Faith, Grace, Hope, prayer, promises

The War Room

Have you seen the new movie War Room?

It’s an inspiring story of how God interceded in a broken family in response to the wife’s fervent prayers. It is a call to all Christians to fight our battles in the heavenly realm, to fall on our knees in prayer and let God take over.

When I saw the movie, I was captivated. I was encouraged. I was inspired to set up my own personal war room in the safe room of our house, tucked safely away in the back of my closet.

But I also walked away somewhat sad, confused. I walked out of the theater wondering about God and his ways. I walked away with possibly more questions than answers.

You see, I fought for my marriage in the war room. My war room was the streets of our neighborhood where I walked daily. While I walked I prayed. Prayed for repentance. Prayed for our marriage. Prayed for reconciliation. Prayed for my husband’s freedom from addictions. Prayed that my husband would flee temptation. I prayed for everything I could possibly think to pray.

I begged God to intercede. I asked him to heal our marriage, give us a new ministry beyond anything I could conceive. I listened for his voice, his direction.

And yet my marriage failed. My husband did not repent but instead chose to walk in his own self-centered ways…a direction completely opposite what God would have for him, for us.

Did I see answered prayers? Absolutely! I saw the struggle on my husband’s face. I could see the strain of living a dichotomy, even though I didn’t know that was the problem. I saw God make him so ill at times that he couldn’t function, times where I know he was supposed to meet her. I saw him protect us by removing him from the ministry before the truth came to light, preventing us from losing our job and our only source of income. I saw him bring the truth to light, forcing my husband out into the open.

I saw so many answered prayers during that time in our lives. I give God all the credit for the string of activities that led to the revelation of his affair. I will never deny how God’s hand was all over the situation from start to finish.

And, I have seen so many answered prayers since our divorce. I’ve seen him take my kids, heal their hearts. I’ve seen him create empathy, strength, courage in my kids. I’ve seen him answer my prayers to create a ministry for me, to give purpose to my pain. I’ve seen God give me a new life, resurrecting my life from the death of adultery and divorce.

And yet, I did not see him save my marriage. I did not see my husband fall to his knees in repentance. I did not see my husband change into the husband and father that God created him to be, the one portrayed in the movie.

Instead, I was faced with a hard-hearted man who continues (to this day) to blame it all on me, refusing to take responsibility for his actions.

Was God able to answer my prayers? I have to answer with a resounding yes! Did God draw my husband to himself? I have to answer yes, I saw God working on him.

And yet, here I am, divorced. My marriage was not saved. My husband has not reconciled. I have moved on with my life.

God has answered my prayers, though. He has given me a ministry far greater than I ever expected. He has increased my faith in ways I never dreamed possible. He has grown me and my kids into God-loving, God-honoring souls. He has created a family—minus a dad—that loves deeply, laughs often, lives abundantly.

As I reflect on the movie, I find myself wondering why God didn’t answer my prayers for my marriage. Hear me out: I am happy, content, blessed. I don’t desire reconciliation with my ex-husband. I feel as if I have been set free from bondage, a bondage I didn’t even know I was in.

But, couldn’t God have set me free by keeping my marriage together, changing our hearts to be more like him, giving us the marriage of our dreams with each other?

I’ll be honest. I don’t have a lot of answers to this dilemma. I am grappling with the questions surrounding unanswered prayers, unfulfilled promises.

Here’s what I do know. There’s a place where God’s sovereignty collides with man’s free will. God will never force us to follow him. He will draw us to him. He will woo us. He will give us every opportunity to return to him, to repent, to seek his forgiveness. And yet, if a man (or woman) chooses to continue walking in sin, refusing to surrender, God will not force himself on us. That’s where my husband was. His free will won out.

And yet, in God’s sovereignty, he did not allow me to be destroyed. All of those prayers I prayed for my marriage—prayers for financial protection, freedom from bondage, increased faith, obedience, spiritual growth—have been answered in my life. He has blessed me beyond my greatest imagination, given me a ministry far bigger and better than anything I could have conceived. And, I believe I’ve only seen a small fraction of his plans for me.

Even beyond where I am today. I believe that he is preparing a man for me, a man who will fulfill all of my dreams for a husband. I believe somewhere out there, God is working in a man in response to my fervent prayers. I believe somewhere out there is the man who will step in, become a father to my children, love me as Christ loved the church. Somewhere out there, my prayers are being answered.

God’s ways are higher than our ways, and I become more aware of that each and every day. I am learning simply to submit, to do my best to follow as closely as I can, to trust him with my heart. I am learning to hang on for a crazy, adventurous ride. I am learning that just when I think I understand how God works, I realize that I will never understand this side of history.

