Thursday, 24 January 2013

Love hurts

Appearances can be deceptive

From the outside our lives and loves can look blissful or blessed at least

But inside they may be slowly dying

To love is to live as God intended

It comes with His recommendation

It promises so much

Love can bring us the deepest joy or most searing pain - sometimes both together

The lyrics below show how fragile love can be and how easily hurt or harmed by a careless word or gesture. 

They are taken from a song entitled:'You always hurt the one you love' (written by Allen Roberts, music by Doris Fisher and made famous by many artists) You can click on the link above to hear Michael Buble's version.

"You always hurt the one you love, 
The one you shouldn't hurt at all
You always take the sweetest rose
and crush it till the petals fall"

Outwardly, my Other Half could be viewed as a weak, indecisive, fear-filled man. After experiencing several serious losses throughout his life and a complete mental health breakdown 8 years ago (from which he is still recovering), you could say, in many ways, that the description holds true.

However, if they could know and see him as I do then they would be viewing someone who exemplifies the patiently persevering, enduring, faithful, self-sacrificing, lavish, grace-filled love of Jesus to me better than anyone I know

He has laid down his life, denied himself and carried a heavy cross for the last 30 + years. Now his whole frame buckles under the weight of it, with a heart that feels crushed and torn. Eyes fill, and he is drowning in sadness and sorrow. His lot is the heart-sick burden of hope deferred beyond endurance - and I am largely the cause of it.

This wonderful man (who I shall call The Philosopher - for such is his propensity to deeply ponder life's great truths) is looking to me to mend that breaking heart, pour love back into it and restore what was lost.

He is mostly looking to God for those things, but his dearest wish is for me to supply them. No matter how much I love him (and I do - desperately), my ability to return his love is greatly impaired and has been for many years. And it's breaking my own heart too.

We didn't go into this marriage blind.

The Philosopher's eyes were open to the fact that I came with a lot of baggage. In fact, I had so much of it that I really needed a large trailer to put it in - and we're not talking about clothes here.

I was a wounded young woman who had already experienced the dark side: being the product of an affair, an unwanted baby, abused emotionally and sexually in my childhood, neglected, from a broken get the picture.

Though my fragility and instability were drawn like a moth to the flame of God's love in Christ as I accepted His invitation to come, be cleansed and renewed at the age of 17. 

For the duration of our courtship, God was very much first in my life and my husband-to-be a close second. The shadows of my past were safely locked away in a box marked 'No Access' and I lived briefly and gloriously with freedom, love and laughter - in blissful ignorance of what was to come.

My father died 2 months before our wedding day.

Two months into the marriage and I was a complete wreck undergoing a nervous breakdown that tested The Philosopher's love and faithfulness to the extreme.

My personality and relationship splintered into tiny fragments which have taken years to piece together again and are still a work in progress - by the grace of God 

The honeymoon was short-lived indeed. Little did we know there would be no return to those halcyon days.

Much more could be said. Maybe one day I will write a book about it all.

For now, I am sharing my story because it is the one God has given and allowed me to experience, and some of it may help others to see that they are not alone with their pain or to count their blessings if these things are alien to them

Too much gets swallowed down or left ignored.

Too many Christians believe the lie that they have to have-it all-together or at least look as if they do.

I share because it refuses to be silenced and is currently impacting my life in a big way. 

Wounds unhealed only fester beneath the surface. Sometimes what we want to write and say conflicts with the story unique to us.

This one is screaming out to be heard - whether I want it to be or not - this is part of who I am, my story and my life.

Some may want to turn away from what they perceive as 'dirty laundry' being aired in public. Others will feel a leap of recognition in their hearts and whisper soft "You too?"

We are still living with the consequences of it.

This year I am in pursuit of my God-sized dream. It is slowly dawning on me that God doesn't do things by halves. Before I can embrace the new, He has to gently tear down what is hampering my progress in moving forward.

God renews us from the inside out.

You can't build strong with a weak foundation. A shaky edifice will soon crumble

I am partnering with God in the process that will "rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated" ~ (Isaiah 61:4) so that I can be part of His great promise:
"Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs" ~ Isaiah 61:7
How I long for that day! Meanwhile, we seek to live and love as openly and freely as we are capable of, knowing that only God can love us perfectly. He enables and equips us to love others better when we surrender to His ways.

A Prayer:

We come to you as we are, as You bid us to come
No pretence. No false illusions.
We are needy people 
who desire above all to know You 
right here in the messiness of our lives.
It can feel and be so overwhelming at times
as the chains of the past hold us captive,
the pain of the present can blind us to Your Presence.
Come into the darkness of our hearts, lives and situations
Bring Your hope, healing, grace and mercy
Restore what is lost
Deliver us from discouragement and despair
Flood us with light and love
Encourage our hearts
Equip us to change
Make us new

Until we meet again, may you know His abiding Presence and peace in all circumstances and continue to pursue His best for your lives. 

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  1. Beautiful words. So precious that you shared with us. Over the last few years I have begun to learn that if we give Him our pain and sadness He will use them to His glory. We can give Him our suffering and He will use that.

    God bless you Joy as you move into your God-sized dream in 2013 x

    1. Thank you, Lynda. I firmly believe that nothing in our lives is ever wasted because God can use it all for His glory, especially when offered back to Him. Bless you for reading, caring and encouraging me with your words. xx

  2. Joy what a beautiful, heartbreaking piece of writing. It must have been so hard to put that down and press the 'publish' button. I found it both moving and inspiring. Isn't it wonderful to know that there's no part of our lives that surprises Him, no part that He can't work with and turn into something beautiful.

    It made me think of this verse:

    Joel 2:25 'I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten...'

    The view looking back on this will be amazing, I think.

    Bless you.

    1. Oh, Helen, I quaked and deliberated so much! But I knew God was asking me to share my story here and now, no matter how hard I found it to do so. That wonderful verse from Joel was spoken powerfully into my life several years ago and I am still holding on to the promise to come day! Looking forward to looking back in wonder too. Thank you for your kindness and lovely comment. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing so transparently of your raw pain and anguish. We do not have answers or lives that are all together, but we have Someone who walks with us through the sorrow, pieces of baggage, and struggles. Thank you for sharing that...

    Deb Weaver

    1. Really appreciate your understanding and hope-filled thoughts, Deb. We do indeed have the best Person possible accompanying us on our journey. May He bless you and guide you into a deeper understanding of His ways as you walk with Him :)

  4. It's very brave that you want to share this with us. I am proud of you! Well done!!! And I recognize it and there is only one real Lover ho can heal broken hearts :-)

    1. It did take a lot of courage to share. Brave? I'm not sure about that! More like desperate and in need of sharing my pain in the hope of helping others to feel less alone with theirs. We do have only One who loves us perfectly and heals our broken hearts. Thanks, Jedidja. Bless you for your unfailing support and encouragement. It is greatly appreciated.:)xx

  5. God is with you, Joy... in your writing and in the journey you are on. What a beautiful prayer... I know He is answering it, even now. Don't give up; He has wonderful plans for you.

    1. Thank you, Kornelia. I really appreciate the encouraging and reassuring comments. My intention is to keep on keeping on! God bless you :)

  6. Thank you Joy this has been a real help to me :)

    1. Bless you, Tania, for sharing that thought. It gives me courage and confidence to continue to be open as I have here and as God leads me to be in the future. Thank you! :)xx