I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11)
My husband is my best friend.
But it wasn’t always this way. I cried countless tears.
For many years, I begged God to heal my marriage, and those prayers seemed to go unanswered. Then, while I was pregnant with beautiful baby number 5, the roof fell in. An eight-month marital separation shattered the illusion of family we had tried to portray to the world.
I felt alone and abandoned, but God surrounded me.
During that season, He showed me how my desperation had opened the door of idolatry in my heart. I had made my husband and family into an idol and had taken my eyes off the will of my Father.
I had also allowed fear, anger, blame, and mistrust to take root in my mind. Instead of focusing on the God of the mountaintop, I focused on the journey behind me and the valley in front of me. I couldn’t love my husband like I was called to because I didn’t love my Father like I was created to.
If you had asked me did I love God, I would have answered, “Of course I love God!” Yet, I was overcome by my circumstance, so my focus was not on Him; it was on my pain.
Amid my grief and regret, the Lord poured His grace onto me. My priority was to keep my family together, but it should have been to love God with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and then love my neighbor as myself (my first neighbors being my husband and children). I was created to declare God’s praises, but I had centered my life around keeping my family from falling apart.
Then the Lord opened my eyes to a single truth:
I was confused about my identity.
I didn’t find my identity in Christ but as a mom and a wife. When that fell apart, I fell apart.
When He put me back together, He reminded me that, above all else, I was a daughter of the King. Regardless of the outcome of my marriage, the King had plans.God has magnificent plans for my life. Click To Tweet
God has magnificent plans for your life.
But it starts with surrender. I had to surrender my plan for my marriage.
I wanted peace in my marriage. But God wanted to rebirth and restore it. I wanted my husband to put me before his vices. God wanted my husband to put Him first. I wanted my husband and I to walk in our faith together. God wanted us to walk in our callings.
God’s plan is always better.
When my husband and I were separated, I couldn’t see God’s promises fulfilled. But still, He was carrying them out. In our separate locations, God was working on us.
I have learned never to count God out.
During our separation, I was forced to a worship posture – on my knees in total surrender. And it was on my knees that I found peace. In that position, I refocused on my calling to love like God loved – unconditionally. I found solace in the arms of the One who had been there all along – waiting for me. I drew close to the Lord, and He drew close to me. I studied the Word, wrote in my prayer journal, and worshipped. I encouraged other women, loved my children, and served families in my church. I faced the fact that I was hurting and allowed God to lead me on a healing journey. I began to walk in the calling to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. and love my neighbor as myself.
And as I did, I finally experienced the peace that surpasses understanding – despite my circumstance.
I would never have thought I’d be grateful for that growing season, but I am. God did amazing things during our separation. When we were finally reunited, God used my love as a balm for my husband’s hurt. Unlike before, I could demonstrate compassion because my focus wasn’t on our journey but God.
We don’t need to focus on the journey when we have a loving Father who walks with us. If we turn our focus onto Him, He will carry us. I don’t know God’s plans, but I’ve learned they’re better than I can imagine. It’s my job to be obedient to my calling. He will handle the remainder.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
I tend to overpack. But, we experience Christ’s rest when we’re not burdened with everything we think we need to travel the path of the unknown. We can trust our God to carry us and equip us with what is necessary.
Today, my husband and I are walking out our calling, and we’re blessed to do it together. We both have a passion for hurting men and women because we know that God heals.
I couldn’t have imagined God’s blessings for my marriage.
But, each day, I try to remember to be grateful for where God has brought us from. God has used every hurt, tear, and wrong decision to bless others. We can counsel others in their marriage because we almost destroyed – and then trusted God with – our own.
My husband is reliable, offers wise counsel, and is dedicated to our family. He is so much more than I ever imagined that I wanted, and my marriage still grows stronger each day.
When I thought God was ignoring my prayers, he was faithful. Because,
God is trustworthy.
He will never abandon you, and his plans for your future are more significant than you can imagine.
For more information on this topic, check out today’s Daily Hope & Prayer.