A couple of years ago I lived in a very different world. My world was full of hurt and betrayal. I tried all manner of things to ease the pain but nothing worked. I was hopeless. I remember one particular day when I called a family member to vent. I was ready to move on, to get a fresh start. I let it all out:
I don’t deserve this! I don’t want this to be my life! I deserve to be loved and treated well! I deserve to be happy. I’m not going to waste my whole life waiting for someone else to change. I deserve better than this!
Having had the opportunity to talk to many women who have been or who currently are in similar situations I know these feelings are not unique. I also know that just because the majority of people feel this way doesn’t make it right.
Today as I think upon those feelings and the words I used to express my pain I cringe. I see how selfish and prideful I was.
With all that was happening to me by the actions of my husband it never dawned on me that there was anything about me that needed to change. The idea that I was just as lost as Chad not only never crossed my mind but made made me angry to hear it suggested. And here’s the kicker: Do I really have the right to demand happiness, comfort, peace and love? At that time I believed I did. I had bought into the lie that suggests a Christian will always be happy, that trials, at least not big ones, will not come my way. My idea of being a Christian looked more like the world’s ways than Jesus’ way (Phil 2:7-8).
It wasn’t until I began a bible study with a dear christian woman that the idea of not having rights surfaced. I balked! Don’t tell me that, I thought. I’m not going to be a doormat for others to walk all over. Most certainly not my husband! It set me back and it took a while for God’s word to speak reassuring truth to my soul.
What I learned is that trouble is promised to us. We aren’t promised comfort and security but we are promised that God will be with us through the fire. We aren’t told that he will always keep us out of it. This simple truth transformed my life.
So here I was learning that I didn’t have rights and that I was just as selfish and prideful as Chad. His pride played out in a very different way, but I was just as prideful. His selfishness was out there for all to see, but I was very selfish in ways that others didn’t notice as much. I began to see my great need for God. I began, not to cry out for my marriage to be saved, or for happiness, but for God to save me from myself. I prayed and still pray for God to show me my heart and my desires as He sees them. When He reveals the way that He sees my wants and desires I can do nothing but fall at His feet and cry for mercy.
Once I began to focus on God and on my need for Him my troubles didn’t overwhelm me as they did before. I had a glimpse of my Savior and how great He is and how small I am. My life became less about pleasing myself as I began to strive to please my God and in doing that, the troubles I faced gave me greater opportunities to please my Lord. It’s during those times of trial that the rubber meets the road. Do you really believe God is with you? Suffering and trouble will show you. I am in no way perfect. I still struggle with seeing things the way I should. There are times that I have to stop myself and remind myself that my comfort and my happiness is not paramount. God is using hard days and realizations of my sinfulness to draw me to Him.
Will you allow God to speak to you through your trials? Will you praise God despite your pain? Will you honor the Lord in suffering with grace and obedience? Those are my goals. I believe if we do this it will not only help us through our trouble but most importantly it will please our Lord!
God give us the eyes to see our hearts as you see them and the ears to hear your still small voice when trouble is roaring all around us!