If you, like me, have been in the war room and been disappointed, please don’t give up. Look around. Ask God to reveal where your prayers have been answered. Ask him to show you his ways. Ask him to reveal himself to you. Ask him to create the heart of a warrior inside of you.

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44 thoughts on “The War Room”

  1. My story to a tee! I think I’ll skip this movie, thanks for sharing again.

    “Trust in The Lord with all your heart.” Prov. 3:5

    >

  2. Really am thankful for just reading this. The purpose for the pain, as your words sunk inside me, made me aware of this truth. I have just come off of a fast, and after I spent the greater part of my day with meditation, word reading and logging, I am left feeling something a wee bit short of defeated. There was no ‘apparent’ victory moments, there were no ‘faith’ leadings… But there were 2 incidents this morning, as I was driving in my old neighborhood that brought me to tears: I looked around the familiar scape and thought how I missed living there,, and then I thought of the reason that I had to flee. I was able to lift that person up in genuine love to the Father. As I turned the corner, I passed by another apartment I had lived in, and thought, “oh what a tumultuous time in my life!”, and the Lord entered my thoughts with my son, a believer who is an addict,, “your prayers are being accredited to his moment of release”, He said. I’m not sure if I even feel the need to see this movie because for me, I would probably try an “alike” formula to prayer. I’m sticking with Isa. 58, and will wait on Him.
    Thank you for sharing transparently.

    1. Daniel says, “The moment you humbled yourself and began to pray, I heard and answered…” Your prayers are heard. The answers have been sent. One day it will be a glorious unfolding. Hang in there!

  3. I am invited to a shower honoring my son and dil. My former husband’s new wife is going to be there. How do I get through this? Can you give me some help? Thanks. I don’t have to go, but it will mean the end of relationship with my son.

    Happy Connecting. Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 5

    1. Just my two cents. Definitely go. Honor your relationship with your son. Keep yourself busy with someone you enjoy talking to. If there will be no one there that fits that description, then bring a friend. Leave early if you need to but I would encourage going. It will be tough. It will be painful but you will have no regrets.

    2. No easy answers. All I can say is put your kids first. Be the bigger person. Put a smile on your face, celebrate your kids. Then, go home and cry all you need to. Be the bigger person and walk with integrity. Hold your head high knowing you are strong, courageous, worthy. Know that you are loved and in my prayers!

  4. What an encouraging word. I’ve had a few of those unanswered prayers and still look for the reason. Thanks for your transparency. Sometimes we feel guilty for wanting the reason. It’s not the lack of an answer or reason that bothers me so as much as the feeling a God-forsakenness in the waiting. Still we trust, hope, believe. Waiting is certainly where faith and hope collide. I love the quote “Faith is the conviction that He can and the hope that He will.” Praying today for those who wait in faith believing….

    1. Thank you, Rhonda. Faith and waiting. I’ve been building faith in the waiting for several years now. It’s been an incredible journey. But–and I couldn’t have said it better–there’s a sense of God-forsakenness in the waiting some days, many days. We must cling to his promises, believing that he is always faithful, always true. God bless!

  5. Bev, just pray! I Know it sounds simple but the first time I was in that situation, I prayed hard. My ex is just like Dena’s and I remind myself how shameless he is which gets me through moments like facing him. Pray your heart out to God. Tell Him honestly how you feel and see what happens. God is faithful and he does amazing things for the ones he loves!

  6. Thanks for the reminding me that I am not alone in this life journey — other women have walked the same path as me. I prayed for over 15 years for my former husband to come back to God and had to leave this summer when so much was revealed to me. I have seen God’s continual faithfulness in so many ways and sometimes I stand in awe of what he has done in my life. I stumbled across your blog when trying to make sense my divorce. Thanks for writing; I appreciate it.

    1. You are not alone! There are so many of us who fought for and lost our marriages…but have the promise of a beautiful new, abundant life! Our prayers have been heard and answered, just not the way we expected. Welcome to this journey! God bless!

  7. Wow!! I read the post and cried. After 20 years together, I too prayed and fasted and prayed some more for over 3 years. My marriage wasn’t saved. I have asked all those questions and more. I just wished that after 4 1/2 years I would be at least financially stable. But my life is still very hard and lonely. I too have seen some big prayers answered. I will skip the movie though. I’m trying to forget, not be reminded of all the losses.

