I navigated over twenty years of abuse in my marriage. In those years I cried out to God for help and rescue. Those were the years I learned about faith, real faith. But as with any situation, I slowly adjusted to the marriage I found myself in.
I had become comfortable, even in an abusive marriage, to the routine. I had learned well how to walk on the eggshells, how to avoid the explosive situations, and how to protect my children from seeing the full extent of the abuse.
Although I was learning and growing in faith and trusting God’s timing, I slipped into a pattern of handling things myself. I always knew God was there, but I was familiar with my situation and slowly grew weary, never thinking it would get better.
A Lesson of Faith
I’ll never forget the moment, after years and years of pleading with God for a way out, when I distinctly heard the approval for divorce. Little did I know that God’s rescue plan would culminate in a lesson of faith as I realized what I had learned across twenty years.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Faith believes even when time drags on. Somewhere around year fourteen, I gave up. I continued to ask for help, although the frequency dwindled. In my heart, I stopped believing that God was at work. I struggled daily between contentment in waiting and despair in complacency. Faith does not give God a timeline. Instead, it yields to the timeline God has set.
Faith believes even when we can’t figure it out. I wasted many hours trying to understand what was going on. What tapestry was the Grand Weaver creating? Would I be rescued, or would my husband change? Faith rests in not needing to know exactly why each thing happens. Faith knows that God is at work.
Faith believes even when it cannot see. Over the seventeen years since I began pleading with God for an answer, I really thought nothing was happening. I can see today, however, that God had put me on a path which would prepare me for life as a single mom. I not only had the ability to provide for myself and my children during that new season of singleness, but I knew with confidence that I did all I could to make the marriage work. Faith focuses on the day at hand, not the long-term plan.
There were days when I passed the test of faith; on other days, I failed miserably. I am most thankful that my relationship with Christ is not dependent on my responses, but on the sacrifice and love of my Savior.
Whether it’s the decision to homeschool, have more children, deal with a difficulty in a relationship, or handle any other situation that brings you to your knees crying to God for help, know that regardless of time, what we imagine, or what we can see, God is at work. Believing it is faith. Plain and simple.