“Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated…For your Maker is your husband–the Lord Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit–a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. [Isaiah 54:4-6 NIV]
She had been my closest friend for fifteen years and I knew something was wrong the moment I heard her flat voice. Speaking as a robot, she told me her husband of twenty-seven years had walked out of their home after informing her he “just didn’t want to be married anymore.”
Because her husband had wanted her to be a homemaker for him and their four children, She had never worked outside the home. She had lived through some hard economic times, but had learned to rely on her Lord for the needs of her family. She had never doubted what she was doing was pleasing to God as she taught her children the ways of the Lord. With the children all grown and out of the nest, she was anticipating retirement with this man she had loved so many years. Now there seemed to be nothing but brokenness, shame, and loneliness ahead for her.
That was sixteen years ago, and I have had the privilege of watching God “husband” my friend. Early on, she met each crisis by stopping to remind God (and herself) that He was her husband, and she learned to wait for Him to act. In a series of miracles that have fortified my faith, I’ve watched Him provide house, car, and insurance payments and open the doors to the higher education she needed. In a poor economy, I’ve watched her compete with women half her age as her Husband provided the perfect job with great benefits and pay raises. He didn’t forget about the new wardrobe she needed, either!
Each day of the last four years I’ve watched her become younger, more physically fit , stronger and more confident. She’s been actively involved in the leadership of a growing singles ministry where she shares her story with others who have experienced loss. And I have watched God bring a godly man into her life.
Because God is her Heavenly Husband, she makes sure she doesn’t do anything that would bring dishonor to Him, and He honors her in a way that all women long to be honored. She now walks proudly, like a woman loved. She has been taken care of by the best husband of all: God of the Universe!
Lord, thank you for allowing me to be part of my friend’s struggle: all of the “whys” and “should’ve beens” and feelings of abandonment. Thank you for bringing both of us into a deeper assurance of Your total commitment to us, even when the future looks hopeless.
© 1993-2009 April Lorier