I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I laid awake for 2 hours in prayer, my mind wandering, unable to focus my full attention on Christ, distracted from the recent blow to my heart. I was unable to focus on His promises and was crippled with fear of what 2018 will bring. There has been an unexpected change of events that I was not prepared for. The marriage that I was fighting for was deemed “a lost cause”, and my husband of over 13 years moved out. He tossed my love aside like yesterday’s trash, as if it meant nothing. I wasn’t worth honesty, affection, accountability, or attention from him. I faced the loss of hope that I so tightly clung to, and the promise that God would heal and restore what was broken within himself and our marriage. My husband gave up. God did not. Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers. Sometimes God saves us from what we, ourselves, cannot find the courage to do. Sometimes God closes a door in our lives. A door that was leading nowhere. This door was closed for awhile earlier this year, but I said, “NO. No, God, you can’t close this door. I am too scared to think of a life outside of this room.” I was determined to stand in God’s way and His will for my life, because I was too fearful of a future that I couldn’t see, one that I didn’t plan. I was waiting for this transformation and renewal of the mind and heart that would break the vicious cycle of destruction and oppression, but, it didn’t come. That wasn’t my plan. That wasn’t my dream for our lives. My plans were destroyed. I was left with the all-too-familiar string of rejection, and the feeling that I was just not worth the fight or the love.
The powerful battle of mind vs. spirit began. Some days it is so intense that thinking beyond the next minute, the next task, seems too hard to do. But, I know, deep in my soul, that in the midst of this pain, Jesus is near me. John 16:32, “I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” The river of tears I have cried, He has cried with me. John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” The moments where my heart feels the weight of despair, my tears cry out to Jesus. Psalms 56:8, “You have taken note of my journey through life, caught each of my tears in a bottle.” During the sleepless nights and the battling mind, I can rest assured, knowing that I don’t have to reside in the sea of sorrows, the eye of the storm, or the seat of rejection. I can call out to my God, my Savior, with a simple cry of my heart and He will carry me.” Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” On those days when I feel like I am drowning, when my heart aches so greatly I can only put one foot in front of the other, living in the minute-to-minute because anything beyond that seems just too hard to bare, I will still remain hopeful and stand firm to the promise that I will be delivered. Psalms 34:18-19, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” The BEST part, is knowing that this broken heart will be healed, and hope will be restored. Joy will overflow. John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” His plans for me are far greater than anything I can dream. He knows my needs far better than I, and even when the plan doesn’t seem fair, doesn’t seem good, it is the very thing that the Lord is using to make all things new. Isaiah 43:18, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
So, instead of going into 2018 with the mindset that things won’t turn out as I had hoped, I can rejoice that it will turn out good. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose.” His plan is far greater than mine. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Father God, we come to you with hurting hearts and shattered dreams. I ask that you hold our hearts in your hands, you store our tears in a bottle, and you bless us with strength to endure these trials in life. Show us, Lord, how to keep our eyes fixed on you, and stand firm on your promises of truth, knowing that your way is the only way. Thank you, Lord, for your protection. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of hope. May our hearts and eyes always remain in your hope.
Melissa Donnelly is a regular writer for the Titus II blog. You will find many of her articles under the Tuesday Tips tab. She has a growing passion for encouraging others through the wisdom and words that Christ gives her. She is the mother to five awesome children and grandmother to one beauty. Melissa grew up in Upstate New York near Lake Ontario and, after many moves with the army, now makes her home with her family in Nebraska. She is a volunteering mom at her children’s schools and the founder of Community Toy Drive and also has started a library ministry in her home church. Next to loving her family, Melissa’s Italian core kicks in and she loves to feed people until they could burst. Jeremiah 29:11. “‘For I know the plan I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)