Some years ago, I had the life I thought I always wanted, for the most part. I was married to a kind man who made me laugh. We lived in a little ranch-style home located on a half-acre lot with a big beautiful deck in the back (for him) and whole-house air conditioning (for me). We had two cars in the driveway and a whole life together ahead of us. We were struggling, but we were struggling together. Then one Thursday evening, the love of my life came into the house after mowing the grass, sat me down, and told me that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. With that one statement, I found myself transported to a place I really didn’t want to be. We had several more discussions over the next week, but to no avail – my marriage was over and I didn’t really have any say in the matter. It was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do – live in that place of being separated and then being divorced when all I wanted to do was run back to that place of being happy and married to the gentle, caring man I fell in love with. I am eternally grateful to God for giving me a network of friends and family and a wonderful Christian counselor who were my lifeline during that time. Now that I can look back on it from a distance, I can’t help but be amazed at God’s overwhelming presence in that unwanted place in my life.
At some time in our lives, we all feel stuck for a while in a place we don’t want to be. Perhaps we are facing a life threatening or debilitating disease, or maybe we are feeling lonely and unloved, or perhaps we find ourselves facing yet another day of uninspired, mind-numbing routine. What are we supposed to do with that? We could pray that God deliver us from that place. We could talk to our friends and family hoping one of them has words of wisdom that will shed some light and show us how to get back to where we want to be. Or we could just give up the fight and live where we are.
I know that doesn’t sound appealing. I’m in an unwanted place in my life right now and I very much don’t want to give up and stay where I am. But if it’s where God has brought me, then that’s where he is too. Why would I want to be anywhere else but where God is? If I stop fighting where I am and look for God in the moment, I will have the privilege of witnessing the miraculous things he does in and through me while I’m in this unwanted place. It may not be what I planned or what I wanted, but then who am I to tell God how he should be working in my life. Looking back, it’s in those unwanted places that he has done the most incredible things and they’ve been the fertile ground out of which God has provided some amazing blessings in my life. That gives me enough hope to praise him in this moment. So, I’m going to take another breath and cry another tear if need be and then thank God for his presence in my life, no matter where I am, as long as I’m with him.
About the pictures:
Parkwood Presbyterian Church, PA (July 2009)
Reprinted from Holy Spirit Word Study