20130702_KristenStrong_gravelroad

I make my way to the bathroom after yet another frustrating conversation. I shut the door and lean hard on the pedestal sink as I look at myself in the mirror. Weary words swirl like smoke around me,

Why must this relationship be so difficult?

Why can’t it look different?

And really, why do I even bother?

I close my eyes, open them again. I wish for my daughter’s magic wand and a fairytale fix to this real life mess. After all, there’s not a chance in the world things will ever change. We’re at a dead-end country lane, and all we can do is back up and travel the same gravel over and over.

It’s too far gone, too hope-gone.

My attitude resembles that of the man from the house of Jairus as told in the book of Luke. Jairus, a synagogue ruler, pleads with Jesus to come to his house because his only daughter is dying. While Jesus and Jairus are still en route, a man from Jairus’ house meets them along the way and tells Jairus,

“Your daughter is dead…Don’t bother the teacher any more.”  ~Luke 8:49

Jairus’ daughter died.

With circumstances too far gone, why bother Jesus?

My own frustration asks the same thing. This relationship is too hopeless, too broken, too dead. Why bother Jesus with this anyway? So I give up on my prayers, on Him.

And then I’m smacked upside the head with a startling reality: In cherry picked difficulties like this relationship, I’m an unbeliever. Or at least, I’m acting like one.

know this is completely wrong because I know Christ can do all things. And indeed, He did with Jairus’ daughter.

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”…he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. ~Luke 8:50, 54

With one touch, Jesus raises the dead. With one sentence, He breathes new life into relationships.

So I don’t give up on prayer, but I give my prayers up to the throne of God, to the One who asks us to always pray and not lose heart.

We can’t always talk to people about God, but we can always talk to God about people. Don’t underestimate the real mountain-moving, ground-breaking, relationship-changing work your prayers can do to water cracked deserts, chisel granite hearts, and bridge broken relationships.

It is never too late for Jesus to move. Nothing is too far gone. We may not see healing at work on this earth, but we trust the Healer at work.

No, my broken relationship doesn’t look different, but my heart does – if only a little. It sees a new picture, one changing from hope-gone to Hope-dawn.

***

Help a sister out: How do you remember to press into Christ when realities of difficult relationships press into you? (Subscribers, please join the conversation here?)

Kristen Strong, Chasing Blue Skies 

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  1. 1

    Oh Kristen,
    What a beautiful illustration of Jairus’ daughter – that no situation, no relationship is beyond hope. I wish I could say that I remember to turn to God right away in difficult relationships, but it is often when I get to the end of myself…when I’m dangling by a thread…that I know I need a power beyond myself. I do believe that continuing to be in God’s word and reading about the great Healer and how he makes all things new, helps me more readily to turn to Him rather than to myself when difficult relationships seem too far gone. Thanks for sharing from your beautiful heart!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • 2

      Love your reminder here, Bev. Thank *you* beautiful friend.

      • 3

        when things get so bad I’ve have read aloud the Psalms. It seems I always get an answer afterwards. I feel closer to God and more aware of HIs healing power.
        Hope this helps. Blessings Marcia

  2. 4

    What a great way to look at that story. I am 45 and have never doubted the existence or the love of God…. until last year. I know deep inside He is there and is all that the Bible says, but unanswered prayers are making me tired and petulant. Thank you for the reminder, I’m going to pull up my “prayer straps” and continue to seek Him.

  3. 7
    tcaster says:

    Hold on to a scripture. Keep repeating until you believe it. One that comes to mind is Habakkuk 3:19. The Lord is my strength, my personal bravery and invincible army; He makes my feet like hind’s feet. He will make me to walk and make me to progress upon my high places. Take courage he is able.

    • 8

      Oh, this verse is a gift for me today. Thank you *so* much for sharing it. I just looked up that verse’s translation (Amplified Bible) because I’ve never heard it before! I’m putting this on repeat today. xo

    • 9

      Oh my…I cannot tell you how much I needed this verse. In this translation. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. 10

    What do I do when I want to trust but can’t? I remember what He has done before. Just like you did by remembering Jairus’ daughter. From Brennan Manning’s book, Ruthless Trust. . .

