I recently read Luke 15 during a quiet time, which includes the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I love this story. You can't read it and not be touched by the Father's Love for His children. This isn't the first time I read it since my seperation/divorce, but I guess it's the first time I've read since divorce where I actually have gained perspective on everything.
What really got me thinking today was "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him". It reminded me of another verse which I love from Romans 8:26 which says "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." I have already been meditating on Romans a lot the past couple weeks. I actually started thinking about it when it was my turn to give my testimony in small group. I ended up too choked up to finish my story, but that verse has a lot to do with it.
Looking back over the end of my marriage, all I see is God's hand. And God's mercy. I certainly married the wrong guy. I certainly in some ways deserved to reap the results of an unwise decision. But while I was still a long way off, my father saw me and was filled with compassion. So far off, that I didn't even know that I needed to turn and head the other direction.
There were nights upon nights where I cried out to God in the midst of my marriage. All of those prayers centered on changing myself and changing Michael, because I was determined for it to work. Divorce was the farthest thing from my mind. I cried out to God with everything in me. I had no idea that the Holy Spirit was interceding for me in a way I could never have expected. I never ever prayed for God to get me out of my marriage. The Holy Spirit did. (Now, I know people like to hang on to the fact that God hates divorce. Before you comment, watch what you say if you don't know my story.)
It took a lot of clear signs from God for me to realize that he was leading me in the direction of divorce. He literally had to open me up to the idea, because nothing in me would have gone there on my own. God's love for me was so great, that he saved me from something I didn't know I truly needed to be saved from. I had been telling myself that it could be fixed, all the while I was allowing myself to be 'dead' and 'lost' to the person I truly am. But the Holy Spirit interceded for me and the Father met me while I was still a long way off.
I sat on the fence for awhile between the 2 decisions. I had these visions almost in the midst of this of myself holding Jude with one arm and a scarlet thread. I felt that like Rahab, I was being given this one chance at escape. I could either step out in faith and be delivered to the promised land. Or I could doubt and have my entire world crumble around me. I poured through a study on Rahab in the midst of making that decision finally settling on Joshua 1:9- be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.
That promise has absolutely been true. As soon as I finished that week long study, I took the scarlet thread God had given me and never looked back. God was truly with me in the most personal sense I'd ever experienced. Sometimes it was like I could literally feel him sheltering me and covering me. These past 2 years have marked such an intimacy in my relationship with God to where he has really become the Lover of my Soul. It's been an extremely difficult 2 years (still is usually difficult), but I can honestly say I've never felt more provided for or loved or satisfied. And I am so thankful I have a Holy Spirit who understands my hurts more than I ever could and prays for things I don't know I need and so thankful I have a Father who seeks me out and so thankful that I have a Christ who is alive who makes all this possible.