I have always been a girl who likes control.
I can still remember being a little girl and organizing and cleaning my room just so. Everything had a place and I liked it that way.
So, when my parents announced that they were going to get a divorce that control piece was thrown for a loop as I could not control this.
This was a painful and ugly situation that I was seeing happen to my family. I know now as a parent that my parents did the best they could in their situation, but unfortunately there was serious damage done.
And for me that damage brought me to a place I had never known existed called depression.
I sat in that place of depression for so long that I can recall sitting in my room with a razor in my hands ready to take my own life. But, in that moment I heard a voice in my head say to me, “No Amanda, this is not your time.”
And today I know that voice was the Lord.
Thankfully, the Lord brought me through that season and I began college where I found my own path and that brought me hope.
But, with that hope came a new hold of control on my life that I didn’t see.
So, in college when I met my soon to be husband I made a promise to myself that I would do things differently than my parents and I would NEVER EVER get a divorce! I would do what it took to make it work, because I could control this thing called my life.
So, our life started out very much the way I had expected,
with beautiful moments and joy.
But in those moments there started to creep in this darkness. And it was a deep and scary darkness that I knew I couldn’t control, so of course it made me want to control my life even more.
So, right before our third child was born, that darkness came in so unexpectedly and so quickly and with such strength that my little “control” I had was no match to this storm that was taking over our lives.
But just like an eye of a storm, the Lord gave me rest in seeing the Body of Christ through friends and so many who came and surrounded us in those dark times.
Unfortunately, those darks times kept happening over and over again. When I thought I was at the bottom and the bottom couldn’t get any lower, that bottom would be taken out from under me and I would be falling again.
But, in the midst of this the Lord was pulling me closer and closer to Him and He started to reveal to me that I NEVER had any of this under control!
He showed me that I needed to surrender my marriage to him.
So, I made a choice.
Because it always, always comes down to a choice
and I said, “OK Lord, I will trust you.
I will trust Your Word that your plans are so much better than mine.”
So, we spent years working with multiple counselors, friends, pastors, and doing everything we could to make our marriage work. When we felt we were at the place of divorce we tried again, and again.
Waiting and Praying.
And more waiting and praying that the Lord would help us heal our brokenness and hurts.
I fought for my marriage and the Lord was our biggest advocate.
He brought music, words of wisdom and scripture to help us to keep our ultimate goal of His healing in mind.
Because a marriage is worth fighting for.
But, we live in this sin filled world where our choices can take away from God’s ultimate goal and I have spent many hours struggling with the fact that I am on this path of divorce. The guilt, pain and hurt over this decision that I swore I would never do are still an open wound that I deal with every day.
But then, I have to remember that this guilt is not of the Lord.
No, He doesn’t want divorce, but the Lord doesn’t want any sin of this world to hurt us.
He is such a loving God that when I have sought him in my sadness and guilt and asked him for forgiveness, He has lifted my eyes and shown me that my sin – even this piece that feels too big- is never too big for his grace.
He has to do that daily with me as this reality is not a one time decision, but a path with consequences that affect many.
And when I had to sit down with my children and say the word I swore I would never say, divorce, that I had to lean in on that promise.
Because it didn’t FEEL like His plan was better.
In fact, it didn’t even FEEL like it was good.
But, I have learned it is not about our FEELINGS sometimes, but it is about our CHOICES.
I made a choice to choose God.
I made a choice to choose HIS path and in that choice was my surrender.
And since that first surrender, I have made countless moments of surrender and He has kept me to that promise over and over again.
He is so good that there are countless ways of how He has tangibly given to me through my surrender.
Yes, I have been through pain.
Pain that I never knew existed.
Pain that I honestly thought would never end and became such a constant that it became a physical pain in my chest.
But, that is not who I am and that is not what He has for me.
He takes this pain and redeems me by giving me opportunities to share what He has done for me so others can make the same choice.
I want you to know that this is not MY story,
it is HIS love story to me.