    “Like faith and hope, trust cannot be self-generated. I cannot simply will myself to trust. What outrageous irony, the one thing that I am responsible for throughout my life I cannot generate. The one thing I need to do I cannot do.
    Why reproach myself for my lack of trust? Why waste time beating myself up for something I cannot affect? What does lie within my power is paying attention to the faithfulness of Jesus. That’s what I am asked to do: pay attention to Jesus throughout my journey, remembering his kindness (Ps, 103:2).”

  5. 12
    Wendie says:

    This is prefect for today….a BIG Thank you! I am what I feel in a hopeless marriage that is due to my trust with him bc of things and lies. I’ve prayed and prayed but don’t See any changes, after reading your post I need to continue today, have faith and lean on God for direction. Thank you!

    • 13
      Suzanne says:

      Hi Wendie,
      I hope it’s ok to share this with you, I was reading through the comments left here and I felt the Lord draw me to say something to you…
      I too am struggling to be the wife that God has called to me to be my husband who continues to make poor choices. God has spoken to my heart on the matter and I am to set my mind and keep it set on God’s plan for my marriage and not be like Eve in the garden thinking :”hath God really said?”
      I found an article at (in)courage by Robin Dance (I’m sorry Kristin, I hope that is not socially incorrect) but Robin’s article has CHANGED my life. It was shared on (in)courage 6/13/13, the title is “When people you love make choices you hate”
      May God bless you as you honor Him in your role as a wife
      In His service,
      Suzanne

      • 14

        Suzanne, I’m thrilled you brought up Robin’s post. Here is the link to it:

        http://www.incourage.me/2013/06/when-people-you-love-make-choices-you-hate.html

        Any inclusion of resources that edify and build up are most welcome! Thank you for being such a blessing. So grateful for you.

        • 15
          Beth Williams says:

          Wendi,

          Praying for God to change both you and your husband. May He surround you with the courage and fortitude you need to keep on trusting Him.

          Lord come by Wendi today and give her a touch of your love. Surround her with your strong arms and help her to see and feel you and be able to trust you in this situation. AMEN! :)

  6. 16

    Thank you for this post! I really needed this today. I am saving it to look at often, as right now, I feel that my marriage is dead, unsalvageable. Reading this gave me a bit of hope, I am still far from the trust I should have that it will be ok, but I will keep this as a reminder and hopefully I will get there.

    • 17

      Stephanie, thank you for sharing such honesty from your heart. I’m fervently praying with you and for you, sweet sister.

    • 18
      Beth Williams says:

      Praying for God to change both you and your husband. May He surround you with the courage and fortitude you need to keep on trusting Him.

      Lord come by Stephanie today and give her a touch of your love. Surround her with your strong arms and help her to see and feel you and be able to trust you in this situation. AMEN! :)

  7. 19
    Bernadette says:

    Wow- you penned my relationship with my husband yesterday, but I need to trust Jesus and spend more time with Jesus… Have I seen God’s hand in this relationship YES but the flesh gets weary and I lose faith. Thank you for the reminder to trust in Jesus but also that we journey together.

    • 20

      Bernadette, your words remind me to look for all the ways God has moved in the past, how He’s trustworthy now, and how He’s with me tomorrow. So thankful for you and your wisdom here. Much love.

  8. 21

    When it’s a friend/family situation, I pray “God, change me; change them; or change the circumstances!” I recognize that friendships grow in/out of season, and it’s ok to have breathing room.

    When it’s a marriage situation, I sometimes pray the same thing…but with more fervency. There can’t be a break, ever. My husband is a workaholic, and currently his job has him traveling…it’s a double whammy, and not what we had planned for or expected. So I do what I can:
    Pray, a lot, for God to restore our love, being IN LOVE again when we are together (and apart).
    When we are together I try to unplug, or only go online when he is. He knows my work keeps me online, but I’ll ask permission, honoring our time together, protecting it.
    No matter how crummy my life is when he’s apart, I try to not tell him about it…and no matter how crummy HIS work is going, I let him talk all night long via phone…I want him to tell ME his secrets and problems, to debrief his day with me (even if I could care less about these situations and circumstances, it’s what’s keeping us apart!). And I pray more! Pray for him, for his eyes to be protected, that God gives him wisdom in resolving issues at work, that He will turn to God to equip him…and things I remember from in the book, The Power Of A Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian. (Think I’ll go get a new copy of the set…so we can read together,!)
    One of the biggest things I learned was to not depend on him to meet my needs…I need to expect God to do that! How unfair of me to expect so much from someone who is incapable of fulfilling or completing me? That’s God’s job!

