Every time I read the words above from A Thousand Blessings, I am reminded of my own times of hearing the call to sacrifice and my refusal to obey. During one particular season of running, I took the worst fall of my life. Now, I can honestly say that when I hear, I obey. I would be a liar if I said that I always obey right away. Plenty of times I hear what God is calling me to do or not to do, and I drag my feet in obeying. The difference now, though, is that I do obey.
That ugly season that I’m reminded of left scars, so when I’m tempted to ignore God, I can look at them and remember what the fresh wound felt like. I don’t want that ever again. Even when I’m a slow listener, I do listen.
What I didn’t know then that I know now is this: Jesus can be trusted. Even when He calls me to give up what I am struggling to hold onto, I know there is a reason behind Him asking. For my good, for the good of someone else, for someone else’s growth, for the Kingdom good, there is something that I’m not seeing. But He sees.
You may assume that I create crazy scenarios and build a story around it. Well, sometimes that is true. Often, though, even when I have no intention of pouring myself into a character, it just happens. God has that planned long before I dream up a story. As I got deeper into Isabel’s story, I found I was writing out of personal experience in some ways. I spent many years feeling unloved in my marriage. Because of that, I tried to fill my empty places with everything but Jesus.
I came to a point where I had to decide that the love Jesus gives was enough – no matter what was going on in my marriage.
After giving up and giving in, Jesus has restored a marriage that I once believed was lost. I am loved by my husband. I never doubt that now. I never would have believed it possible, but after my obedience, after choosing to live in marriage that I didn’t believe in any longer, a new, deeper level of love surfaced for us both. God honored my obedience with a love I’ve never experienced before.
All that to say, love is complicated. Marital love is just flat out painful at times. As many times as I cried out, “God, get me out of this marriage.” The Spirit interceded by saying, “Father, save this marriage.”
If you are in a season of discontent in your marriage, or if you wonder if it’s even worth it, I urge you to hold on. I urge you to take all the needs you feel are not being met by your husband to Jesus. Not only will He meet them, He will sustain you and help carry you through rocky times in your marriage. I pray for you what the Spirit prayed over me: “Father, save this marriage.”
Look to Him. Pray to draw nearer to Him, especially in the toughest times of your daily struggles. He is close. All you need to do is reach out.
May the Lord bless you and your family,