Whatever brings Jesus front and center in our lives is a blessing, as painful as it may be. Pain and trials are usually what bring us to our knees. Turning to Him instead of away in the hard times can deepen our personal relationship with Him and form a bond like never before. He really is there when nobody else understands. He’s the only One who knows the whole story and the countless injuries that our hearts have endured. Let that build a new intimacy between you and Him.
Sometimes I wonder “is this just a phase?” Will the “old me” come back? Looking back, I sure hope not.
The old me appeared happy, but I covered a tremendous amount of pain behind my smile. I didn’t have the concrete assurance of God’s unconditional love for me. Now, when I’m sad, I let it out, and I’m not ashamed to make it known to Him or others. When I’m hurt, I know where to take the pain first. I’ve learned how to pray in a humble posture that reminds my heart and my head that I want to fully submit my life, emotions, and actions to Him. I didn’t even think of doing that before. I just didn’t know….
The old me had an addiction to people pleasing. People’s opinions and preferences were more important to me than God’s. I thought I was just loving them, but I was idolizing them. So much so, that if the person I was trying to please was having a bad day or seemed upset, I blamed myself. I saw this as a personal failure. That’s so sad and not the way I ever want to live again.
Please, Lord, keep working on me. One of the biggest problems with people pleasing is that if you feel like someone isn’t pleased with you (whether they are or aren’t), it devastates you. Your sense of worth becomes dependant on how other people act towards you and around you and you feel responsible for their actions. Their criticism or indifference also hurts like a knife. It shouldn’t. They are them and I am me and neither one of us are perfect. I view being able to write that last line as a huge victory! People pleasing is so defeating. I just didn’t know…
We are capable of going through all kinds of phases. Heavy drinking phases, sleeping around phases, drug phases, spending phases, even spirituality phases…. anything to ease or distract us from the pain. Please, Lord, let my relationship with you not come down to a “Jesus phase”. Let it be real, let it be lasting, let it glorify You.
Will the “old me” resurface? The one people knew before the divorce? I’ll be honest when I say the divorce completely broke me for many reasons. The biggest reason probably being that I didn’t want it. What I wanted was for our marriage to be miraculously healed. I believe going through a divorce you don’t want falls along the same lines as being given a diagnosis you don’t want. It comes down to acceptance and how you choose to move forward in life. We get what we get. And, many times we don’t want it! God knew best. He knew that I would continue to attempt to please my husband in an unhealthy way which would keep us both unhealthy and me mistreated in the marriage. Praise God, He broke those chains, even against my will at the time. He had His way and I trust it was in our best interest. His way always is….
I’ve never felt Jesus closer to me than in the heartbreak of that trial. His love became concrete, palpable, real. For that reason alone, I consider my heartbreak a blessing. There is a huge difference between hearing Jesus loves you and knowing He does. I feel like I used to live on scraps. Now, I see His love as a banquet spread out before me and I just can’t believe my eyes. Thank God that His love for us is and never was “just a phase”. It’s unfailing!
Now, I know. I know that He LOVES me and He wants me, no matter what has happened or what may happen. I struggle with finding the words to express what a difference that makes. Now, on the days I can’t “feel” His love for me, I still know it’s there. I can still have my fill and I am beyond grateful.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. Psalms 36:7-8 (NLT)
AMEN! Let us all have our fill.