    The biggest thing I do is FORGIVE. I learned the power of forgiveness a LONG time ago, and know we both fail often in life…so we live by the motto ” A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” It’s true!

    It’s probably way more info than what you wanted, but it has worked for us…29 years and counting. Our families have disliked us, our houses and jobs have changed, and our kids have grown up and moved out and gotten married… And all the while we work hard to protect our marriage. It’s not been perfect – but our God is, and I know He honors us trying…

  9. 22
    Jerrianne says:

    I so needed to read this devotional this morning, fighting to keep my marriage of 33 years. Last night was tough, lots of hurtful things were said and I was and still am ready to give up on this relationship. When I look at everything it is hopeless and the world would say you have done all you can. But I am reminded that I am not of this world, that I have a heavenly Father that celebrates marriage and that He will redeem this broken relationship in His timing and that it will be to His glory, not anything that I did but all that He did as trust in Him and bring it to the cross. Just writing this has given me hope in the middle of my tears and saddness. This really spoke to me….
    It is never too late for Jesus to move. Nothing is too far gone. We may not see healing at work on this earth, but we trust the Healer at work.

    No, my broken relationship doesn’t look different, but my heart does – if only a little. It sees a new picture, one changing from hope-gone to Hope-dawn.

    ***

    • 23
      Beth Williams says:

      Praying for God to change both you and your husband. May He surround you with the courage and fortitude you need to keep on trusting Him.

      Lord come by Jerrianne today and give her a touch of your love. Surround her with your strong arms and help her to see and feel you and be able to trust you in this situation. AMEN! :)

    • 24

      I too have a difficult relationship, a marriage of thirty years that has been nothing but abuse (physical and mental) a mother in law who sanctions every thing her baby son does because her marriage broke up because she had an affair with his father and does not respect marriage. She is friends with all the outside women. I have been pleading with God for years to fix this marriage for the sake of my boys. I have asked him to give me back the love of a wife for him (it died after all the abuse, infidelity, he asking for a divorce and changing his mind a year later with no word of apology or signs of affection, he says we are not compartible and no time for me or his sons). I lost everything, our home a life for my kids because of his immaturity and lack of love. Yet i stayed, hoping. My sons are grown now and they want me to leave, they do not want to live with him anymore. I ask God when will the change come? must I live a lonely, unfulfilled and unhappy life with no Eros love till he calls me home? I long for someone to love me for me, to go to church with me, to read the word and love the Lord more than I do, if that is possible, to pray to talk to me and be my friend. Two of my sons serve the Lord but the oldest is bitter and angry at his dad and is so out of it, i am praying for him. Recently my contract ended and even though I am highly educated and experienced i have not found employment and the situation has become worse. We now live with his mother ( he stopped working and she supports that, he is a few years older than I am) and I find it so hard to keep hope alive. I read the psalms, devotionals, encourage my sons to trust God and hope, to love their dad regardless. I pretend that I am ok and walk around with a positive look but inside i am struggling to hold on, to have faith, to believe that I am worthy of better, love and peace. But honestly, after ten years of praying and hoping I just tell God to do what he wants and to call me home because I am tired of existing and not living and if my present condition is what I have to look forward to it interferes with my worship and service, so I want to to go to him, my boys are big now, the dead knows nothing………..but being here is the fear of failing God and giving Satan the victory! Anyone been there?

  10. 25

    Good word for me today. Thank you.

  11. 26

    I have given up on prayer and relationships and the good news is God did not give up on me! I needed this reminder today. Not because of a relationship, but because I can see dreams, goals, plans, our future “someday” slipping away with no work miles for the semi, increased expenses, and health issues, and I feel hopeless. Thank you for the reminder to run to the ONE and not away from Him, for He is my Rock and Deliverer, Provider and Savior. thank you for sharing.

    • 27

      Oh Mary, just sitting with you during this time when hardship threatens to overwhelm. Just know you aren’t alone, your sisters are here too, and we pray with you. Much love.

  12. 28

    Thank you, Kristen, for reminding me that NOTHING is impossible with God. Struggling with things in my life lately has begun to steal my joy, and sometimes I feel like I’m barely hanging on by a thread. Being in a leadership position, Sunday School teacher of middle schoolers, a ladies Bible class teacher, on staff at my church, and so involved in ministry is sometimes draining and exhausting, especially when dealing with people. But then your encouraging words remind me that it’s NEVER too late to give up, so I will continue to trust Him and that He is continually at work behind the scenes on my behalf, working it out for my good. I really, really needed to read this today. It breathed life into my weary soul. Thank you!!! Blessings!!!

