Are You Wielding Your Parenting Power Carefully?

I made a stark realization recently that left me very humbled. It came to my attention through a combination of a dear friend and the Holy Spirit that what I write may affect my children at some point, if not now.

I hate to say it, but that was brand new information to me.  My justification all this time has been simple: my kids don’t read what I write.

But someday, they may.  And though I do not aim to hurt the people in my life who have hurt me, I had to admit that in my quest to reach out to hurting women and in my aim to be as authentic as I can be, I sometimes write things that – though true – could wound.

This led me to the decision to change my professional name, hopefully adding a protective barrier between me and my former spouse, and between me and my sweet children. And though it was a difficult decision, it feels right for me and for us.

But what does this have to do with you as you are slogging through your mommy days, sweet one?

It reoccurred to me how profound of an influence we have over our children with our words.  You have the ability to help shape the perception your children have of their father, whether happily married or devastatingly divorced.

You wield much power.  And my question to you today is this: are you wielding it carelessly or are you wielding it well?

Are you thoughtless – even if unintentionally – when in moments of frustration with your husband?  Do your children hear what you say under your breath about him?  Do your children witness arguments?  Do your children hear you venting on the phone with a friend?

Or, are you thoughtful about this?  Do you build up your husband to your kids?  Do you build up your husband in front of your kids?  Do you point out to them what a good dad he is?  Do you shield them from disagreements that are going off the tracks?

Even if you’re divorced, you still carry much weight and you still can take steps to minimize the negative your children see and hear, and – even if it feels like vinegar in your mouth – you can think of at least one or two kind things to say about their father to them that will help their relationship in the long run.

Our words matter.  Our influence is deep.  Our children are watching and listening and soaking every little thing in.

What are you saying?

 

 

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Moving on as a Christian Single Mom”, which can be found here.

Marriage is Hard, duh

Marriage is work.

Marriage takes sacrifice.

Marriage takes compromise.

Marriage takes brutal honesty and communication, even when you don’t want to communicate anymore.

Marriage is a dying to self.

Most marriages fail. Or if not fail, simply limp along.

Marriage is hard.

Marriage is hard.

Marriage is hard.

Marriage is hard.

Marriage is hard.

I get it. Ugh.

For the past two or so years, I have been hearing stories daily of women who are “trapped” in awful, awful marriages that would make most people’s skin crawl.  I also hear stories of women who are now separated or divorced, who have left behind horrible, horrible marriages that would make you cry.

And I have been married before, for almost two decades. My marriage was not just a hard marriage, it was a broken marriage. Every day was a battle. My mind never stopped trying to decipher and decode. My marriage, for both of us, was an exhausting marriage, almost all of the time.

Statistics say that fifty percent of first marriages will fail.

Statistics also say that sixty percent of second marriages will fail.

I get it. You – the world, Christian culture, whoever – have all succeeded in freaking me the heck out about remarrying.  Thanks. You’re all a collective peach.

But I have two lingering thoughts that are fighting to override all this doomsday talk.

First, there’s God. Who gently looked at Adam and said it wasn’t good for him to be alone and that he would create a helper suitable. Now, I know that these words were said pre-fall, before all hell broke loose and forever ruined marriage. But still. The original intent was simply partnership in all its beauty and mystery, to be a reflection of both the tender and fierce love between Christ and his Church. And I want that. I’ve always, always wanted that. Besides all that, aren’t we supposed to be trying to live out “as it is in Heaven” here on earth? You know, bringing as much of Heaven’s beauty to this world now?

Which brings me to two, there’s the sweet man in my life. Now, yes, we’ve only been dating a couple months. So, yes, all of you would probably say that he and I are in the infatuation stage where nothing goes wrong and we skip through fields of wildflowers and we both think the other is flawless.  (We’re not, and things have gone wrong, and we don’t skip through anything, and we both know the other has a flaw or two.)

But I sit with him on my couch while he closes his eyes and sleeps for a few minutes before making the ninety-minute drive home. And my mind can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have him living in my home with me and my children.

And I realize that though I seem to have a clock ticking in the back of my mind whenever I’m with people (as in, get me out of here…I’m introvertedly done!), not once – not once – have I wanted this man to leave my presence. (And I say this with the reality that our dates now last between four and fourteen hours each.) I’m just never done with him. I just always want him to stay.

