the Master will appear. It’s an old proverb that rings true every time. What we see as devastation, I am convinced the Lord sees as a teaching opportunity. The question is, are we willing to learn, to be taught, to change according to the revelation given.
As we continue to reflect on the goodness of the Lord in and through the 18 days, and the 10 years of freedom that followed, we see His hand of mercy and impeccable timing. We began the marital separation with simple instructions: work on your own junk. I worked on my own heart. Chuck worked on his. The counselor (God bless his brave soul) told us to not think about the fate of the marriage until we had stabilized our own hearts. Selah.
Author and pastor, Danny Silk challenged the way we humans emotionally blow up our relationships with mates, kids, family and then immediately try to fix the problem and get back to normal. Silk said it is impossible to get “back to normal” when there is blood all over the walls from the last explosion. Instead he advised, just work on cleaning up the mess. Take the time needed to restore some measure of connection and THEN work on what caused the blow up in the first place.
In our situation, 18 years of dysfunction and mess, carelessness and resentment, and now so broken that we are separated, the outcome of the marriage was not the most important thing. Tending to our own hearts before the Lord was the most pressing.
And I couldn’t shake the suffocating panic.
If you know me, you know that I am a go-getter, risk-taker, charge the hill. But now I had been punched in the gut. I literally woke up in the middle of the night with dry heaves. I was so scared. Everything of importance in my life seemed to be teetering on the brink of an abyss, ready to fall at any moment.
What would happen to my house, my notion of family, the girls’ schooling, my own ministry, the relationships I had? In my conversations, either awake or dreaming, I would roll questions over and over, “how can I be safe now?” “What do I need to do to be safe?” “I don’t know how to go forward and feel safe.”
I cried out to the Lord, whose voice I knew very well, but this was unchartered territory.
” I am safe,” He kept whispering.
“I know you are but I’m don’t FEEL safe. I don’t know what Chuck is going to do. I don’t know what is going to happen,” I said dismissing His truth.
“You are with me, I am safe,” He said.
This went on for three days and nights until his message came through loud and clear.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
The Master had spoken. And as the student, I had to learn this lesson. I had to digest this word and let it go down into the innermost parts of my soul. It had to change me. And believe me, I was desperately ready for change. Are you there yet? Look at this verse broken down.
Fear of man:
Fear of others’ opinions, fear of looking good or stupid, fear of my team, my friends, my family’s approval or disapproval, fear of the church’s reactions, fear of bodily or emotional harm, fear of financial or social ruin
A deadly bear claw hidden along the paths of life that once clamped there is no escape except by mutilation of caught limb or death
(How many of lose our lives over fear of other’s reactions)
Trust in the Lord:
Surrendering body, soul, and spirit to the One greater than me, leaning on, depending on, staking my whole life on His care
Held in the loving, protecting arms of the God, the Savior, the Lover who would never look away, never leave, never NOT defend me.
I am, was and would always be safe in His arms. End of story.
No matter the outcomes, the marriage, the children, the finances, the social implications, I was safe in Him. The rest of the 18 Days were radically changed by this revelation. I had a Truth greater than my feelings.
Ten years later, I see this deposit radically altered my future.
The Master is teaching us all the time. Are we ready to learn?
The graphic somewhere seen on social media. Smile.