  13. 29

    I penned out Joshua 1:9 and hung it above the work space in my home office where my computer is. The place where I come when I need to get away from what a mess my own relationship has been these past few years. I reads: “Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.”

    I am currently reading To Walk or Stay.. by Lara Williams. More because I want to learn about trusting God in the middle of brokenness, which is what the book is about, than because I am deciding between leaving or staying. Every day I have to start over, give it to the Lord and try not to dwell on what was not working well yesterday.

    Have faith, and remember, you don’t always have to be strong, even if it’s your last name. ;)

  14. 30

    Several years ago, the Lord spoke to my heart the words “there’s no dead situation”, I was then nursing a rose bush that was refusing to bloom! I spoke those words over this bush and it bloomed! If He cares about our plants, how much more our relationships. Those few words have brought to life forlorn situations, (including relationships) I’ve encountered, as He reminds me and I speak them over these situations, I remember that even though Jesus laid in the tomb behind the heavy stone, He rose again, just as He promised, on the third day! THERE’S NO DEAD SITUATION!

  15. 31

    Kristen, thank you for these beautiful, honest words. I needed them today! And since I’ll probably need them tomorrow too :) , I’m saving this in a special email folder. Why is it so much easier to give up than to keep believing God for some things? I don’t know. But I know that there comes a time, in every hopeless seeming situation, when I have to ask myself whether I believe that God can do anything or I don’t. I always decide the former of course; and so the only option is to keep praying and never give up. I don’t ever want to be at the fulfillment of a hope or dream or desire and think anything other than “I knew He could do this.”

  16. 32

    Kristen, I am smack in the middle of some relationships that I wish were different. Sometimes, the only thing I can do is pray and meditate on Jesus’ words: “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” Because, as much as it hurts sometimes, I think most people really don’t realize how deeply they can wound others.

  17. 33

    Thank you for this! It’s one more nugget of wisdom and encouragement God has sent my way to soothe my heart about some friendships that have changed. It’s really hurt me. Honestly? The way I press into Christ is to just let loose and cry and be really honest with Him. Raw. I just bluntly say how I feel, and I ask Him to help me, or at least, give me peace about it. And He does. ‘Cause He’s good like that. ;)

  18. 34

    Kristin, thank you for this post. Over the past six months, my relationship with my parents and between my family and theirs has turned into a war, completely broken. A lot of the stress came from things that I blogged about that were “hurtful” to them but it’s a lot more complex even than that. I haven’t stopped praying for healing in the relationship, and won’t. Thanks for the encouragement.

  19. 35

    Thank you for your reminder that redemption is in the hand of a God who is not personally limited by time, regret or other difficulties. This reminder fuels my hope and erases my unbelief.

  20. 36

    As strings on a piano moan in harmony to a familiar tone, my heart moans with you. So many times I have wanted to walk away from relationship , felling it was too difficult and prayer seemed to no avail, only to have God’s sweet presence arrive and change my heart. This post is so heart felt -real. Love you Kristin

    • 37

      Love you, Diane, and all the ways you support and edify this community here, showing us what a Savior’s love looks like. What would we do without you?

  21. 38

    Thank you so much for this post. If there was ever anyone in a dead relationship, that is me. Mine has ended in divorce, but there is a sliver of hope that reconciliation will happen. I have been overcome with fear and grief lately, worrying that things won’t work out. From now on, I will remember the story of Jairus’ daughter with a new perspective.

  22. 39
    Tracey says:

    Oh, the Lord has sent this straight to me today. Thank you! I am living in a struggling marriage. The last 3 years have been most challenging. I keep feeling hopeless and look to the Lord with very little words and a heavy heart wondering where this will go. Thank you for your post! Thank you to all those wo have shared their hearts in response. It is good to hear the thoughts of Godly people wh are also struggling.

