It was innocent enough: I was sitting at work listening to a Lee Brice YouTube playlist when a song I hadn’t previously heard came on. Next thing I knew, I was sitting there with tears welled up in my eyes and a face red from the slap reality had just dealt me.
Here’s the song:
Listening to it, I had realized that I still wish my ex-husband was here, in my life, around for the good times and bad times and a part of my forever like we vowed to one another we would be. And my reaction was tears. I haven’t felt like God failed me for not allowing my husband to show up and take his rightful spot in my life. I haven’t felt like He failed me because things haven’t worked out the way I thought they would. I have felt like He failed me because He was supposed to heal my marriage and allow my husband to be my husband and allow my daughter to know her father and allow my family to be the family I committed to forever. Ouch! I didn’t see that one coming.
I have felt like the Lord failed me because all of the great things that have happened over the last eight years have been missing the one person I thought would be there forever. FOREVER. And yes, I will admit maybe this is true victim thinking….or maybe it is just part of the grief cycle and I am finally allowing myself to go through it…I guess after eight years I should be ready to deal with the grief and move forward. I should be able to put this relationship behind me and move forward but I feel stuck.
I have spent eight years – EIGHT years – reading Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 119, 2 Corinthians, Romans 8:28, Joel 2:18-31, and so many other scriptures that tell me that God knows what is best for my life and believing He does, while also believing that what is best is to not have to move on, to not have to learn someone knew, to have the family I was told I would have and be able to enjoy the laughs and good times. Because after all, the good times outnumbered the bad — it’s just that when there were bad times…well…they were bad.
So what do I do with this information? I made myself sit that night and listen to another song, one that I think of a very special friend of mine (don’t read into that because there is nothing to read into) every time I hear. This song brings a smile to my face:
This song is my anthem with my folks as well as one my friend and I exchange texts about every time it comes on. She and I both find comfort in its lyrics and believe it is the anthem of our lives. It has taken a special place in our friendship.
Music is my solace, my happy place. I can always find a song to share with me the emotion or joy I need. This song, “Baby Girl” is my hope – the last block of words. I am going to send money home to my folks one day because I will finally be living my purpose and be walking in that place where I belong and where I have been destined to walk since before they knew who I was.
I heard these lyrics and I asked myself, “What do I do with this information?” What do I do with the knowledge that I am still loving someone I haven’t seen or communicated with in more than 8 years and who I have no way of contacting? Would I even want to? Would it benefit anyone if I could? What would happen?
And so I played out two situations: 1) Reaching out and it goes the way I think in my heart of hearts that it should and 2) reaching out and it goes the way I know it never would. With the former, there is forgiveness extended and closure provided and we are able to give Ali the family she should have, a mom and a dad, but we are still divorced and we are still not together and we are still who we are. We are just able to give her the family she truly deserves in today’s society and with the constraints we have on us as far as distance goes. That would be a wonderful situation. The latter is us becoming a family again and something I just couldn’t truly see happening because I DO remember the sleepless nights, the tears, and the sadness that dominated the bad times. I DO remember the pain and the bad times just as I remember the laughter and good times.
So when I stepped back, and asked the Lord, “What is the point of knowing this information…of knowing that I miss him?” The Lord asked back, “Him or the idea of Him?” Thank God I was at home by this point.
So He brought to mind another song that I love and makes me think of another close friend of mine. Each time I hear it I think of our friendship and the ups and downs, the pain, the laughter, the good times and bad, the way I have loved in a way I have never loved. The way this person prepares me to be a good wife when I do finally move on. This song, when I heard it this time, I thought of something else: The way God loves me and holds me close.
Take a listen:
Do you hear it? Do you hear God speaking and saying, “I will wait for you. Grace tonight will pull us through. Until the tears have left your eyes…until the fear can sleep at night…” Oh…I feel it even now just as powerfully as I did the other night sitting there and listening to it. He loves me so much that He came and died for me and yet I keep Him so far away because I worry He will judge me for not wanting to get hurt again, for not wanting to give my heart to someone and have it kicked around and spit upon like last time. He loves me so much that even as I sit here wondering how all I am doing right now leads to the life He promised me and how I have the life He promised me without the human foundation that has been in every promise (the husband with whom I would do ministry and travel the world speaking to women and youth), He hasn’t given up on me. He hasn’t given up on me.
