A Personal Update: Things Have Been Better!

It is with a very heavy heart that I find myself writing this today.

The last few months have been without a doubt the hardest of my life.

About 7 months ago Sarah informed me that she was really struggling in our marriage and wasn’t very happy. She felt that we were very different and fundamentally incompatible.

I personally felt very differently. While I could see our differences and problems we had in our marriage, I ultimately saw them as something that we could work on especially given we were still relatively newly-wed.

I believed we could learn to turn our differences into strengths, learn to compromise healthily and that the negatives in our marriage were far outweighed by the positives.

In March we started to see a marriage counsellor and that built substantially on my hope for the marriage.

The counselling had a profound impact on me as an individual and I feel like I have personally never been healthier, both emotionally and spiritually!

Unfortunately Sarah didn’t have the same response to the counselling and doesn’t want to work on things. This came to a head last month when she told me that she wanted a divorce.

Obviously this is a very hard thing for me to accept. On every level I think we have something amazing and something that is worth fighting for. And I have done nothing but fight hard to make this work for the last 7 months.

However the burden of freedom is I can only work on myself and my side of the relationship. I can’t make Sarah change her mind or work on our relationship.

I could go into much more detail and I’m sure in time I will talk about things I have learned through this process and how I am doing. However as it stands I wanted to let people know what was going on.

While I don’t agree with Sarah’s decision I do honour her choice and ask that you as a community do as well. This has not been a rash decision on her part. She has thought long and hard about her choice and I can see where she is coming from in many ways. This has obviously been a very difficult thing for her as well!

I have been through a really tough period over the last few months but I’m finally in a place where I’m doing better and better every day as I continue to grow in who in am in Christ and receive His love and peace. While this has never been an option I would have considered I have perfect peace, and even joy, as I look to the future and I eagerly expect God to turn all things to good.

I have relocated to Sale in the UK to be with close friends and a really great church community that can help me on this journey.

I will be continuing on in ministry. You may have noticed I have been a lot less consistent over the last few months in producing content. This was because I have wanted to be focused on the marriage and then in turn needed time to grieve the loss of Sarah who was my best friend as well as my wife.

I am at the time of writing this in a much better place personally than I’ve ever been and so feel it would be foolish to allow something completely out of my hands to stop me doing what I feel God put me on this planet to do.

Again I appreciate your support and prayers as I transition through this all. It’s not an easy thing to be walking through and I need all the help and support I can get!

Over the years I’ve built a great community of people who are Christ-centric in their lives, they walk in grace and love. Because of that I know you will all love me well and support me through this.

There will always be those who will use this situation to tarnish the message we stand for. The grace of God, His goodness and our perfection in Him.

My situation is terrible – it really is – but it doesn’t change anything I preach! I’d ask you all to just as fervently embrace the good news of the gospel and allow it to saturate your lives. Honestly without the comfort and grace of God I have no idea where I’d be today! It hasn’t caused this situation but it will bring me through it and into a more abundant life.

Thanks for reading this and again, thanks for your love, support and prayers for both of us at this time.

God is good.

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77 Comments

  1. My Dear Brother in Christ
    I’m at loss for words..I’m sure the others will echo the same.I can only imagine the pain.I wish I had some sage advice to help you cope.All I can offer is something you already know,but that kind of loss can blur the vision,so here it is.The one Person that can comfort,ease the pain,and pick you back up again, resides in you,dear one.Grace abounds.You both have my prayers.

    • Well said I echo Leas s sentiments!
      Everybody has “their cross” to bear. When ? which ? is the question. But not how?
      With Jesus in our hearts, we can cope with almost anything.( sometimes he sends
      Us earthly help as well)
      Because Jesus suffered for us, he knows( not just physical and mental abuse and
      OUR SINS on his soul)
      I am alive today because of Gods Grace upon me.
      To comfort you we pray for you PHIL!

  2. Much love to you Phil…nothing I’d say Will be of good comfort, bec I can never imagine your pain…but I know, His Grace is sufficient..His love s greater than any one else.

  3. Hi Phil, I am praying for you brother. I too went through a terrible break up last month. Though I was not yet married, I surely know how it feels to have someone you love walk out for whatever reason. I understand and am praying with you through this and praying for Sarah too.

    Blessings Phil

  4. My heart is grieved for you, for the loss, and heartache! I am so terribly sorry. May our Lord wrap you both up in His loving embrace! May He shield you, comfort you, hold you, speak to you, whisper to you, and fill you with Hope the Hope that does not disappoint!

  5. God Bless you both in your struggle. I had a mentor once who at the rough times like this would declare, “I can hardly wait to see the blessing in this!” In the midst of the struggle this can seem insensitive. Yet, I’ve come to know that there is ultimate blessing in everything we go through. May you find the blessing.