And I realize that though, sure, we don’t agree on everything, we agree on most things. And he is easy to be with. And he thinks I’m easy to be with. (Crazy, I know!) Which means, he and I actually get along, at this point, about ninety-nine percent of the time.  (Some of you in good marriages will not get at all the significance of that statement. The rest of you are gasping.  Yes, sweet ones, it is apparently an option out in the world to get along with your partner. Who knew??)

And I realize that though I love being alone and being independent, the past forty or so dates of him being in my home and making dinner with me and sitting down to a meal with my children and him watching whatever on TV while I take care of a few things all feels like the most natural thing in the world. He doesn’t just fit into my life. It’s not just something I can live with. It feels like he belongs here. Almost like, where have you been all this time?

I know, I know: we’re new. And I know, I know: this isn’t the same as living together as husband and wife. And I know, I know all of that and more. (I’ve done this before, remember??)

But I guess, for today, I need to quiet the voices that are trying to scare the crap out of me, that remind me how freaking hard marriage is.  That make me fear moving forward. That make me walk around with my heart not all in waiting for the other shoe to drop because surely it can’t just be, you know, actually good between me and this man (it is me, we’re talking about, after all, and I’m a well-known pill).

So voices, please. Please just stop. I know all of the hard and all of the work and all of the horrible.  Please stop reminding me. I know.

Because for today, I just want…no, I just need…to remember marriage’s original design and that it is gorgeous and that it is possible. Even for me.

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How to Love Someone Through a Hard Time (when you just can’t relate)

I know someone who has miscarried.
I know someone whose husband was killed in a car accident.
I know someone whose husband died of cancer.
I know someone who had breast cancer.
I know someone who is adjusting to being an adoptive mother.
I know someone who is struggling with her foster child and the foster care system.
I know someone who is struggling with recurring health issues.
I know someone who has lost her father.
I know someone who cannot see his children regularly.
I know someone whose child has health issues.
I know someone whose husband isn’t a believer.
I know someone whose husband has been unfaithful.

I have never been through any of these things.  I can’t imagine the intricacies of these particular struggles.  And yet, I want to show compassion. I want to be supportive. I want to be a friend.

And I don’t want to be annoying, or toss out clichés, or disappear, or disappoint, or cause further pain.

So how do we love people who are going through things that we haven’t ourselves been through?

First and foremost, we do not presume to know what it feels like. One of my pet peeves is getting unsolicited advice, let alone from someone who hasn’t walked in my loneliness shoes, or my formerly-abused shoes, or my codependent shoes, or my difficult-marriage shoes, or my divorced shoes, or my single-mom shoes, or my now-dating-as-a-forty-something shoes.  Seriously, I cannot stand it. To the extent that I tend to recoil. I make a mental note to share less with that person. (Okay, possibly not all that healthy on my part, but that’s what I do.)

I liken it to this. Say I have a friend who just found out she has cancer. And say she has done her research and she has prayerfully chosen to try natural methods of healing over radiation and chemotherapy. Never in a million years would I put in my two cents because a) I’m not her, b) I do not know what she knows, c) I’m not a doctor, d) I’ve never had cancer, and, probably most importantly, e) I would trust her and her relationship with God to make the decisions and choices that are best for her.

So, if you have a friend who is going through something you’ve never gone through before, and I say this gently, do not give her advice UNLESS she has asked for it.  (That’s an AlAnon thing and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned.)

Secondly, love her.  Even if you don’t understand the pain. Even if you don’t agree with how she’s dealing with her pain. If you feelings-love her, then actions-love her, no matter what.  Now, I’m not saying: if her husband has been unfaithful and she has shared with you that she intends to run him over with her car, you don’t have to offer to fill up her tank and go along for the ride and help dig the hole. But if, for instance, her husband has been unfaithful, and she decides to leave him (or decides to stay with him), love her through it.  Even if it’s not what you would do.  (Because odds are, you don’t actually know what you would do. You might think you know, but you have no idea really until it happens to you.)

Thirdly, ask her what she needs. And if she tells you, and if it’s in your power, do the thing.

