By Christy Kirtlan
When I was 36 years old, my lawyer/banker husband came home and told me he didn’t love me anymore and that he wanted out of our 14-year marriage. We had 7-year-old identical twin girls, a beautiful home in Tucson and what looked like a pretty good life. I was faithful and a devoted follower of Christ, active and employed in my church and raising our girls to know and love Jesus.
He was not.
He moved out, I stayed in our home and tried to maintain a sense of normalcy. First, the roof leaked. Then the dog went through the French screen doors. Then one of the girls had a 9 month battle with strep (found out her twin was a carrier!) and ultimately had a tonsillectomy. Oh, and my car blew up.
When it rains, it pours, right? It felt like my life was imploding! It seemed like everywhere I turned, I bumped into trouble. Chaos. Frustration. Feelings of inadequacy, wondering what I did wrong. Trying to explain to little girls that Daddy loves them, when Daddy’s not there or reaching out to them at all. This was not the life I envisioned when I was pregnant with these precious babies. I lost a lot of weight because the food I ate did not stay with me.
Jesus tells us many times in Scripture that we have an enemy. He seeks to steal, kill and destroy. Steal my joy and my life as I knew it, kill my spirit and destroy my faith. I confided in my friends at church along with my two best friends from the Mothers of Twins Club, and they rallied around me in prayer. My mom and my sister in Ohio were in constant touch with me, praying for us and offering any help they could. My sister flew out to stay with me for a few days. I cried in the shower so the girls didn’t hear me and begged God to protect them from this evil called divorce. The enemy was running rampant in my home, but an army of prayer warriors stood in the gap for me.
Here’s the thing: we all have situations that disrupt our lives. As pastors’ families, we really do have a target on us, and Satan likes nothing better than trying to destroy a pastor’s family. He will use infidelity, pornography and other addictions, our children and their shenanigans, and even our sex lives to accomplish his evil desires: distraction, division and destruction. We have to remember the spiritual battles that are taking place and fight them with the only weapon that works!
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in Me, you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 Peter 4:12 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.”
A handyman from my church fixed the roof and the screens. The church secretary helped me with the girls through the strep/tonsillectomy, and when the pastor heard that my car had blown up, he showed up with the keys to the church van and took my car for repairs. He returned my car with the receipt a few days later, saying, “Someone at the church wanted to bless you, so it’s paid in full.” The pastor and church secretary sat with me at the hospital during my daughter’s tonsillectomy. My cousin in Los Angeles sent me airline tickets for the girls and I to visit for a long weekend to be refreshed with family. I put the house on the market and it sold within a week (in 1996!) and sold above the asking price! My mom and sister found a new home for us in Ohio and Mom sent us airline tickets to come home. Several months after returning home to Ohio, I participated in a Divorce Care group at my new church.
I met a young man with two little girls, suffering from his wife’s infidelity and divorce. Over time, God healed our hearts and brought us together. God made me a pastor’s wife! (Joel 2:25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…”)
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” And v.23-24 “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”
I know our lives are difficult and often chaotic and seems like we’re fighting a losing battle…but….
The battle belongs to the Lord. Stand firm, sisters!