Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I May Do Things You Don't Understand

Over the past week or so, underneath my basketball excitement, I've been in a funk. However happy I am with my life (and I do have a GREAT life), the fact remains that I've been handed a pretty crummy, unfair situation... single again at 32 with major emotional scars and no hope on the horizon. Sometimes it's just hard. Sometimes I just get mad. While relationships come easily to other people, I have to keep depressingly low expectations. I know there must be good reasons why I'm still so single when almost every other divorced person I know was actively dating again within six months or less. A lot of it is due to my own pickiness and attempt at wise choices, and I thank God for protecting me or whatever He's doing. But it would be really nice at least to have male friends. Before I was married, I mostly hung out with guys, and I miss having a male presence in my life not related to me. Someone I can talk to and go to sporting events with. My close friends are married to great guys and I consider them my friends too, but it's not the same. You can't really hang out with someone else's husband.

Anyway, two things have straightened me out this week. One was remembering that God doesn't owe me anything. If He took everything away from me except His love, it would still be more than I could ever repay. The mere fact that I'm still breathing is a statement of His mercy, let alone all the other extravagant blessings He's given me. So if He decides I'll live a nunlike existence for the rest of my life, I have no right to feel angry or resentful. I also need to shake off my elder-brother syndrome regarding other people's relationships. I can't take the credit for conducting myself "better" than some in a difficult situation, nor have I earned a happy ending.

The second thing was this Tim Keller sermon I listened to yesterday (Tim Keller groupie over here!). The sermon is about Hosea. If you don't know his story, Hosea was a prophet whom God called to marry a prostitute, to remain faithful to her and keep going after her no matter how many times she betrayed him. The whole thing is meant to symbolize God's relationship with Israel, and later, Christ's relationship with the Church. It's an emotionally difficult story that I thought about a lot in the last six months of my marriage. At one point, Dr. Keller says that God is telling us, "Until you understand this experience of being betrayed by the person closest to you, you can't fully understand My heart for you." When I heard that, I got major goosebumps. There are many mysteries I don't understand, but my heart is fluent in that experience. In the early days, I knew that in the midst of the pain, God had given me a gift. A deep, personal way to identify with Jesus, know His heart toward me, and appreciate it more fully. I had forgotten about that, but now I'm reminded that I'm blessed, not cursed. Chosen, not rejected. Equipped, not put on the bench. It brings a much needed sense of revival.

This is a lot of honesty for a public blog, but if it encourages even one person, it's worth it.

(Title song reference. It doesn't totally relate to the subject matter, but I love it and it was in my head while I wrote this.)


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Brenda. What a beautiful picture of Chirst's love for His people you have glimpsed through your pain. See you tonight!

  2. I'm so glad God's healing you even more. It's so easy to forget the amazing gifts He gives to us every day, and I thank you for reminding me of them. So often, it's not till they're gone that we even realize the blessings we had.

  3. For some reason I had never thought of Hosea during your situation, but wow, it is applicable! Thankfully you are not a prophet so he provided a way out - to start over.

    Beautiful post. Beautiful life. =o)

  4. Isn't it awesome how every day, our picture of Christ becomes clearer? He is amazing. And you are amazing, Brenda! With all you've endured, you continue to push onward ... running the race.

  5. You inspire me, Brenda. Always have, always will.

    Re. Hoseas - have you read Francine Rivers' "Redeeming Love"? It's a fictionalization of the book of Hoseas.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, guys. :)

    Maria, I have read Redeeming Love! It's good, but it was overhyped to me for so long that I don't think I loved it as much as I could have. If that makes any sense.