Also, He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place.”
~ Mark 6:10 NIV~
Today, as I sat during my prayer time I realized that it had been exactly ten years since I left my husband. This was the day I had said goodbye and moved myself and my daughter out of the house. It had been a long time coming, but I had held onto the notion that all of the problems we’d been having were all my fault. I had adopted the, “No matter where you go, there you are,” mindset. And so, I figured that I might as well stay where I was, even though I had known for years that it was time to go. (I have a tendency to keep trying for far too long). So God started picking little fights with me. For a while, He allowed me to experience anxiety and depression…I believe, as a means of getting me to MOVE!!! It was as though He was knocking on the top of my head and saying, “Get out of here!”
When I finally started preparing to go, it became clear to me that this was what I needed to do in order to become free of all of the pain that had been weighing me down. I had gone into this relationship in a very broken state and the time I’d spent there had allowed me to heal to some extent, but we hadn’t had any foundation in Christ until the very end. My ex and I had decided to try going to church together as a last ditch effort to fix what was wrong and it had only served to amplify the root cause. We had very different ideas about who God was and what He should mean to us. And that’s to be expected when you come from different religious backgrounds and neither of you had been practicing your faith in your adult life. I don’t say this to denigrate my ex-husband, but if I had been stronger in my faith early on I probably never would have married him.
Before I got married, I had been through so much. I had been raped. I’d turned to alcohol and promiscuity to try and heal the pain of that trauma. I’d tried everything to take back this power that I thought had been taken from me. The marriage had given me a place to rest for a while, but it ultimately inflicted a different kind of injury. The kind that occurs when the love isn’t real or the people who are trying to love don’t quite know how. I spent ten years, almost eleven in that place and coming out of it was not an easy process. But now, after this last part of the journey, I am healed in so many ways. Sitting here with tears running down my face, thinking about how broken I was all those years ago. And how He gave me shelter. How God helped me to break free once and for all. Of course, I rebelled against that healing at first. It was unfamiliar to me and I was angry that my marriage hadn’t been everything I’d hoped it would be. I was angry that my husband hadn’t loved me enough. I was mad that I hadn’t been able to be what I thought I was supposed to be. But God showed me that I had been following the wrong plan. He set a new life in front of me and He gave me the strength to live it. And He will do the same for anyone who asks Him.
The verse I shared at the beginning of this post may not seem to match up with the rest of what I said, so I want to attempt an explanation. Think about all the places where you “land” during your lifetime. I’ve literally lived in a lot of houses during my life, but in a figurative sense the “houses” represent periods of my life when I was in the middle of learning very important lessons. And so, when it was time to leave those “houses,” it was time to leave that part of my life behind. Until I was really ready to stop being in that part of my life, I was stuck in those “houses.” And while I may have moved residences a few times during my stay in those “houses,” when it was time to leave, it was very clear that my time there was done. I found it odd that I would get this verse today in my prayer time, but when I sat back and thought about the life I left behind ten years ago it made perfect sense. I know now more than ever that God knows exactly what He’s doing and I’ll trust that no matter how many “houses” I end up leaving as I journey through this life.
Rebecca Benston is the author of The Rona Shively Stories mystery series as well as a number of inspirational works including Wise Up to Rise Up. She is also the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media (HGBM); an independent publisher located in Springfield, Ohio. HGBM publishes works that are inspirational, motivational, and education. Books available through HGBM include devotionals, memoirs, fiction, children’s books, poetry and assorted non-fiction works. The company has been in business since 2013 and continues to grow.