Once upon a time, I prayed and prayed for God to restore my marriage. I was very young when I married a budding preacher in Central Missouri. I remember going to the local VW dealer in hope of buying a VW van that would be our evangelist transportation rather than a hippie vehicle. We dreamed of making peace by preaching the gospel. Things were never right, but I was too young to understand or even know what abuse was - looking back, it was always there.
Verbal and emotional turned quickly to physical. Eventually drinking and other women followed. I was in my early twenties with two children and no education. I'd stand in line for food and clothes for my children. Pushed by my mother to divorce him and to put my children in foster care I chose the divorce but refused to let my children go anywhere but with me.
I prayed. OH, did I pray! I believed that marriage was forever. I believe that God would restore my marriage.
A few months after the divorce, he returned. I love you - I had a dramatic reconversion experience on a ball field. God had answered my prayers! We remarried and as before, immediately, I was pregnant.
Five months later with a swelling belly he took an ice scaper and beat me with it - never again did we live together as husband and wife. I still prayed. I still asked God to restore my marriage.
I somehow found the courage to go to school. Still buying food with food stamps, I'd tend to my children and then spend hours writing papers or reading for school. I did well in school. I finished a BS with 142 credit hours (more than I needed because I had a hard time deciding on a major) in 3 1/2 years. I finished just shy of an honors graduation and made the deans list for seven semesters.
As I received my degree, my belly was also swelling - I was pregnant. No, God didn't answer my prayer to restore my marriage. God gave me a much greater and better answer to my prayers, my husband of now 34 years. God gave me new hope, new life, an education, and a total of eight beautiful children.
I know this doesn't fit with most people's theology, and that's okay. However, God knew the character and the hard heart of my first husband. He knew that restoring our marriage would have just led to a life of more abuse. He freed me from that and gave me a new life.