Spirit lead me where my trust is without border, Let me walk upon the water, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, That my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.
I would have called this song “my song”. When I needed a reminder of my faith, of what I lived for, of where I was and where I was striving to be, I would sing these words and breath would surge into the dying pieces of my heart.
And I would keep walking.
He was there. I knew He was. And I could keep going. Keep faithfully trusting that wherever I was, I was in His presence and being made more like my Savior.
And then this song came on a few weeks ago. I was alone. For all of 30 minutes I was without my husband and my children, and felt as alone as I’ve ever felt, and of all songs to ‘randomly’ come on the moment I closed the door to my family, this one did.
Anger filled my heart.
And I wept. Bitterly, I wept. I sobbed and tried to scream but all that would come out was “Lord, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, but I don’t.”
‘I want a border Lord. I want to know that you won’t call me farther than where I can go, farther than where my heart can take it.
You can’t have my children Lord, you can’t have my husband. I need to see the shore, it can’t be to wherever.
I’m so sorry Lord.
I’m such a fraud. I don’t trust you that much. Oh Lord, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.’
So many tears. So many, many tears. I was sorry. I was very, very sorry. But I wasn’t sorry enough to be giving it to Him. I was sorry that I wasn’t, I was angry that He was calling me to, but I wasn’t turning from my despair, I was sinking to the bottom of it.
And sinking. Lower and lower.
And I know why.
My hope, my trust, my joy, has not been in the Lord. It’s been in my husband.
For my hope and trust and joy to be in the Lord, while my husband rejects and abandons me, I would have to recognize that the circumstances being filtered through God’s hand into my life are for my best and my good.
At one point I could do that.
I did that. I was faithful for a long time. When I just knew that this wouldn’t happen. When I just knew that He wouldn’t allow our family to actually be broken. A temporary blow, a trial that would add to our testimony, yes, a divorce, no, not us. My trust was only in Him to a point. My hope, my eyes, were set on my husband.
How can I further His kingdom without my husband? How can I glorify God without him? How can I raise my children without the leader of our home, in our home? How do I make big decisions without asking our family’s decision maker?
Who will hold my hand? Who will kill the random and terrifying roach? Who will walk this life with me? How will I grow old with my husband, without my husband? How will I ever breathe deeply again?
My mind, my focus, my heart, at least for the past few months, has been on my husband.
If only he would come back, we would be okay. I would be okay. God would be glorified, no matter the state of our family, as long as we would be under one roof, that is what the Lord would want. My prayer was for my husband, my prayer was for his heart to be softened towards mine, for him to come home.
My joy, my trust, my hope… was in my husband.
It pains me to say that. I want there to be good there. I want to say I am being righteous in prayerfully holding out hope for my husband. But I’m not.
I was turning my back on God, to turn my face towards a man who hates me. I was turning away from a God who loves me unconditionally to desperately seek a man who loudly screams of the love he no longer has for me. I was crying out for a man who calls me worthless, instead of a God who deemed me worthy.
My heart is full of sorrow for my lack of trust in my God. I didn’t trust Him that this was for my good. I didn’t trust that even in excruciatingly painful circumstances coming at me from the man I love most on earth, that God was and is bigger.
I didn’t walk as a faithful servant. I was perplexed… and I despaired. And I’m sorry. So very sorry.
But friends… my good, good God didn’t leave me there.
He could have. He had every right to. He could have said “Fine, have your way. Have what you think is best. Have your safe. Have your easy.”
But He loves me too much to leave me there. He loves me too much to give me what I think is good, and withhold what He knows is best.
“Not to us. O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” Psalm 115:1
God is allowing my marriage to be broken. In this fallen world, this has been filtered through His hand. For my good. God is allowing me to walk through a living hell because without it, I would not have finally realized this truth.
God loves me.
After more than a year of walking through a very unwanted, very brutal and cruel and heart-shattering divorce process, last Monday we went to court for the final time. As I walked up the stairs, through the metal detectors, across the cold and unforgiving floors, through heavy door after heavy door, I knew I was there because a man no longer loved me. I was in this cold and serious place because my husband stopped loving me.
It’s a reality I’ve been coming to terms with for a while, but it hit me that day in a solemn and accepting way. Tears fell from my red eyes as paperwork was read, as I had to verbally agree to our new separate life, as our marriage ended, as what God made one, a robe made two again.
The judge declared us divorced. We walked out.
I got as far as a bench on the steps.
But I wasn’t broken. I felt okay, and I didn’t understand why.
So I sat. And I pondered. And I questioned.
And I realized.
I walked in to that courthouse rejected and unloved by man. I walked out with the full realization, maybe for the first time, that I was completely and utterly and unconditionally LOVED by God… and that was more than enough.
Jesus loves me, this I know.
I was overcome.
It wasn’t just a song, it wasn’t a kiddie quote, it was truth. It was real. Jesus loves me. And He used the worst and darkest of circumstances to reveal the most important and beautiful truth I would ever need to know.
Oh how I wish I had realized this sooner, how I wish I had believed this truth sooner. So many had told me, but my heart couldn’t see past the fog, past the pain, past the desire for my husband. I am so thankful that in spite of myself, the Lord didn’t leave me alone, didn’t leave me to myself, didn’t go quiet. However He needed to teach me, I am so glad He did.
He revealed Himself to me over and over and over and patiently waited for me. And here I am.
Damaged. Worn. But not broken.
The Lord is mending me, already, back together, back to Him, back to life. I am loved. And this love is beautiful.
“I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1-2
The words of that song, the song that had been ‘my song’ for so long, are beginning to ring true again.
Spirit lead me… That my faith would be made stronger.
Over this past year the Lord has been emptying me, in preparation for my being filled. I have been brought very low, but by the Lord’s mercy I am gently being lifted back up. In this darkest of dark, I have heard the Lord’s voice, and it is good. I asked the Lord to use me, yet I fought against His means of doing so. God was faithful to prove Himself anyways.
God was faithful to teach me, to mold me, to care for me, anyways. God was faithful to show Himself trustworthy anyways.
My heart is the Lord’s, my life is the Lord’s. There is still a rough road ahead to our ‘new normal’ and I’m not sure that it will ever be easy. But I am confident, and I can say this with a smile, that the Lord loves me and whatever comes to us, it is being filtered through His hand, and His love is enough to walk us through it.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:12-14
So we press on. Our family presses on to the calling of God in Christ Jesus. My faith, our faith, is renewed in Him. I would never have wished this on us, but the deep knowledge I have of how very loved I am, how loved we are, I wouldn’t trade for anything.
God will use our family, even a divorced family, to glorify and further His kingdom. How… I’m not sure. But I’m trusting that we are not out of the game. We’re taking a breather, we’re recharging, we’re waiting on His call, and we are eagerly anticipating what He has for us.
We serve a good God. An always faithful, always loving God and I sing to Him a song of worship and thanksgiving as I press on to what lies ahead…