  23. 40
    lizbeth says:

    Yes when your deep in the thick of it jthe stench of sin lust or evil around us.As Jesus was often. Your flesh desire is to want to abandon it all:( And mayb we do for a moment.But we know where our comfort lies it is seeking His prescence. It is then we look to God and dig deeper isn’t it? Looking for something in some signs wonders & miracles to lift or hold us up to come along side us “Oh God ” we cry.(in the midst of it maybe being still mayb acting in faith).Someone in fellowship of some understanding in His Holiness. Somehow just like Ester in God’s timing He provides. Something in His prescence of his Spirit written or spoken or sung. Somewhere God is in us to sustain us. We fervently pray Ephesian 6 “the armour of God” like wings covering us like Wings Beneath our Feet. BELIEVE steadfast BELOVE BELIVE wearing whatever armour of God daily on your mobile life by phone by scripture by worship music or to be just still & nourished. Call on Him in all His names of glory even out loud Becuz Yaweh God is with you!You are saved!

  24. 41

    Oh love this, I pray and I ask to see where I am wrong, normally when I do this I can see where I am wrong, maybe not trusting God to do His will, or maybe really I have done things to others and then I ask for direction, and I pray for peace through the waiting for Him.

  25. 42
    Kris Konick says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. 43
    Kimberly says:

    I just want to say that I’m praying for all of you with broken relationships, especially those that mentioned they were fighting for their marriages. As someone whose husband moved out over a year ago and is living with another woman my heart breaks over every story of a struggling or broken marriage. Stand strong my friends. With God nothing is impossible. There are many stories of restored marriages. Don’t give up! Thank you Kristen for the beautiful reminder of hope for ALL relationships.

  27. 44
    Teresa says:

    I have only subscribed recently and this really hit a nail on the head! It was as if you knew I needed this to keep going! Thank you for helping me to try to keep looking up and trusting.

  28. 45
    Beth Williams says:

    I was/am having relationship issues at work. At first I just had an Unchristian attitude–I prayed daily about it, but nothing changed for a while. Then God talked to me and asked me to “Pray for my enemies”. I started praying for everyone at work. The relationship didn’t change, but my attitude did. I praise God for a good change of heart and attitude!

    • 46

      YES, Beth ~ we pray for His healing work, and we just keep trusting He’s at work because He is.
      Always.

      Praying for my own heart, too…May God create in each of us a clean heart.

      Thank you for your support, prayers, and healing words, Beth. You are a treasure.

  29. 47
    Nicolette.choi@yahoo.com says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear this! I am struggling trying to love in certain relationships where it just feels hopeless! Thank you!! This was a timely word…I am NOT an unbeliever and I know that Jesus can and WILL work things together for my good!! He CAN love them through me. Thank you again for this message!

  30. 48
    Traci Spaulding says:

    This was so perfectly on time

  31. 49

    I really appreciated reading this message today. “My” verse that I’ve been repeating over and over as God is working some big changes in my life is Isaiah 43:18-19. The book of Isaiah is packed with gems of hope and I find myself returning again and again.

    “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

  32. 50

    My husband has a great saying (he got it from his A.A. group, so I can honestly say that we have been down the road of “How can it be fixed?”). He reminds me that what I need to do is always go to bed knowing that my side of the street is clean. No matter what is done to me, I try (not always successfully) to go to bed at night feeling that I haven’t let a chance go by to do the right thing by the person who is hurting me, whether I want to or not (and I have a friendship in which I have been struggling with hurt for a while). Then, I wait (and wait and wait). In the end, I always see that God has worked for my best but sometimes, during the waiting, it feels like it will never happen. Four years ago, almost exactly, my husband, who I had no idea was drinking, was in detox, I had a two year old and it felt like our lives were falling in around us and I didn’t know how I would ever be happy again. Four years later, I have a happy marriage (with the same man), he hasn’t had a drink in just under 4 years and he does a great deal to help other men who are struggling in the same way, we have another child and my husband in more present in our marriage and family than he ever was. I know that ours is a miracle story but if you had asked me, I would never have believed that we would be where we are now. God IS gracious and we just need to keep waiting and praying and sweeping out side of the street.

    • 51

      Tears, Sarah. Your redemptive story sings of Hope, and I can’t thank you enough for telling it here.

      You and your precious family are a gift.

  33. 52

    Thank you Kristen for reminding us all that God can always do the impossible and that we never need give up hope. What looks dead to us can be made green by the One who gives new life.
    Blessings to you friend!
    Lynda

  34. 53

    I love you, friend, and I love the way you relentlessly love Jesus and others. XOXO

  35. 54

    Someday my older sister will love me for me. Will move on from the past and truly want to know the person God made me to be even if we make different life choices. Someday she will see the beauty in those differences and that we are not really that drastically different when it all boils down to faith love and family and we will be friends and love. Someday may not be till Heaven, but I still pray and know someday will come in His timing. Thank you for the reminder because somedays it seems easier to give up than pray. But pray I will to the end!

