When one’s spouse rejects you then there are some tremendously difficult issues to deal with pertaining to one’s value and role in life. We can be reeling in confusion regarding our identity now that we are no longer half of a married couple. It can take time to come to terms with this difficult matter. I had been part of a couple for twenty-seven years. It was not easy to think of myself in single terms of being just me – just Helen – as opposed to my identity as “Helen and husband”, that I had been all my adult life, up to that point.
I remember an incident that occured in those early days of great pain, after I had been for a swim at a local hotel pool (doctor’s orders). As I stood, feeling all forlorn, at the reception desk waiting to get a refund on my locker key, I happened to notice a lady stood nearby holding a Bible.
That seemed rather strange to me in that secular environment so I boldly approached her to ask why she was holding a Bible. Whereupon she informed me that she was staying at the hotel with a group of people from her church, as they were having a “Christian-weekend-away” together. I then bravely asked her if she would pray for me and my emotionally painful situation. It then transpired that not only was her own daughter called Helen, but her daughter’s husband had the very same name as my husband! Not only that, but they also happened to live in the very same area that my husband had taken himself off to live. I just knew that God was there with me in that moment. Such details could only have been arranged by Him. I came home feeling overawed at the situation that had just occurred. I was touched to know that the lady would never forget my name and that I would thus be prayed for by the body of Christ.
I later reflected upon the story of Hagar in Genesis 16, after she had been cast out of her home, and was alone in the wilderness with her son. She cried out to God, who answered her. She said of the Lord, “You-are-the-God-who-sees-me”. I knew that He not only saw me but He loved and cared for me too.
It took me a considerable amount of time to adapt to just being me. But as I have said before, it was my continual reading of the book of Psalms that truly helped me through this process. It was there that the character of God was consolidated in my heart and mind, through the wonderful descriptions therein. Some examples follow, although they are much richer and more meaningful when read in context, of course.
Our God is:
Loving, kind, tender, compassionate, gracious, good and merciful.
He is also:
A shield, refuge, deliverer, shelter, fortress and a high tower.
He is also:
Great, powerful and mighty.
Many other scriptures explain that His people are very precious to Him. We are exhorted not to be afraid as we are more valuable to Him the birds and the flowers.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
Jesus said that the Father is aware of the lives of the tiny, seemingly insignificant, sparrow birds, and that we are more valuable to Him than those. Jesus said that the Father is aware of the number of hairs on our heads. That tells me that He knows EVERYTHING about me. There is NOTHING that escapes His notice, nor His care for His people. He knows how much we struggle with our identity now that we are all alone in the world. He told us to “Cast all your care on Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
So, if you are feeling all alone in the world, like Elijah once complained to the Lord; or if you are feeling rather fragile, like a seed blown about by strong winds beyond your control; or if you are hurting by being shunned by those you hoped would love and accept you; then please do remember that Elijah was not alone but the Lord was always with him, remember too that there are no storms of life that are beyond the Lord’s control, and that the Lord Jesus still loves you even when people fail you.
A Seed In The Breeze
As I cling to the edge of the world
My life like a seed in the breeze,
As my fingertips slip in their grip
It’s then that I fall to my knees.
I cry out to my Lord and my God
I plead for His mercy and love.
As He sees my rejection and sorrow
His comfort descends from above.
He knows all the cruel, treacherous words
The shuns and the doors slammed on me.
He feels all my pains and my tears
There’s nothing that He doesn’t see.
When my husband, companions and others
Turned their backs so completely on me,
It’s then I remember that Christ
Took my sins on himself on that tree.
As companions who went to the church
Bitter judgements against me they say,
Yet I turn in my grief to my Lord
And His Word comforts me all the day.
I may feel all alone like Elijah,
Yet I know that my God will sustain
He’s the same God today as back then
And His peace and His love still remain.
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