I had been a Christian two years. Why wasn’t my life going well? I’d started on a pink cloud and everything was glorious! I was hearing God’s voice. I was all about Bible study. Several people in my family got saved after I did. Then disappointments and discouragements started piling up, and I wasn’t getting answers.
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. We had a close relationship and I was afraid she was going to die. My sister was moving to another state, so I was losing her support. And my relationship with my husband was struggling. Our communication was superficial and it left me feeling empty and wanting something more. I was lonely. It definitely felt like the honeymoon was over. I already suffered from anxiety, even as a Christian, but this was like a debilitating panic attack.
In desperation, I got alone in my bedroom and opened up my Bible. I begged God to talk to me and help me. He gave me Psalm 34, where David is pretending to be insane. Feeling I was on the edge of sanity myself, this took my breath away:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
One more random flip brought me to:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
His peace poured into me like never before. All my anxiety faded as I kept hearing and repeating: “All I want is Jesus.”
With my eyes on Him, I let go of all the expectations for my earthly relationships that day. All these people couldn’t meet my needs, so I kept going to the Bible. I kept reading. I kept writing. I kept sharing in Yada my fears and disappointments, my confessions, my hopes. Time after time, I said, “I’m turning to Jesus. He’s going to have my answers and I’m going to wait.”
Fast forward to Valentine’s Day this year. My husband made me a special, romantic dinner and asked if I wanted to hear a story. When we were dating, I used to ask him to tell me a story, meaning I wanted to know about him and his life. The way he asked took me back there. Of course I wanted to hear a story and said, “Yes!” He began digging in the pocket of his jeans while I waited curiously.
Finally, he pulled out a single white pearl and set it on the table before me. “See this pearl? It really has no value.” Then he paused. “But it’s priceless to me. For the past several days, I’ve noticed this pearl lying in the same place on the ground as I rushed by. Each time I saw it, it reminded me of you. Then yesterday I decided to pick it up so I could give it to you today. It represents how priceless you are to me. Passing it by several times before actually picking it up reminded me not to take you for granted.”
I was stunned. Speechless. With tears in my eyes, I thanked him. It took me another day to really process what had happened. I even asked him to repeat the story. It reminded me of Matthew 13:45-46, the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price. I journaled the story and the scripture and prayed, thanking God, so grateful for this husband. It beautifully illustrated the work God had done in our marriage with this extraordinarily touching and tender moment.
Do you long for something that seems impossible to restore? Is the honeymoon over in your marriage, in a friendship, in your job, especially in your relationship with Jesus?
I wasn’t looking to God for my answers. I kept trying to fix things myself. It was only when I let go of all but Him through reading, writing, and sharing over a long period of time that he restored years of disconnect. Jesus became enough in the midst of my struggles.
Praying this is an encouragement to you today.
PS. Save the date of April 4th for our live webinar! More details to come next week.