  36. 55

    But what do you do when He does let your marriage die? No matter what you’ve done. No matter how hard you’ve prayed. No matter the counseling and Bible study? No matter all the help you’ve gotten? When going back to the dead marriage, may actually mean death? What as a woman of God do I when I can’t go back? What do I do when His seemingly confirmed answer is no? Am I wrong, though really in pain, in being ok with it?

    I know God can heal it. He’s in the redemption business. It’s just that He’s shutting all the doors completely and has actually removed me from the situation, not healing the marriage. How do I respond, when my prayers can no longer be for salvation of the marriage, but for helping me start over and for provisions, and comfort?
    He has allowed it to be broken and is rebuilding me and my relationship with Him. When is it ok for me to shift my hope for healing of the marriage to hope in a healthy, non-violent life and walk with out my husband?

    • 56

      These are such real, true and needed questions, Deane. I pray you get your answers, just as I pray I receive mine.

    • 57

      Deane, thank you for trusting this family here with your heart-wrestling. We don’t take it lightly. Your questions are needed and important.

      Can I sit by you and just say how sorry I am for all you’ve been through?

      If you are in an unsafe, violent marriage, then you have no choice but to remove yourself from that situation. It appears you have already wisely done so.

      Deane, I don’t know much, but I do know God will bring restoration to your life, even if it looks differently than what you might have hoped or imagined. Sometimes His compassionate grace looks like a “yes” and sometimes it looks like a “no.” And just because a sister or friend (or blog commenter) received an answer one way doesn’t mean we’ll receive the same one. But we trust *all* His answers are for us, not against us.

      And if I might recommend http://www.ecounseling.com to you or anyone in a situation where personal safety is at risk? At this site, which was set up by the American Association of Christian Counselors, you can put in your zip code and find a counselor who’s close to you.

      Just know I’m praying for you, Deane, and am so grateful for you here. You’re not alone. No matter what tomorrow brings, may His peace that passes all understanding settle deep into your heart and soul. Much love to you…

  37. 58
    Bonnie Thomas says:

    The lengthy wait for prayers to be answered has wearied me. I have found myself no longer praying. I do believe God used you today to remind me to not give up hope and contnue to trust Him. Thank you.

  38. 59

    Bosede, I am claiming those words right now…”THERE IS NO DEAD SITUATION.” Oh how I needed that. Fighting a major situation in my faith community. The leaders refuse to see the issues. Broken relationships all over the place. I have been praying my little heart out but lately have wanted to give and get out. Will keep praying now.

  39. 60
    Julie Dodson says:

    Kristen,
    Such a timely post. I can’t help but think that it was God inspired. I have recently (yesterday)
    reenacted your bathroom scenario to compose myself and shed a tear in private. Prayer has stopped seeming like a reasonable option in my frustrating relationship, but it was a God gift to begin with so I will use your inspired words to renew my prayers.

    In the process of praying through your words I found the Lord calling me to His protection and comfort. Perhaps my relationship struggle is receiving a “light” induced paradigm shift?!?

    The relationship interactions that cause my angst and frustration are really God’s turf. I am trying to fight a battle in my own flesh that is not mine to fight but His. The battle is for soul and spirit. I feel like I have been getting in the way of His good works! My struggles feel personal but they aren’t! God will call my husband in His time and not mine or what i need or what makes me feel better. Phew, a burden lifted and a new perspective to live.

    Thanks!!

  40. 61

    Such an amazing piece. I literally was picturing the whole thing in action. I have turned to God in prayer when in despite situations, and he has fixed them. It may not have been immediately, but it’s happened none the less.

  41. 62
    Debi Schuhow says:

    I know that leaning into God I am no longer frustrated with my husband and the verse “A gentle answer turns away wrath.” The ability to remain calm and answer gently is not my own but Christ working THROUGH me. At times I’m tired and get frustrated and don’t care anymore. All I can pray is “God, show me how to live with this until you see fit to change it.”

  42. 63

    In the 1920′s there wasn’t the internet. Society was more
    conservative.

