The Pain in the Promise

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Each of the posts that I write come at great personal cost to me. I haven’t written anything in a while because I only write when the Holy Spirit compells me to write, and anything I have written so far has come on the heels of some painful personal experience, which leads to spiritual revlelation, personal growth, and a deeper connection to the lover of my soul – my precious Jesus. This post is no different, so let’s get to the nitty gritty.

“Why would you speak promises into my heart that cause me so much pain?” That’s the question I posed to the Lord last night through heavy tears. I know it doesn’t seem right to ask the Almighty God a question like that, but I know my daddy, and he knows me. If the question is in my heart he wants me to speak it. That’s just his nature because he is tender and good.

You see everything was going along just fine. I am free from abuse. I have a job that I love. I am no longer living in isolation, and God has blessed me with the most amazing friends. I am financially restored. My bond with my children has never been tighter. I get to surf great waves every week and I even started taking dance lessons. God is using everything that Satan intended to harm me, for my good. God allows me to speak into the lives of women on a regular basis, and I am a firsthand witness to his love and miraculous power working in their lives. I have everything I have ever hoped and dreamed for.

And then came the promise…

“I have a husband for you. He’s a good man. He’s my man.” I almost fell over backwards when I heard the Spirit speak this promise into my soul. I was standing at the altar at church, completely consumed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, with my hands raised toward heaven and tears streaming down my face. “Whoa! Hold on a second! Is that you speaking Lord or is that me?” The Spirit assured me that I was in fact hearing his voice. That was hard for me to take in, because I hadn’t been praying for anything resembling a husband. The single life was just fine, thank you very much. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

According to Psalm 37:4, if we delight ourselves in the Lord he will give us the desires of our heart. I have always believed that this means if we seek him first, he will actually place the desires he has for us in our hearts so that he can say yes to those desires. I do delight in him with every fiber of my being, so over the next few months he began to woo me to his plans and purposes, and by some miracle I found myself open to the idea of remarrying someday. This – I can assure you – is CRAZY. It has to be God.

About a month ago during a three week fast the Holy Spirit spoke again. This time he said “I want you to open your heart to someone new. Someone really good.” A strange excitement filled me as I allowed his words to take root in my heart. “Wow Lord. You really mean to do this.” That very day the Lord brought a really good man into my life. We connected instantly and I am telling you this is no ordinary, average man. We are talking salt of the earth, Holy Spirit-filled man of God. He is respectful and he holds me in high esteem. He is real and he is kind. I started to open my heart to him and things were going great – unitl he showed signs that he was starting to care about me. And then I FREAKED OUT. It was bad. I am talking crying and hyperventilating bad. Since then I have waffled so many times that you could serve me with a side of bacon and call me the breakfast special.

Instead of being filled with excitiment and joy as I should be, I have been a hot mess – confused, afraid, and deeply sad. I am clearly not ready for this. “Why God? Why would you speak promises into my heart that cause me so much pain?” I cried myself to sleep last night with that fateful question on my lips and I pondered it all day today. Why do the promises of God involve pain? Just read the account of Jacob’s son Joseph, Moses, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and you will see that when God speaks a promise into your life or mine – we can count on a season of pain. But why?

I believe that I have discerned a few reasons for the pain that leads to his promises. Firstly, he is in the business of building charachter. We as humans have a divine purpose to fulfill here on earth, and even more importantly, in the eternal world. I don’t know exactly what my life will be like in heaven, but I know for darn sure I’m not going to be sitting on a cloud all day playing a harp. God needs warriors and warriors are built on the battlefield, not in the spa. Secondly, God uses humans to help other humans. He doesn’t use fairy dust and magic wands. He uses ordinary humans like you and me. That’s what Joseph, Moses, and Mary were. Ordinary humans who were completely surrendered to the will of God. But how many of us have read their stories and gained the strength to perservere in the face of darkness and doubt? Their lives compell us to trust God in the midst of unfulfilled promises and gut-wrenching pain. Lastly, I believe each and every one of us has something personal that God wants to teach us through the painful road to our promises. He wants to reveal sides of his charachter that we had not previously known. And when we finally recieve what was promised, we will have been transformed in a mighty way. And because we faced some pain on the way to our promise, we will have empathy for those who are walking through a painful season and we can say with authority “Take heart! God keeps his promises! You are going to make it!”

Now back to my love story… I blew it. I know I have a friend for life, but I don’t think anybody would sign up for what I put that dear man through. That reality finally sank in tonight as I was leaving work and I had to basically run to my car so that no one would see me sobbing. And then the enemy started in…

“You are damaged goods”

That’s what that jerk started telling me. He taunted me as I wept. “You are damaged goods. You are damaged goods.” I knew I needed to stand up for myself, so through my sobs I said “I am not damaged goods.” But in that moment I felt like the battered wife that I used to be – laying on the floor in the fetal position with my hands covering my face. He was being a bully and he was winning. But something in my spirit would not let me give up. “I am not damaged goods! I am not damaged goods!” As God as my witness I said this over and over again for the enire thirty-five minute commute home. With each declaration of the truth I became stronger. I lifted my head up. I placed my shoulders back. A triumphant laugh replaced the tears and by the time I got home the enemy was the one laying on the floor and I was pummeling him with faith and truth!

I do not know your situation, but I do know that God’s promises are worth any pain you may experience on the road you must travel to recieve them. God desires to give you fresh revelation. He wants you to grow spiritually, and he wants to draw you closer to his heart. So just stay open to him and he will show you the reasons for the pain along the path to your promise. He has graciously revealed several purposes for the pain in my promise, but I don’t have time to go into them all here. There is one particular purpose that I know for certain he wants me to share. He told me that there is someone who needs to get a revelation of the following truth, so listen up:

You are not damaged goods.

He wanted me to tell you that. And I want you to know that it was worth it. If I needed to be an epic fail at my first go at love since my divorce in order for you to recieve that revelation, I accept that calling with joy. Not my will but His will be done because he is good, and his will for us is good. And just in case you are wondering, I’m not sad anymore. I know that God’s plans and purposes for me will not be thwarted by one freak out, or even two. He’s going to use it. He’s going to use it all. So bring on the pain – the promise is worth it.

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