I keep reading stories and hearing people share about the devastation of their divorce, the difficult years of healing that followed and how God sent them a new spouse who was wonderful. As if the culmination of their healing happened when they found a new husband or wife. I don’t want that to be my story. I want the culmination of my healing to be in knowing Christ. Of knowing who I am in Him. Of day in day out joy that comes from walking by faith with a loving God. I don’t want to believe that until I find and embrace a new relationship that I will be lacking in some way.
Because, the truth is, I lack nothing as long as I have fellowship with Jesus. He is all I need. To tack “and then I met an amazing man” on the tail end of my testimony seems to cheapen the grace that God longs to lavishly pour out on me. Not that I believe a new relationship would be wrong or not worth celebrating. But should that be the goal? Isn’t the goal to hear Him say “well done”? To finish my race holding tight to Jesus’ hand? To find joy and peace and love in nothing more and nothing less than Christ? That is the healing I seek.
I wrote that in my journal a few months after my husband left me. I never imagined it would ever come true. But it has. Y’all, it has!!! And I didn’t even realize it until today driving home from work with a smile on my face and joy in my heart and a deep contentment in my spirit. I’m telling you, if I had driven past a field of flowers I would have stopped to dance in it. Not walk through it, or sit beside it, or admire it from afar, but flat-out-crazy-white-girl-dance in it!
Is life perfect? No. Life is still hard. My house is currently out of control, balancing my budget takes lots of creativity and prayer, I still cry on a regular basis, I lose my temper in traffic, and sometimes I’m so lonely I could scream. But I’m good. Like really, really good. Because He is so good!
“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planing of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double potion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. Isa. 61
His word is true. Not just in theory but real-life, in the middle of your mess, right where it hurts, true. For year I didn’t believe that. I believed His word was true, just maybe not true for me. Maybe He would bind up some of the brokenhearted, but not my broken heart. Maybe He would give a crown of beauty to someone, just probably not me. And maybe some people had everlasting joy, but not me, never me. I believed I would always be bound, always be depressed, always walk in darkness. As if His grace wasn’t enough for me.
Boy, was I wrong.
He is enough. His grace is enough. And here, on the backside of the dark valley, His faithfulness is so real and tangible that I can’t help but be filled with joy.
I don’t know where you are on your journey today, but wherever you are can I encourage you to hang in there? To keep clinging to Jesus and His promises. To not look to someone or something else to find whatever it is you think you need. I promise there is no substitute or shortcut to healing. Trust me, I’ve tried.
The day I wrote that journal entry I was so emotionally devastated and lost that I couldn’t even get out of bed and go to work. I thought the darkness would suffocate me and that I would never be okay again. But I am. My circumstances haven’t changed, but my heart has. It has been healed by a loving God. He longs to do the same for you.