Although I’m a little behind in sharing my journey of memorizing scripture in 2018, God has not slowed down one bit in showing me how to lean on him through the verses on which I’m focusing.
From January 28th through February 10th, I reflected on 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is unseen is temporary, but what is seen is eternal.” True to form, God gave me the “opportunity” to practice fixing my eyes on the eternal.
It all started with my mom sharing a scripture with me that reminded her of when I was a single mom. She shared Isaiah 54:5, which says,
“For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called God of all the earth.”
She told me she wished she had known it to share it with me then. Little did she know it is still relevant and means so much to me right now. Sometimes our human husbands just can’t comfort us like God can. I really appreciated that she shared with me even though I’ve not been husbandless for a while. I thought it ended there, but later that day, God showed me he’s more than a husband.
It all started when a good friend confessed to me that she and another close friend had been keeping a secret from me. The secret itself was not horrible or malicious. They just chose not to be honest with me about something that they should have. I was sure to find out eventually, and the longer they waited to tell me, the more painful it would be. So, although it was not as painful as it could have been, it was enough to hurt me all the way down to the 10-year old little girl inside of me, whose 3 friends all of a sudden decided one day that she wasn’t their friend anymore.
I know my adult friends love me and would never pull something like my 4th grade friends did, but wow, how the emotions came right back. It was a rude awakening in that I realized I had never truly healed from the rejection from way back then, yet it was also a gift from God which would allow both 10 year-old me and right-now me to climb up in his lap and allow him to clean up the wounds, dress them, and heal them like only he can.
That sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Here’s how it really happened. When you get hit with decades of pain right smack in your present, the pain is real, raw, and super deep. Did I mention that my friend made her confession to me on the way to an event where we had to spend the next couple of hours together with a group of people? I had to hold off on processing all of the emotion and pain until later that evening, while pretending that I was feeling great.
By the time I got in my car to drive home, my mind was racing. I immediately began to fill in the blanks with conversations my two friends must have had about me, scheming behind my back to pretend to be my friends while ultimately planning to exclude me in the truly “fun” stuff. About halfway home – okay, if I’m being honest, I was almost home – I realized the ridiculousness (and the 10 year-old-ness) of my thoughts, chided myself slightly for thinking such silly things of my adult friends (who truly love me), and reminded myself of the scripture I was memorizing. I recited it in my head slowly, so not to miss the meaning of a single word.
I had been doing the easy thing of focusing on the temporary. The temporary was painful. It hurt a lot. But when managed to focus on the eternal, it was so refreshing to think about. At that very moment, I realized God is the only one who can fill in the blanks. But I still hurt. For the last couple of miles, I leaned into him HARD. It was not easy. I just started praying loudly and intently, “God, this hurts so much!! I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to think. Please help me know what to do. Help me know how to get through this and past it, forever. Help me to see past it all.” I can’t say it always happens this way, but I felt his comfort immediately. In that moment, I knew that I knew that I knew that he’s not only my Husband, but he’s my Friend (and there it was again – Isaiah 54:5). But I still hurt.
I went to bed that night feeling heartbroken. And then I had a lot of dreams. I don’t remember all of them, but I remember giving birth in a hospital hallway in one of them. I don’t remember if it was a boy or a girl, but it was a happy, clean baby. Since I’m not of childbearing age, and having a baby is NOWHERE on my radar, I’m certain that dream had some sort of meaning. I won’t bore you with details, but I did some research and found out that some of the meaning there definitely fit my feeling a lack of love and that things are changing in my life!
When I woke up the next morning, I felt a sense of peace and comfort. I knew it was going to be okay. I was able to go back and visit the 4th grader inside of me, and she shared with me how she wished she had handled her situation and what she would say now, if she could, to those “friends” who had turned their backs on her. I took her advice and later that day, I had a good, healing conversation with my adult friend. Our friendship is going to survive this. It’s still healing, and there will be a new scar to go with the old one. But where one was only a reminder of pain, I now have both to remind me of pain that led to a second chance at redemption and reconciliation.
I am grateful for the opportunities God has given me in the past year to change the way I see the pain of my past and change the way I respond to pain in the future. Fixing my eyes on what is unseen helped me to put what is seen into perspective. We need people in our lives for many reasons. Inevitably, some of them will hurt us because we are all human. It’s what we choose to fix our eyes on in those situations that makes the eternal difference.