I have not blogged in some time, because I had a lot to write about, didn’t really know where to start and how to write about the ongoings anymore. Through this post, I summarize my journey in the past 6 months. I pray that God encourages someone who reads this (even myself!) through this work in progress. The Bible says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony…and it is in such spirit that I’m writing this, in thanksgiving with a petition to God for the fullness of the manifestation of His promises in the natural. As I write this, I remember those, who during the course of my journey, also shared their own marital struggles. I pray and hope that they (and other readers, even those who may have other concerns – I have decided to make this post somewhat general, for purposes of limited sharing only to those who need encouragement) may be strengthened, as they stand in faith while they await the fulfillment of God’s promises. May God always allow them to see things from His throne room perspective, through the power of Jesus’ finished work. May God be glorified and others be encouraged on how the Lord is healing my deepest pain.
Six months ago, a marital issue, rooted from years of pent up resentment and frustration, exploded in my husband’s and my faces. In God’s goodness though, a few days before the first discoveries of what now, for me is unspeakable (it does not help to expound on those events, as my husband and I heal and let go of the offenses. Also I wish to honor my husband by not detailing the unspeakable), the Lord prepared my heart for the storm through words of knowledge. Through prayer warriors in Windwatch Makati, the Lord showed a vision of how our wedding rings may sway, but they are intact like a ball and chain holding one another, as if they were built that way. Through those word, God prepared my heart. I was warned of a shaking and attacks of rage, depression and adultery (having another love) in the spirit, but how God promised recovery, freedom, and joy and laughter for my husband and me. God encouraged me to hold on, though the storms may be strong, because God will bring my husband back, He will restore, He will speak to him while he is in between jobs, and He will bless our marriage bed. The words were concluded with a promise of a new season, signaled by birds chirping.
I’d go back to those words, backed up with God’s fresh words of assurance, to strengthen me daily. Beyond praying for my marriage, I prayed for the restoration of my husband’s relationship with God so he can enjoy greater intimacy with Him. I devoured every article, podcast, book and scripture that I could. Through my communities of faith and the support and prayers of loving friends and select family members (I especially thank God for the support of my in-laws, my BFF cousin and her mom, and lastly my mom), God also gave me strength.
In the months that followed, while my husband and I didn’t leave each other physically (save perhaps for a 3-week vacation that I took), he left me emotionally. My career and our finances were adversely affected. As each of our self-esteem eroded, our respective old wounds, even those from childhood, came to fore. Though love for one another was never a question, we ended up hurting each other almost on a daily basis – typical of how hurt people tend to hurt people, especially the ones they love most. Despite the daily agony, against all human hope and how it looked like in the natural, I held on to God’s truth and promises in my “lucid intervals”, which seemed to decrease in frequency and duration as time progressed. Eventually, though, the battle wearied me, and I came to the point of exhaustion, giving way to anxiety and depression. As my old emotional wounds and traumas resurfaced, the Lord made me realize the futility, as well, of pridefully thinking, speaking and acting in the flesh. Thoughts of wanting to end my life or the marriage for the sake of keeping my sanity crept in…they were very strong, but the Lord was stronger! These were times when my faith was shaken and it felt like I could no longer hold on to God. It was all so humbling because I realized that I erroneously saw myself as sufficiently spiritually mature; but truth is, until we reach Heaven’s gates, we never really arrive spiritually, as it is a daily journey. Perhaps through this, God was teaching me how to walk humbly with Him, always dependent on and hungry for Him.
Last week, I couldn’t sleep with the enemy’s lies causing thoughts to swirl in my head. My head ached horribly and I couldn’t pray a prayer. I just called out the name of Jesus repeatedly from 2 or 3am until daybreak. After awhile of whispering “Jesus” in desperation, the desperation turned to praise and thanks, as I began to hear worship songs in my head. As the sun rose, I heard birds chirping, and I was given a knowing in my heart that a new season has come. The promised breakthrough was on hand.
Whispering His name in those desperate moments was my honest admission of my inability to hold on to Him. But He held on to me.
Emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted (still sick, even, as I type this) to even pray, I just rested in the Lord, as I realized that thinking about my problems was not good for my mental and emotional well-being, but meditating on God’s love brought healing to my soul. Additionally, I left all my expectations at His feet, giving Him full discretion on an overhaul. Instead of dwelling in self-pity, I chose to, moment by moment, dwell on how much He loves me. As I am still healing, I confess that anxiety still comes, but I rebuke it and take refuge in God’s loving presence.
As I rested in the Lord and His love, in a week or two’s time from turning my gaze to Jesus anew, I began to see remarkable changes. I now see and feel his fresh love for me springing forth, as he hugs me, says, “I love you” and shows concern. Seeing him able to smile at me, and able to make and sustain conversation with me once more is priceless. A few days ago, he looked at me in a way that he never looked at me in a long time. Now, he is also more patient and earnest in giving me assurance, able to act as an agent of healing to me. We are now able to enjoy spending time together, once more. Slowly, as we watch the PBA finals series and downloaded movies, we are able to laugh together again. Today, our counselor reported that from a 0.5 (in a scale of 1 to 10!) of how much he wants our marriage, my husband now says that it is, now proudly (according to him) an 8.9. The counselor relayed how my husband told our counselor in their latest session, “I am a happier man…paano mo naman gustong iwan ang taong mahal na mahal ka at walang inisip kungdi mabuti para sa ‘yo?” (Our counselor shared this to me just this afternoon. Thinking about it is making me cry. Only by God’s grace was I able to display kindness and trust when every cell in my body struggled against such! And only by God’s grace was my husband’s eyes opened to such…and vice-versa. When he remembers this, I pray that he realizes how I am a mere conduit of God’s love for him, and how God loves him (and me, and all) with an everlasting love.).
On my part, I am just so thankful that despite my flawed and hurt responses, he stayed, choosing to weather the hard times. I am also thankful for how patient he was when I forget certain things (like when we had to return to a restaurant for a dish that was mistakenly not included in our take out…my bad)
This morning, one of our dogs (my favorite) almost died, but as my husband prayed and prophesied life to her (I did not prompt him to do that), warmth and blood began to circulate in her body anew (our Snowie is currently confined, under observation, in our trusted vet clinic…we request prayers!)
I know that God has been speaking to my husband, as the positive changes in him accelerated now that he is in between jobs…and while we were sick together just this week. (Indeed, this marriage is not just for better or worse, and richer or poorer but also in sickness and in health). The professional help we’re undergoing is a valuable tool, a Divine intervention and appointment assigned by the Lord, yet ultimately, the power to love, forgive, change and heal only comes from Him alone. He has begun to bring my husband back and everyday, He allows me to taste and see His goodness as He heals not just our marital wounds, but even our individual wounds…and soon our careers and finances, and even as we seek Him for direction as regards a major change of residence. God, as our Redeemer and Restorer, restores to a condition far better than how it used to be, in His time. Beauty for ashes, indeed.
Yes, it is still a work in progress. We still have a few struggles with painful memories here and there, but fresh hope of victory over these storms has sprung in my heart anew. In the stead of anxiety and depression, I resume to claim God’s peace and joy filling my heart anew. I know, taste and see that God is at work everyday, changing our situation from glory to glory. From His throne room perspective, it is finished, and we have a marriage over flowing with His grace, love, forgiveness and joy. Daily, by His grace, it manifests on earth, as it is in Heaven, as my eyes are on Him. Because of Him, it is well with me.