Over the past several years I have been going through very difficult times, inside and outside of my home. I allowed it to turn me bitter, and angry, and into some “thing” out of the will of God. I walked through my darkness comfortable in it. Then I encountered an environment that I knew if I continued in my line of thinking I would walk down a road where I could never look at myself again. It was then that I began to turn to God for healing.
I endured an environment that some would not have made it through. I began to ask God to humble me, bridle my tongue, give me strength, and faith that prophets of the Bible had. Then for lack of a better word, “hell” broke loose, the environment got worse. I sat there, continuing on and praying Lord, humble me, bridle my tongue, give me strength and faith that prophets of the Bible had. Things at home were horrible. My marriage was hanging on by a withering thread and I couldn’t fix myself to think about going on in it. I was calling trusted family and friends asking for advice, seeking pastoral counsel, researching christian advice of marriage and divorce.
My life was a mess. I just kept thinking, God must think I am strong to bring me to this place. I was constantly being told, “God will not put more on you than you can bear.” I knew this wasn’t the truth. God will push, and push, and push until you turn from your own strength and rely on Him. We see many prophets in the Bible that were out of their elements, and who were weak at times but God stepped in to remind them of His power. Even Elijah, God’s prophet that didn’t die but was driven up into heaven by a chariot of fire, asked God for death because the burden was so great he didn’t think he could go on.
At the time that I was going through this time in my life broken, angry, and bitter, I was attending a church that I loved because of the pastor. He had a spirit over him that began to soften my heart but I allowed myself to become turned off from this church because others in leadership positions were the equivalent of what I was experiencing on the outside of the church. I was not at all mature enough in the Word to look past those people and look for God so I left the church. I would go back periodically because I knew in my heart that church was supposed to be a safe place. Then “hell” followed us into church, and stripped the withered thread of what was left of my marriage.
I was done. I was leaving my marriage and moving back home with my parents just to get myself back on my feet. I had nothing left. My husband had become my (heart’s) enemy. We moved to another state and I wanted nothing to do with church because of what had happened at the last. He and our children would go. I was crying to the Lord through my anger, help me! After several months of being told over and over my family that I needed to be in church, I decided to be obedient, only to be made to feel so uncomfortable by the “church folk” that I couldn’t bear going back into this church.
I began seeking God on my own. I was praying all day, fasting, reading my Bible, going to sleep listening to sermons, waking through the night listening to sermons, listening to sermons through the day. Through all of this my husband was still an “enemy” to me. I kept crying and praying, Lord help me! Almost screaming in prayer. Then the scriptures (Luke 6:27-36, NIV) would come to mind, “27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
At first I couldn’t understand this was God leading me out of the stronghold that I was bound to. I kept in the bitterness, and anger, and steady pain, and still begging God to help me. And every time I would go through my bouts of anger and self-pity I would constantly pray God help me! Then the scripture, “Love your enemy,” would go through my head. This went on for a little time before I said, Lord, humble me to obey Your word. At the time I was so hurt the best thing I could do was treat my husband like he was an employer. We go to work and do the job regardless of how we feel towards our bosses because we need a check. Well I needed healing.
I began asking God to change my words, change my responses, change me! I humbled myself. I cleaned up after him, I cooked his lunch when he would come home from work and prepared it as close to restaurant quality as possible, I began serving my “enemy.” Through all of this I was still praying, fasting, crying to God, watching sermons from sun up until I fell asleep listening to sermons.
I was still hurt but after a little while I began to feel a slight relief from pressure that was sitting on my chest. Some time later my children were being baptized, I returned to the church they were attending. During the service of my children’s baptism a church member approached me, and in a nice way questioned why was I there after being absent for so long, in that context, not in a manner of concern for me. I smiled, hugged her because I believe she was coaxed by some else to do so, and I never went back.
I continued fasting, praying, listening to sermons, reading my Bible, having prayer service via phone, praising God in my home, paying tithes online to the churches that I watch online, and finally I let go and God broke through. My prayers were, let my will become submissive to Yours Lord.
I am still in my marriage. Things are not perfect but I thank God for His peace in my heart through the tribulation inside and outside of my home. I am a witness that He will give you peace beyond the world’s understanding.
Today, I continue praying that prayer. I continue seeking God. I have not been back to church. This is not because I do not want to be in church. I know that God said fail not to assemble yourselves. I will continue to seek a church home but I will also continue to seek God and submit myself to His will until I find a home. I believe God used this pain in my home to help me look past those who seek adversity against me outside of my home.
Our Lord is mighty, and wonderful, and loving, and understanding, and He is not bound by the walls of church, and the acts of the religious. He is omnipotent. You do not have to remain hurt, and broken because you do not have a church home.
Do not believe that you need to be inside of a church in order to seek God and His ways. Humble yourself before the Lord, do not be a reader only but a DOER of the Word, and He will incline His ear to you.
Be Blessed in the name of Jesus!