I stayed up this morning when my husband left for work. I usually don’t. I, uh, I don’t want to say when I usually get up, because it is embarrassing, but today, today, I was awake by a little after 5, and I didn’t go back to sleep.
So I was jogging at around 7:30. The sun was just coming up; I could see hints of pink in the clouds, whispering of the growing light.
And it sort of became a game with me – a game of looking for the sun between the houses, wondering when exactly I’d see it, with the full expectation that I would see it.
And as I did this, I breathed aloud, firmly, “I will NOT give up until I see the sun.”
Struggles have marked my relationship with my husband nearly from the beginning. I have gone through periods of hope and disillusionment while he has just kind of spiraled down further and further. To be quite honest, if God were not in the picture, I don’t know if we’d still be together. I might have left or be in the process of leaving. Not at ALL because I don’t love him, or because he doesn’t love me, or because I want someone else (ew), but because I would not have any hope. I would be so discouraged, and hurt, and frustrated, and just at a loss. I wouldn’t know why I act the way I do, wouldn’t have compassion toward him for being the way he is, and there would be only dysfunction.
But I do have hope. Whether I hold to it well is another issue, but the fact of the matter is that hope is available. Hope is real. Hope is alive.
Hope says that we are not too far gone. That we are not too broken. That we are not too disconnected. That we are not too different. That our issues are not irreconcilable.
That we can be saved. Healed. Restored.
And that we will be.
God has given me soooo many promises; I can’t even begin to recount them all. (Though I should try.) Songs, verses, messages, visions, dreams – confirmation after confirmation after confirmation. And just when I start thinking that I have nothing left, that I can’t do this anymore, that nothing can fix any of the issues we have: another confirmation.
God has not changed his mind about us.
That just came to mind, accompanied by tears.
God has not changed his mind about us. God has NOT changed his mind about us. No matter the struggles, no matter the frustration, no matter the stubbornness, he chose us. And he hasn’t gone back on his choice. He doesn’t regret it. Nothing has changed in how God sees us.
He brought us together.
He brought us together for a purpose.
His plan, his purpose, the purpose for which he united our lives and hearts, has stood. Is standing. Just as he promised it would.
Circumstances and issues haven’t changed it, haven’t shaken him from his throne. None of our struggles have come as a surprise to him. He is not confused by us, or unsure how to fix us. He has not allowed things because he is cruel or detached but because he sees how powerful it will be when it is redeemed.
The last few years have not sidelined his plan, or detracted from it – they are part of it.
When I look at us, honestly, I see only us. Us, and maybe a few people that we impact, a couple people we inspire, another handful that we help to deliver from darkness. Good stuff, but so insanely (and ridiculously) shortsighted.
But God sees something else. Something bigger.
Something much, much bigger.
He sees how we will impact not only people, but generations.
He sees how we fit into his Kingdom, how eternity will be affected because of us.
For so long, the thought of God’s plan for my life has terrified me.
I want that to change.
I want to be excited. Eager. Delighted.
I want to be expectant.
There was no question in my mind over whether I would see the sun this morning.
That is how I want to be when it comes to God.
That certain, that convinced, that full of faith.
That confident that I will see what I hope to see.
So much of the struggle stems from me. My stubbornness. My faithlessness. My vacillation. My woundedness. My distrust. My refusal to release my decaying piece of nasty pride, to take hold of everything he has for us. My inability – or unwillingness – to hold onto his promises when the waves start to rise and the boat starts to rock.
In this, I am beginning to see just how horrifically deep my pride goes. How wretchedly far I have fallen from original glory. How insidiously deceiving the satanic spell has been.
And in this, I not only have the chance to lay down more of my pride, but I have the chance to let him change me. And to see how patient he truly is with me. How very patient. And persistent. And faithful.
No matter how faithless I am, no matter how much I doubt, he just keeps reaffirming everything. And poking little holes in the darkness. I’ll flip on the radio and hear the song I need to hear. I’ll open my Bible, and the first thing I see is the exact verse I needed to read. I’ll have a dream where I fall over a hundred feet (I am quite scared of heights), and his hand rests beneath me, slowing my descent to almost nothing, and then setting me gently onto my feet on solid ground.
I can’t make the sun rise. I can’t make the dawn break. Not in the physical world and not in our marriage, either. God has already decided the timing of things. And now, we are waiting.
Back when my husband first started really struggling (that I saw, at least), I had this thought: “I wonder if this is for me just as much as – if not more than – him.”
Time has proven me far more correct than I would have imagined when I thought that thought.
This is for me. This has been for me. God is using my husband’s struggles to not only draw him back to him (which they eventually will), but to save me. To heal me. To change me.
It isn’t about making things happen.
It isn’t about striving.
It isn’t about manipulating or controlling. (Disgusting personality traits in me, by the way. Ugh.)
It is about continuing on the path before me, and waiting for God to call the sun forth.
It is about keeping my eyes open, and delighting in every tiny half-glimpse of brilliant orange that I see.
It is about trusting the one who IS faithful.
Because soon, the hurt will lead to healing. Soon, the dark will break into morning.
Soon, everything that hasn’t made sense, will bring me to my knees in awe.
I will surely forget these troubles, recalling them only as water gone by.
And life will be brighter than noonday.
This WILL turn out for our deliverance.
Oh, the sun is coming. It’s coming.
God, help me hold on.