I’ve been feeling alone for years now.
Granted, I’m not ACTUALLY alone. I live in a household of people and pets, and frequently need to invent errands just so I can be by myself in the car for a few minutes and listen to the quiet.
But deep down inside, I feel alone.
My husband’s issues prevent him from entering into relationships beyond the most surface level of getting along and having fun together. So, you know, not to overlook the value of getting along and having fun, but it takes more than that to make a long-term committed relationship. Otherwise it’s just like playing house.
When I finally came to terms with the house-playing that had constituted my marriage, and when I stopped playing both roles (or rather, cajoling, wheedling, manipulating and pretending my husband into playing his part), that’s when I really noticed how alone I felt.
So I turned to God, because I know He comforts the brokenhearted and the poor in spirit, and I took some comfort in knowing that He was there.
But I didn’t leave it at that, and while I never really stopped to think about it, I apparently ADDED to that the thought that He was punishing me for not consulting Him years ago when I started dating this man.
Well, to be honest, it was worse than that. I didn’t just not consult Him – I purposefully stuck my fingers in my ears and told Him I was done asking Him about this whole single/married status thing, because I hadn’t liked any of His answers in the past. So yeah, it was a pretty stupid thing to do.
At any rate, when I got to the point where I stopped trying to make my marriage Everything It Should Be through sheer force of will, and accepted that it just wasn’t and probably never would be, I had to face the fact that I had gotten myself into this mess.
And somehow I assumed that meant that God had stepped back and taken His hands off this area of my life and just let me get on with it. And that He wasn’t going to rescue me from my mistake until I had paid for it fully.
The fact that this view of God doesn’t line up with my theology didn’t seem to bother me. I just kind of skipped over that fact and kept believing that He was kinda ticked off with me and shaking His head over the mess I had made, reacting to my tears and pain with a “what did you expect – you made your bed; now lie in it” kind of shrug.
Until the other morning, when He finally got it through to me that He is IN THIS WITH ME.
But not just that. He is in this with me and HE DOESN’T LIKE IT EITHER.
This has to be the Duh Moment of the Century for me. At least, I hope I don’t discover an equally idiotic deeply-held and completely incorrect belief in my heart in the future. I hope this is the worst.
I mean, did I really think He took some kind of “I told you so” satisfaction when I wasn’t able to do the things I knew He wanted me to do, simply because I had to step back and take care of my husband? Did I think He ENJOYED me holding myself back because my husband’s faith wasn’t up to the challenges mine was?
Of course He didn’t. He’s just as brokenhearted by the damage done to the kids, by the aloneness I feel, by the missed opportunities. Maybe more so, because He knows better than I how it needn’t have been that way.
All those years of feeling alone, and now I realized He has been standing next to me going, “Yep, this sucks” all along.
Which somehow makes it easier to believe that He knows a way through this.
So maybe I should stop asking Him to rescue me out of it and ask instead for Him to show me how to live in it. Maybe I should stop trying to convince Him that I’ve had enough and instead let Him work through me in it.
Because I know He heals. I know He works miracles. And I know He causes all things to work together for the good. Even this.
So He can surely guide me through it.
I just have to make sure I keep those fingers out of my ears…