‘For I’m about to fail and my pain is ever with me.’ A psalm of David 38 v 17
If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that I have been holding on to Hope this year whilst trying to find a way to continue living after the ending of a relationship with someone I wasn’t married to.
31st December 2013 is the last time that the other communicated with me. He wrote to me and the words he wrote broke my heart.
His message was what I woke up to on New Year’s Day this year. His were the first words I read in 2014.
And so from the first moments of this year I felt like a piece of discarded rubbish. I felt like something which had been cherished and valued, but having served its purpose was dropped to the floor, trampled on, kicked aside, and finally torn to pieces before being discarded.
Whatever it was that pulled me to the other and held me there, my relationship with him met deep, deep needs which were at that time unmet within my marriage. When it ended I believed it to be a mutual decision based on our recognition that we were already committed to others. I believed that I actually meant the world to him. I believed that, because, through words and actions, that is what he had told me.
The words he wrote to me on New Year’s Eve took that away.
And until I sat down to write this I didn’t realise how much that pain remains.
And I’m sharing this because I want you to know, as I do, that trusting God doesn’t take away the painful things. It doesn’t lift you to some higher plain where all is good and lovely and the trials of life are mere annoyances. Hope in the goodness of God doesn’t dull your emotions or set you inside a bubble of protection.
What it does mean is that when I manage to lift my eyes up I know there is more to life than the immediate and pressing. It means that when I feel a resonance with something greater and bigger than myself I am reminded of the potential which God has placed in each one of us. It means that I believe there is more to life than my own satisfaction and comfort. Somehow, sometimes it allows me to accept that we are all fallen people and it allows me to learn how to forgive others and maybe even myself.
It is trust in God’s faithfulness and Lordship that means that I am ending this year married to the man I’ve spent the past two decades with. It is God’s tender whispers of love to me in the deep darkness that allowed me to see that there was reason for me to keep living when I wanted to be dead.
I don’t know if or when these painful places will ever recover. It could be a long, long process. Mine were caused by a particular set of circumstances, but I know that many carry pain caused by others which cuts to the deepest places.
The hope that we have is that the pain does not separate us from God. It isn’t a sign that we are not in relationship with him, or we are not trusting him enough or we are not loved by Him. It’s just life. This is what it is to be human.
And so from my painful places today I share these words of hope:
‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Romans 8 v 28