God is mysterious.

I don’t know about you but I have experienced that mystery time and time again. It feels so unnatural to trust Him when I don’t see what He’s doing or where He’s leading me. Honestly, it’s one of the most difficult parts of following Him. I think I struggle with the unknown because it reminds me that, at the end of the day, I am not the one in control of my life.

A little over a year ago I found myself reeling from another one of those unknowns. I met a man named Kyle two years after I recommitted my purity to Christ. At that point, I was stronger in my faith than I had ever been and was excited to find someone on the same page. After spending years dating all the wrong guys I couldn’t have been happier to be dating the right way. We clicked immediately and our chemistry was through the roof. Everything about it felt absolutely perfect. He loved Jesus, his family, and every piece of me. We had a whirlwind romance and he told me I was the one he had waited for his whole life. I remember feeling so blessed I would beak down in tears listening to Bethel worship music on my way to work. I couldn’t stop thanking God for bringing me this man and I was sure it was His best.

To make a long story very short, Kyle changed. Well my Kyle changed, meaning that I finally saw the real one. The man who swept me off of my feet and rehearsed to me every day how madly in love with me realized that he couldn’t be the man I needed, long term. Instead of fighting to be the man he wanted to be for me, for us, and for Christ, he gave up. From day one, I knew he had places of temptation but I trusted him when he had assured me that he left those old ways behind. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have. Break ups are hard but breaking up with the person you thought was the one is unbearable. I couldn’t breathe.

I had truly been seeking Christ from the time we met. I would pray, we would pray, and everything was leading us together. Then one day, it just crumbled. I couldn’t process it – why would my God, my unfailing Father who loves me allow me to get to this place of ruin? I was confused and raw, left with so many questions and virtually no answers. This was the first man I had ever fully trusted, because I was convinced that God was for us. I opened my heart to Jesus-loving Kyle and he shattered it with pretty lies of a future that didn’t exist.  What was I supposed to do with that broken faith? My heart ached and for months because deep down I felt like my boyfriend and my God had abandoned me.

God knew the whole time; I kept thinking this to myself. He knew and He still let me meet, date and fall in love with this man. I looked up to heaven with tears streaming down my face: “God why would you do this to me – why would you dangle everything I have ever wanted right before me and then allow it to be ripped away?!” It seems heartless and cold. I thought You loved me, I thought that You would protect me.

I was a mess, my life was a mess but despite my pain I didn’t run from God and community, not because I am that dedicated, more because I didn’t have anywhere else to go. Even though I continued to question God I didn’t stop seeking Him. All that I knew was that I wanted answers and desperately needed healing. I vividly remember standing in church a few weeks later with my mom. She leaned over to me and reminded me how much she loved me. But then she said something I will never forget. She let me know that my parents had been praying for me, which I knew. Specifically though, they had been praying that I wouldn’t fall away from my faith. She said. “You had every earthly reason to doubt God and turn your back on trusting Him”. Even in that moment I was in pain but I remember being shocked. In some way it validated my struggle - that it was ok to be heartbroken. But more importantly it showed me how far I had come in my journey with Christ. It took her words to show me that I hadn’t taken my eyes off of Jesus, despite the blind-sighting disappointment. No matter how intense the pain got or how real the ache of betrayal I knew that my God was and still is good.

Do I know why I went through that experience? Not completely, but God has revealed a few perspectives.

It took a while to work through the emotions tied to that relationship but in the end, Jesus strengthened me. In the process, He heard every prayer I prayed and caught every one of my tears. I know that because He faithfully held and healed my heart. It wasn’t glamorous though. Healing came through consistent prayer, even when I was angry and didn’t know what to say. It came by choosing Bible study over work outs every Tuesday. It came through reading The Word when I wanted to checkout and watch The Bachelor. It came through incredible friends and family who not only spoke life and truth to me but also prayed fervently for my restoration. Ultimately healing came by keeping my eyes locked on Jesus and reminding my heart of His unfailing goodness, incessant love, and absolute faithfulness.

This season of trial brought a lot of verses to life for me. Now, when the Bible urges us to live above circumstances I can relate. It doesn’t mean living a perfect life and plastering on a smile when you’re aching in pain. It means being vulnerable with the people in your life, choosing to look past the wreckage in front of you to the light of truth rooted in Christ. When God says He is our healer I believe it. It’s not a quick fix but a deep healing balm, one that leaves your soul overflowing with joy and contentment.

The reality that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than mine could never have been so clear. With all my heart I wanted the wrong man because I was convinced that he was the right man. But God loved me too much to let me live a life apart from His best. He saved me through that broken relationship, He saved me from myself and I know He will do it again because He is that gracious. Thank you Jesus, you continually set us free from the chains we so desire.

What the enemy wants us to believe is that God doesn’t have our back. He wants us to believe that we could miss it, that the man who broke our heart was the one and we messed it up. He would love us to settle instead of wait on God’s best. But the truth is that God wants you to be completely fulfilled in this life. If He has put marriage on your heart, I pray you remember and know this: He has the most tailor made man for you. If you wait on Jesus and His timing I promise you it will be the second best decision you have ever made. You will find out 5, 10, and 20 years down the road why that man was given to you by God. While he won’t be perfect He will look to the one who is. He will lead you closer to Jesus and if nothing else, that is the best relationship you could ask for here on earth. Here is the best part though; I honestly believe with my whole heart that you can’t miss him. If you are being obedient and seeking God’s will over your own He will faithfully provide. I can’t promise you when or where but I can remind you that the creator of all life is on your side, so let’s live this life confidently awaiting God’s best!

“For the righteous man falls seven times and rises again”  - Proverbs 24:16

Shelby RobbinsComment