    1. Oh, Georgia! It’s a hard path, but an amazing one! If we can keep our eyes on all the blessings, it helps us keep perspective. In this day, it’s just tough to be a single income family. Even though God has provided huge increases and met my every need financially, things are still tough. It has taught me dependence on him, but I still find myself fretting over finances. And the loneliness? It’s still hard. I think the closer we get to fulfillment of our dreams, the harder it becomes to keep pushing through. But, he’s always there, always providing just enough encouragement to pull us through. Hang in there, sweet friend! Know that you are not alone!! We WILL make it!

  8. How blessed to know we are not alone.
    Lonely at times ( most of the time lately) but knowing that HE walks along side me, in front to guide me, behind to catch me when I fall. My former husband (of 25 yrs) continues to try to hurt me. We have been divorced for 10. He blindsided me with divorce, wanted his own life. Left so much wreckage in the lives of my daughters and myself. I pray for him but lately I feel so overwhelmed and find myself getting angry that I can not pray for him so I asked my friend Joanne to do that for me, to pray for my former husband. ( she just got divorced after 35 yrs) . I want to embrace the day. To see the look of peace on Pope Francis’s face to remind me that JESUS loves me., “He is my helper, do not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews

    1. Sometimes it is overwhelming. And lonely. We all experience it. I, too, am in a period of fighting loneliness, so tired of this season. So, don’t become down on yourself for going through a season of struggle. God knows your heart. He knows you desire to praise him in all of the devastation. And, he rewards those whose hearts are perfect toward him.

  9. I never commit on anything. But, this is a big one for me. When I tell you War Room was my story I am telling you it was. The mistress even looks like my former spouses mistress. I also was held up by gun point and given no support. The only differences are my husband and I got along fine and I thought everything was fine and my story ended in divorce. I just started this journey in January but I did have my own War Room but like many of you my war was already over before I knew I was in a battle. But God is faithful and the principles in War Room are for everyone. Surrender yourself to God and pray for him to intercede then trust him with it. Live victoriously. Celebrate Christ joyfully. Remember He already won the war. Lastly, I encourage you to go see the movie and remember no one had a script to go by and everyone handles things differently but if you earnest sought God and petitioned Him for your marriage then you fought the good fight and in the end of your life Christ wins.

    1. Amen and amen! The prayers were not wasted. God continues to answer, pouring out blessings for your faithfulness. It’s a hard road, but one blessed beyond anything you can imagine.

    2. I saw this movie yesterday and I walked out of there in AWE! I prayed for God to save my marriage but at the end of the day, it was His plan being fulfilled in my life. One has to get to the place where even if God does not answer your prayer the way you want it to be answered, He is sovereign! He knows all and His plan for your life will be carried out. Today, I life a happy, fulfilled life and continue to rely on the grace of God to get me through my days knowing full well that I am not deserving of it but his unending, relentless love for me that he continues to pursue me! And remembering that I am His before anyone else!

      1. Shadrach, meshach, and abednego said, “Our God is able to save us, but even if he doesn’t…” It’s hard to be in the “even if he doesn’t” category, but he is still sovereign. He will work all things for good. He is my all!

  10. Thank you so much for your open and honest posts. I’ve found myself in almost exactly the same situation, asking the same questions, having prayed in exactly the same way for my marriage, and finding my prayers and pleadings on behalf of my former husband to have been to no avail. My marriage hasn’t been saved, and my husband hasn’t been transformed.

    Yet, I have found God to be completely faithful and the children and I have seen His hand at work in such tangible ways that it has sometimes taken our breath away, and even caused my daughter to give her life to Jesus – a powerful answer to prayer!

    The pain of rejection and betrayal has been truly awful. Sometimes I thought I would be overwhelmed by it. I’ve tried to make sense of how come two Christian people can find themselves in this position if Christ is supposed to be at the centre of their marriage, but it makes no sense. Yet, here I am!

    Would I like to be still married? You bet! Would I have missed the opportunity I’ve had to experience the powerful and loving intervention by God, into my broken heart and shattered life? Not for one second. It’s been a miracle-filled privilege.

    I don’t know what the future holds for the children and I, but I know that God holds us in the palm of His hand, and tucks us under the shadow of His wings, and that gives me confidence and hope that He has a good plan for our lives. Perhaps there is a Godly man being prepared to become husband and father figure to our family, perhaps God has other plans? Either way it’s Him that I want to follow, and to honour with everything I do. It’s the only reasonable response I can give to the one who gave everything for me.

    1. My testimony exactly! Would I trade what I’ve gained to have my marriage back? Never in a million years! I’d go through the hurt and pain again to have the sweetness of my Savior! God is so good! And he is raising up an army, an army that has been in the “even if he doesn’t” category that will proclaim his faithfulness despite what we lost! Glad to be in that army with you!

