To get to the end, we need to start at the beginning. And for a believer, the beginning is always Christ Jesus. If we are not right with Him, nothing else is going to work very well. Especially not our marriage.
For life at its core is all about relationships. And being transparent. First with God who made us and then with each other. Relationships require us to be real. And if they are to flourish we must keep making real time investments.
Giving of ourselves. Most especially to the One who gave it all for us. And He welcomes us with open arms, just the way we are. He knows all about us, inside and out, so we need not worry about fixing ourselves up first. As if we even could! And the wonderful thing is that it doesn’t matter how we feel at present. Perhaps you’re a million miles from God. Well, you are really closer than you know. For Father is holding you in His arms, closer than your next heartbeat. He never leaves, never forsakes.
But how can we give of ourselves to others in relationship when we are all broken? And in our brokenness, holing up in our secret shame. Hiding behind our masks. Work, perfection, intelligence. Or ducking out of sight and getting lost in our habits. Substance abuse, overeating, buying too many pairs of shoes. In the end, it all catches up with us. Until He binds up our wounds and heals our hearts.
Once upon a time, I was the queen of façade. My life was so messy, my heart so broken, I thought I was so far from God that He wanted me no longer. There were moments I wondered if I really believed in God anymore. And I continued to listen to the lies so expertly crafted to hit me right where I was hurting. I wanted to give up on my faith.
But on the outside, I looked okay. Going round and round in circles, riding the merry-go-round of make believe masquerading as daily life. Thinking that someday, if I pretended hard enough, the pain would go away. If I controlled my life so it seemed smooth as silk, then the fear would leave me. If I worked relentlessly at improving myself, then the sadness would vanish. Or if I was pretty or thin enough, then someone somewhere would find me worthy of being loved.
And this performance was exhausting! And it never did work! Deep inside, during rare moments when I stopped running, Truth whispered that nothing was okay. My broken-hearted attempts at making my life better to earn the love I was created to desire only stirred up a hornet’s nest of anger. Sinning in my anger I sinned well, I am ashamed to say. It cost me dearly. A marriage crumbled. Children hurt. Relationships broken. Finances lost, companionship too.
Praise God that one day my shattered and searching heart humbled itself, crying out to Him. The road traveled from then to now has included stumbled steps, and my heart healing, like yours, will continue all the way to Heaven. God as Holy Spirit Counselor is the most perfect and most patient healer ever. And He does it all in love. One day at a time. One baby step after another.
For until we understand in the painfully hurt and/or deeply sinful hidden recesses of the heart how incredibly crazy in love He is with us, messes and all, we will try to be brave or busy or strong or healed in our own strength.
But the Cross is the place where we lay it all down. Where we stop running and allow ourselves to be caught. We yeild the life we desperately pursue to receive true LIFE. His life in us. And isn’t the kingdom of God all about a bunch of “losers” like me who are winners waiting to be escorted to the finish line? Race well run.
Let’s stop running ourselves ragged trying so hard and simply rest. Rest in the arms of the Everlasting One, God’s ever loving Son. Like little children, tear stained from one too many boo boo’s, let’s reach up as Daddy’s waiting arms scoop us close, pressed tenderly to His heart. Acknowledging and admitting our own faults, seeking and offering forgiveness.
Healing will begin in the quiet place where our heart meets His, beginning at the beginning.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
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