(Week 3) Stay.

 

When the lies surfaced in my marriage, I was certain I was going to have to leave.

Even more frightening, was how certain he was that I was going to leave!

 

Because of that, there was no begging me to stay, no blocking the door and weeping how he couldn’t bear to live without me. Nothing. Just quietness.

So much quietness.

It was obvious to both of us, there was no good reason left for me to stay.

But then there was this verse, this verse I couldn’t for the life of me get out of my head… The verse I now know as the passage God purposefully used to save my marriage, and even my life:

Do not be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

Weeks before my heart had been broken, God had brought this verse to my attention. I don’t remember how I found it, but the first time I wrote about it was coincidentally the week before my life was flipped upside down.

It’s almost like God had been preparing me… but for what?

Surely, God wasn’t asking me to stay with my husband— right?

Three Times God Asked Me To Stay

1. “Stay Calm”

“…The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

My heart screamed, leave him. To run far away and fast from the man who hurt me …or at the very least, to punch him — hard!

But this verse spoke straight to the uncontrollable restlessness of my heart, the emotions that changed on a whim and the desire I had deep within to pack my bags, bolt out the door and escape it all!

Instead of relying on the random and fleeting demands of my broken heart, God was asking that I rely on Him – To stay calm, and let my faith in Him be larger than my fears!

Joyce Meyer puts it this way, “Feeling fear is simply the temptation to run away from what we should face and confront. I learned that I had to stop running and stand still long enough to see what God would do for me if I let me faith in Him be larger than my fears.”

God promised if I stayed calm, He would fight for me.

But the question that kept me up late into the night was, would He?

2. “Stay right where I led you, no matter how desperate. “

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you…”

It wasn’t the words of this verse that initially spoke to me, it was the circumstances in which they were spoken that made them powerful. Arguably, some of the most desperate circumstances in all the Bible!

Those words were spoken to a group of people named The Israelites who were faced with a really big problem —  A 1,389 mile long, 220 mile wide, and 7,254 foot deep problem to be exact —  The Red Sea.

With nowhere to go, the Israelites were trapped against the staggering expanse of the Red Sea, encompassed by hopelessness as they watched Pharaoh and his army moving in to capture them.

But what the Israelites didn’t know at the time, was they were also on the verge of a miracle…

I too, was up against a reeeeally big problem of my own. I had just left all of my family and friends back in Washington State, sold freaking e-v-er-y-t-h-i-n-g I owned, and forked over every single cent we had to our name because my husband felt God calling him to New York City.

….Only to find out a year after moving, that my husband had been lying to me that entire time.

Faced with my new reality as a single mom in one of the most expensive (not to mention, brutal) cities in the country, I was left wondering how I’d ever be able to provide for my baby girl on the literal island I was living on (Manhattan); with no car… no support system… and worst of all, no college degree.

I was hopeless.

But God spoke to my desperation the same way he spoke to the Israelites,

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you…” 

By asking me to ‘stand still’ in no way did I feel God threatening to punish me if I left. If anything, I could feel God asking me to believe He had good reason for me to stay.

That like the Israelites, there was something He wanted to show me… if only I would stand still long enough to watch it unfold.

“Your circumstances are equally hopeless as they are potentially miraculous,” I could feel God saying.

…So stay right where I led you, no matter how desperate.”

Which for me meant staying in New York City — And even more terrifying, staying with my husband.

 3. “Stay because you trust Me, not because you trust him.”

I could stay, sure. Whatever.

But we’d never be able to fix this mess. And I sure as heck, would never be able to trust my husband again. So I took off my wedding ring and tucked it away, believing I could never would never, wear it again.

It was then I could feel the Lord pressing, “ Stay because you trust Me, not because you trust him.”

In Luke 4:40 it says people brought their loved ones to Jesus, and  “No matter what their diseases were, the touch of His hand healed every one.”

The Lord wasn’t asking me to stay because I believed in my husband’s ability to change, He was asking me to stay believing in my God’s ability to change my husband.

To bring to Jesus what I so obviously couldn’t control, and lay my (186 lb) problem at His feet believing He could do more with it than I ever could — that the touch of His hand could heal my husband, and maybe even the most broken parts of me.

And so against my better judgment – and at the complete shock of my husband – I decided to stay. At least for the time being or until God told me to leave, which in my mind was imminent once God in His Almighty power finally came to His senses!

(I also may or may not have reminded my husband daily that the only reason I was staying, was because God told me to. Which I’d still argue was better than punching him in the face…)

But it was during that time that I penned these heartfelt words in my journal,

My marriage will never again be the same. And the life my husband and I built together – the life I loved – feels forever irreplaceable.

But no matter the frightening depth of what we are faced with today, no matter the lies, the heartbreak and the devastation we have found ourselves in, the Lord Himself promises to fight for us just like He did for the Israelites –  to fight for our hearts, for our marriages and for our happiness (or lack thereof!) We need only stand still, stay calm and allow our faith in Him to be greater than our fears.

May the same God who met His people at the edge of their hopelessness, meet me at the edge of mine, and do what only He can do and pave a way though the impossible.

Little did I know, God would indeed do the impossible. He’d even provide a few miracles along the way…

But it was going to get a whole lot worse first.

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8 thoughts on “(Week 3) Stay.”

  1. Staying because you trust God, not a person or circumstance… Yes, this. Thank you again for your continued courage to share your story!! Can’t wait till next week’s post… ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Krista, your story i samazing. I came upon it through facebook, I enjoy reading your posts. it reminds me that God is so big, and he has room not to only hold me but you too.Keep writing and I will keep reading, I hope to meet you one day and have coffee, lets talk about how God has helped us overcome so much in our marriages, how God is using you as a testimony of what it is to lean on God when you are weary and tired.

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  3. Wow wow wow . This feeling of staying not for him but because of trust in God. I just recently had to make that decision. I cannot even believe already what I’ve seen God do even through the pain and worst circumstances. I thank you for writing this. It helps to see that I’m not the only only with these issues or thoughts. I don’t even have to know the exact reasons to feel with you and relate. Praise God for healing your marriage.

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    1. It’s so comforting to know there are other people who are feeling the same way, isn’t it? I am right there with you. And you are so right, it’s amazing how God works in our pain! And the best part is He isn’t done yet!!!!!

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  4. Your obedience to God helped calm me…to be able to hear Him say the same….stay. “I do wonders past finding out” my story i thought could hit rock bottom and it got a whole heck of a lot worse. But God….He sure loves me and i know i love Him if i obeyed and stayed. So thankful i did. Krista God is working through you and i am sooo grateful for it….even if it still sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your story is a powerful one, my friend. Oh how hard it is to stay, but boy does God meet us there when we do. So glad you are feeling God’s love Deirdre! ❤️❤️

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