My divorce was final in January 2011.
My biggest fear at that time was that I would have to wait. I was in so much pain that I just wanted to find something- someone- who was good. A fit. Just for me.
I used to beg God, Can you just let me know how long it’s going to be, so I can prepare myself. I mean, if I am going to be sixty, I am okay with that, I just need to know. Yeah, right. As if I would really be okay with being alone until I was sixty. Sometimes we just want to know. It’s the not knowing- the unknown- that is so terribly difficult.
Almost five years later, I am surprised to be where I am. I am surprised that I am grateful and thankful He did not answer my prayers and hand me a detailed twenty-year plan to go with them.
You see, if He had given me all that I begged and pleaded for, I would have missed out on his carving.
Can you picture that, dear sisters, carving, him carving deep into our lives, adding contour and detail that wasn’t there before. Deep understanding. Deep compassion.
I needed to learn what healthy love looked like. I needed to understand what it meant to be okay with just being me, without the label of ‘wife’ bolstering my identity and giving me worth.
I needed to see what He saw in me, so I could learn to see it in myself. Oh, I had no problem receiving his love when I looked good, all dressed up- ministry- homeschooling- teaching bible study- christian home- yep, nice and tidy with a crisp bow on top, but not like this, not when I was all muddy, not when I had nothing to offer.
I needed to leave space to deal with the pain and hurt that I had stuffed down for years, and if he had told me what was to come I would have set my eyes on that rather than addressing my wounded heart.
Oh, how I detest the pain that comes with these carvings. Let’s just be honest here. It sucks, like ‘get me out of here, I feel like I am going to die’ kinda sucks. Even so, dear sisters, I would not change it for the world, for it’ s where I saw His love.
Love has a way of doing that, you know. It allows us to stay in the pain, to see what will come of it….staying in the pain to see the healing that will come of it.
Isn’t that what He did? isn’t that what Christ did when He died on the cross? He stayed. He stayed in His pain so that we could see the love that would pour out, the healing, the closeness.
Rest assure dear sisters, He is not the cause of that pain. No,certainly not, but He draws near, so very near, and He uses those circumstances to deepen are understanding, understanding of his love, understanding of ourselves and others.
Oh the beautiful carvings that are etched as we walks through the fires.