Friday, July 26, 2013

REALLY Loving When It Hurts

Tonight, as I reflect back on the title of this blog and how it came about, I can see how aptly named it is.

I write tonight from a place of pain.

My heart hurts.

I found out something tonight that made me feel as if the floor had dropped out from under me.  Fast and hard.  In one moment, I was fine.  And in the next, everything changed.  The moment I had been dreading for almost a year and a half became a reality for me.

I knew when I came home that there was a risk.

I knew that I was holding my heart out, with the potential of having it broken again.

But there's this funny thing that happens when you let God do the mending, when your heart is broken.

You see, when I chose to walk away from my marriage, and then made another choice to stand fight for it, I wasn't placing my heart back in my husband's hands.  I was placing it in the safe, strong hands of God.  That was not truly tested until tonight.

Tonight, I found myself face to face with some of the deepest pain I have felt since I came home.  Honestly, I feel as if I am still in shock over it, and I just need to write through it tonight, so that I can have a clear handle on what I am thinking and feeling.  And in the long run, I know that it will help me through this.

As I was driving home, after finding out news that was devastating to me--news that in the past would have sent me running for the hills from God and my marriage--the devil kept feeding me lie after lie.  He tried hard to keep my focus on the "wrong" that was done to me.  He tried desperately to bring things to my mind that, though valid, were not necessary for me to dwell on.

But because we serve a faithful and loving God, He fought for me tonight.  He knew that I was too weak and so He battled for me.  He came down into that moment, into all of those lies, and He pushed the devil back.  I could almost hear Him saying, "Jamie, you drive.  I'll deal with this."

You know, I think that God does that for us a lot.  If we let Him.  At least, it's what He wants to do.  He wants to fight our battles for, with, on behalf of us.  He wants us to trust that He is big enough.  That He is strong enough.  That nothing we go through in this life is too difficult for Him to take care of.  

This amazing thing happened tonight as I drove.  First, I felt so desperate and so broken, so I said "God, I need a song.  Right now."  Here's where I'll be honest and say that while I HOPED I would hear "the right song at the right time," I didn't have enough faith to KNOW that I would.  But God showed up, and He proved Himself right and true.  He gave me a song, within moments of me asking for it.  Because He knows me, and He knew what my heart needed right then and there.

And that song allowed me to focus on what was really important.  It allowed me to see the devil's lies for what they were, and hear God's voice of truth dashing them to the ground.  While the human, sinful part of me wanted to stay angry and hurt, God said, "Jamie, have you learned nothing?"

It was then that I realized something I had never understood before:

I was on the verge of putting my faith and hope to the test, and trusting God to hold my heart while it ached.  And then, it happened.  I stepped over the ledge of fear and doubt, into faith and hope.  And I thought back to all that God has done and has been teaching me and Kris throughout our marriage restoration.  And the hope that God gave to me.  The hope that I want everyone to understand.  And in that moment, when I felt like hope was gone, once more, God renewed it.  I saw it coming, before it really sunk in.  I heard the lie:  what a waste...

And then I heard loud and clear God say, "Don't you DARE give up HOPE now.  You know full well that I am bigger than this.  You know that you can trust me with this."

And you know what I realized?

I did still have hope.

I did trust God with my wounded heart.

And I didn't want to be angry and take on the role of the victim, though many would have said I had every right.  Tonight, I learned what it really means to love when it hurts.  The title to this blog was born out of a workshop Kris and I led about a year ago, for a retreat.  We shared our testimony of what God has done in our marriage and while preparing, we had several ideas for what to call the workshop.  Somehow, we fell upon "Loving When It Hurts."  We wanted people to understand that no matter how tough it gets, no matter what you are going through, no matter how much you hurt, you can still choose love.  You can fight together.  So when God led me to start this blog, it just made sense to keep that same title.  And while loving when it hurts has been this entire process we have been walking through, tonight it was put into action.  Tonight, in the midst of hurt and anger, I chose to love my husband.  I chose to stand beside him and to fight for my marriage.  I chose to let God fight this battle against the enemy, and to make sure that the enemy knew that his old tricks of filling me with self-doubt and insecurity wasn't going to work.  Not this time.

