I Was In Darkness…And Then I Saw You

Several years ago, I went through a divorce.  The circumstances surrounding my life then left me feeling betrayed, broken and unworthy.  I was hurting.  I was angry.  And I was afraid.  The whole ordeal introduced me to poisonous feelings I had never had before, including some very unhealthy disdain for my ex-husband and his new wife.  Disdain is a nice word.  I used that instead of hatred.  But that’s what I was feeling – raw, destructive hate.  Hate for people I credited for my wounds at the time.  For my broken family.  For my children who were now part of a single-parent household.  For the gossip and rumors.  For the fishbowl I was sure I now lived in.

Years passed.  Those negative feelings, though, really didn’t.  Instead of addressing them, I buried them under busyness and new relationships.  I avoided the two people whom I felt caused me pain at all costs.  Wanted nothing to do with them.  Neither one.

Then one day, almost ten years after my divorce, I became aware of the Holy Spirit nudging me.  I strongly felt that God wanted me to reach out to my ex-husband’s wife, the one for whom I still carried most of the ill-feelings.   The one for whom I had shifted all of the blame to after all of these years.  Absurd as it seemed to me, I ignored this feeling for as long as I could.  I can remember saying outloud in my car once, “You want me to do what?!”  Softly, and continually, an urgency seemed to grow.

I had joined a church close by, one that I spent a lot of time at when I was a child, and had been getting in on bible studies and attending services pretty regularly.  For the first time in my life, I had begun to read the Bible consisitenly, too, actually digging in to understand The Word.  Christ’s ministry on earth had come alive for me and though I had been baptized when I was 24 years old, about 6 years before my divorce, pieces I didn’t know were missing started to click into place as I grew in my understanding of what it means to be a daughter of Christ.  No doubt that this is the reason it had taken me 10 years to finally acknowledge the negative, damaging feelings I had been harboring.  I was being convicted.  I had been committing the same sin for all of these years, day in and day out, and the Holy Spirit was guiding me to do what was right.

You’d think that would be enough, wouldn’t you?  But it wasn’t.

I kept ignoring Him.  I kept arguing with Him.  Debating with Him.  I didn’t want to give in.  I didn’t want to face the very person whom I had hated for all of these years.  I thought I knew what was best.

So God gave me a vision.

It came to me in a dream, but unlike any I’ve had before or since.  I chose to believe it was a vision, because I was stubborn enough and so obstinate — well, it’s like the “big guns” had to be brought out so I could understand what was being asked of me, and why.

This is how it was presented to me:

It’s dark.
Pitch, so.
I can only see the outlines of figures.
It’s so dark and scarey.
I have a feeling the others all around me are not friendly.
They are talking aggressively, in a language I can’t understand.
We are alone.  
In a solitary place.
It’s small, reminding me of a deserted island;
except, there are so many others.
I cannot see trees, or sky.
I only see these agitated figures flailing around.
It’s growing louder.  Their voices.
I still can’t understand them.
Everything is colorless.  Dark.
But I am not dark.
I sense that I don’t yet belong to this darkness, but I am here anyway.

Why am I here?
Who are these people?
I become anxious.
Frustrated, because I can’t understand what’s around me.
The sound is so loud.
Almost like growling.
I feel an urgency to flee, but there’s no where to go.
Then in the rush of fear, I see two people through the crowd of bodies.
They are not dark figures either.
It is them!  
Hallelujah!
I know them!  I know them!
My heart leaps with joy!
I’m so excited over recognizing them.

And then I woke up.

The two people were my ex-husand and his wife.

I understood.  I finally understood.  No matter how much hate I felt for them, it wasn’t enough to keep me from being excited over seeing them in a place like hell.  Not because that’s where I wanted to see them, but because in the midst of all that despair, I was happy to recognize someone I knew.  That put it in loud perspective for me.

The next day, the Holy Spirit dialed my ex-husband’s wife, and before I could change my mind, I asked her out for coffee.

Forgiveness.

It is absolutely required of us, to be forgiven by the Savior.  I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit.  I’m so thankful for a patient, loving Father.  He wants only what is best for us.  And He doesn’t want anyone to perish without knowing Him and having the chance to accept Him as Lord and Saviour.  I was headed down a very dark, dark path for ten years.  TEN YEARS.  Praise His holy name that I had an opportunity to forgive, and to ask for forgiveness.

Jesus paid a mighty big price for me.

Thank you, God.

He paid the same mighty price for you, too.

He’s waiting.  Patiently.  Is there a nudging you need to yeild to?  You won’t regret it!  The day I was obedient to what was being asked of me is one of the best of my life.  I followed through, and He was glorified because of it.  But the blessing was all mine.  Christ showered me with a joy I had never known before, but one I have known since.  I hope you’ll be obedient to what He is asking of you, too.

 

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (Galatians 5:17 NLT)

 

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV)

 

For if you forgive people their wrongdoing,  your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.  But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing. (Matthew 16:14-15)

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