Monday, April 7, 2014

The Idol of an Unmet Desire, the Pain of Letting Go, and the Hope of Christ

Something in the depth of my soul would often twist and turn with a deep and lingering pain.  Sometimes it was so intense it drove me to tears. 

In those moments I would cry out, “Lord, I trust you.” 

I felt it in my bones.  I wasn’t physically ill and no one had purposefully hurt me, but my pain had come about from an unmet desire in my life. 

“Lord Jesus, be my delight, I trust you.  You are good.  You are all I need.”

Oh, how I longed for a husband.  Yet, I knew that God was the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  There were times when I was a fool and made the desire for a husband greater than my desire for Jesus Christ.  This caused me to enter into relationships with men who weren’t healthy and quite honestly, I wasn’t healthy either, because I was looking to a person to satisfy a deep longing within my soul instead of allowing an unwavering Savior to define who I was. 

“God, you must not really love me if you don’t have a husband for me.”.  I wrote in my journal one day. 

I was angry with God.  Didn’t He see that I was faithfully serving Him?  I was working in full time ministry and I deserved this blessing I told myself.  God owed me something. 

In my demanding of God for a husband he gave me over to my foolish demands, just as he did to the nation of Israel.  

 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king…But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”- 1 Samuel 8:6-7 & 20-22
Israel rejected God as their King and demanded the LORD for a king to lead them.  In their foolishness they wouldn’t listen to Samuel nor remember the faithfulness and goodness of the LORD who delivered them out of slavery.  Instead they focused on those around them who had a king and so they demanded God for one.  Although it wasn’t good for them in order to teach them about who He is God gives them over.  As the story goes, it doesn’t go well for them and they eventually come to realize they were foolish in asking for a King, but they have to live with the consequences of their decision. 

God gave me over as well.  In fact, He gave me over twice, yes, twice.  You’d think I would have learned my lesson the first time.  The first time around I was so angry and demanding of God that He put a Christian man in my life.   He and I dated, got engaged and were almost married, before the brakes got put on 10 days before the wedding.  I was so desperate for a husband that in my unhealthiness I ignored the emotional abuse and controlling behaviors.  Had we married it would have been a disaster.  This was devastating to me that I had put so much of my time and effort to make this relationship work and it only ended in the long run.  I felt like I was standing in the middle of the desert and God had put me face to face with my sin.  I realized that I had made my desire for marriage an idol above my relationship with Jesus.  I repented, and God has brought healing, but oh, it was so very painful to walk through. 

The second time around, my issue was internet dating.  I was searching the internet looking for love.  It was my way to control my loneliness.  I could always find someone just as lonely as me to talk to or who was interested in me.  I dated a number of guys that I met off the internet, but all of those relationships ended.  I didn’t get it until God completely humbled me.  It was a man who I met on the internet, there was a good amount of distance between us and so we’d Skype and email all the time.  I thought for sure this man was my husband.  Until we met for the first time and I realized, wow, I had made a terrible mistake.  This “internet” relationship I had that seemed so perfect was not perfect in real life.  Although, he was and is a great man of God we both realized that our seemingly perfect cyber relationship wasn’t real in the real world. 

I was humiliated.  I was done with me being in control.  I cried out to the LORD for forgiveness.  This time I really was done with me. 

As I clung to the Lord in repentance over my foolishness I was very specific in how I prayed for a husband.  My hope was in Jesus.  He was and is my joy.  I was done looking to men to give me joy.  I was set on finding my hope and joy in Jesus Christ alone. 

As God’s providence would have it He placed a man in my life nearly two years ago who I thought was pretty cute, but I didn’t know much else about him other than he was a Christian.  As God’s grace would have it this man and I became friends.  We got to know one another as a brother and sister in Christ and God by His divine providence moved this man into the apartment right underneath me.  Our friendship grew and before we knew it our friendship turned into love. 

Rodrigo is everything that I have prayed for.  I am convinced that He is God’s choice for me.  He loves Jesus and He loves me.  He is a good man who I believe will lay down his life to provide for me and protect me. 

I am overwhelmed that God has provided and met this deep longing in my heart.  He used this deep longing to teach me so much about Jesus and strip me of sin.  I fell more in love with Jesus as I held fast to Him in repentance.  God is so good.  I’m so very thankful for His love. 

I look forward to the day that Rodrigo and I will be married (June 28th of this summer!).  Yet, I know that my greatest joy is not in a husband but in Jesus Christ who is my delight. 

Author- Heather Douglas 

Heather is in love with Jesus Christ.  She is the Youth Ministry Director at the First Baptist Church in Aledo, IL.  She loves teenagers, laughter, and fitness.  When she's not keeping junior high boys from killing each other you can find her at the YMCA getting in a good sweat or out somewhere laughing with friends.  She's also a twin and lives where she was born and raised, serving at the church she grew up in.

1 comment:

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