Fourthly, pray for her.  Pain makes you think differently.  She needs a different kind of wisdom and clarity and discernment.  Pray God protects her and leads her and reveals what she needs to know when she needs to know it and that she has the courage to make the hard decisions.

Fifthly, walk closely.  Most people scatter when the storm comes through. Not out of evil intentions, but, I think, because they just don’t know what to say or do.  Don’t be that guy. Be the one that moves in closer, that enters in.  That says, as one of my best friends said to me a few years ago, “You can mess up everything and I’m not going anywhere.” Be that friend.

Lastly, understand if your friend needs to find other friends – not in place of you – but in addition to you, who get whatever the thing is she’s going through. She might join a support group or start hanging out with others who are walking in her shoes. It’s not because you lack something but it’s because she is going through something that is super specific and there is nothing like hearing “me too” or “I totally get it”.

So, the next time someone you love is going through something you just cannot comprehend, don’t bail. Don’t tell her how to live her life. Trust her. And love her. You can do this. And she will love you even more for walking her through.

As I have loved you, so you must love one another. –John 13:34b-

 

 

If my work has encouraged you and you’d like to partner with me as I reach out to help hurting women, click here for more information.

 

Now that I Have a Boyfriend, My Life is Perfection

18d(Oh my lands.)

Okay, so having a boyfriend is awesome. {Said like a Valley Girl.} No, but it really is great. Knowing there’s a sweet man out in the world crushing on me is pretty much one of the best things ever.

However, it’s not THEE best thing ever. Hang with me…

I’ve been noticing something odd: people are happy for me and for us. Okay, that’s not odd in and of itself.  In fact, it’s actually really sweet. It’s not like I’d rather have people, you know, egging my house now that I’m in a relationship, but it’s the underlying vibe that I’m getting that I’m a tad concerned about.

Some of these well-wishers seem almost too happy for me. As if romantic love – let alone the gift of a second chance – is the ultimate goal in life.

Don’t get me wrong. Finding someone of the opposite sex – who you’re compatible with, who makes you laugh, who treats you really well, to love God with, among many other things -  to walk through life with is pretty amazing.  I’m grateful every day for this sweet man, no matter how this all plays out.

But I feel like I’m being ever so slightly gushed at.  As if something had been missing from my life and as if my happiness depended upon finding a man and as if my happiness were supposed to be my main pursuit.

Because let me let you in on a little secret…even though I’m coming to terms with being happy in this sweet season, I couldn’t give a flying fig about my happiness.

Again, don’t get me wrong: being happy is great, but it’s not the pinnacle.

And again, don’t get me wrong: being a part of a couple is great, but it’s not the all in all.

I’ve heard everything from, Whew…we were worried you had closed up your heart and you were going to become a nun.

Really? C’mon. It’s called I was in a very hard marriage for almost two decades. And it’s called I went through a really painful divorce. And it’s called I needed to heal and stuff. Geesh.

Or, I’m so happy for you I could just burst.

O-kay… But please don’t.

He’s just a boyfriend.  (Dude, I know you’re reading this…you know what I mean. {Author’s note: a super good boyfriend.})

But he’s not my Savior.

And he’s not my knight in shining armor.  In fact, he asked me a little while ago if I felt I needed to be rescued.  And I said, “Not anymore. And not by you.”  Good answer, he said.

He and I don’t make each other happy.  As Tall Shadow himself put it, I add to his happiness.  Yes, exactly.

We should have both already been living full lives on our own before we met. And I totally was before he came into the picture.

The pinnacle – and you might think it’s easy for me to say now that I’m in a relationship but I would swear by this truth whether I were in one or not in one – the pinnacle is my relationship with God. That’s what is life-changing.

Listen to God’s word:

Your unfailing love is better than life itself. -Psalm 63:3a

GOD’s love is the pinnacle; not human love; not even the love of a really good man, as good as that gift is.

Has this sweet man swooped into my life? Yes.
Is he a gift? Absolutely.
Is he my everything? No. And I shouldn’t be his either.
Would we both be sad if things went south? Of course.
Would it kill either one of us? It sure shouldn’t.

In this man, I haven’t found my meaning and purpose.  Jesus did that for me a long time ago, and continues to refine it.

In this man, I haven’t been completed, Jerry Maguire. For the love.  Jesus completes me.

