I am standing on top of mountain in a mountain range. The skies swirl and grey clouds announce a coming storm. The wind blows strong- so strong that the mountains around me begin to crumble to the ground. One by one each magnificent mountain crashes. The mountain I am standing isn’t unscathed by the storm. It all but crumbles except for a small rocky platform that holds me up like a pedestal into the sky. I think:
“Oh thank goodness I endured. On the Solid Rock I stand.”
But then another wind, fiercer than the first, blows wildly. It’s power knocks down my rocky footing with a great crash, and I am flung into the air like a rag doll. I’m falling through the air. All seems lost.
But then I look to my left and I see Jesus standing next to me. My King is made of Rock. He reaches through the air, grabs my flailing body, and hugs me close to Himself. I am safe in His bosom. Jesus is the only thing that remains after the storm.
I had this dream in late January.
In February, Jason, my husband of 17+ years, wrote me an email to inform me he was moving out.
As always, the Lord warned me that great difficulty was coming before it came. He always does. Always. I am thankful that He warns me. My faith is so frail.
In August 2016, Jason began to act strangely. Wives are perceptive… I knew something was happening to him. After a few weeks, I said openly to him, “Something is not right.” Jason told me my intuition was wrong. That everything was fine.
I was right. Nothing was okay with my husband.
Before I say anything else, I want to say this: I write about my life very transparently on this blog. But that’s just it- I write about my life. I don’t think it’s right or fair to publicly share the personal thoughts and struggles of those I love. This is why I’ve been silent for months. I’ve been in the trenches of a spiritual war but have said little about it to protect my family and my husband. I break my silence now because the wind is blowing, and everything that I depended on is being stripped away. Divorce and a name change will cause people to ask questions. Because I carry the Name of Christ, I feel have to say something… But what the HECK do I say as a woman of faith? I look around at the devastation and wonder how in the world God could use this pile of rubbish for His purposes and for His good.
Oh reader… the last 22 months have been the most difficult in my life. Worse than being abandoned on the steps as a toddler at the children’s home. Worse than the time in a terrible abusive foster home. Worse than losing my best friend in high school. Worse than the year my twin barely spoke to me. So. Much. Worse.
I am angry. I am hurt.
I’ve tried to stand for my marriage. I’ve begged. Fought. Stomped my feet. Argued. Lost my temper. Lost it again. Rationalized. Begged some more. But the hard truth is that Jason left me long ago. He has broken all trust, and he refuses to do anything to prove that he is interested in restoring it. When he wrote me to say he was moving out, his email was just one blow in a long sequence of daggers. The pain has continued since he’s moved out. So, I am forced to draw lines in the sand that I never thought I’d have to draw for my own personal protection and mental health. Oh how I had hoped for a different outcome. But it is not to be.
This rejection is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. It’s agony.
I’ve prayed that God would restore my marriage. He hasn’t.
I’ve prayed for my prodigal spouse to come home. Jason refuses to come home.
I’ve prayed that my family would remain in tact for my precious children. God didn’t answer that prayer either.
I’ve prayed a desperate prayer in my dreams, “Where are you, God?!” Though His presence and His people have been here sustaining me and strengthening me, He seems far away and mostly silent.
Tears have been my food. Heartache has been my portion. A dear sister in Christ who has been through a similar experience described the pain of rejection like this: it’s like someone is digging into your gut with a jagged spoon, twisting and pulling, elongating and compounding your pain. Over. and over. and over again. and again.
Her description is dead on- but like labor pains, you have to experience it to understand. Most days my heart has been so heavy that’s it’s been painful to carry the life sustaining organ around. On my worst days, I have been tempted to carve out my heart to be a tinman. To switch the light off and choose to be numb. However, I have learned through first hand experience that the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. I know why the Lord hates lukewarm love now. Indifference is insulting. It’s selfish. It’s a spit in the face. So, I choose keep my beating, bleeding, heavy heart and hug it close. I brave the pain of rejection to avoid the trap of indifference. To love is to be vulnerable. To love is to be brave. I choose to be brave. (Cowards suck!) I will continue to choose to be brave and to love- because that’s what Christ did for me.
It is comforting to know that Christ knows what betrayal feels like. He Himself was rejected. He understands my hurt. In the desolate late night places when my only companion is the whirling darkness and my chocolate toy poodle, Jesus shows up to envelop me with His sustaining strengthening presence. He is kind. Jesus alone truly understands and knows my pain. He quietly holds my hand and remembers my tears.
I still believe that God is good. Even though He slays me, I will proclaim the Gospel and trust Him. When Jesus says, “no”, I “know” He has something better for me.
Jason has forgotten that Jesus is bigger than all of this mess, and God’s purposes and plans will prevail. His grace is sufficient.
The Lord has a plan for my life. Long ago He said to me: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The ends of the earth are coming. Christ has given me the nations. It is done.
I’ll quote David to end:
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
Hold me, Jesus.