Let those words sink in for you too. After all, the point of me sharing my pain and my walk with you is that you can heal too. I don’t just share them so the world can know my inner thoughts and pain. I share because this is the platform I am able to use to help others.
Through the keys, I am able to share my story that starts conversations that leads folks to God that leads to healed hearts. That is my reason for breathing. Everything else I do I do to be able to write. It matters not in the world or the bigger scheme. They are simply tasks I have been given as I walk this Earth and work on these classes and books and blogs. My real passion is youth and women and seeing them brought into healing and deeper levels of Christ. Do you have a passion? Do you know what it is that you are giving God when you say, “I give you my all”?
Listen friends… this life is about so much more than hurt and pain. And while I am walking out the grief I SHOULD HAVE dealt with YEARS ago, I don’t want to see others harbor theirs for so long. I harbored mine because I was afraid of what God would do with my life if I handed it over to Him. Yes, I just admitted that. I am so afraid of my own calling that I hold myself back because I am fearful of the light within me. I had spent so long abused in my life that I am not used to being an influencer and someone others look up to. And as I think of all these things, our musical journey this blog post has turned into continues. I hear the words, “come out of hiding…” so clearly.
Take a listen to the entire song from which they come:
I’ve shared that song before but tonight they are hitting especially close to home, especially the line “Oh as you run, what hindered love will only become part of the story.” Praise you Jesus that You don’t give up on us even when we give up on ourselves. Praise you that You know us better than we know ourselves and that you believe in our story and know our story and are willing to wait until we are able to fully say to you, “I am ready to come out of hiding”!
Friends, what have you been holding back? What have you been keeping inside that you think He doesn’t know about you? What feelings or emotions have you kept so hidden you don’t even realize they are there?
Let them free today! Let them loose today! Let them OUT TODAY! Don’t keep them bottled up inside even one moment longer. Instead, let the Lord come in and hold you close as He sings to you and let it become that instead of hearing a song and breaking down you start to hear songs and smile because some day someone will be by your side celebrating with you and cheering you on. Or maybe you already having someone doing those things but you are hurt from the death of a child, the lack of being able to have a child, the loss of a loved one, or some other pain. God knows. He isn’t going to be surprised by ANY emotion you have. He wasn’t shocked to learn that I was upset with Him for not healing my marriage, for not allowing my ex and me to be the happily ever after I thought we would one day be or that people all around me said we would be. He wasn’t surprised to learn that I am afraid to move on because I am scared someone else will do the same thing to me again and I am not able to bear that kind of pain yet again in my life. Once was enough to have my life shattered into pieces. He will not be afraid to learn whatever secret you are withholding.
To close us out, I realize that I can’t move forward, as I shared yesterday in the post, if I am constantly looking behind me. I need to look forward and trust that post-divorce life can be beautiful and post-divorce love can be a wonderful thing. I have yet to experience it truly and fully and I am ready to. My friends have prepared me. I have learned that I am strong enough to love beyond myself. I have learned that I am able to love with a deeper love than I have ever loved even my ex-husband, and maybe that is where these feelings are coming from: wondering if he were in my life now if things would be different because I know how to love differently. But the fact is, that my past has no place in my future. Like Lot’s wife, I need to understand that I am not to look back but ahead to where the Lord is calling me. And that place is an amazing place. One where I will experience some amazing things if I will just trust Him and look to Him instead of hearing others.
So with that, I leave you with one last song for tonight. The song that has become the anthem of our track at church and has long been a favorite of mine since I first heard it: The more I seek Him the more I am able to understand love. The more I am able to understand love, the more I WILL love. The more I love, the closer I am coming to once again having someone by my side to celebrate the joys and trials of life with me.
Until next time,