Psalm 139:11-12

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (PSALM 139:11-12)

Monday, January 17, 2011

When You Raise the White Flag

School lunches need to be made, noses wiped, diapers changed, grocery shopping, laundry and are a Mom, after all. And yet the busyness of your day can only drown out the questions for so long. Why? How could he? How could He? Will I ever trust him again? Do I even want to stay married to him? How can you love him let alone live with him?

Where do you find the answers? Where do you find the answers to any of life's questions? Unless you have been down this road before I don't think anyone truly understands or knows how to overcome it. Like a "Dear Abby" letter I've been asked many questions. It's been many years since the truth came out and the light came on and I remember how we managed; at that time we were stumbling through it, reaching, grasping for anything we could use to hold us together.

Then came the Truth. That was the glue. And the tremendous grace He bestowed on us, bringing us to what we both needed and still need the most...surrender. You are fighting, fighting, fighting and you realize you can't do it anymore. You're tired and beaten down, weak and confused. Have you reached the point where if you don't raise the white flag in surrender then you know you're going to die? Maybe not physical death, but maybe you will just give up. Hopeless is a desperate place to be.

Whether you have stopped trusting your spouse or you have stopped trusting yourself. When it all seems lost, there is a moment, when you get to choose. Is it about you? Or is it about love? Is it about Him?

It is easy to make this all about your spouse. What choices they made that hurt you so much. When they aren't who you thought they were. There comes a point when all the anger and bitterness can turn on you if you can't see Him in the struggle with you anymore.

Are you ready to surrender? Can you give up trying to understand why? Because what feels like another betrayal may be the door for you to see things a new way. To see things within yourself that need changing. What does your heart look like? When everything is going well in your life it's easy to love God, but when the trials hit, that's when your true heart for Christ is revealed.

Are you willing to let His light shine into your darkest places, too?

There was a moment when this suffering felt like it was about me, my pain, my betrayal. How could God do this to me? He knew about my childhood betrayal so why would he allow this? Why did he not allow the one thing my heart had always wanted...a man to love and cherish me the way I deserved? This was a poignant moment because I realized (with help) that this suffering was about me, but not in the way I first thought. It was about my heart and who I was; who I was as a spouse, a mother, a woman; who I was in my relationship with Him. God could have kept the light out. The secrets could have remained secrets for all of time. We could have lived a status quo, unhappy married life and passed that example onto our children. Could the painful truth coming out actually be FOR ME? out of love for me? Was this the way, the ONLY way, out of an unhappy marriage? Was this His way of giving me my heart's desire?

When the light came on and the darkness exposed, God had brought my husband through the pit. God graciously convicted him to the point that he was done with the lies and he repented. By exposing the darkness, the secret sin could be dealt with, worked on, and healed. The Light is desirable. The Light is love. The Light filled my husband with the desire to love me and our children more perfectly. Something I had always desired, but feared would never happen in our marriage.

So allow yourself the freedom to experience ALL that this crisis has for you. Be angry, sad, disappointed, or worse. Forgive and forgive again as often as you need. But I pray that when God brings you through He will also soften your heart to all that He has in store for YOU, all that YOU need to see in yourself.

"I can tell you these things because I have been in dark places -- which is the only way any of us ever learn to love the light." (Tony Woodlief, "Somewhere More Holy")

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