  6. Hey Phil. Just blessing you both. Went through the same stuff a few years back when I was 22. Man – is this Jesus a friend, comforter and healer! Your future will be bright and awesome.

  7. Dear Phil,
    I’m so sorry!
    I love the HONOR I’m hearing in your heart and writing.
    Honor of you, Sarah, us…
    It’s such a bless-ed gift, honor is.
    It’s certainly a gift that flows strongly through you!
    Corrine

  8. my heart is so heavy both for you and your wife. I made the same horrible decision over 25 years ago and regretted it deeply. We did reconcile 4 years later but the pain it caused us and our children we are still in process of being restored. We know God doesn’t cause these things that happen to all of us in some way, but He surely does work them in our favor if we stay in hope. Press on brother! Keep expecting the goodness of God to bring you to places beyond your dreams!
    Prayers for you and Sarah,
    Robin

  9. Papa bless the both of you and the decisions that you both have reluctantly made. Our hearts are with you both and our love for the both of you will never, ever change. We lift you both up in our hearts knowing and trusting that ALL things work together for good for both of you. You are one of a kind Phil and we are always here for you. Go and do all that is in your heart to do.xxxx

  10. Thank you for being brave enough to reveal your situation. I just read on Casting Crown’s status this: “Paul lived his life like he’d already seen the movie, like he was sure of the ending. He lived a crazy life, and whether he faced a jail cell or people tried to kill him, or the church turned it’s back on him, he still said, “God is working everything out for good.” He knew what God had brought him through, and he trusted where He led. He was convinced of the final outcome.” I’m praying for you both during this most challenging time. His grip is unmovable!

  11. Your gifting and calling is so strong and obvious. There is no doubt God will use this to propel you forward and as an opportunity to help even more people even though He is not the reason for these situations or are they His ultimate desire. This in no way limits what God will do in and through you. You are a blessing to myself and many others and I pray His grace superabounds toward you in a time of relaunching what God has and is doing in you!

  12. Hey Phil, I went through something very similar from 2009 to 2013 that ultimately led to my wife of 23 years ending our marriage (we were pastors). I fought for 4 years to keep it all together but you have already discovered that you can only work on you . . . you can’t make someone stay. My heart and my soul hurt for you because I know the pain and trauma that goes with this. You can make it through this. God is faithful to help the both of you heal and move forward. Take time to grieve and allow others to minister to you. You will need it. God bless you!

  13. Phil, I’m so sorry for your loss. thanks for being real and modeling how to walk out the gospel in really difficult situations. Something amazing will come but it still hurts. I appreciate you acknowledging both. Blessing and love.

  14. Thank you for your transparency, Phil! I think nothing less of Sarah nor you.
    It’s sad and sometimes things in our lives is beyond comprehension.
    Thanks be to God for His abundant provision of grace to you both at this time.
    Clearly u must be in a better place to be able to articulate to us all.
    And no, absolutely not, this does not negate the beauty and colours of His grace; if anything, it has strengthened your message and reinforce the hope we all have in Him! Be encouraged, my brother, though the enemy has come to kill, steal and devour, but He has also come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. Sarah and you are both in our thoughts and prayers! Thru your writings and teachings, my husband and I have been built up and blessed beyond words! Much much love from Auckland, NZ

  15. Thinking of you Phil I admire your honesty your a gentleman the way you are handling your situation I wish you and Sarah the very best in your future’s ….

  16. Hey Phil. I’m so sorry for the loss and heartbreaking journey. Please take comfort in your Papa God. Very sad to hear but very glad that there’s a God in heaven who helps and heals us. Take care of yourself.

  17. Phil, Krista and I will be praying for you. Sorry to hear, but know you will bounce back. Love you brother!

  18. Like everyone else, I am at a loss for words, but want you to know that you are loved and appreciated very much. Divorce is one of the hardest things in life, and there will be ups and downs in your emotions, much like going through the grieving process. I admire your ability to continue on in your ministry. I can’t imagine how you do it! I have trouble focusing when something as simple as my everyday routine is messed up. But what we do know… always… is that God is with us, and He is for us. I pray that you will continue to be grow in Christ and feel his presence.

  19. Phil, so sorry to hear this news,shocked of course love you both,thank you for writing something that honors Sarah and covers her too, so often folk don’t do that in order to cover themselves,or to make sure everyone is “on their side” as it were. You are a good man and we pray both of your hearts will heal and that for you both there will be much love surrounding you and know that God will bless you both as you do life apart. Take care much love

  20. So sorry Phil. I am at a loss for words. all I can say is that I love you and hope that everything works out for your marriage. May God comfort you and bear the pain. I pray for a change of heart and a great source of information to come to your wife. So sorry Phil :(

  21. This is quite a shock and I know exactly how you both must be feeling. I also know the only way forward is Jesus pure and simple. As you cling to him he will heal you. Submit all your emotions to his grace and receive his joy in place of sadness. Phil, you will know what to stand and believe for, sometimes despite the circumstances. Be at peace bro and let His light shine. It is a suffering, but it will not consume you. Be strengthened and encouraged by your many friends.