In this man, I haven’t found my raison d’etre. Jesus gives me a reason to get up each and every day.  He’s also the one who actually, you know, literally gets me up each and every day.

So all this to say…if you’re happy for me, thank you. It’s very sweet and I appreciate it.

If you’re too happy for me, maybe look at why. What in your thinking perhaps needs to be tweaked to be reminded that our standing with God is way, way more important than what box you check under “relationship status”? Or as Paul says in I Corinthians 7:17, “God, not your marital status, defines your life.” (Msg)  Are you, perhaps, living vicariously through those of us in relationships? The grass is not greener, sweet ones, it’s just a different shade.

If you’re not happy for me, I totally get that too. I would totally understand if many of you, my precious readers, would prefer for me to remain single for the rest of my life.  I seriously get that.  But know this: dating someone has not changed my perspective…it hasn’t made me forgetful…it’s just made me a bit calmer and is adding to my experiences.

If you’re in a hard marriage and wishing to be where I am now, I know. I remember. With every fiber of my being, I remember. But don’t go wishing too hard for something you do not have, for something that is not yet appropriate for you to be wishing for. Just keep praying. Just keep seeking help. Just keep holding on.  God sees you. God will answer your prayers, and in ways that you probably won’t expect. God is loving you in your pain.

And if you’re divorced and single and wanting to be coupled up, trust me when I say that as good as it is, being okay with Jesus is better. Walking closely with him – even alone – and knowing you’re being obedient, and I say this from true, deep experience…THAT is the pinnacle.

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  -Romans 8:38

 

 

 

 

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage or Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman.

Happy is a Four-Letter Word

“Right now, in this moment, I just thank you for my life and all the good gifts in it. You are so good to me and I am HAPPY (yes, I said it…please don’t strike me down) and I am grateful.”    -me, from a recent journal entry20f

Why did I write that? Why do I feel that way: that God will actually be mad at me if I admit to being happy?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like happy is a four-letter word to some Christians, me included.  I’m super uncomfortable with the concept.

We are commanded in Scripture to be grateful. And I am. I so totally am. And not just when things are going my way either. I’ve come to a place of maturity in my walk with Christ that I do believe I exhibit deep gratitude even in the midst of horrible circumstances.

We are commanded in Scripture to be content. I’m not great at this one, but I am definitely making strides.

We are commanded in Scripture to be joyful.  Joy is different from happiness.  Joy is inward, unmoving. Happiness has the word happen as its root. In other words, what happens to you. In other words, circumstantially.  Joy you can and should choose no matter what happens to you. Happiness comes to you when things are bright and steady and fun.

But I have long held to the belief that nowhere in Scripture does it command us to be happy.  In fact, for as long as I can remember, I’ve told myself that the word happy doesn’t even show up in the Bible (sort of like the concept of “being in love” so therefore it was okay if it never happened to me).

And I would say things like, “God doesn’t want us to be happy; he wants us to be holy.” Which I do still stand behind as I think God desires our holiness above our happiness, and yet…

In doing a word search of happy, I came upon the following:

Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” -Genesis 30:13

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.- Psalm 68:3

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. -Proverbs 15:13

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. -James 5:13

So, apparently, the concept of happiness is something addressed by God. In fact, it is an emotion created by our Creator for us; it is not just a cultural concept that I need to fear feeling.

And my response to my happiness in my journal was appropriate (minus the fear of being stricken down, of course): praise and gratitude to God for bringing me to this sweet season.

So now I am changing my tune.  Though I do not believe happiness is something to be sought at all costs – I still believe following after Christ and seeking his will and our transformation and bringing redemption to this world should be our primary aims – however, if along the way, I catch glimpses of happiness, or even, Lord-willing, nice long stretches of it, I will not be afraid of it.

But I will remind myself of this:

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. -Ecclesiastes 7:14

All comes from the hand of God. And all for my benefit, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And the appropriate response for both the good and the supposed bad: a grateful, yielded heart, ready to receive whatever God has for me.

How do you handle happy?

 


If my work has encouraged you, check out how you can support me as I reach out to hurting women with hope.

