Friday, October 3, 2014

when it all blows up

Day 3 of

While we've settled the fact that life isn't easy, let's move on to the times when 'not easy' doesn't even begin to explain it, and even 'difficult' doesn't touch the situation you are trudging through.  There are seasons when impossible seems like the only word to the weary soul within you, when you just want to pause life so that you can come up to the surface to breathe.  

A few years ago after reading a popular book by a most popular christian author and speaker, I learned there are three(ish) reasons you fall into a pit. Although very few things are set in stone, so if others pop into your head and it makes sense to your heart, then go with it! As long as it's not heresy that goes against all biblical truths of course ;)

 First is you dig the pit on your own, and end up finding yourself at the bottom.  Another reason is someone else throws you into the pit, either by their actions or decisions, or maybe by pure meanness and jealousy (i.e Joseph's brothers). The last reason is you trip in, due to things that just happen because we walk here on Earth.  (i.e a fire or other act of God that effects your life, cancer, etc)

While being in a dark place, no matter how you got there, is hard, the first is at least easier to understand.  There are obvious consequences to every action.  Some struggles we go through are directly attached to poor decisions we have made that cause difficulties you have to live through.  If you build up enormous credit card debt, there will come a time in life where someone is going to want their money.  If you choose to do an illegal act, you shouldn't really get upset at the law enforcement who call you out on it.

It's those last two reasons that can be rough to take.  Those last two usually come when you least expect it, like a bomb that goes off without warning, and sends everything scattered. And in the aftermath, you're left with shock, fear, devastation, tons of questions, and little energy to process it all.

A little over a year ago my own personal bomb went off in my life, destroying with it the pretty picture I had built in my mind of life and family.  A little over a year ago, my husband confessed to me that his friendship with another woman, a woman I knew quite well, had developed into not just an inappropriate friendship for a married man, but had veered over the lines into an affair.  Part of me wants to stop here and share all the idols in his life he was feeding, the briefness of that other relationship, and what God has done in his heart since then and a million other parts of the story but I won't. Not yet, because that's not the point of this.

  The point is that with his few sentences, a bomb went off. My world was rocked, and nothing would ever be how it was again.

I do not consider myself a violent person, but one of the first verses I read after this news was thrust in my life was James 1:2-4 that begins with this: Consider it all joy when you face trials of any kind. After reading that, I wanted to punch James in the face.  Seriously.  I literally wanted to take James, the brother of Jesus my Savior, and punch him in the face as hard as I could. Joy?  Seriously?  Do you know what I just found out!?!?  You want me to consider that joy!?

But here I am, almost 13 months outs from one of the most difficult situations I have ever been in, the lowest pit, the darkest cave, the messiest aftermath of the biggest bomb of my life, and I consider it all joy.  Why?  Hope.  In this situation, God taught me how to cling to Him through anything, how to cling to His promises, and has given me the sweetest relationship with my Heavenly Father that I've ever had, or could have ever dreamed of.

While my life is an open book to those with questions, and while my husband and I want to use our story to encourage anyone who needs it, and while I will unashamedly proclaim that God designed marriage to be beautiful and to honor Him and can redeem any marriage no matter the circumstances, that is not the point either, at least not the point of this post.

I am just one little person and this is just one little story.  My bomb was sparked by marital issues but there are countless others lurking around.  In just my 33 years walking this Earth I have closely known a little boy who lost his life by the hands of someone else, a middle school friend who lost his life to a brain tumor, a mother and father figure who lost their son to suicide. A school friend who lost both her parents before she entered college, a boyfriend who lost his father suddenly to a heart attack, a friend who lost her mother in the same circumstance. Family members who have fought cancer and won, and battled cancer and lost, a baby cousin diagnosed with leukemia before he reached a year old, and I could probably keep going.

But I have also seen a mother and father praise God for the blessings of their life and help others who lose a child way too early.  I have seen grieving parents talk to other teens about depression and fear and letting God in their lives to overcome them both.  I have seen two sisters become each others' family, and forge a bond nothing could separate.  I have seen communities come to the aid of grieving widows, widowers, and children.  I have seen the sick praise God to the end of their lives despite their pain, and I have seen the joy of thankfulness of two parents who get to hug a two year old warrior boy, who with his Healer, can fight the battle and win.

   The bomb that blew up my thoughts of how my family was doing also blew up my insecurities, blew up deep rooted sin in my heart, and blew up the idols I put before Him.  My God, in all His violent love and wisdom, blew my life apart for one purpose:  so he could rebuild it the way He wanted it to be. The way I needed it to be.  So He could build a life for me set on the Hope of His promises, and not the things I tried to do myself.

That is where we go from here.

Now that you know a glimpse of my story, for the next 28 days I will share different lessons I learned on my road of learning how to better cling to the God of hope when it all blows up.


  1. This is really encouraging! I have been through some very bumpy times in my marriage and it is so hard to consider it joy. I always remember a message that James McDonald taught at on that verse. Thank you for the hope that it is worth it.

  2. Yes!! He blows our lives up to rebuild them into something He can use! Always for our good and His glory. <3

  3. I think sometimes the pits we find ourselves in can be some combination of the three. For my pit (that I'm writing about), I think it is a combination of the act of God (that is to say my genetics) with being thrown into the pit by others (that is to say that the dysfunction of others shaped my development) and that I've done a bit of my own digging in the pit as the result of those two. Like you though, I am learning to break certain patterns and cycles and overcome the circumstances that have landed me in this pit. I'm not sure I totally agree with the idea of God actively blowing up our lives so he can rebuild them into something He can use. Rather, I think that sometimes He allows us to go through suffering (rather than preventing that suffering), to teach us greater dependence on Him and so that we have the palest glimpse of the immense suffering that Jesus went through on the cross when he bore the weight of the sins of the world and the physical agony of the crucifixion. That said, suffering is never easy, but then if it was, it wouldn't really be suffering. I am looking forward to reading more of the lessons you've learned!

    1. Hi! Thank you for your thoughts. I totally agree with God allowing the suffering instead of preventing it. That's actually exactly what I mean about 'the bombs'. He allows them for our good and his glory, like everything else in our lives and yes definitely to draw us to Him and help us see the beauty of Jesus's suffering for us. I definitely did not mean He goes around blasting us to set us straight :) When I look back at my situation and the preceding years I can definitely trace back and see many warning signs that if seen and dealt with then would have resulted in a somewhat calmer conclusion and not what did happen which to me felt like this explosion in the midst of my world. Whichever way I am thankful that we both know where our Hope comes from!

  4. Wonderful expression of the bomb and its aftermath and restoration. What an encouragement of God's mighty power! Thank you!

  5. This really shook me and I can't explain why because I don't know you, but maybe because we are the same age and have 3 kids it felt personal. Your words though are solid truth! What an amazing God we serve. This is the first time I have come across your blog (thanks to the 5 for 5 thread) and I will be adding it to my reading list for sure.

  6. Thank you for being brave and sharing the darkest days of your life. No fear, I wanted to punch James and everyone else in the face, too, when my marriage exploded. :)