Wednesday, February 4, 2009

At first glance

Yesterday, I was reading some things another woman had written about how her parents had prayed for her future spouse even when she was a little girl. She is so thankful for how God answered those prayers and for the man God brought into her life.

But it made me think. See, my parents started praying for my future husband when I was a little girl too. And the man God gave me doesn't want to be with me anymore. So I found myself angry with God and feeling really hurt by Him. Was this His answer to my parents' prayers? Did He think that I deserved a man who would reject me? And not only that, but I prayed for my future husband. And even when we were dating, I kept asking the Lord, "Is this the man You have for me? If not, please make it very clear."

So we got married and now all these years later, look where we are. Of course, the mind jumps right in coming to God's defense -- "Well, God is not responsible for how you treated each other. We all have choices, etc., etc." But I set aside the attempts of the mind to find some logic or rationale in all this, and instead, went right to the heart of God with my honest questions. He's a big God, He can handle it.

Lord, is this the best You have for me? Is this Your "wonderful plan" for my life? Did I miss Your way? I was trying so hard to follow Your will. Did I totally miss it? Couldn't You have stopped us from getting married? Was this all a tragic mistake? Or did You just want to create our two beautiful children and so that's why You brought us together -- for the kids' sake? But this is hurting them. My son told me after hearing his dad wants a divorce, "Mom, I just want to die!." That's how sad they feel about all this. Did You intend for us to have something beautiful and we just ruined it all, and now we are reaping the consequences? What kind of father would bring his daughter a man who would abandon her? No loving earthly father would do such a thing! Why would You, with Your infinite love for me? Is this how You love?

God does not answer these questions. There is no answer to them. But instead, what He does is show me Himself. He shows me who He is and that His heart is good towards me. And He shows me who I am. That's really all I need. Because underneath all those questions are the true ones my heart is asking: Lord, is Your heart good? Do You really care about me? You are letting me hurt for a very long time. Does my pain matter to you? Do I matter to You?

At the beginning of this post is a small picture. At first glance, it may look like a waterfall coming out of the rock. But here is the real picture, what it really is.

What seems to be a waterfall is really a path. I think many times that's how it is with our lives. The things that at first glance seem so painful and hard, like the end of all our hopes, are really a path through to something amazing and new. The dreams I had as a young bride were so small. And God has brought them to ashes. But through all this, He opens a way to His dreams for me.

I don't know what those are. I catch glimpses here and there. But I see His heart and it's so full of love for me. So whatever comes, I know it will be beautiful. I can wait for that.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the 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 planting for the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61: 1,3

1 comment:

Ellie said...

I've asked those same questions, too, over the last few years (say 10) of pain. Crying, asking God what He had done this when I had asked Him so much, when I had followed Him and prayed so much.

I've had no answers, either. I don't know. I don't like pain. Even now, with things better... even now, I have children who have lived with years of anger and whose little spirits are changed forever from what I wanted for them. I still deal with the aftermath of this, and I still wonder.

I write now, and in a small way, living through the years of anger and verbal abuse makes it easier for me to write for women who face much, much worse than I ever did... but that is not a reason. I don't believe God lets us hurt just for the sheer sake of "helping others". I've felt like slapping people who tell me that. Yet, now, when I look back over time... I wonder. I wonder if God is letting me see Him through this all, see His ability to love me through it, see His desire for me to be secure and safe in Him despite the chaos around me - and then letting me share that knowledge with others. I know God. I don't know all the why's. But I know God. He can see me through it.

I think today, while I am thankful for the changes, for my husband now, I am less dependent on him. I know God. There is a Him and me which is separate from my husband and unconnected to him. If he fails me again, I know God won't. I feel safer. Bruised, yes, regretful and confused, yes, sad about the pain my children have seen, yes, - but more secure. I know God. When the sky falls around me, He is still there.

And He doesn't answer all my questions.