romantic cruise of the Caribbean. What could have been better than to spend those first days as husband and wife in ports of call featuring warm, white sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters, and the sights, sounds, and aromas of colorful cultures? It was perfect! But a new reality was waiting back at home and I would find it to be nothing like what I had dreamed of.
All marriages have ups and downs…high points and low points…mountaintops and valleys. Together we celebrated leaving a cramped apartment and becoming first-time homeowners. Together we mourned the loss too soon of cherished loved ones. Together we soared to new heights professionally and together we hit financial bottom with the loss of those great jobs.
The greatest joy we shared was giving our lives back to the Lordship of Christ. With that decision, our life together seemed to be rolling full speed ahead on a perfectly straight track. I was even pregnant with our son who would be born in 1998, ten years into our marriage. But then a darkness with substance seemed to overshadow us and the marriage that was on track was about to derail.
Four weeks after our son was born, I was counseled by my pastors not to divorce, but to separate “for a week or two” with the idea that we would then be able to come back together and discuss rationally what was happening to us and why, and then stand firmly side by side to reclaim our marriage. But two weeks turned into two years and the two years concluded with a divorce we each said we did not want but stubbornly waited for the other to stop.
I remember as if it were yesterday when the official document of “dissolution of marriage” arrived in the mail. I sat down on the steps of my front porch and just stared at the envelope for several minutes. With clumsy, trembling hands I finally tore it open. Twelve years of hopes and dreams had been reduced to this eight-page legal division of property and the marriage pronounced officially “dissolved”as signed and sealed by a judge of the courts. Tears fell from my face like rain.
A little more than 15 years have passed since that day. In that time I have grieved the loss of my marriage, fretted off and on about raising my son alone, struggled at times to make ends meet and was diagnosed with relapsing / remitting Multiple Sclerosis (just before Christmas in 2004). You may have a lot of questions at this point about how things could have gone so wrong, but the “how, why and who- was-to-blame” questions are not important. What’s done is done. What IS important is that there is an undeniable thread of grace that runs not only through my story, but yours, too.
Does God hate divorce? Yes. Does He despise the divorced? No. Absolutely not.
As I lay on that hardwood floor pouring out my heart to God all those years ago, anguishing over my failures and worrying I had irreparably disappointed Him, my family, and my friends, I was reminded of the undeniable truth of His Word and the unfathomable depths of His love:

Jeremiah 31: 3-4 >The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.. (His love for us is so strong that for our sakes, He did not even withhold His own son but sent Him as a ransom from sin for you and for me)
Isaiah 43: 2-3a > When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (He will never leave us or forsake us!)
1 John 1:9 > If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness… (If we confess our sins He truly is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness so that the enemy of our souls cannot use our minds as a playground to do further damage!)
Matthew 6:14 > For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (I made up my mind to forgive my ex-husband for his wrongs against me and asked also for his forgiveness. When we do this, we understand intimately in that moment that forgiveness is possibly more for us than the ones we forgive. As I forgave, God drained the poison of bitterness from my heart and I was able to move on. You can, too!)
A final note: I would be remiss if I failed to share with you that despite the pain of my past and the agony of being a single mom diagnosed with an incurable, ultimately debilitating disease, God used it all to draw me into a more deeply satisfying and fulfilling relationship with Him than I have ever known.
He has redeemed the pain of my divorce by placing me in direct community with women who are hurting. Women who can benefit from my comforting them with the same comfort I have received from Him (2nd Corinthians 1:4). What a joy it has been to reach out to them!
The M.S. served as a vehicle to share my faith with numerous doctors who were skeptics at best. God allowed me the privilege of sharing with these men of medicine right up until the day my neurologist – stunned – told me the M.S had not remitted, but had been completely arrested, as if I had never had it to begin with. Our God is so good (Romans 8:28)! Out of the ashes came an even greater testimony to His faithfulness and I share it every chance I get!
And that literal puddle of tears I cried all those years ago? Just like your tears, He holds them sacred. Psalm 56:8 > You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
You can’t hide from God and you certainly can’t outrun Him. Whether you are in the process of working through a difficult marriage in the hope of saving your relationship or your marriage has ended, God is beckoning you to throw open your arms and run into His. Healing awaits you.

Please leave a comment on how Kelli’s story has inspired and encouraged you for a chance to win the bundle shown below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

404

May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!