How will they know if you don’t speak?
That’s the question that lands in my heart as I stare at the blinking cursor on my screen. My eyes well with tears, and my heart aches as the Lord reveals the uncomfortable truth – partial obedience still equates to disobedience. I boldly proclaim my love for Jesus and my yearning for others to know and love Him, and yet, I often allow fear and insecurity to keep me silent when God clearly instructs me to speak. (Mark 4:21-22)
God gives each of us a powerful story that no one else can tell; it often takes courage and confidence beyond what we possess to share it. (2 Corinthians 12:9) But as I consider all the ways I could use this opportunity to illustrate the love of Christ, there’s no more generous offering than unshakable evidence that nothing is better than intimacy with Jesus, even when it takes place in a season of suffering.
Several years ago, the Lord saved me from an abusive marriage and narcissistic husband who ridiculed me for everything I did, including loving Jesus. Despite all that, I prayed for my husband; I refused to see what was because I knew what could be with God. But then, when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I learned of his unfaithfulness and sordid details of things he said and did behind my back for the length of our marriage. I was beyond broken; I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, but what hurt most was knowing that the God I loved and adored allowed this to happen.
God alone knows the exact remedy to soothe our shattered hearts. Following the divorce, I buried my head in His Word and spent more time on my knees those first eight months than in all previous years combined. Though I cried enough tears to fill an ocean, God proved He is trustworthy and blessed me with my very own Jubilee year, just like in Leviticus 25. Remarkably, it was the year I’d be turning 50; God graciously took care of all my finances, restored injured familial relationships, even gave me a home in the same neighborhood I lived in before the marriage. But wait, that’s not even the best part.
When a dear friend’s childcare for her newborn son, Asher, fell through at the last minute, she asked for my help. Had my marriage not fallen apart, I would never have said yes. Oh, what a blessing I would have missed!!! Every day I got to hold that tiny baby boy in my arms and rock him to sleep as I poured my heart out to God through songs of worship. There were moments God’s presence was so close I could feel His breath on my neck as He whispered, “Kelly, do you see how you are holding this baby? Do you feel how relaxed he is in your arms? Imagine that this is you, resting upon my chest while I sing over you. Fix your eyes on me until I have become your confidence; let go of all your worries, my child.
It’s been just over four years, and I still cry when I look over my journal entries from that year. But the tears aren’t from pain; quite the opposite, it’s the overwhelming presence of God that shows up in the life of a believer when we want Him more than we want anything else on this earth.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I pray you’ll find hope in this promise – God WILL use the hard things we live through for our good when we place them in His hands. Had it not been for this tragic divorce, I’d still have termites in my foundation, a false sense of identity that leads me to seek security in relationships with people, and in the role of being someone’s wife. Oh, sweet sister, please hear and believe me when I say nothing in this life compares to the ecstatic joy of knowing, loving, and sharing secrets with Christ! (Psalm 4:7 NET; Psalm 16:11; Psalm 43:4; 1 Peter 1:8b)
Sending peace, love, and prayers to all!