Question: “Why am I so scared to let God heal me, to let God heal us?”
I remember a conversation with one of my best friends during my separation. My then-husband and I had each been given a list of things to do to attempt to reconcile. His, basically, was to win my heart back. Mine, for the most part, was to be ready if and when he tried. This terrified me. Absolutely and completely terrified me. I did not want this. I did not want him to try to win my heart back and I did not want to have to live through the stops and starts of his efforts. I shared this fear with my friend and she said, “Help me understand why you wouldn’t want a repentant husband trying to court and pursue you. Because I think you might be wrong to not want that.” It was hard for her to say that to me; it was hard for me to hear it. But she was dead-on; I was wrong to not want that.
Admittedly, this meant my then-husband had his work cut out for him. And I believe he knew it. I believe he knew that I was done. I’m not justifying the lack of efforts, because winning me back was not impossible – not with God in it, but I was not making it any easier on him. He had an uphill battle with me, I’m afraid. In fact, I remember the afternoon he called to invite me and the kids out to dinner, per the recommendation of our team of counselors. I got off the phone and sobbed. I practically hyperventilated while calling my mentor. I was so scared. And I think I was fearful of two things.
First, what if we never healed? I was so tired of the ups and down. It’s not like our marriage had hit a rough patch for six months or something. We’re talking over fifteen years of hard road, of hidden things. I was being told to try one more time, after making myself try one more time for the previous fifteen years. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I had it in me to give it another shot. Even with begging Jesus to help me, even with tons of accountability, even with others praying for us. Could my heart handle one more time around the bend only to have it shattered once more? I honestly didn’t know. I was beyond broken, beyond frail, the closest I’d been to done ever.
But, ironically, my other fear, what if we did get healed? I didn’t want this. That’s my truth. I didn’t want us to be restored. I wanted out. I wanted out before I was supposed to want out. This wasn’t a secret. I was as honest as I knew to be with everyone we were working with.
Beth Moore puts it this way, “Often we’re scared to death that if we cooperate with God for healing, it is going to somehow hurt so badly that we will never survive it. That is a lie from the enemy.”
I knew that the work involved to get to a healed marriage would be the hardest work I’d ever done and I wasn’t sure I was mature enough to do it. I had never been more hurt in my life, more betrayed, more abandoned, more abused, more devastated. And though, yes, I was doing all I knew to do and then some to forgive the wrongs done to me, and I was doing all I knew to do to stop inflicting pain right back, I could not see to a place of restoration for us. I couldn’t picture a future together that didn’t involve just more of the same, in other words, more pain and brokenness. In part, I did us in. I see that. I owned that then and I own it now.
I realized that my refusal to let my heart budge was an agreement with the enemy. So I moved myself to a place where I told God simply this, “Okay. I surrender. If you want me to get to a place of being willing to stay married, even if it means I get my heart broken all over again, I trust that you’ll repair it once again just like you have all the other times. And if you want us to stay together even though I can’t bear the thought anymore, okay. I will. I don’t yet want your will more than my will…but I want to want your will more than my will. This is the best I can offer you.” And in those moments, I knew that a shift had occurred. I was so scared of not being healed. I was so scared of being healed. And then I wasn’t scared anymore.
He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. –Psalm 107:20-
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.