I sat on the church pew next to my brand new husband and read what Isaiah 6:1 looked like in my Bible, “In the year that your marriage dies you will see me high and lifted up…” I blinked and looked again. It sure did say that!
Without a thought I vigorously nudged my husband with my Bible and noisily whispered that he should look! Trying to quiet me, as people were beginning to stare, he looked at the verse.
“So what?” he motioned with a flip of his hand and a shrug of his shoulders.
“Isn’t that something?”
“Shhh” he said looking around, “you’re embarrassing me.”
I pulled my Bible from him and settled down to really look at it again. It read, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up.” It had changed. I stared at the words looking for the word “marriage”, but it was gone. I knew I had seen it and as horrible as it seemed, I knew God was telling me to leave this man that I was sure I was in love with.
As we left the church I decided I was going to go straight to my dad. I had to tell someone and I had to leave my husband immediately. Daddy was the only person who could give permission for me to return to my parents’ home.
“I’m off to visit Dad.”
“Yep, right now. You go ahead home. I’ll meet you up later.”
All the way to my parents home I became more aware that God was saying I should get out of the marriage. My husband did drink a lot and I figured that when he was out with his friends he was using prostitutes, but I didn’t think he was doing anything to me physically. When I got to the house, my parents were glad to see me. I asked if I could talk to dad, so of course mother left us alone. Dad and I went back to his study. I told him I had to leave my husband.
“Why, what happened?”
I recounted my experience at church.
“I will not make a comment about that” he said “but I will say that your aunt and uncle came back from the medicine man in the village six weeks ago and said you would be home in six weeks. Your mother said while she was praying six weeks ago God told her you would be home in six weeks. Now here you are.
Answer this question. What day would you like to move back home?”
“That’s good. If you had said tomorrow or another day, I would have known you weren’t ready. Your mother & I don’t want to pressure you but we think, at 18, you are too young to be married. Go home and be ready to leave at 6:30 tonight. Your mother will be there to get you.”
When I got back home, my husband was sprawled out on the bed, totally oblivious to what was about to hit. I did it quick, “Hi, I’m going back to live with my parents.”
“What!” he leaped off the creaking iron bed.
“Yes, I’m moving back. Mother will be here at 6:30 to pick me up.”
After a mad scramble to pack my things amid his questions which he was trying to lead to an argument, I got my things together. There was no arguing from me. Somehow I didn’t feel sad.
“Do you love me?”
“Yes, I do, but I must go” I said, wondering why this peaceful, elated, great feeling of getting out, was on me. No regret, no sadness and as much as I felt I needed him, no longing.
6:30 was upon us and I almost skipped down the hill. Usually, I had to run to keep up with his long legs but this time he had to hurry to keep up with me down the ½ mile dirt road to the street. Mother was waiting in her white Renault. I hugged him goodbye. He tried to have a lingering embrace and whisper “Why?” again in my ear, but I was off.
Little did I know that it would take 29 rocky years of pain & anger & sorrow, before that marriage truly died. Then I did indeed see the Lord, high and lifted up.