Ten Ways You Can Help Out the Single Moms in Your Life

Being a single mom is hard. It’s physically hard, emotionally hard, and spiritually hard. We battle loneliness, insecurities, doubts, and fear, and we do so, for the most part, all on our own.  Single moms need your help.  Here are ten ways you can reach out to the precious women in your life who are raising their children in a way that God never intended: alone.

1. Pray for them.Beth Sara Jack 3b

2. Handyman help/lawn care help/automotive repair help.

3. Mentor and love their children.

4. Give them gift cards to: grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, Target/Walmart, Amazon, pretty much anywhere.

5. Invite them and their kids to be a part of your life. Have them over for dinner. Take them along when you do a family outing.

6. Offer to take care of their kids to give them a break.

7. Financial mentoring.

8. Take them out for coffee or a lunch.

9. Surprise them with a gift like a mani/pedi or massage or drop off a home-cooked meal.

10. Simply check in to see how they’re doing and what they might need.


Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction. -James 1:27a

 


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When the Mommy Years are Winding Down

Medion   DIGITAL CAMERAI have a friend who is unable to see her children on a regular basis.  This is a reality that I cannot even imagine living in.  My heart breaks for her.  Her hands are tied and there is little she can do but pray for them, think about them, leave them voicemails and write them emails. But that’s not what we as parents were created for.  If we’re parents, the design is that we are with our children every day until they go out on their own.

What my friend’s situation has done for me is it has made me all that more grateful for my children, all that more mindful that what I have is a gift.

My two teenage children live with me.  They see their dad a couple times a week and every other weekend, but they are with me.  We are a family unit.  We go places together.  We eat together.  We have those sweet, sweet moments in the car, when – on the off chance – we’re all in the mood at the same time to play the music loudly and sing along. (I will forever freeze those moments in my memory.)

My kids are at the stage in life where I am very aware they will not be with me much longer.  So, I am taking mental pictures all the time.  Even for really seemingly small moments.  The other day we were in the kitchen, and my daughter was holding our dog, and my son was standing next to her, petting him, their backs to me. And I started to cry.  It was simple. But it was beautiful and I never want to forget those ten seconds.

I like to think of myself as a grateful mother, as a woman who knows how good she has it with these two really great children of mine. But remembering my friend’s dilemma has taken that up a notch for me.

I will not force my children to spend time with me when they don’t want to — they are very typical teenagers who prefer their bedrooms to the living room and I get that and I honor that — but man, when they migrate to the main floor, I want to stop what I’m doing, even if only for three minutes while they refuel in the kitchen.

I will look up. I will turn from my computer or pause my movie or set my book down.  And I will soak them in.

Recently, I was watching home movies from when my kids were babies and toddlers.  On the one hand, it feels like about three weeks ago.  And yet on the other hand, part of me barely remembers even being the woman behind the camera who was narrating about Sara eating her vegetable soup or Jack rolling over for the first time. I barely remember their childhoods.  That frightens me.

So today, I will thank Jesus for my children, through tears. I will thank him for the time I’ve been so blessed to have with them so far.  I will thank him for every moment I get with them from here on out.  I will ask him to help me truly remember these moments we have together now.  And I will commit to stopping and slowing and asking and listening and just looking…really, truly looking at them.

Our time with them is brief.  But our time with them is a gift. photo 2 (9)

How can you soak in your babies today?

 

 

If my work has encouraged you and you’d like to partner with me as I reach out to help hurting women, click here for more information.

By |September 8th, 2014|parenting|1 Comment

How to Let a Good Man Down Easy

A guy friend was telling me that when dating someone he didn’t intend to see again, because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings, he would pretty much just not text or call again. He knew that wasn’t the best way to handle it but he didn’t know what to say to break it to the girl gently that he didn’t see a future, so he kind of said nothing.

As a woman, I would want an ending point…I would want a reason…and so therefore, when I began dating, I chose to do for these men what I would want done. I’ve already touched on how I let a mean boy down not-so-easy, but I want to share how I wrapped things up with the three men I decided not to see again who were really good and kind men, just not my men.

My fine-tuned sixty-three-step ten-step dating process included spending time on the day after a first date to think and pray about whether I’d want to see that man a second time.  Part of that process was a commitment to myself not to lead a man on, so if by the end of the day after the first date I had decided not to move forward, I let the man know.

