Thanks for joining me while I work through posting a chapter of my book called “Friendly Fire.” This chapter primarily deals with the difficulty of trusting in a good God when life is not good. If you have not read my blogs before, please go back to Part 1 and begin there for greater clarity.
My healing could not move forward until I accepted the sovereignty of God. When I did, the “why” questions vanished. They ceased to matter for I finally believed what I was meant to believe all along...God loved me and was in control.
June 20, 2009
I know now why I’ve been stuck.
A metamorphous has taken place within my mind. Out of the cocoon and into the light I spread my wings into a life of surrender. There are moments I still long for the wrappings of my chrysalis, only to realize how dark and pitiful that place remains. It has been my home for too long and I tremble at how easy it is to crawl back there.
What does genuine surrender look like? It allows God to leave a problem, a pain, a sickness, a sorrow, to fulfill His purpose. A surrendered person does not demand rights. (Quite frankly after the loveless childhood, I figured in my arrogance that God somehow owed me happiness as an adult. Yet the one road I begged not to travel, felt I could never survive—is the very road I now journey.)
A surrendered individual obeys out of love even when there is little understanding. They do not reject any part of who God created them to be. They give over to God their fear, pride, unanswered questions, even a wayward husband. (Oh how I struggle.)
Surrender gives up worldly dreams and accepts the broken pieces of life. My desire, my need, and my endless effort to create a Hallmark card marriage—my definition of success must go. Surrender paints the portrait God wants, not the picture perfect life I desire.
Surrender hurts—then brings freedom. Like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, there is struggle, pain, and exertion. From worm to wings, I’m no longer earth bound crawling in the muck and mire constantly reliving the betrayal. I choose to dry my tears as the butterfly dries its’ wings, and give flight to new dreams. Though days of rain still remain, I believe life has purpose and meaning. I’m no longer held in captivity but have wings to fly.
The question is—will I?
~ ~ ~
It is fair to ask if my time in Australia fully renewed my trust in a sovereign God? Not entirely, but it became the foundation upon which I needed to rebuild. Emotionally I felt substantially uplifted and more positive because of all the love I received. My body received a much-needed rest and my spiritual life an infusion of hope. I learned a fundamental truth in that land of endless sunshine—God is sovereign and I can trust His goodness even when life is not good.
David joined me in Australia near the end of my three-month stay. He met all my amazing new friends and we traveled home together feeling brighter about our future.
The time of rest in Australia was certainly God ordained, the calm before another storm. Trouble was far from over. Financial pressure came down hard thereafter; by the fall we had to sell our beloved lake home due to the betrayal of a business partner and the stock market crash. Our children’s lives began to unravel with changes we found heart-breaking. To date, some of these same pressures remain. In other words—when Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world.”
He meant just that.
Though I wrestled to finish the work of forgiveness, and insecurity raged until early 2010, I accepted that God had His reasons for my messy life whether I understood them or not, and I chose to trust the words of Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I chose to trust.
A helpful book I read during my healing was a book called Inside Out,
by Dr. Larry Crabb. This following section pierced my soul. “A necessary foundation for any relationship with God is a recognition that God is God and we are not. We therefore have no business demanding anything of anyone, no matter how fervently our soul longs for relief from pain. It is wrong to internally demand that your loved one become a Christian or you spouse stop drinking or your biopsy be negative or your rebellious child straighten up. Desire much, pray for much, but demand nothing. To trust God means to demand nothing.”[i]
In looking back I realized how demanding I had been. How much I had to learn. How gracious God remained. How loving and patient His heart beat toward me. I praise Him for this goodness.
No matter how betrayal translates into your life today, can I challenge you to believe in a God that has things under control when all seems uncontrollable? Can I encourage you to believe in a good God, when life is not good? And can I use the word sovereignty where assurance flows—God does care, God does love you, God is working.
Dr. Larry Crabb, Inside Out
(Colorado Springs, CO, NavPress Publications, 1988, 2007) 163.