In October 2014 I joined in with 31 Days – a challenge to write more deeply about a topic by writing about it every day for a month.
I chose to write in more depth about how God brought light into darkness in my life over the previous ten months. This is the story of a marriage at breaking point. It is a story which I did not expect to be telling, and that is why I needed to share it. There is a link to each day’s post on this page so that you can read the whole story.
Thank you so much for being here.
Day 2 : Deep Darkness – ‘Today I think that I need to tell you what the darkness was like. Not because you don’t understand, but maybe because you do..The darkness was the confusion of finding myself, a christian woman, deeply committed to pursuing discipleship of Christ, and yet breaking a fundamental commandment or two ( do not commit adultery, do not covet your neighbour’s husband).’
Day 3: The Possibility of Hope – ‘Hope exists regardless of what you feel or think. Hope is about what has already happened. Hope is not something you have to do or believe in. Hope has come and is alive. All you need to do is accept the truth of that. And then wait.’
Day 4 : The time and the place ‘I had never expected to have what might be ‘the marriage ending conversation’ looking out on a starry sky, a crescent moon and beautiful tropical plants; 5 days into a 26 day family trip…..’
Day 5: People and places ‘Those verses in the bible about God going before us have never been more real to me than through that 26 day trip….’
Day 6: What can I possibly commit to? ‘We were on the aeroplane home. I had 24 hours to decide what would happen when we arrived. Somewhere over Russia, eight hours into the journey I began to write out my thoughts….’
Day 7: Fearful and Hopeful ‘And so we returned to every day life… which might just have been the hardest thing I ever had to do…‘
Day 9: 30 minutes by the swimming pool ‘I told myself that each day I stayed would be one day less that my children had separated parents…’
Day 10: Redemption in Reality ‘We came away that evening with a new piece of information, a new angle on things….’
Day 11: Rocks to the side of the stream ‘I was really trying to have truth in the inner parts. I didn’t want to pretend to him, to God, to anyone.’
Day 12: Please be my strength ‘Ok God, if you want me to stay here you are going to have to be everything to me’
Day 13: Tangible Hope God actually sent me a present through the post. True story. I was completely overwhelmed by His gift !
Day 14: The co-existence of hope and pain ‘can you really love me as I am? As I REALLY am? Even if I don’t conform to your expectations? …’
Day 15: You are loved because I am loved ‘ I told them about the other. I gave them context and background and detail. I thought it would be better to be rejected by them at the outset rather than to pretend for a while only to be rejected later…’
Day 16: Don’t take the fire exits ‘God does not abandon us when we stuff up. He is still there and He is still the same. It is we who pull away from Him, and not the other way around. ‘
Day 18: Terrified and Trusting ‘And yet this spirit crushing way of life can’t continue. Maybe I need to see my life with very different eyes? So maybe that’s my prayer today – that I will see my marriage, my family through your eyes and that I will be open to my heart being changed.’
Day 19: Is God enough ? Can he be? ‘I will never hurt you, neglect you, diminish you or shame you.’
Day 20: Imprinting ‘He has shown me that there is a source of joy which makes no sense but is utterly life-giving. He loves me.’
Day 21: In a sun scorched land ‘If anything it feels as if the battle has intensified. It is all so, so hard to bear. The ‘what if’ questions keep coming. There are no answers so I set it aside. Every day will be one more day…’
Day 22: What happens when hope and despair co-exist ‘My heart and flesh could fail and God would still be good and giving me strength. I was being told that these contradictions would be part of my life….’
Day 23: It doesn’t have to be the end ‘It is possible to come back from a place of deep hurt and find ways to reconnect with your spouse or partner….’
Day 24: Today …. and a song -Today I jump out of the narrative account of the past, and give you a little glimpse of my right now.
‘Cause I need freedom now ; And I need to know how ; To live my life as it’s meant to be …’
Day 25 : Letting go ‘I couldn’t hold on to good things, new things, because my hands were full already….’
Day 26: At the foot of the cross ‘ And then, he asked me a question. He said “what about forgiveness ?” I shouted back ‘”You f****** want me to do that as well? Haven’t I done enough? ‘No” he said, ” I want you to do that”.
Day 27: Feeble arms and weak knees – a lesson in resistance ‘ following the right paths is expected to be immensely difficult. In some ways I was reassured that finding it so difficult was not because I was particularly weak or rubbish, but because it was HARD.’
‘Though I have fallen I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness the Lord will be my light. ‘
Micah 7 v 8
Day 29: What to do in the waiting “Hope is a confident expectation in God. The object of hope is God himself. We can have hope because God is sovereign, victorious and returning. The basis of our hope is God’s grace to us in Jesus. Our long term future is settled and so we can cope with the hard things now. It frees us in the present. Put your hope in God.”
Day 30: How can you be proud of me? ‘For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.’
Day 31: It’s not the end ‘There is so much more to say, but this is not the end of the story. My weaknesses do not stop God from being God….’
31 Days : Postscript ‘The post I wrote on Day 31 reminded me that I have come a long with with God’s help. Your encouragement to me this month has helped to remove the final coverings of shame which still tried to keep me in the shadows.’