Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
I have felt a glimpse of this time and time again throughout my life. On a bad mommy day with a baby and a toddler. When I sat amidst harsh criticism over something I wrote. When I was on the outs with a friend.
But only one time in my life did the reality of what David is describing here in Psalm 38 fall onto my life and sit with me like an uninvited guest, and that was during my difficult marriage.
I do not say this to point the finger at my then-husband. I’ve talked time and time and time again about the ways in which I brought down our collective house. So that’s not what this post is about…..it’s not about my actual marriage and how hard it was. Today is about how lost I felt.
I would spend hours praying and journaling and begging Jesus to help me figure it all out. To help me understand where I was going wrong. To help me see what was off and what was normal. To help me know who to ask for help, who I could bring our secrets to. And sometimes I would feel heard and responded to – but sometimes – more times than I want to admit…..I felt ignored.
I remember moments, way too many moments, lying on my bathroom floor, my body curled up into itself, sobbing, barely able to catch my breath, asking Jesus to bring me home. Telling him I couldn’t do it anymore. Begging him to heal me and help us but then just begging him to let me be done.
I was in that kind of pain.
And today, if you are in a difficult marriage and you’re beyond exhausted or if your divorce feels like it’s not just life-changing but life-ending, sweet girl, I know. I know.
But as a woman who has cried herself to sleep more nights than she can count, both in and out of marriage, I stand here today to tell you it does not have to stay like this.
You feel lost and overwhelmed and scared and desperate and done right now.
But you will not always feel lost and overwhelmed and scared and desperate and done.
You may not be able to see just around the bend, or to see even a glimpse of light or hope or healing.
But there is a just-around-the-bend for you. There is more than a glimpse of light and hope and healing for you.
And here’s how I know this. Because I once was lost and so broken that I never thought I could be put back together. But now I am becoming more whole. Now I smile and laugh more than I cry and sigh. Now I find such sweet joy in a regular day. Now I have more peace than chaos. Now I am grateful every single day.
I believe people can heal with time, sure. That those who don’t know Jesus can move on with their lives and be happy, of course.
But for those of us who walk with God, there is a benefit. (Well, there are thousands, but in this instance, I’m referring to one specific thing.) God promises not just to see us and hear us. And God promises not just to heal us and restore us. But God promises to use every single moment of our lives – including the debilitating pain – for our own good. And he encourages us to use the comfort he’s given us to bring comfort to others, which means that he plans to transform our pain and our experiences and our lost-ness into redemption.
Our pain will not be wasted. What you are going through right now – even if you can’t feel it or see it just yet – will be used and changed and rearranged and someone else, someday, will benefit from what you’re going through. I promise.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here, or “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here.