Three strong believers share about finding contentment in Christ alone even in very painful, difficult, lonely situations where worldly peace and contentment are completely impossible. I pray their words and stories might bless you and your walk with the Lord richly!
From Sister in Christ #1
I had to hit rock bottom and surrender everything to the Lord before I found that peace and trust in Him. I had to get to the point where I truly realized that my husband and my marriage had been an idol – that I had been depending on my husband to meet my needs, instead of God. So truthfully, the main reason I was so afraid of losing my husband (in the beginning) was because he was the one that I had been looking to – to take care of me, provide for me, love me, and fill me. I knew the Lord, but I had not been fully relying on God for these things – and I didn’t even realize that until after my husband left!
It took my husband leaving me for me to come to the end of myself and surrender to the Lord. And it took many months (actually over a year) before I FULLY trusted God with my life, my husband, and marriage.
I can assure wives that if they will press into the Lord and give Him total control, that they will get to a place of complete trust and have a peace that passes our human understanding! I’m sure there may be other problems on our spouse’s end, too. But the Lord wants to work on our hearts individually. The change has to start with us! There may be a totally different timetable for what God does in a husband’s heart and in the marriage, but the only time table that we have any control over is what we allow God to do in our hearts right now, even through painful, lonely situations.
I remember people telling me things like that and I would just get angry because I didn’t want to hear that I had no control over anybody but myself.
Control issues are rooted in fear – what do we truly believe about God?
- Are there false beliefs about God that needed to be uprooted?
- Do we see Him as being totally sovereign, 100% trustworthy, and that He is exactly who the Bible says He is – and that He can do exactly what the Bible says He can do?
That was another thing that I discovered in this journey, that I had false beliefs about God – I didn’t truly believe He had only the best plans for my life. I had to ask the Father to break many strongholds, and to renew my mind by His word.
I had to start speaking out scripture, and hear myself declare it, until I truly believed it.
From Sister in Christ #2
You know what? It would be wonderful to have Christ-centered human companionship always, but so often in life, only the Lord stands with us. For example, in 2 Timothy 4
- “. . .At my first defense, no one stood with me, but everyone deserted me. . . . But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me. . . . So I was delivered. . .”
Ultimately, it is just us and the Lord who have to cross the “Jordan Rivers” of our lives.
God makes all His best people in loneliness. That is so demonstrable. You study the great souls in the Bible, those great souls – they walked alone — alone with God. Just like great eagles that soar, they fly alone.
That loneliness is hard to endure, and impossible to enjoy unless God is really within you. But that’s how you can tell He is really living in your heart. You will enjoy it!
God makes us His, alone. He takes us out to be alone to make us Holy. And Holiness is real Happiness. I believe it is because He knows how dangerous co-dependency is. Faith in Jesus combined with action is the only thing that will bring you contentment. I have to be alone very often because of my work and travel schedule. I was so worried when it all started, now, I can’t wait to get alone with the Lord. That’s how I fully refuel.
My goal is GOD HIMSELF. Not joy, not peace, not even blessing – but HIMSELF. . .my GOD.
I lived for the praise, acceptance, and expectations of those around me. Now, I have an audience of ONE. Also, He is now the only One who gets a vote on my worth and value. Jesus had an audience of ONE, His Father. Only God knows why He takes us along these paths. All we can do is keep seeking God in Christ and let Him direct us. He loves you, you have the greatest value. He gave His life for all your worth!
From a Brother in Christ
Two weeks before our 10th anniversary my spouse walked out of the family home with my two children after engaging in multiple acts of adultery with multiple different people. I am now divorced (not my decision), I have sold that family home, split our assets, moved to a different town and have walked a LONG way through the valley of pain since that day.
When a person whom you believed would meet your emotional needs and create fulfillment within you fails to meet those needs, it creates a deep hole within.
We begin to question so many things!! We feel upset, angry, and fearful. For me fear was the overriding emotion.
- What will this do to me?
- What will this do to my children?
- How will I ever heal from this?
At the point of my anniversary I had NO idea what to do or how to heal. But I came to a place where I genuinely surrendered the situation and the outcome of my life to God.
I did NOT have peace or joy when I surrendered it to God, I still felt the pain and fear but I had made a conscious decision to trust God with the process. It was a time of great trial.
Fast forward to nearly 7 months later and I was still grappling with the separation and pain, but still surrendered to God’s will and plan. At this point I was focused on a Christian book that used Isaiah as a springboard to talk about the healing that we can find in Christ. It talked about the fact that Jesus used these prophetic words to illustrate that He was the one who would bind up our wounds, heal our hearts and set us free. And I wanted that far more than anything else!
God graciously opened my eyes and heart to see that in Christ I was loved and accepted without reservation! That the only one who had any right to reject me actually chose to give His life for me!!!
As I saw this, my heart was set free from needing approval or acceptance from my spouse and I knew SO much joy. I knew that if I never had my spouse again I would be more than ok.
And, I am more than ok.
Nearly 2.5 years after my spouse requested a divorce, I AM divorced and all that I feared DID happen, plus more. The trials were so severe that I could not have imagined them. But I am 100% ok and I am thriving in all aspects of life. I enjoy companionship and the love and presence of God in a tangible, incredible way that I did not think possible before I experienced it. I have experienced answers to prayer, fulfillment, and joy that I had no idea was possible. Truly the treasures of heaven are found in Christ.
God has met my needs emotionally, spiritually and physically in every way I needed.
Interestingly, my prayers for a reconciliation were not answered and I realise now that those prayers were made because I wanted to find my identity in my spouse. God could not allow that, my identity must be in Him. Now, I do not pray for a reconciliation, in fact I am reluctant to consider a reconciliation given the history between us. Now I pray for my ex-spouse’s salvation and for my ex-spouse to experience God’s love, as that is of primary importance.
When we try to find our identity in another person we find ourselves in bondage to that person.
When we receive validation, we feel ok. When we do not receive validation, we feel awful. But, when we receive all that God has for us in Christ we can feel ok whether we receive validation from our spouse or not! The words and actions that our spouse gives can be received as a gift when they are positive, recognised as coming from a wounded heart when they are not positive or used as a springboard for prayerful, personal evaluation if they are suggesting things about an area that we may need to grow in.
I pray that you will be able to see again, or maybe for the first time, just what you are worth to Christ. He gave ALL that He was to purchase you, to have you for His own, He ADORES you and wants to know you and love you in a way that you can not imagine. I pray that you are able to release your fear and hurt to God and enjoy this day with Him.
If you want to share a bit about your story and how you are learning to find contentment in Christ alone, you are welcome to share. If you are struggling in this area and want to talk about it, you are also welcome to share.
If you are dealing with a very difficult marriage, please check out the healing that is available to you in Christ at Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity. There are lessons to read and watch. And there is a private forum there for women to heal and encourage each other.