Fanning The Flames Of Faith
Mona Isler: Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11:48 PM
When I met my husband in 1989, I was a bit of a mess. I was a 21-year old college dropout, mother of a 2-year old son and I had no direction. In the first 3 months of our relationship, I had my car repossessed, was evicted from my apartment and lived for a short time in a homeless hotel. I was a lot of a mess. And he loved me. He rode in on his white horse, like a true knight in shining armor, and he saved me from myself. He accepted my son as his own, he helped me get my finances in a little bit of order and the three of us became a family. He helped me to be more responsible and most importantly, he loved me. 100% loved me, flaws and all. We were good friends. I came into the relationship with a son, debt and some clothes. He had clothes and a television and we were determined to make it work.
On March 4, 1990 we got married, just the three of us at the Little Chapel in National City. And my life took on a whole new meaning. I was all at once a mom and a military wife. I was responsible for keeping the home fires burning while he was away serving in the Navy. I had to take care of home when he was away for as long as 6 months overseas. It was a challenge sometimes, but we loved each other immensely. And we made it work. He was my soulmate, sent from God to save me.
From nothing we built a life. We bought furniture and cars. We had a daughter to round out our family of four. We eventually moved east and bought a house and got dogs. We had a great life. Sure we struggled along the way. But we always made it through. We were like Mr. and Mrs. MacGyver. There wasn't anything we couldn't do together. We were a unit. And nothing would ever come between us. It was us against the world.
For 19 years. In 19 years we created an amazing life together, raised two awesome kids, lived in a beautiful home, drove nice cars, traveled a little here and there. But 19 years was all there was going to be. Eventually something did come between us. Time and distance.
July 4, 2009 was the beginning of the end. It was a day I could not have ever imagined. It was a day outside of any realm of possibility for me and my life. It still feels like a dream, even to this day. But it wasn't.
Long story short, we were divorced 2 years later. It was finalized on June 15, 2011. And I regretted it from that very moment. There is a whole lot of story in those two years, but that's not what this post is about.
From the time that my divorce was final until today, March 3, 2013 I have been waiting for him to come back and save me again. I've been waiting for him to 'come to his senses' and return to me to help me get my life back on track. How was I supposed to manage this house alone? What if the roof caved in? My finances are an absolute mess, but if he came back, we could sort that out together, just like we did back when we were in our twenties. We were supposed to grow old together and spoil grandkids together. He had to be here for that, right? What if I got sick, wouldn't he come back then to nurse me? Surely if I got cancer, he would be back in a flash to care for me. He loves me. Right?
I suffered from severe depression. I held all of my feelings, sadness, despair, hopelessness, helplessness and faithlessness inside for so long. I was a wreck. If only he'd come back to fix me again just like he did when I was 21. It would all be okay again, right?
The problem was not that he wasn't coming back to save me. The problem was that I was already BEING saved, by God and I just couldn't see it. No, I take that back. I saw a lot of God saving me over these last few years. I did. He saved me in some really huge ways. I almost had my house foreclosed, but God kept a roof over our head and we never got foreclosed, even after not having paid my mortgage for 9 months. And I ended up actually paying a lesser amount than before.
I was without a job for almost 4 months with no unemployment. And the lights stayed on, and there was food in the refrigerator and my bills were paid. Plenty of that help came from my friends and family, who went out of their way to help me. I was being saved.
But I was looking for an emotional saving. I was looking for my old life back. My old marriage and my old friend. Without that, who was I? Why was I? I felt like I was never going to be truly happy until he came back. That part of me that was missing; that hole in my heart that was carved out and waiting for him. I wanted that part back.
Today I was told, and finally realized, that my ex-husband isn't going to save me, but it's God. God is going to restore my life, better than it was before. God has been working in me and on me in the last few years, despite my bitterness and anger towards Him, to get me to the place to recognize that HE is my saving grace. HE is my knight in shining armor, my shelter in the storm and my very present help.
Years ago God gave me a passage in Jeremiah 33 which said:
6 “‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’
10 “This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying,
“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
for the Lord is good;
his love endures forever.”
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord.
And all this time I thought He meant that my marriage was going to be restored. When all along He meant that "I" was going to be restored. That I would once again have my passion for Him again. I would have my gifts and talents on display for Him. That I would be able to speak to others and share my story for His glory. I would write a blog post and someone would find strength, or assurance, or peace again through Him.
Jeremiah 33 is Him saving me. And he's been saving me, day after day, mistake after mistake, tear after tear, fear after fear, pain upon pain; until I could start to see and hear Him again. Until I could feel joy and passion again. Until I could find my saving in Him.
My knight in shining armor.