July 15, 2011
I’ve been writing a lot lately about God’s love for us and how we should reject condemnation because it is never from God. It is always from the enemy or our own insecurities. This type of writing is encouraging and uplifting and causes us to move closer to the Lord.
Some of my posts have talked about being yoked with Him and letting Him lead and guide you through life which removes so much of the stress regarding bad choices and wrong decisions. How wonderfully freeing this is!
It has all seemed like such a wonderful message. A true feel good message. It is a message I am clinging to and more than grateful for. If you had known me and the path I have taken, you would understand much more my eternal gratitude for this message.
But I want to talk about something else today. I had another blog on being yoked planned, but couldn’t excape the strong feeling that this is what I needed to write for today. My prayer is to keep it blog length. It will be a challenge because the period of time I want to talk to you about in my life, is packed beyond belief with life truths that I could write an entire book about and maybe someday will, should God deem it beneficial to others. So I am warning you now, this may be a longer than normal blog. But bear with me. I believe that you will be blessed.
I want to try and set up one pinpoint in time and hopefully if you are going through a very difficult time right now and have difficulty trusting God to lead you, this will help you.
I’ve been married more than once. My husband now, Rick, is my sweetheart. I love him so very much and he is such a wonderful man. I thank God for him every single day. I truly do. I am very thankful that life has led me to him. I wouldn’t change a thing.
But several years ago before I met Rick, I was married to someone else. Before I married this man I was conscious of making wrong choices and was terribly fearful of making them. When I met the man I just referred to I prayed diligently daily asking God if this was a relationship I should be in or not. I did not want to be in a relationship that I had chosen and was not God’s will. I knew how horribly that could/would turn out.
So I prayed, and prayed and prayed some more. We dated. He prayed. We counseled with pastors at the church and got the green light. They all knew us well. We were so in love and were best friends.
A hiccup on my career road led us to move to Arizona. It was not a popular decision for my friends and family, but I loved living there and do not regret the move. I still today feel like I am coming home every time I go back there.
I loved our life there. I loved our life together there. But one day because of several extenuating circumstances we decided to start migrating back towards Oklahoma. A decision was made that he would move back before me, go to work and then I would job hunt long distance and then move back, too.
So we separated by distance for a time to achieve a goal. Did we pray about the decision or did we just reason it out and act? I don’t know. What would I do different looking back on it? I don’t know.
But not long after that he left me. He suddenly and abruptly ended our marriage. We were so in love and then, it was over and done and I was left reeling. There was no warning, no preparation or opportunity to build up anger that would help buffer the pain. There was only pain.
- My husband whom I loved dearly just up and left me.
- My job ended and I was laid off.
- I began to suffer physically, literally hemorrhaging on a daily basis.
- The church I moved back home to, suggested that I ‘take some time’ and not volunteer while allowing him to continue to do so.
- The person who had been my best girlfriend for years would no longer speak to me.
I know there were also other things that I just prefer to not mention right now. The items listed above were enough. I felt I had no one, no money, no health and no purpose.
But the one thing I did know, without a doubt, was that I had the Father and His loving son Jesus and the comforter – the Holy Spirit. I literally clung to the trinity daily. Each day I would spend hours with Him and He would talk to me. I believe I heard His voice more during that period of time than ever before or since.
The hardest part of the entire ordeal for me was that I had prayed before marrying this man and had asked God if I should do it. I felt so good about the decision because God confirmed it on so many levels to me. I was convinced that that marriage would not only succeed, but flourish. After all, it had God’s stamp of approval all over it.
So why did it end and why was I hurting so badly? Why oh why? I cannot describe the pain I felt. I am sure each one of you reading this can relate to a point in your own life when you have felt pain on this level.
I struggled with feelings of betrayal from God. Why would He tell me to go ahead, knowing that it would come to this, knowing that he would leave me and I would have to suffer like this? I really did not understand.
