I have heard it said many times that God takes the horrible, tragic things in our lives and uses them for good. A prime example in my life has been the relation and comradery I find in the 12-step program I attend. Each one of those folks is using their darkest past to carry God’s light to the suffering afflicted in order to help them see that change is possible. Another great example would be mother’s who put their children up for adoption. The majority of children who are adopted out are not born into the greatest of circumstances, but their new family is able to provide them with the love they so desperately need.
Neither one of these senerio’s is perfect. Each one is still conducted by and through human beings, and we all know that humans will fail us, but in each one of these dramatic cases there is a common thread of God showing up and showing off. He loves to take unbearable situations and make them remarkable!
I wanted to share with you a real time experience I had in this arena just yesterday. It will demonstrate how humans fail, I fail even bigger, God comes in because I open the door and something even more out-standing than I could have ever imagined happens. He is so Good.
A couple of days ago I called my husband. A little back story here is that we are currently separated and I worked on utterly destroying our marriage for the last year. We both have room for improvement, but my actions warrant complete dismissal. Back to the story at hand. I called him earlier than he likes to be called and I bugged him about something that I wanted him to do. Great way to wake up, right…a nagging wife! When he answered me, his tone was condescending and his manner was short. I immediately went on the defensive and ended the phone call, only to text him moments later.
The text was NOT nice. It wasn’t wrong in the sense of context but it was accusatory and angry. I needed to say what I said, but I didn’t do it in a very loving way. It was a knee-jerk reaction to an uncomfortable situation and I wanted to shake him up. The text ended with the threat of, “maybe we shouldn’t talk if you can’t change your behaviors.”
And with that, we didn’t talk for 30 long hours.
30 hours may not seem like a very long time, but in marital fight time, especially when 300 miles from each other, it’s an eternity. I spent the first 5 hours checking my phone every 20 minute or less to see if he responded. The next few hours were spent in anger contemplating whether I would answer the phone when he did call. After that I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. My dreams were awful. I was hiding from someone and on the run. I woke up unrested, but with a new resolve to make that day better than the last.
The problem was finding out how to do that. In the past I would’ve acted out of fear. I would’ve manipulated, spun my wheels until I got what I wanted, cried, begged, pleaded and degraded my own worth in the process. Today would be different.
I started off by praying that God help me to focus on the task in front of me. That each step be clearly marked and that my selfishness be removed so that I could follow through with duty. I placed more emphasis on God and I let him carry me to work.
One of my jobs is cleaning houses. During that process I asked God to help me do things differently. To allow me to make a move I have never made before. I called someone who God has lead me to as trusted leadership. I told her about the situation and she spoke some truth about herself and her relationship into my life and I identified with her. I had been selfish, I had reacted out of fear. Did he need to stop speaking to me in a disrespectful manner? Yes. But how was my reaction going to transmit us to a place of common ground. I was humbled by our talk and hung up refreshed.
I called on God again. I asked God to forgive me and to give me guidance on how to rectify the situation. I waited and I sat still until I felt God move me to call my husband. What ensued could only be attributed to God.
When we talked a heaviness was lifted. I expressed my apologizes and insecurities. I didn’t explain or justify, I simply laid my mistake down before him and asked him what I could do better. We talked about it and he set some clear boundaries. I did the same. I expressed my dissatisfaction with the tone he used and we both vowed to get better. We talked through some of the hardest shortcomings of our 6 year marriage in a little over 30 minutes. My husband told me that he could only tackle one issue at a time without getting to angry and I followed his lead.
Our conversation ended with the first truly unprovoked, unsolicited, unforced “I love you” we have shard in a very long time.
This is one of many times that I have found that just by letting go of the reigns and relinquishing control to the man upstairs, a dooms-day situation was turned into a beautiful bridge to recovery.
Thank you, God, for allowing me to mess up. Thank you for loving me when I do and thank you for turning ashes to beauty. You are an awesome God.