Wednesday, January 14, 2015


You know, as I’ve walked through this agonizing divorce (which isn’t over), I’ve logged a lot of middle of the night hours with God. 

I’ve told Him every hurt, angry, confused, shocked, embarrassed, ashamed, grieved, and broken thing a thousand times over. It’s really stunning what amount of grief the human body can not die from. Endless conversations about the parts of the breakdown that were mine alone, sin and repentance (lots and lots), hopelessness, frustration, the death of what could/should have been but wasn’t, the suffering my kids have gone through and my what was my wrongdoing in that as well, financial desperation, seemingly lost and wasted years, betrayal, bitterness, loneliness, fear, and my deep need for the Lord’s presence, and on and on. 

As those of you who have experienced your life being shipwrecked and walked with God through it have already learned, at some point along the way I realized that Jesus Himself has been through it all (Hebrews 4:14-16). Except He did so perfectly. Me, not so much. He knows what it’s like. He’s had His own middle of the night grueling prayer sessions and cried out to God for relief, too.
And, this dawned on me last night: because of that, I treasure those hours. 

Because even though they’ve been harder than childbirth and more painful, 
He’s been there and He’s held me (Isaiah 41:10), He’s never let go (Deuteronomy 31:6), He’s listened to every big and small thing (1 John 5:14), He cares (1 Peter 5:7), He’s gathered up every tear (Psalm 56:8), He’s forgiven me my sins and doesn’t even remember them any more (Hebrews 8:12), He will cause good to come out of this (Romans 8:28), He’s changed my perspective and He’s changed me (Ezekiel 36:26). God is not any different (James 1:17) but I’ve realized that in clinging so desperately to Him, I am. If it weren’t for this long trauma, I wouldn’t know the nearness and the dearness of the Lord. I wouldn’t know the agony of needing Him so profoundly. I wouldn’t have discovered that He doesn’t require perfection — He doesn’t mind the ugly snot-bubble kind of crying one bit. I wouldn’t know the foreignness of praying for those who’ve hurt me (Matthew 5:43-48) and even learning to pray prayers I never could have prayed before for my husband — for God to pour out His love on him and his mistress and bless them. Those, my friends, are rubber-meets-the-road prayers! I wouldn't know my own sin. I wouldn't recognize it or even care.

I wouldn’t know that sometimes praising God is the bravest and most life-changing thing to do in the face of fear, shame, anger, loss, anything really. I wouldn’t even have looked for the treasures and joys along the way, His “small” gifts like the beauty of quietude, sunrises, and the sound of birds waking up, the loveliness of pre-dawn fog over the ocean, and the smell of rain in the early morning. 

I wouldn’t know that, when push comes to shove (and it has), He’s all I need. It's all about Him. It turns out that those middle of the night hours are not my own personal torture chamber, but instead they are probably as precious to me as the births/adoptions of my kids. Although they’ve been filled with pain, those are the times He’s drawn nearer than my own breath (if that’s possible) and held my hand. Even if nothing has changed on the outside, even if circumstances have stayed the same or gotten worse, He is with me. 

And that’s the actual, unmistakable, remarkable, surprising gift — 


1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, I love your words here. Such an encouragement for my heart. I've struggled through infertility. Experienced the sudden loss of my Dad. Cared for my dementia mom in our home while my children were school and Jr High age. Had "church hurt " in the midst of being a Pastors wife. Had many a night where I cried in the pain of it all. But my most recent and probably most painful has been my twin slowly pulling away from me and her family and friends as mental illness (she will not go to the Doctor so there will not be a diagnosis).....overcomes her. My heart has been raw. I went to a good Christian counselor. Went thru a year where she wouldn't talk to me. Felt rejection like never before. Our family took in her husband and her kids for a brief time. She came back into our lives although not the same as "the good ole days" I treasured time with her. Now the past 7 months she is pushing me away and not wanting to be in my/our lives. Mental illness is so hard. So hard. As I struggle to "re-group" and learn to live with her absense in our lives I have been through some "struggle" with The Lord. I don't see any good in this. Her husband lives with a different (angry and sometimes hostile) woman than he married. Her adult children tiptoe around it all. She no longer does ministry. She doesn't bless the church community with her gifts anymore. She's at home. Living with a mental illness she won't a knowledge. And while I don't see good coming out of this scenario, your words have encouraged me more than you know. I am currently in the "when God doesn't fix it" online study. God is touching my confused heart and loving me thru this. He directed me to your blog. Thank you for your honest and transparent testimony. I am so sorry for the pain you've had to go through. I want you to know that what your learned thru it has blessed me tremendously. My "detour" in not being able to have a fun and real relationship with my twin through this life.....will somehow be used by God for his glory. I am already seeing the good for relationship with Him. Thank you❤️