I am a survivor. I’m a shake the dust off of my feet kind of girl. So, I pulled up my big girl panties and proceeded to get on with my life. You don’t want me, fine! I’ll be better than fine without you. Then God said, “I want you to pray for your marriage.”
I groaned and we had an argument. I didn’t want to think about him much less pray for our marriage. That would take love, forgiveness and effort, none of which I was willing to muster up at that time.
I try to be an obedient child to Father God and I truly did love my husband so I agreed to pray for our marriage. I once again had hope. If God was asking me to pray for our marriage, then certainly that marriage would be restored, right? So I dove in with both feet believing and praying.
Then one morning God said, “Just pray for him personally, not your marriage”. My reasoning was that if I prayed for him then the marriage would naturally be restored, right?
What I found was that praying for him kept my emotions raw. There was no healing or moving on. Praying for him fervently in the manner we are called to pray kept the deep love I had for him alive, and the pain even more alive. The raw pain I felt when he first left was experienced over and over on an almost daily basis.
During the whole process of the divorce he kept making unreasonable demands on me. I was asked to pay him $250 a month for two years even though I was the one who had supported us while we were married. He had worked some, but finding a job in Arizona was difficult for him. I understood that, but not him asking me for money.
I went into fight mode. Then God said, “Agree to pay it.” I said, “But it is wrong”! God said, “Let him do you wrong”.
I was in the worst nightmare you could imagine. I could NOT get my head around it all. I am not an advocate of allowing your bible to fall open to get a word from the Lord, but this particular morning it just happened to fall open to this…
1 Corinthians 6:7 (Amplified Bible)
7) Why, the very fact of your having lawsuits with one another at all is a defect (a defeat, an evidence of positive moral loss for you). Why not rather let yourselves suffer wrong and be deprived of what is your due? Why not rather be cheated (defrauded and robbed)? CLICK HERE TO READ IN CONTEXT
So I agreed to pay up even though I had no job at the time. It just seemed that insult kept adding to injury. As I said, to list everything would take pages. But let me get to the point.
One day during the midst of all of this I was out back on my deck. I still remember it vividly. It was several months into this ordeal and was about sundown. I remember the intense pain I was still feeling. It was almost debilitating. I was literally doubling over in physical pain.
I asked God, “When will it stop? When will it be over? I feel like I can’t endure this any longer! Where are you? Please make it stop”! I was begging and crying out to God.
This is what God said so clearly. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but nevertheless profound.
“You are like a pot being fired in a kiln. I know you have been through the fire many times, and this feels like the worst, but the more precious a pot is to be, the more firings it must go through. And just like the potter, I will not remove you before it is time. But know that I am here standing right outside the kiln and I will not leave you.”
Then something happened to break through the pain. A thought – ‘So… my life as a pot!’ I smiled. I almost chuckled. But the pain eased and once again I was at peace.
When we yoke ourselves to Jesus, He will take us on the path we should go on. That doesn’t mean there will never be pain. We all experience pain. Even if you decide to choose your own path, you will not avoid the pain that life provides. But if you yoke yourself with Jesus the pain you experience will have a purpose.
The time period I have described above lasted for about two full years and our marriage was never reconciled. It was the most painful journey I have ever been on, but through that time I wasn’t just fired like a porcelain pot, I was forged like steel. The strength that God forged in me during that time is priceless – precious. I would do it all over again, yet pray to God that I never have to.
Still, I know that pain will come, but I believe being yoked with Jesus will guide us away from the meaningless pain of our own silly decisions and blinded sight, into life experiences where the pain will shape us. I don’t believe all pain is the firing kiln. I believe a lot of the pain we experience is avoidable, from wrong decisions or disobedience, from wanting to go our own way. Being in control of our own path usually leads us into unnecessary pain rather than away from it.
So if you are going through pain today, ask the Father to send the Comforter. If you are in pain from your own poor choices, ask Him to deliver you out. He will. If you are in pain from being in the kiln, seek Him to show you how to let the pain fire you properly and forge you into steel.
If you need prayer today because you are in pain, please email me. I will pray for you. I will stand with you.