  11. Just came across your blog and thankful to find a few sisters in the same faith boat. Recently divorced after near 12 years plus in the real warroom, fought a good fight but the war was won in a different way. My daughters are hurt as I covered his unfaithfulness for 5 years to my own loss of health. God is also merciful to the afflicted. My Extended family are in the judgement seat over me, but I know Christ has set me free. Thank you for sharing. Praying my children will thrive and grow stronger through it all. I didn’t see the warroom yet as I spent 7 years in that intense prayer and know that God works in other ways. Struggled with my family telling me that I need that movie. No, I have Jesus. 🙂

  12. Thank you for sharing. This was me, I was reading my own journey through your words. Inspired and moving on #PROUD2BDESTINY

  13. I just happened to come across this blog and this is also my story. My husband is in an affair and I have found out that he has been in several affairs through the course of our marriage. I thought I heard God specifically say he promised restoration for this marriage so I had been standing on that promise and believing God for the miracle. But my husband is also a sex addict and is non repentant. He continues to blame me for everything. The Lord assures me that he is walking beside me. Divorce proceedings are in the works and although I have begged God the answer seems to be NO. Sometimes the loneliness is unbearable and the pain excruciating. I know all of you have felt it. It is truly a journey that I am walking alone with my God. Down the road I am playful that God will show me a purpose for this pain. Ladies please pray for me as I navigate through this difficult road and that God see me safely to the other side…..
    Melinda

    1. He will give purpose to your pain! I am amazed every day at how full my life is. I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. Hang in there. He will faithfully see you through!

  14. Its been just over a year since he ended the marriage. Not quite 4 months since the divorce. 20 years together, 14 years of marriage and just 10 months from discovery of emails to my life ruined.

    Like this lady’s post, I was in a co-dependent relationship with my husband. He isn’t gay but the addictions are similar although worse in some ways as I had to participate (I can’t tell you, it is shameful). But it being my second marriage, I believed that I had to do EVERYTHING I could to keep my marriage going. I prayed, gave up praying and tried it my way, went back to God and prayed again. In the last 4 years, I finally entered the warroom and began to pray consistently.

    But in the end, I lost the war. Two weeks after he told me it was over and he was choosing her, the woman he now believed would fulfil his dreams, I tried to commit suicide.

    Since then, I have clung to God, gone on missions with a missionary organisation, fought the desire to make a second attempt and fought the temptation not to self -harm anymore (something that began 18months before the marriage died).

    God has spoken to me about my future and it is exciting. He has given me an amazing experience with the missions team, He has given me words and promises, prophecies for my future, my healing etc.

    Yet one of my big hurts is that He never answered my prayers to save my marriage – even when during prayer times He would encourage me to press in with the prayers.

    I keep moving forward, I stop cutting, I relapse. I try to embrace this new life I was handed that I never asked for. My plans are to head back into the mission field next year when I have got some money behind me (currently working to raise funds). Meantime, the man that shattered my life just seems to go from triumph to triumph in his life. Everyone has had to bend to his will, how this new life will be with his new woman. We are all paying the price and he now has a promotion and everything seems to be going his way.

    This blog is great because it lets me know that I am not alone. Whilst I don’t always feel the depth of faith that you ladies do, I cling to God because, in all honesty, where else would I, could I, go? If there is not God, there is no hope and those pills and the knife regain their temptation. But where there is God, there is always hope, even on the days I don’t feel it. I am alive because God rescued me, He has told me my purpose. But I am stiill walking the path of woundedness and I long for the day I don’t wake up in emotional pain anymore.

    God bless you ladies, let’s keep it real and encourage one another to keep holding on. It is hard, it is tough and until you’ve been there, no other person can really grasp it but God can. He does. We cling to Him, our Rock.

    Blessings.

    1. You may have lost this battle, but you will never lose the war with God on your side! He has an amazing future for you, full of promise and purpose! It is through our brokenness that God does an amazing work in U.S.–opening doors to do an amazing work through us. Cling to him. Let him change you, heal you. Let him have his way. You will never regret it.

  15. Touched by your testimony….I have not seen the movie and wont. I’m in the same situation. I’m doing all the praying, fighting for our marriage, standing, believing, crying and he refuses to do anything for he has nothing to change. I just dont know whether to continue to hang on or not.
    6 years now…God’s blessings to everyone…

    1. Thank you, Pat. Making that decision is truly the hardest, most gut-wrenching decision I have ever had to make. There are no easy answers. It’s as if you are giving up on God. But, I truly believe that God sometimes looks down and sees our bondage, our faithful praying, and our spouse’s hardened heart. And he set us free. Praying that God gives you clarity and direction. God bless.

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