Friday, April 3, 2009

AFTER DIVORCE, HOW CAN YOU TRUST AGAIN?

As I think about how God has taken care of me since long before I knew Him, I am reminded of so many stories that tell me God is with me and watches over me and has a plan for my life, far better than anything I could have imagined.

Several years after my divorce I was in a destructive relationship and obsessed with a man who was an alcoholic and drug addict. After three years together in and out of drug rehab and a few police calls to my house, he dumped me for a woman who didn’t hassle him about getting clean and sober. I grieved the loss of our relationship for a long time. Then, a year after we broke up, I ran into him. He was with his girlfriend, but we secretly made plans to get together at a retreat a few weekends later. I was ecstatic and excited to see him, planning the big reconciliation. At the last minute, the man I had been casually dating offered to fly his private plane to Canada to get the puppy I had been anxiously awaiting for months. I was tempted to say – gee thanks – I’ll see you and the puppy when I get home from my weekend away! Or never mind, I didn’t really want the puppy anyway. I couldn’t find a way to gracefully reject the generous offer to go get the puppy I had been talking about for months, so I wasn’t able to go on the weekend to see my old boyfriend and never saw him again. I know that God did for me what I could never have done for myself. Was it a coincidence of timing, or did God intervene and spare me from what could have been a lifetime of torment with this man. I choose to see God’s hand.

A few years later, after a series of broken relationships and personal losses, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at a Billy Graham Crusade. Three weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Bible doesn’t say everything will be great in life, but it does say God will be with us and protect us.

Hebrews 13:5 "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."

I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to go through the surgery and treatment without knowing God was with me and would never fail me. Some would consider it a coincidence that I committed my life to Christ just before getting this frightening diagnosis, but again I see God’s hand in bringing me to Him just in time to lean on Him and Jesus through the difficult time ahead.

As lack of trust in God can drive a wedge in our relationship with God, so also can lack of trust in relationships with people drive a wedge in our relationship with others, whether spouse, friend or family member. After divorce and the pain and mistrust that can come as a result of feeling mistreated and rejected, how can we know whom to trust? Do you even want to trust again, or is it easier to isolate and take no chance of opening yourself up to being hurt again? Rather than choosing to remain alone and not risk another devastating breakup, we can pray for discernment. We can ask God to give us wisdom, that He will open our eyes and reveal what we need to know about the heart and character of the person we are considering giving our heart to.

As I recognize God’s work in my life, it has become easier and more natural to trust Him as new challenges come up. When things go well it’s easy to trust God. It’s when things are not going well that it’s harder to trust, but that’s when we need to the most.

Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

How can we learn to trust God? We can pray for deeper trust and faith and leave the results in God's hands.

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

God has not always answered my prayers, and rarely in the way I hoped He would. Instead He has blessed me far beyond my imagination. No matter what comes my way, why would I not trust Him today?

3 comments:

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