((#3 in series, How God Rescues Us From Our Messes)
God is merciful, even through our trials. He tried to prevent me from falling into my messy pit. If I had trusted him better, perhaps I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and grief.
In the introductory post of this series, I stated the purpose of this series:
“I hope these posts will help you embrace God’s mercy in a deeper way and lead you to a wholehearted trust in God.”
In the last post, I showed how Jesus became personal to me, gave me grace sufficient for my trials, and comforted me with a pledge of his love and faithfulness.
Yet, after praying for five years for God to heal our marriage, I felt angry that he hadn’t done so. I’d thought the “abundant life” was a happy marriage and family. Because I didn’t understand why God would let my marriage die, I felt abandoned in grief and quit trusting God with my life. That’s how I got out of tune with him.
I began to hear a sneering voice that seemed to whisper: “God doesn’t care about your life here. He just wants numbers in Heaven; that’s why he ‘saved’ you. Grab happiness where you can.”
These lies began to make more sense than the Bible since I didn’t see the miracle I wanted. As hope faded and my trust in God dimmed, Satan conveniently provided someone to lead me astray.
A drug addict and alcoholic (who was trying to recover) joined the Old Time Fiddlers Group I was in. He started asking me questions about Christianity. I tried to answer them, wanting to help him become a Christian. In fact, just a few months earlier, I had asked God for opportunities to witness to people who didn’t know God. So when he asked about Christianity, I thought maybe he was my assignment from God. People treated him like dirt, and I thought No one should be treated that way. Before long, he told me I was beautiful. In my state of despair, I was hungry to hear that statement. I let my feelings rule me more than the Holy Spirit of Jesus. I felt starved for love and admiration, so I fell for his manipulations and flattery. I proceeded down that dark path and slipped into the slimy pit of adultery.
At first, I didn’t recognize my adultery as rebellion or idolatry. I didn’t intend to reject God’s plan. Rather, I fell for the deception of thinking this path was obedience. After all, I was trying to show Christ-like love to this man. Besides, it would set my unhappy husband free. Wasn’t that the loving thing to do?
The next week, the day before my 17th wedding anniversary, I told my husband we needed to get a divorce. I watched his face to see his reaction and saw only relief. That confirmed my suspicions but hurt me even more. He immediately organized a “trusting divorce.”
Through the adultery and divorce, I lost my home, financial security, children, ministry, reputation, self-respect, and my peace of mind. Rebellion and idolatry are costly.
Six and a half months later, thinking my addict boyfriend was recovering and in love with me, I married him. I soon discovered he was not abstaining from marijuana or alcohol as I’d hoped. In the next two and ½ years, my life got worse than I ever imagined it could with the stress, insecurity, poverty, and frustration of living with a practicing addict and alcoholic. Sometimes I even wondered if he was a sociopath. My life with him was stressful, miserable, and eventually dangerous. I became, as many others are today, “robbed and plundered…trapped in holes…with no one to rescue,” (Isaiah 42:22, RSV), in other words, deceived, cheated and trapped by Satan. It felt like I was in a pit of quicksand.
To be continued: July 10th