  22. Phil, my heart aches for you and circumstances! But we are so very thankful for Grace, Grace snd more Grace! You are a treasure!!!

  23. Oh, man. Phil, I’m so sorry to hear this! These kinds of situations have been really eye-opening for me. It doesn’t matter if you believe in the finished works of the Cross, people are still human and will bring their own personal junk into relationships. I used to think that if you believed in the right theology, you were “safe” from all the crap that other people get into, but yet there are still things I struggle with. It honestly makes me afraid to get married, because whoever I tie the knot with will have to put up with a lot of my junk. I’m just hoping she’ll have the grace for me. I’m in awe of people who take the risk to get married, and I hope I get that brave soon. I’ll definitely be praying for you for peace and comfort in all this.

  24. So sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. I have been through a very similar situation myself and know how painful it is. Will be praying for you

  25. Thank you for being honouring and kind, in midst of great sadness and grief. Praying for you both to be in wrapped in His love.

  26. Totally can relate to this. However painful, the process He brings us to is good. Keeping you lifted in prayer and hope.

  27. Phil,
    Thank you for writing such an honorable letter; that took tremendous courage. Our admiration for who you are or the message you carry doesn’t diminish in the least. We love you, Phil.

    Eric and Michelle Schmidt

  28. May the love and grace of Jesus cover your heart and strengthen you in this time. It is a humbling thing of exposing your personal life but many of us understand and will pray for you and your wife.

    You are a good man, Phil.

  29. Phil,
    Sorry your going through this!!! It sucks…!!! Been there. God loves you both and that will never change. He will restore hearts and joy!!! He never fails.
    You know this.
    Nancy

  30. I am soo very sorry to hear of your breakup. There are no winners in a marriage breakup. You are very courageous Phil. Good to know you have loving supportive friends. Let them love on you. Your future is bright. X

  31. Wow, Phil, I am sorry you are going through all of this, but I am amazed and encouraged at your great wisdom and strength in the midst of it all. I pray for great peace and favor for you and for Sarah, and I pray that both of you will know by experience the unbelievable and amazing grace and love of the Father in and through all of this. Keep going. You’re going to make it through this unbelievably well.

  32. Dear Phil,

    I’m so sorry that you have to go through this trial. I am so glad that you have a relationship with the Most High God, who dearly loves you and holds you close. Be blessed knowing that I for one will keep you in my prayers so that you will be left standing. Bless you brother and love to you and your wife.

  33. Even in your sorrow, you speak peace, life and love. Many in your situation would not show such graciousness as you have in this message and I have been moved and humbled by it. I will pray for both you and your wife as you seek God and for healing as you grieve the loss of your marriage (having been there myself, I understand the pain).

    I found this scripture and thought of you (not familiar with this translation, not sure if it is a good one but I like what it says here). God bless you, Phil.

    Colossians 1:9-10 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
    Since the day we heard these things about you, we have continued praying for you. This is what we pray: that God will make you completely sure of what he wants by giving you all the wisdom and spiritual understanding you need; that this will help you live in a way that brings honor to the Lord and pleases him in every way; that your life will produce good works of every kind and that you will grow in your knowledge of God.

  34. I don’t really know what to say, but I don’t want to say nothing either, so…
    I am sorry. I will pray for God’s will to happen on earth, as it happens in heaven. We can trust that God’s will brings goodness and joy to all people. I also pray that the God of all comfort will comfort you and Sarah.

  35. I just prayed for you and Sarah and will still do. Keep holding on. Love conquers all. His Grace is sufficient because when you are weak, he is strong. Paul said he will boast in his weakness.

    My wife has not fully embrace the grace message like me. We sometimes argue about it. However, it was obvious to her I was a much better husband to her since I did. She’s loving me more for it and embracing it gradually. This in itself is grace.

    God is called “God of all grace” because we can count on Him in all situations and there are all manners of grace for all manner of situations. Grace to keep marriage, grace to survive divorce.

    All said, you are a blessing to me and have enriched my life greatly. Please keep the vision alive. Be encouraged.

  36. Dear Phil, at first I wasn’t sure if this was about some spiritual application, some issue we all struggle with, which in this particular case probably others have too, when even some times things seem to not turn out the way we expected or hoped for. Praying for you.

    It’s not the end until its over, and the hope of Christ in You continues on, through which we feel with you and support you in trusting God and His Purposes for you both.