Depending on the most-used mode of communication between me and said-man would be how I would communicate this decision. One man was over email, the other two were via texting.  Some would say this should be an in-person or phone call kind of conversation, but I simply chose these venues because of the lack of formality in our day and age, and frankly, because I’m a bit of a chicken sometimes. So sue me.

And here, basically, is what the messages would say:

Man’s name,

I had a really great time last night getting to know you better. You are a really good man. But after some time of thinking and praying, I don’t see us moving forward. 

I am grateful I had the chance to meet you, and I have already prayed for the woman who will one day be your wife.

Thank you,
Beth

I wish I could say that was all it took, but all three men pushed back a bit, each saying something like he thought we had chemistry or that I would be the perfect wife for him or that there was so much he wanted to explore with me.

It was all very sweet, but by this point, I knew what I was looking for and so I stuck to my guns and would gently state my decision again.

Listen, I’ve been rejected by three men in my lifetime (this number refers to actual relationships ending not just boys I liked who didn’t like me back…that number is in the hundreds). It totally sucks and is super hard and I hated it. So I know what it feels like on that end. And it’s because of the rejection that I experienced that I wanted to honor each one of these good men I met with gentle but firm truth and to not drag something out and raise hopes without cause.

So if you are in the dating world, I highly recommend that when you realize something needs to end, you end it well and with respect.  You’ll be setting yourself up for your next relationship to begin on the healthiest note when you do.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to be silent and a time to speak. –Ecclesiastes 3

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.

By |September 4th, 2014|dating|1 Comment

Trusting God in the Murkiness

Anyone who thinks that the problems of a hard marriage end on divorce day has never been divorced.

Recently, I found myself embroiled in a very odd situation. How I wish I could share the details because, trust me, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  But let’s just say it had/has the potential to rock my sweet, little peace-filled, God-provided corner of the world, along with my kids’ peace of mind.

Now, if it were just about me, screw it…I’d let it fall to the ground like 95% of the ridiculousness that still happens.

But this one’s not just about me, it’s about my kids as well.  And I promised God and myself and them that I would always, always, always fight for them – for their safety, for their emotional protection, for their hearts.

So, this quirky little situation encroached upon my life (hmmm, just about the same time I started dating and was seen walking down the street with a man…coincidence, no?) and I, at first, freaked the heck out.  I’m only human, sweet ones, and still occasionally knee-jerk react as opposed to prayerfully respond, I’m sad to say.

I freaked out by panicking and by texting my inner circle and then emailing my next rung of support and journaling and perhaps shedding a few tears and eating a few chocolates (whatever).

But one morning, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood and I sat down in the grassy area behind my precious home that I love and I was just sobbing.

And I felt the Spirit say to me as clear as day…

Will you trust me?

And then I felt the Spirit remind me of the verse I have up in my bedroom – Exodus 14:14. But I looked it up on my phone in a different version and it came up as this:

The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Now, I am not a name-it-and-claim-it kinda gal. I try not to take random verses from Scripture and slap them onto my random situations and proclaim that God is going to do such-and-such for me. In fact, my philosophy on the sovereignty of God is this: he can do whatever he wants, I just don’t know what it’s going to be.  So I will never have the audacity to claim that God is going to work out a circumstance in a certain way because there is just no way I can know.

But in that moment, I knew what God was trying to tell me.  That no matter how this potentially (in my mind) horrible thing played out: not only could he be trusted, and not only was he going to fight for me and for us, but my peace – no matter the outcome…even if this ridiculous thing shook out the opposite way I wanted it to – my peace would be remaining firm within my grasp.

So while crying, I told God I would trust him. And then something in my heart switched. And though this situation remains dangling and open-ended (in other words, in limbo…in other words, the way I hate life to be), I have felt such an utterly deep peace about this thing, I can’t even tell you.  God’s got this.

And so today, if you are hurting, if you are waiting, if something looks foreboding in your life, if you’re in a hard marriage that is emotionally wearing at your soul, if you’re divorced and still fighting battles, know this, sweet ones:

Our God is a trustworthy, faithful God.
Our God promises peace unexplainable.
Our God is bigger than your problem.
Our God’s got this.
And no matter how things turn out…our God’s got you.

…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)

 

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