I don't know what the future holds.  The next few days may be a difficult battle with the devil in my mind, and for Kris as well.  God is doing something in and through us that the enemy wants to hinder.  But I refuse to let him just waltz in and destroy our home.  He will not have power over us any longer.  No.  Matter.  What.  I will move forward, pouring my hurt and anger into the arms of my Father, who will hold me until it doesn't hurt anymore.  I choose to look beyond the trap that the enemy thought would tear us apart, and not only that, I reclaim my marriage and the heart of my husband and the hope in my heart and I submit them to God. I am safe in His arms.

I'll share in just a moment the song that God used to bring hope back to my hurting heart, but first, I want to share some of the lyrics from the second song God gave me tonight.  You see, He loves me so much that He knew I needed more.  So he gave me another.  And the line that stood out to me from Chris Tomlin's "Whom Shall I Fear" was this:

Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

You see, at first, all I could see was the darkness.  It was night, I was driving home in the dark.  And there was darkness around my marriage in that moment.  Yet even still, God's light was shining brightly in my heart.  God sometimes chooses the coolest ways to reveal Himself to me.  And then, as I contemplated that and the enemy said, "But what about this?"  God, through Chris Tomlin reminded me:

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in your hand
I'm holding on to your promises
You are faithful
You are faithful

God was before me, before my heartache.  And He follows behind, carrying my heart when I need Him to.  He is always by my side.  He is my friend.  This God that led angel armies and wiped out entire cities-He's here with me right now.  And NOTHING formed against me (including the pain I am feeling tonight) can stand.  So I will hold on to God's promises, because He has proven over and over again that He is faithful.

And the song that God gave me when I first begged for something?  "Strangely Dim" by Francesca Battistelli. 

I love this song, and while I've heard the lyrics before, they have never touched my soul like they did tonight.  You see, God knows what we need, when we need it.  If we trust Him to be faithful, as He has promised He would, He will prove Himself true.

I don't know, I don't know what tomorrow may hold
But I know, but I know that You're holding it all
So no matter what may come
I'm gonna fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
All my worries fade and fall to the ground
Cause when I seek your face and don't look around
Any place I'm in grows strangely dim


  1. Jamie, situations like this are where the rubber meets the road, aren't they? Faith and obedience are almost easy once you've overcome the initial hurdle of reconciliation in marriage. I'm so proud of you for recognizing who the enemy is (not Kris), and for trusting God to fight this battle.

    You sharing this will help so many couples understand what it is to love when it really hurts. Really, really hurts.

    I love you, you amazing Warrior Princess!! Keep kickin' the enemy's butt!!

    1. Thank you so much for the support and encouragement!

  2. It's worth fighting for....don't give up. Praying for whatever battleground you're facing...You know, as I'm praying, I keep seeing the picture of the feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. So, that's what I'm praying for you and your family: Peace. I like that Peace is a piece of armor--it protects us from the ground we travel on, no matter how broken. We have a barrier to keep the soft parts of our souls protected. Peace be on your family, on your hearts...let the Word you've wrapped yourself in be a comforting blanket, a cocoon of hope and healing...Love you guys...

    1. Thanks Cassidy! Really appreciate the prayers. I like that peace is part of the armor too!

  3. Your post brought tears to my eyes. You are an inspiration to me. I am praying for whatever is causing you so much pain. I have been struggling the last several days. I am a stander, waiting for my beloved to come home to me and my 2 boys. Our little boy is really struggling with the pain, and I feel my husband withdrawing even more. Plus I know the separation papers are waiting for me at the post office. I have not picked them up. I am waiting for God to tell me to if I should, so far He has not led me to go get them. And it is hanging over my head that my husband wants to fight for custody of one of our children. The other night, I cried out to God, "I still have faith in you", and went over to my iPad and turned on K-LOVE (I just felt the urge). The song was ending and it kept repeating "it is only mountain" and "Just a little bit of faith can change it all". That song ended and they brought on one of their inspirational stories, this one was about a man who thought his marriage was over, but it was restored and they played a clip from the song Restore. God is so good. I am still struggling, it's been a rough week. I am hoping to spend a lot of time in prayer and Bible study over the next few days. Before all of this, I was feeling God saying, "soon", now I am struggling to hear His voice. I know he is still there, but my pain is getting in the way.


    1. I saw your post the other night about turning on the music and hearing that clip with Restore. I love when God gives us little messages like that!