    Encouraged to see you so open, honest and most importantly prioritizing God and Marriage.

    May you both be able to rest, even with that decision that was clearly made given good time and thought over the last 7 months, perhaps even rest some more before any actions, for while without works on your marriage and see what happens with God…

    We pray for God to give you both wisdom, strength and healing.
    (I hope this is not a hacked post by somebody else.)
    Love M&K

  37. Phil, I mourn with you, and I thank you for a shining example of how to preach the Gospel even through adversity. With much love in Christ,

    Ray

    “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Ps. 34

  38. I’m so sorry, Phil. My husband left me 3 months ago and I’m still in the thick of grieving. But I found Christ in my pain. I know you know your place already and will persevere. You are loved and supported. It’s terrible. I know the feeling all too well. But I can’t wait to see what He has in store for you. All my blessings!

  39. Phil, I’m at a loss for words. I’m just so grateful you’re sticking close to people that love and support you. My prayers are with you all.

  40. Like all who have commented, I grieve for both you and Sarah. But, I want to affirm my belief in you and your ministry. Kaylinn and I will continue to be strong supporters of your ministry, both by telling others, meditating on your writings and our ongoing monthly financial support.

  41. What a difficult place to be in! I’m praying for His comfort and peace and love to over shadow and soothe the pain you’re experiencing. And for His voice to come through clearly as He dispenses ” that Peace that passes ALL understanding”. I admire your strength and the ability to be open and transparent concerning this without letting ‘your side’ of the situation color the painful reality that this is involving the lives of two very different people – both whom God loves VERY much!

  42. Phil, you are indeed a humble man. Having been there and come through to the other side, I can also say that God is a great comforter and can turn every situation around to bring you into amazing things.

  43. So sorry for your marriage coming to an end brother. I know God is faithful and is always with you turning all troubles and tribulations to your good. Much love to you always!

  44. I don’t know you personally but I’ve read many of your emails. This news makes me hurt for you in losing your best friend and wife. Prayers and hope to you both.

  45. Praying for you, Bro. I went through a very similar situation 4-5 years ago… some bad decisions on my part, divorce and a lot of pain. I can truthfully say, as God says, He is a God of restoration and things are so much better now. I am ministering to many with all He has shown me. As I said, I am praying for you… be present where you are in the moment and He’ll show you much. If you want to throw some stuff at me I’m here, drop me a note.
    — Dean

  46. Philip, you are part of something that is bigger than even you may realise, and you are a major player. Your intimacy with God is being taken to another level, there is for you an eternal place in God where nothing is lost and in the end you possess all things.

  47. aw Phil- im so sorry for your loss. Im excited though for your future and grateful that you have God to lean on and guide you through this.Please come visit us in London!

  48. So very sorry to hear about wife’s decision to move forward in a different direction without you Phil. I hope your heart will be strengthened in the coming months a head. May our Heavenly Papa hold you even tighter….

  49. Phil, I was so sad when I read this, and I can only imagine how you and Sarah have felt. I’m really sorry for you both. It’s good to know, though, that you’re doing better now. I hope Sarah as well is finding peace and comfort in Father’s arms – and if not yet, I hope she will. It’s great to see your gracious and respectful attitude toward her, and I’m sure it has been and will be a blessing to many who struggle with similar issues.

    Father loves you both so much!

  50. Hi Phil, I’m so sorry to hear about you and Sarah. But all thanks be to God who leads us to triumph in all things. Thanks for being a blessing to my life. Let the ruins come to life!

  51. Phil,
    Thanks for all of your obedience to God and the ministry He has placed you in to deliver the word to the world. I would like to share with you that i was in the same boat in 2013 and it was the toughest time in my life. I have been married for 6 years this coming December and left a life of sin in 2011 to follow Jesus after being so selfish and not giving my wife and children what they needed. Though God was changing me my wife could not and would not accept the change and the new me. satan is a liar and continued to get her to think that i would just eventutally hurt her again so she decided to pay me back for all the hurt i had caused her over the years of our relationship. We eventually separated and i moved to my own place. Like you said i was able to find peace and my worship grew to a place i couldnt have imagined. My wife got pregnant and it was not intended. She wanted an abortion and that would have devastated me if she would have went through with it. Through prayer and worship she moved back in with me and we now have an amazing beautiful daughter, also 2 boys, and our marriage is stronger than ever. Though 2013 was the hardest time i my life i can now look back and see how much i needed Jesus to carry me through that year and He did. I want to encourage you to never give up on Sarah, though she may have walked away from the marriage God can and will use all different types of situations to bring about good. Thanks for sharing this hurtful process and i pray our God who restores all things will bring restoration to your marriage.
    -God Bless you faithful servant of Jesus Christ!!

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