I remember the day that my husband told me that he was having an affair like it was yesterday. In the expanse of two hours I went from anger, to despair, to acceptance. I cried alone in the bathroom, at the back of the house, so our children couldn’t hear me. While he was driving home to talk to me about our future, or lack of, I was begging and pleading that God would make it all go away. I prayed that it was just a horrific nightmare, but I knew it wasn’t. In the days that followed, and throughout our separation, I learned the value of being completely broken.
I prayed every waking moment, between gasping breaths. I prayed like my life depended on it. Some days, my life did depend on it, as I contemplated the unthinkable. Other times I just cried or groaned, which was a prayer in and of itself; God knew the meaning of my heart. There was no more of the “me” that I had been. I was completely broken. Yet, in the quiet times, my heart was speaking something that my lips couldn’t yet utter, “I trust You.”
My life seemed to be surrounded by darkness, but through it, God taught me that in my weakness, His strength would come through. At first, I fought brokenness, but in the end, I gave it all over to Him. Friends came up to me and shared that they were so inspired through watching me go through this, and not completely fall apart (oh, what they didn’t know.) Looking back, though, I know that I had an inner strength beyond what I was capable of alone. My brokenness had a purpose. God used the darkness to show me how good He was.
I remember sharing with a friend that I felt I was in the desert, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. She looked at me and what she said in response hit me in my core, “You go to the desert to die, but also to come alive.” Biblically speaking, the Israelites wandered in the desert for years and years, and many died along the way; but what really died in the desert was the old ways, the old beliefs, and the old grumblings. What was born in the desert was righteousness. The first generation never saw the Promised Land; they died in the desert because they refused to die to their tightly held mindsets. The next generation was able to not only be born in the desert, but leave it, as well. For a great work to be done, we have to go through the desert and die to the old ways; we must rely solely on God in order to move into the Promised Land.
Through the whole year that my husband was being unfaithful, God was so good to me. I truly came to understand how He could fill those places in us that are broken, covered in darkness, and desperate. In the waiting, He was helping me learn to trust Him more. In the darkness, He was revealing His presence to me and through me. God helped me to understand that even if my husband didn’t come home to me, He was still good. He showed me His faithfulness to me, and how to rely on Him more. He allowed me to die in my desert, so that He could raise me again, alive in Him, confident, and full of new life and light.
The desert is temporary. Don’t stay there forever, wondering where God is. Allow yourself to be broken, allow yourself to die to who you were, so God can raise you anew.
“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46
Are you walking through the desert right now?
Have you allowed God to break you?
Do you see the hope of new life ahead of you?
by Lili Morris