Love has carried me a long, long way.
I noticed one day how far I’d come, because her name was on my lips but I didn’t flinch. Nothing in me felt unworthy at the thought of her. You see, it was easier to forgive him, because I pitied him. It’s easy to forgive someone who has a hard life. You can barely help it, really.
But her? I forgave her, but I related with her. Most of all, I envied the part of his heart that she had received, the part that was vowed to be mine. We spoke on the phone, believe it or not, and I loved her. Her honesty, her kindness, and the way she spoke with me as if I were a friend who could be trusted–all most unexpected. I couldn’t hate her if I tried. She didn’t know. She didn’t lie to me, even though she had been with my husband. That kind of love marked me. I wanted to be that gentle and kind, desperately, as I compared her tenderness with my heart of stone.
I used to cry when I’d hear the songs he played for her. I used to flinch when so many women had her name around me and forced me to say it. It all made me feel so unworthy. When you lose hope, sometimes you walk away from someone, fully expecting them to surprise you and fight for you. You choose some space to try to process the confusion, to see if all your hypotheses were true. It’s a big risk that I took, and I couldn’t have foreseen the consequences: that I’d be sensitive to a woman’s name, instead of his.
I’m happy to report that the triggers lessen with time, if you suffer from similar experiences. You’ll hear the names and songs, and it will not bother you. Give it time and give it to Jesus. I promise it gets better. Why else would I be writing this blog?
Thank God that I went on a journey, long and far, after the divorce. I went around the world and out of Temple, Texas, the black hole I was living in (no offense to Temple residents, it’s a decent city, but my emotional hades). If you’re 21-35, divorced or widowed with no kids, go on the World Race. For the love of God, ask Him if He’ll take you long and far to heal you.
God asked me to have a greater perspective and accept that there would be more to my day-to-day than flinching and shame, like say… kissing orphans. I stopped comparing my heart and surrendered it. I stopped thinking about a temporary problem and started thinking about eternal solutions to the world’s problems, to the broken hearts of women all over the nations.
Love had knocked me down and out, but Jesus gently brought me to my feet. It wasn’t what I expected, at all. He dusted off the ashes from my face, and told me that I am a Mighty Healer. He gave me a purpose. He gave me a new heart of flesh.
Though I had all the equipment to start over in love, my standards were all messy. I still didn’t fully understand my worth. I remained quiet when I should have stood up for myself. I accepted walls I should have marched around. Every time, I learned. The first time I truly stood up for myself was a hack job. I beat myself up for a long time for not knowing how to graciously call it all off. But for once, I was making mistakes in the right direction. It’s okay to make mistakes in the right direction. That is to be expected, right?
The pain I felt has turned into trust. I share my story with women and they let their guards down. I have been entrusted with the treasure of the deepest, unedited stories. It seriously brings me tears to think back on all the times when I was the 2am phone call, or I was the shoulder someone felt safe to cry on. I know how much that means to someone who is healing. I know the great need that Jesus met through my hands, and it is the most glorious honor on earth to love the broken. Oh how I love the brokenhearted. How I long to help bind up their wounds with Jesus. I was made for this. I was made to teach others how to be healers. I was made to instill hope and joy into the hopeless with my story and the Holy Spirit. I was made to say
There is so, so, so much more for you, darling. You are a chosen beloved, and there is goodness in store for you. My heart aches in the best way, just at the thought of the tears of joy you will cry. And I will be standing there. I will be there with you to see it. We will pray and wait for it together, and see it through.
If I can tell you what I learned, it’s that I gained nothing from being afraid. I gained nothing from selling myself short. My heart was not made to hesitate.
I was made to fall headlong, to dive deep, and to allow myself to be happy. Maybe you can relate with me in this, but don’t restrain your happiness. When you feel it rising up in you, let it. Don’t be afraid to laugh, to hope, to say bold things. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you love them, and don’t be afraid to receive their love.
When you read about a great love story, you see that they didn’t kill the spark with fear. They let it happen and it unfolded to be even more wonderful than they had imagined. I am walking in that kind of story. I am claiming the greatness of love. I have seen a Love that is Unfailing, and I have Him. My Jesus had no reservations in showing His love to me. He never hid me. He never left. He never had the heart to lie to me. He saw my worth. He waited for me. He kept me in utmost purity. He pursued me, and sat with me when I was broken. He longs to do the same for you.
I learned that if someone wants to be with me, he’s gonna have to love like Jesus, and see me like He does.
Like I said, Love has carried me a long, long way. When I look back, all I see from the struggle is that through it, God built a warrior. Brave in love and fierce in battle, bringing glory to His name. Jesus sees a world full of up-and-coming warriors, the heirs with Kingdom keys to set the captives free. From the hill I’m standing on, the hill I’m willing to die on, I can see the rising army. Their march shakes the foundations of the world, as they fall into step with the heartbeat of the King.