After being on Hiatus for a couple of years, I have come back to my blog to attempt to write again. With God’s grace, I’m hoping He can use me as I share what I have learned. Over the last couple of years I have gone through several trials that shook my whole life- and my faith- to the core, and now that I’m starting to come out on the other side, I can look back and see what God has been doing, and see how it truly has been for my good.
In October of 2015 we lost my father in law, and a week later my husband announced he wanted to leave our marriage. Anyone who has been in this situation can understand the confusion and devastation that hangs over you. I felt my heart breaking, but strangely at the same time, I felt like a weight had been lifted. Close friends and family would see me and tell me how fresh and rested I looked, yet inside I felt broken, unwanted, and worthless. My life became a contradiction. I had to learn how to forgive without repentance; Love without being loved in return; Hope without evidence of change; And stand when my foundation was crumbling beneath me. I have questioned everything, while still trusting God. I have been strong and weak at the same time.
As God has been working on my heart, He has also been helping me to minister to and support my children. I have two daughters, who, just like any girl, want to know their daddy loves them. It has been hard to stand and reassure them of their father’s love for them when I have felt the pain of his rejection. But I know that it would be hurtful and selfish of me not to give them that assurance. I try to also reassure them of my love, and God’s love for them. I haven’t done this perfectly- in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve screwed up opportunities to show God’s love at least 95% of the time! This is one of those things God has taught me- that I’m not perfect, I never will be, and even when I screw up, God can use it for His glory.
Another thing God has taught me: I thought I was a Christian- until I actually became one. I grew up in a Christian family, going to church several days a week, and being actively involved in as many Christian clubs and organizations as I could fit into my schedule. As I got older, I coped with my failures and mistakes by becoming legalistic and self-righteous. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing at the time, but I can sure see now how pride hid the truth of who I really was. When my marriage came crashing down, and all my dreams along with it, I was uncomfortably aware of how I had lifted myself, and my marriage, above God for so many years. And now the truth was exposed. I was a vulnerable, imperfect sinner who had nothing in this world to stand on except for an incomplete, misunderstood faith in a loving, merciful God. For the first time in my whole life, I understood what it meant to truly be humbled. And when it’s not by your choice, it can be pretty painful.
I’ve realized that every word I speak, action I take, and attitude I reveal, are being observed and heard by my girls. This has made me very aware of how many times I have failed to be a good example to them- and how many times I must have grieved God because of my thoughts and behavior. I have thought many times that I did not want to “suffer” with accepting someone who rejected me, or honoring someone who shamed me. But that’s exactly what God has done for us. He has been ever faithful to us, even though we have been unfaithful. He loves us whether or not He is loved in return. He is a loving, sacrificial parent, and our example of how to love others.
The title of this post is based on a blog I’ve been reading for several years called “The Peaceful Wife”. It was through this blog that I began the painful process of learning the truth about myself. Particularly, how my expectations and ideals were my way of trying to control my environment- my marriage, my family, myself, others, etc. This wasn’t easy to accept, and it will always be a struggle, but I can say now, with certainty, that I have learned the freedom of surrendering these things to Christ. And that brings me to another thing God has taught me these last couple of years: surrendering everything to Christ is absolutely vital in the pursuit of peace. When I got to the point of finally being willing to surrender my heart, my desires, and my will to God, I felt true peace for the first time in my adult life.
I’m not done learning my lessons. And I know that some lessons are going to be more painful than others. Thank God that my eternity isn’t based on how perfect I am, but on God’s perfect love and grace. Thank God He rescues us from ourselves, and can use our suffering in the most amazing ways. Thank God, that we can trust Him and seek Him in all things, in all ways, at all times.