The email below is one of the best I’ve received because I know it comes out of real struggle and pain and into a reality that is available to all of us.
I started corresponding with Amy this summer, first over a crisis that happened at work, and then with trouble in her marriage. In her first email, she signed off ‘Confused,’ in her second, ‘Heartbroken and Stunned.’ It has been an amazing eight months for her, but through it all, Jesus helped her discover the life that is life:
After telling me he no longer loves me, my husband left me in September of last year, and we are still separated. The last several months (8 months since he told me he no longer believes in God, 5 months since he left me) have been the most excruciatingly painful, yet spectacularly amazing, months I ever could have imagined. The freedom you talk and write about…it’s real.
I took your book He Loves Me! on a whim from the library at the church my husband and I were attending several years ago. I brought it home but never opened it…until June 24, 2018, when my world came crashing down around me. Since then, I have read it at least seven times and have sent 8 copies to friends and family members. Father is using that little book to change the lives of many, Wayne, and I’m so grateful to be one of the “many”.
There have been many moments since last June when I have wondered if “living loved” was a pipe dream. Now I know that it is not. I come from a family of Pharisees, albeit very well-intentioned ones, and the re-wiring of my understanding about God has been intensely difficult. I have experienced more heartache, more uncertainty, more insecurity, more fear…more confidence, more peace, more love, more safety, more hope…than I ever dreamed was possible. My husband claims unerringly that he is “done” with us and that there is no hope for our restoration. This from a man who treated me for sixteen years like every woman longs to be treated by her husband.
And yet, I am not destroyed by his certain distaste for me. While I can attest to the fact that emotions are extremely fickle creatures (and I certainly have run the gamut of them) I also can attest to the fact that the confidence, peace, and freedom that come from living in Father’s affection make it possible for me to rest in Him, in spite of my circumstances. I feel as if I’m living in a pocket of impenetrable grace.
I cannot thank you enough for sharing with the world, the God of love. My life and that of my Pharisaic family has been forever changed by this monumental truth—that God loves us and desires an actual relationship with us. I no longer am afraid of Him or regard Him as mean and spiteful, eager to destroy the very people He created. I no longer (even subconsciously) think I have to “earn” His affection or approval.
Ironically, since I stopped “trying” to produce fruit and started living in the certainty of His affection for me, I am shocked at the fruit HE is producing!!! WOW! Who’d have thought?!? I only wish that I could go back in time and know Him like this from the beginning. Perhaps then I would have known how to love my husband the way God wants him to be loved. Regardless, I am learning to surrender even that to His capable hands. He is completely trustworthy; of this I am certain.
God bless you, brother. I hope I meet you in person one day to thank you for showing me the way to the real Jesus.
I love that. He is real, especially in the darkest places. This life in Christ can help us overcome any wicked curveballs this world may throw at us and draw us into the fullness of his joy and hold us there.
To do that, however, we have to give up our agenda and expectations for the outcome we desire. When we pray for the result we want, It’s easy to grow disappointed when God doesn’t do it, or even begin to doubt that he loves us at all. That could have happened here. Amy could have spent the last five months begging God to bring her husband back and feeling unloved when he didn’t. I’m sure she asked, but when it didn’t happen, she discovered a love that was bigger than the outcome she wanted.
God won’t make her husband come back against his will; he isn’t like that. Isn’t it glorious that our peace and security don’t rest in the circumstance we want, but in the Father who loves us more than anyone on this planet ever has or ever will?