I lie on my bathroom floor for the thousandth time, with every last tear I owned falling out of me yet again. All energy, all strength gone. I felt done. Again. Still. And then I heard these words…soft, gentle, almost imperceptible:
Release is coming.
It’s going to get harder before it gets better.
Eyes on Me, baby.
I gasped as I sat up. I had never heard words like that before. I had heard things like:
You are precious and honored in my sight.
I love you even though he doesn’t.
But never words like these. Never, ever words of release. Never, ever words so scandalous. Never, ever, up to that point, so completely what I needed to hear to attempt to go on.
I ran those words over and over in my mind. I had been told that any time I thought I felt the Spirit impress a thought upon my heart, I needed to test it against Scripture, and release – despite the deep, dark pain of my marriage – just didn’t seem to gel with my then-view of divorce (being, mainly, that I had no way out but death).
And yet, it was very like God to do something to buoy me up. And it was very like God to lovingly warn me.
I was also told to be careful that you aren’t just making up what you want to hear. But, in this instance, who would want to hear that her life was about to get much harder? That just didn’t seem like a sentence I would make up to appease myself.
And, eyes on Me, baby. That was not the first time I felt him call me baby. That had become a more frequent nickname between the two of us. And how true to his character to remind me – in the middle of all that was coming – to keep my laser focus on him, let alone to use this most precious of names with me.
This sounded very much like God to me. And yet, I didn’t “claim” this as a promise over my life. (I didn’t dare.) In fact, I squared my shoulders to prepare for the harder that was coming. And I renewed my commitment to looking God full in the face no matter how horrible things got.
But I tucked release is coming into the far corners of my mind, only pulling it out and mulling it over in my most desperate moments.
All of these things came to pass for me, within a matter of a year or so. I kept my eyes on God during my reconciliation attempt, perhaps in a way I had never done before. And it got so very much harder than I ever expected…lies and disappointments and heartbreak and humiliation and threats and fear…it was – looking back – the worst stretch of my life to date. But release did come. And I am so grateful that my path took the turns that it did that brought me to this place of peace.
If you feel like God is saying something to you, test it. Does it line up with Scripture? Ask a trusted friend what they think. And then if it does, hold onto it like a treasure, with all of your strength.