28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
Healing after some sort of trauma, like infidelity, is painful and burdensome. This is true regardless of whether or not a divorce is finalized. I wish that weren’t the case. It’d be so much nicer to know that one route held less pain than the other. It may be the case that the pain might be a degree less in one path over the other, but that depends entirely on the path and the couple in question. I think that more often than not there’s some sort of trade off, a buffet of bad options.
Whichever burden we’re facing God will be there for us. I know that that’s written. I know that God is faithful. Yet I still find believing it to be true to be the hardest thing at times. It’s okay to doubt. It’s okay to question. So often I think the mentality is that if you’re a good Christian you’ll never question the Bible or God’s presence. But questioning is essential to faith because it gives us ownership over our relationship with Christ. Knowing Christ is based off of a personal relationship with him. Hard times, just like good ones, are used to mature our relationship with Christ.
I felt God’s peace when I called off my first engagement seven years ago. It wasn’t easy and I couldn’t help but question if I was doing the right thing, but every time I doubted I was reaffirmed. I knew it was the right decision and I’ve never second guessed myself on that since. Even through the pain I knew it was the right thing. In the pain I also had peace. I felt that same sense of peace a couple years ago when I unexpectedly quit my job one day only after a couple months of starting it. I was miserable and I was looking for something else but hadn’t lined anything up yet. The plan was to line something up and then leave. But I walked in one day, the sh** hit the fan and within a matter of hours I was walking out to my car. I couldn’t do it anymore, I was done.
I was a single mom at the time and in grad school. I didn’t have an income and there was nothing on the horizon. I had a very small savings for the time being that I pulled from. I was living with my parents at the time, which was a major blessing. I wasn’t getting any kind of child support at the time either.
I should have been completely freaking out. I’m a planner, the stakes were higher being a single parent. It’s not like me to not start worrying when something like that happens. I no longer had control. My control went out the window when I quit without having something else lined up. I was trying to control it so I wouldn’t have to rely on God to get me through it. Yet all I can remember from those two months I ended up being unemployed until I found something new, was this immense sense of peace that I couldn’t explain. I had every reason to be freaking out. I still had my own bills to pay and my savings wasn’t going to last very long at all. Yet I just had this profound, unexplainable peace and sense of rest. I also had a deep sense of knowing that I’d be taken care of, provided for. I hadn’t realized how stressed out, worn out and just out of steam I was until I was suddenly faced with rest. I had been pulling the full time work/mom/school gig for around nine months at that point and my stress had shot through the roof with the recent job change.
God really took care of me emotionally and spiritually in those two months. I needed that rest more than I knew. If I had stayed in that job any longer I think I would have hit my end. Something would have blown and my 14 month old daughter would have been the one that suffered the most. He took my heavy burden and replaced it with his, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” God did provide too. Within six weeks I had an interview, had a job offer the next day and started a new position at week eight. The timing was perfect. My savings was dismal by that time and I needed cash flow back. I had had just enough time to recharge, refocus my attentions on school and my daughter and get myself to a healthier place when the new position started.
I hope and pray for all reading this blog that you will know God’s peace and rest. I end this piece with another video clip from The Holiday where Iris tells Jasper that it’s over. The peace and freedom Iris feels are quite visible when she finally stops clenching at her unrequited love, finally uses her agency to kick Jasper to the curb and start living her life free from the shackles she was in before. God’s peace is even better than that.