  43. 64

    Kristen, I am involved with a Crisis Center going through a 12 step battered women’s program. It is amazing. I’ve also become involved in a great church. I have my children in counseling too. All these folks helping are STRONG Christians. I prayed to see God move and He is showing me mightily. My children and I are safe, starting over, and moving forward. But I think I’ll also check out the LCC’s here too.

    God has rebuilt my faith, but when I look back and evaluate what all has happened, the failure of the marriage despite all the prayers and work, is heart breaking. There were a lot of tears and prayers at many different bathroom sinks the past ten years. It should have been healed. Not only did a marriage die, but a ministry as well, along with damaging a church body. My husband’s last day in the pulpit was Sunday. With so much at stake, I really don’t understand why God said “No.” I am ok with it for I trust Him, but there is great grief and I just don’t understand why the “No.”

    That being said, God has truly rescued me and my children mightily and has provided so much for us in the past few months. Since the day I gathered the children, dumped our clothes in Rubbermaid containers and fled with $160 to my name, so many impossible things have happened. I made it 400 miles on a half tank of gas and to safety that first night. He has restored my family, rebuilding those lost relationships, and has even restored old childhood friendships, as well as given us new friends here in this new place. There is so much more even I could go into that God has done, for His work has shaken me to my core. There is so much to be thankful for; to feel great joy about. He has made me totally reliant on Him. HE literally, has been the one to put food in our fridge, provide clothing, money for the children’s counseling, and given us a public school where they are all Christians actually, and a sweet church with a pastor who preaches the full counsel of God. He miraculously gave me back my career so that He can provide for us through the work I do. I’ll even have retirement provided. There’s so much more that He’s done, I don’t have the space to tell it all.
    Though and through the pain, God has prospered me and the children. And I’m so very glad. But I feel so bad asking, “Why not the marriage?” “Why is it gone?” “Why has God stripped this man of everything.” “Why the No?” Then, I think do I really want to know those answers? In light of all He’s done since the final breath of the marriage, should, does the whys for the “No” matter?

    Because in writing this out tonight I realized there was a conjunction with the “No.”

    Over the past couple of days ive realized…. maybe He said “No, BUT…”
    That three letter word in God’s hands has such power.

    • 65

      Deane, just tears here as I read your story. Tears for all you’ve been through as well as gratitude for all the ways God stands with you. Your faith amidst uncertainty and unanswered questions astounds everyone reading this today.

      I hear your Father in heaven saying to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

      And we here at (in)courage say the same thing. Much love and prayers to you, Deane. So much.

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    My eyes were meant to read these words this morning. You have no idea. “We can’t always talk to people about God, but we can always talk to God about people.” I went to bed praying so fervently last night, practically begging God to fix all that is broken, as if it’ll die and never be made right. Oh how I am thinking on these words of truth right now. You helped me to set my eyes on things above, friend. And that’s a true friend. {hug}

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    Marinalva Sickler says:

    How this was needed! It seemed that you knew that someone was going to leave me tonight. I have prayed for a resolution, but I thought it wouldn’t matter.
    Thanks for bring me hope that prayers are answered in lost issues.
    Love. I don’t want to cry it’s almost 3 am and a friend is texting me to make sure I’m not alone for this night.
    Love

  46. 69

    I prayed and prayed and shared with Christian sisters my struggles with my marriage – a husband who preferred strip clubs over home and me. When he withheld money from money sending us into foreclosure, I knew I had to do seek a divorce to protect the children financially. I spent a lot of time begging God to bring him back before that. Afterwards, I set my focus on the future and becoming independent with a peace from God. Now, three years later, my ex-husband has changed, nearly a 180, to a praying family man. He wants badly to reconcile. It is scary now to trust him again but God blesses new beginnings. Never give up but be willing to let go. Sometimes God’s answer is not now.

    • 70

      Sandra, so moved by your words here. Just know I’m praying for you…that wisdom, discernment and peace are with you in abundance. May the Lord bless and keep you, sister. Much love.

  47. 71

    Why do I always forget to come to Jesus? In this dark place, I always forget that He is there to come to for help. Thank you for reminding me. I need Him to breathe life into what I thought was dying. Oh, such little faith I have. Thank you!

  48. 72

    God alone knows and sometimes when there is no improvement, his answer is no……………..move on, put me first and everything will be ok. Stop focusing on this…..one must want to change, you cannot change them