So I’m continuing Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study. We’re reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, and boy is it rocking my world!! Last week we talked about just #SayYes! Well, saying yes is easy enough . . . if it’s something you want to say yes to!! But what about those requests that God makes that aren’t so comfortable and rosy? You know, those #SAYWHAT? moments when you might eventually go, but you’re for sure going kicking and screaming! Yep, I’ve had a few of those. Today I’m sharing one: Let My Husband Go? #SAYWHAT?
This you must know about me. I was single for a whole lot longer than I ever thought I would be. And I resented it. AND I was terrible at it! Every silly romantic comedy movie that you’ve seen and said to yourself, “Doesn’t she know what’s coming? How can she be such a stupid girl?” Well, that was me. I pined over boys, read “The Rules”, pretended to follow “The Rules”, talked about why “The Rules” don’t work weekend after weekend to any poor soul who would listen to me, and then buckled up and tried a little harder to follow “The Rules” next week.
It was the hardest time in my life, yet one in which I’ve learned far more about myself than I think I could have married. Those lessons are also what have healed the deep places. The dark places. The places of your soul you don’t even know are there until you have perspective and look back.
That day on the third floor of Duke University Hospital was when I looked back.
You know that husband I begged God for all of those years? He gave him to me. We had been married only two years when I watched his hospital bed turn right to get on the elevator. It was taking him to emergency surgery to be put on life support. For two weeks he had already lived in the hospital, waiting on a donor heart that was going to cure Cardiomyopathy. But a heart wasn’t coming soon enough. He was dying.
I sat in the waiting room as he underwent that emergency surgery. My Bible was open to the Psalms. As I bowed my head crying out, ready to plead, beg to God, “Please save my husband!!!!”, I heard Him say,
“Let him go.”
#SAYWHAT? What did you say, God? Did you tell me to let him go? Wait a minute. You JUST GAVE HIM TO ME. TWO YEARS AGO. REMEMBER? I BEGGED YOU FOR HIM. NOW YOU’RE TAKING HIM BACK.”
“Let him go.”
My mind flashed backed to those days as a single woman. Oh, how I hated those days. Oh, how I kicked, screamed, gave ultimatums, and refused to honor God. And oh, how my heart hurt through it all. The scars are now deep because of my lack of trust. The memories are painful. Most of all, I am heartbroken over not honoring my Heavenly Father like I should have.
I didn’t want to do that again. Surrender came hard the first time around. I didn’t want it to come hard again.
“Okay, God”, sitting there with my head bowed scared to death to take the next breath because I didn’t know what it would look like, I responded and I said,
“I love John very much. I prayed very hard for him for many years. You gave him to me. But I know he is not mine. He is yours. I want him here with me. I need him here with me. But if you need him more in order to fulfill your purposes on earth and in heaven, then I let him go, right now. Take him. And may his life, my testimony, and this story bring hundreds of people to you.”
I look back on those years single and then my husband’s heart transplant, and I see it so clearly. God gave me another chance. He molded me to be a #SayYes girl when I was single. He broke down those walls of idolatry I had built. Then He gave me the opportunity to practice. Funny how He allows lessons to come back around.
And by the way. I won’t leave you hanging. John survived the surgery. Received a donor heart. And we now have a nine month old baby girl. Praise be to God for His redemption. And His grace.
Share with me. What is a #SAYWHAT? moment for you?