Each week we share guest devotionals. The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
Has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?
We may be guilty of fantasizing and romanticizing this “suddenly.” The long-awaited moment lingers in our mind like the magical ending of our favorite romance where undying love is professed. Fiction and fantasy are not where God wants us to lock our gaze. We fix our eyes on Jesus, on Truth. When we hope in the Lord, we may be given glimpses of our future but not in the realm of our fantasy.
My husband held my hands at a ‘Weekend to Remember’ and restated our wedding vows as our eyes were locked. My heart was full of hope, trying to push away doubt and fear. I knew this was part of the program and a part of me wanted it so badly. I praise God for the moment. I thank Him for the opportunity. I am so grateful for my husband’s willingness. Do not read these next words wrong. This beautiful precious moment was an amazing gift from God, a wonderful miracle that I hold in my heart. But it did not instantly erase every problem, every fear, or every doubt.
Standing forever means that the weekend will end. We will drive home, and Monday will arrive. Monday, here I am. A bit more whole, but still some broken. Full and overflowing with questions, memories, desires, and problems. I still know that every day we wake up, each one of us decides to stay, come home, listen to God. I am grateful, joyful, and even at times exuberant at the work of God. I do stand in awe of the miracle that I witnessed just like the Hebrews on the other side of the Red Sea. The miracle came suddenly. We were whisked away to the other side. The enemy was crushed in the mighty waters. Now, it is Monday figuratively. We have mouths to feed, tents to set up, clothes to wash. There will be disagreements on the right place for that tent for sure.
In just a few verses, the Hebrews find themselves hungry, thirsty, and tired. There is a lot of hard work after the suddenly. Your prodigal may not be as ready to roll up their sleeves and rebuild. There might be an attitude of “just be glad I’m here.” The real meaning and walking out of love begins here. New struggles and even more waiting are in store. I still find myself feeling so alone although together. Pressing into Jesus and holding tighter than ever is the only way to survive the before and after of this suddenly, the only way of surviving through any storm.
Your spouse, broken, beaten, and still entrapped in so many ways will not be ready to help you heal from their own actions. It is very possible that even knowing you are hurt will make them respond in frustration and anger. Shame lurks in their hearts causing volatile thoughts and feelings that may be directed at you. During these early days, it’s important to not immediately turn to your spouse for the comfort and love you have been so desperately wanting. Consider them for a time to be in recovery. Keep your eyes on Christ. Give them space to grow, heal, and rediscover their love for God, for you. It requires even more zipping your lips, complete selflessness. Every “I deserve” and “what about me” is an enemy of your restoration. Only by surrendering yourself, considering your spouse’s needs above your own and daily carrying your cross will the restoration continue to unfold.
I thank God for all the many, many times He has helped me to zip my lips. I ask forgiveness for the times when I fail. I ask Him for the strength to pour myself out completely and to wait patiently. Give everything, surrender all of me for this restoration He has planned for us. I realize that every move to protect myself, defend myself or even to seek healing through my spouse is the wrong direction. Unconditional love, bearing all things, enduring all things, will be the daily walk as I seek to fulfill 1 Corinthians 13. Seeking God’s help, love and comfort will be just as necessary now as before.
Every ounce of anger, bitterness, malice must be daily erased. You may feel like it is gone and then find yourself having to deal with it over and over again. I have often pictured God redeeming some of those things the enemy tried to steal. The seat on the porch where this dreadful event happened is where I sit and praise God for holding me in that desperate moment. The place where I dropped to my knees and cried out becomes a sacred place where I know Jesus wept with me as He did Lazarus’ sisters. Redeeming memories is my daily choice. I can either let the enemy keep them, or I can take those memories and see God in them. I can see His presence, His plans, His provisions. When the enemy shouts out accusations based on a memory or event that occurred, I respond with God’s truth.
The enemy will use all of the events of the past to keep you from having peace, regaining trust, and moving toward oneness. He will create insecurities, suspicions and keep the old wounds open. Defeating his lies and replacing it with the truth from God will be a daily battle. It is just as important now to listen and follow the Holy Spirit.
One morning I saw a rainbow out the window, a full complete rainbow of promise. I stepped outside to take a picture and I heard behind me a group of grackles. I dislike those birds and their loud squawking. As I turned to look at them, God gently said, “Don’t look behind; look ahead to My promises.” Philippians 3:13.
Dianne in Texas
Rejoice Marriage Ministries