Micca Campbell is one of the fabulous ladies of Proverbs 31 Ministries founded by Lysa Terkeurst. She has a new book called An Untroubled Heart about "finding a faith that is stronger than my fears".
Let us look at chapter one "When the Unthinkable Happens". Knowing Micca's story, I presumed the chapter would tell us of her unthinkable...losing her first husband at a young age in a burn accident leaving her a single mom of a young child. I could relate to her experience of the unthinkable. My unthinkable happened to me 21 months ago on June 22, 2007.
Micca describes Porter. "I knew this person who didn't even kiss on the first date was the one for me...It felt as if the whole world had been created just for us. Nothing could penetrate our circle of love. I had found my prince charming and I had planned to live happily ever after." I thought Micca had entered my head and wrote MY thoughts and heart in her book. I put a note in the margin: "C and me". My dream has been temporarily shattered for now. Not by death like Micca but by divorce by the legal system, which many time feels much worse.
This also hit me. "My dream had become a living nightmare from which I couldn't escape. Life was lonely without him. I felt deserted by my God, the God I had loved and served since I was a little girl. Why would He betray me? Why didn't Porter fight to live? It wasn't fair! This was not what I had planned."
Why had God allowed this to me? Why didn't C fight for our marriage? Why did God allow satan to lie to him about God's view of our covenant? Why wouldn't God change this course? Why has He not allowed me a second chance? You, God, could've changed this. Again, I could related on a different level the pain and confusion Micca endured.
"Our present fears are fueled by our past experiences." Isn't that the truth. For whatever reason, it seems my recent house deals have shown me God is working. He has not forgotten me or my dead marriage buried six feet under. He is not being flippant about my circumstances, my heart, my life. He needs more time for His plan to work. He wants more time. Things and people need more time. I can feel a certain sense of peace and endurance to continue to wait. Yet even with a certain phase of my life beginning anew, I fear being too happy with upcoming changes. I feel guilty for a certain level of moving forward without my beloved. It just doesn't seem fair or right for me to walk this path without sharing it with my love. I don't want my life fully rebuilt on singleness with him. Though I know for now, I must. I need to accept that, know it's okay, and remember my hope and belief in God's power to restore.
"There is nowhere we can go to escape God's presence. Though it might not feel like it or look like it, God is always near." Isn't that awesome. The word escape seemed to be in bold, highlight, and capitals when I read that. To escape something is to try with all our might to get away, using all our energy to run from something. No matter what we do, we can never escape God. I trust just as the Lord chased me and didn't allow me to escape Him forever, He will also not let His other children escape Him and His way. He will do whatever it takes to woo His children back onto His path, back into His graces, back within His obedience.
God is always near. What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? Deuteronomy 4:7 I admit for 21 months I fluctuated on wondering where God was or better yet what he was doing or rather not doing. So many things can be revealed through my house deals. I believe it has little to do with relieving me of the physical and financial burdens. It has more to do with: 1) showing me He IS working in my life (all aspects). 2) If He's working in my housing, then I must trust He is also working in my beloved's heart and restoration though I see nothing of it. 3) It will take more time - 21 months to sell a home - how much more difficult it is to work in hearts thus even more time needed.
I thought it no coincidence that Micca shared a Psalm with us that I committed to heart years ago. The Lord is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 God is the best help we could ever need or hope for. He is in control of my troubles and your troubles. He's here to help in all trouble. He has the answers for any trouble we can encounter. He can do what I can't in my troubles, what you can't in your troubles.
Again, Micca and I must be reading the same Book! I love James and particularly the scripture she shared. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 Trials bring a mixed bad of emotions. For me, they are mostly painful, draining and difficult. At different times, they've brought anger. As difficult as trials are, it is beneficial to see them as stretching one's faith and character, growing closer to Him and more like Him. Considering it all joy when we face trials is a matter of perspective and focus. Joy is not because those things happen. Joy is in spite of those things happening. Joy is because we are leaning on Him, growing in Him, and testifying to Him.
In addition to producing joy, trials should produce endurance: the ability to endure anything with Christ and the ability to go the distance and not poop out. Of course, I don't believe God expects this to happen over night. It is a process. We are a work in process. Trials have made me much stronger even though I am still very weak outside of Christ. Even though I don't think I can handle this or that, trial x or y, I'm sure I can because I've endured the worst of them: rejection and abandonment by the love of my life.
Surviving with Christ,
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