“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.” — Isaiah 40:31 [ESV]
Every time I think I’ve made the decision to stay in my marriage, I discover the “well goes dry.” My writing stops, I have no creative juices flowing, and I feel as though God is silent. So I wonder, at times, if the following is true: Is God silent, because I’m not listening and being obedient to what He is telling me to do?
For instance, take the following:
God speaks to my heart letting me know divorce is the plan. In “good” moments, I picture it in a positive way… My husband and I communicate well with each other, he marries someone else and is happy; I write and help people, possibly marry, and am happy; the kids’ stress dissolves over time, they adapt, and they’re happy. In “bad” moments, I picture it in a negative way… I blame my husband for things; I wind up penniless and living off the street, unable to work and emotionally/physically drained; the kids spiral into depression and unhealthy behaviors; and we all self-destruct. (I’m a very black and white thinker. Can you tell?)
I feel in my gut… in my heart… the thought of divorce, and I believe God is leading me down that road; but I always stop just short of following through, because I think, “That can’t be God. God wouldn’t tell me that. God HATES divorce.” But here is what God is also unveiling… yes, He hates divorce, but He also hates sin. Hating someone is sin. Pretending to be someone I’m not is sin. Not acting in a loving way is sin. Staying in my marriage may be just as sinful as divorce.
Writing these things down makes me feel foolish… like perhaps I am trying to twist things in order to condone divorce as a viable option. I don’t think that’s what I’m trying to do, but I do think Satan tries to mess with our minds. So, I pray for God’s direction in following the right path… the one He has prepared for me… the one He predestined me to go down.
When I think I should stay in my marriage for my kids’ sake, I realize that I will need to find other (healthy) ways to get my needs met. I resign myself to thinking my life will be tolerable at best, miserable at worst. I’m not sure I can do miserable again. I don’t for one minute believe that’s what God wants for me either. God wants me to soar like an eagle… to write for His glory… to show others that no, divorce is not right, but neither is marrying out of insecurity. We all make mistakes, but we don’t need to let those mistakes define who we are. We can learn from them and use them to help others.
I came across a beautiful saying today that so accurately describes what I believe I struggle with so much lately…
If you doubt your ability to make a life-altering decision, to take on a daring aspiration, or to fend for yourself after many years, consider this: surely, if a bird with healthy wings is locked in a cage long enough, she will doubt her ability to fly. — Sandra King
I want out of the cage. The cage may be my marriage or it could be something I have put around myself. I have folded my wings beneath me, found a safe spot on the floor, and resigned myself to being there; but I hate the cage now, and I long to be free. I long for a gentle soul to open the cage, coax me out, and patiently teach me how to once again find my wings and fly… only this time, I don’t want to flap my wings in exhaustion; I want to find the thermals (of God’s plan for my life) and soar like an eagle.
Interestingly, when I was researching the verse from Isaiah at the top of this blog spot, I learned that the Hebrew word for “wait for” means to bind (twist) together. That means, if I twist myself together with God (immersing myself in His Word and spending quiet time meditating on what He is saying), I will gain new strength. Eagles, when they fly, conserve energy by looking for thermals of air to glide in and out of so they don’t have to waste energy flapping their wings. I want to live like that!
Looking for thermals…
LORD… we can’t rise up and soar like an eagle if we are bogged down with the weight of insecurity. Teach us to bind ourselves together with You, gain new strength, and soar in the freedom Your Son died to give us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.