By: Tara Schloss
Coming from a very broken childhood, I felt like Cinderella locked away…dreaming of a life that I envisioned one day. I had a radical encounter with Christ at the age of twenty, and I felt like that one dance with my Prince Charming wooed me and awakened my heart, giving me passion to
live and stirred my affection for the gospel. My prince was Jesus Christ and He had rescued me from a life of pain and brokenness, giving me new life and purpose. I met the love of my life and we began a journey of full-time ministry and marriage, along with four precious children together.
I was living passionately my dreams as I got to stand side by side with a man of God
that I deeply loved, using my gifts for God’s glory and kingdom and being the mother of
four beautiful angels as God’s gift that I never deserved. Marriage was sacred to me and I valued it immensely. I would often disciple women with these famous words, “Your marriage is like your salvation; there is no way out.” In other words, divorce is never an option. I was blessed among women divinely. I felt like I was living in my God-given purpose.
Then one cold December rainy morning, the lights went out. I discovered that my earthly Prince Charming had been and was currently in an affair. If betrayal could be felt physically, I was stabbed in my heart and the bleeding wouldn’t stop. The months to follow were crippling, and I was trying to keep a smile on my face, keep hope in my eyes, and take every punch and blow gracefully.
My then-husband confessed and professed his love to me, saying that he was willing to do anything to make things right and he asked for my forgiveness. I stood next to him as he shared with the congregation that had been entrusted in our care. It got ugly.. hurt upon hurt. And as I tried to grieve my own pain, I found myself constantly attempting to bear the burdens of others who were hurt by this. I realize I was attempting to do only what Christ could, and that is absorb everyone’s hurt so that they would not be hurt. I felt that by faith, others would see a testimony.
I moved in faith to Texas, and left everything to attend a program my husband asked me to attend. I willingly went because I desperately wanted to see beauty from the ashes that then made up my life. I always wanted my life to be used and to love like Christ had loved me. But I had no idea that this would be my story. After months of intense counsel, my husband told me he wasn’t in Texas for the same reasons that I was. He stated that he didn’t want our marriage, and that he felt hopeless, which led to him leaving us there. I was alone in a state with no one but my children and they had no idea what hurricane had rocked our world. I became physically sick and peace was nowhere to be found.
I made it back to California with my husband present but we had no home, money, car, etc. Twenty-two days later on my son’s seventh birthday, the love of my life struck what felt like a death blow and said he wanted a divorce. Those words pierced my heart like a death sentence. I literally cried out, “Lord, I will do anything to fight the demons of darkness that have turned my husband’s heart from you and the wife of his youth.” I had been convinced that my devotion to Christ and my unwavering faith would all be ingredients to win his wayward heart back home and I would selflessly be the first one to throw him a party upon his return.
On June 23, 2016, my thirty-fifth birthday, I said, “I need a miracle.” I received a conference call from Dhati and Angie Lewis, who had gotten word of my situation because of the mess of the church plant that had been utterly destroyed. There had been no one to take the burden of shepherding a broken woman with four small kids, but the Lord in His sovereignty sent me to Atlanta with divorce papers that my beloved husband had served me days before. I was lost and afraid and even asked God to grant me the mercy of letting me go to heaven to be with Him. I couldn’t separate my husband’s actions from God’s character and felt like the Lord allowed me to be thrown into the trash. I forgot He had purchased me with His own blood, His scars wrote my worth, His covenant was assured, and he didn’t change His mind in His declaration for me.
Though seasons changed, I faced my fears and became courageous as the Lord sent His voice and love through His people. I know the tactics of the enemy were to distort my identity, cause me to doubt God’s goodness or care, and most importantly convince me that His love wasn’t for me. Love is costly, while lust is cheap. Lust takes, while love gives. Lust is based on feeling, while love is a choice and a death so that I could really love. I had to let go while learning to trust Him. I realized that the dance with my heavenly Father at the age of twenty was a life-long dance and that I was safe in His arms. For a woman to stand on God’s word regarding her worth is a dangerous thing. I’m more secure in God’s covenant love than I have ever been. Although God grieves, God rebuilds. He is my strong tower. Nothing can separate me from His love and promises. If I lost the things that I treasured the most, I have learned to trust Him more.
The Lord gave me a son that was born on the same day as my wedding anniversary. My son’s name means “the God who heals.” I’m often reminded when I look at His face that God gave something so good and heals. I don’t know what tomorrow brings and I don’t have to because I’ve learned to trust My Maker and His care. My eternal Father and Saviour has kept His vows and promises to me. I’m eternally grateful for that security!