I’m walking away from an extremely unhealthy eighteen year marriage. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The past two days have been particularly difficult as I struggled to find something to be grateful for. Feeling so low on Sunday I simply thanked God for the sunshine. That was the best I could do.
Today is looking better, but I find myself thinking about the person I was and how I got into the relationship I’m ending in the first place. For those who have known me all my life, the answer would be easy. I was not a very good person. I was self-centered, selfish, self-seeking, and every other kind of “self” you can imagine. Review the list of the Ten Commandments. I’d probably broken them all by the time I was thirty. I was most interested in doing what felt good with little thought as to consequences or how it might affect others in my life.
But late one night at the age of thirty-three everything changed. My life was a mess. I was a mess. And I finally realized I needed a Savior, finally accepted the fact I needed Jesus. I asked Him to take over my life because it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t doing all that well figuring it out by myself. After weeping for what felt like hours, I felt in my heart His response was, “Yes.”
Unfortunately I didn’t realize that it takes time – lots of time – to mature in wisdom and faith, so I ended up being easily deceived into a marriage that was not good for me or my daughter. As a working single mother I did not realize the value, nor did I feel I had the time to devote to, friendships and mentors and counsel. I made the decision to marry based on my own feelings, and I was wrong. Yet, despite my human mistake, God has been at work. He has taken my shame and guilt and replaced them with honor and respect and a full heart that struggles mightily at times but which refuses to give up on His Promises to always love and provide and protect me and my family.
If you are struggling with your own crisis today, I encourage you to find someone who is wise and stable and willing to walk with you as you navigate your way forward with the help of The Lord. Search for a wise Elijah who will mentor you and support you with understanding, time, and prayer. Do not give up. I had a pastor’s wife reject me when I began to reach out for support, but I kept searching and praying and eventually was led to a wonderful woman who hears me, believes me, and does not judge me even when my thoughts and actions are less than holy.
Find reasons to praise God every day, even if all you can muster is, “Thank You for the sunshine.” Praise is the gateway to the heart of God.
And, though it’s nearly impossible to believe some days, trust that God is in control. He does care. He is with you (and me.)
The truth is we’re all walking through something whether we talk about it or not. We have “stuff” and people in our lives have “stuff.” By the grace of God my life began to change twenty years ago. I began to change. And though I’m walking through crisis today, I have to believe there’s something very good waiting for me at the end of this road. And there’s an amazing blessing waiting for you too, if you receive Him and let Him lead the way.
The grace of God. New direction. New life. THAT is most definitely worth talking about.