As Justin & Trisha would reach the climax of issues in their relationship, they both knew things were wrong. A getaway reminded them how much they loved each other, but it was merely a break from the ordinary life they were living. Life for Justin did not revolve around God, but around his responsibility to the church. Trisha knew she was depressed and hurting, but when she heard God speaking to her to confess, she ignored Him. In efforts to not create conflict she kept quiet.
There were not loud arguments and fighting that broke the relationship, but the little things they both did along the way in efforts to maintain control. These little things would become the ways they hurt each other. They became passive-aggressive and passive-aggressiveness will eat us alive.
Things would undoubtedly worsen. Justin no longer wanted to spend time with his wife. Trisha would shut down her innermost struggles from her husband. I am willing to bet we have been in these situations before. We know things are wrong, but how to we address them? Once we do address them, where do we go from here?
Sure, we can say we’ve asked our Father for help. I know I “did.” But when we ask for help, are we asking because we truly want help or because we want the situations fixed as we think they should be fixed? There is a difference. These are difficult questions. This goes back to selfishness or selflessness. Do we want God to be at work in our lives or do we merely want this nuisance of a situation to go away?
Speaking specifically about Trisha, I completely understand her situation. This is not me defending her, but instead me saying I have been there. She made Justin her idol. She looked to him to fill voids only God could fill. Even though she knew she loved him, her life was a battlefield of those crossroad decisions. God was very much alive in her life, as in mine, but He was not where my identity was found.
My situation, as Justin & Trisha’s had too, grew beyond my control. No matter how hard I tried to manipulate situations and people around me, nothing would change. I can recall very specific moments where God told me it was time to relinquish control, but I refused. Circumstances had to escalate far beyond my control for me to finally learn to let go. When our circumstances grow beyond our control, the only option is to turn to God and allow him to work in ways only He can. Relinquishing control requires more than we think we can give. Relinquishing control requires more dependence on God than we think we have. God used destruction in my life to realign my heart with His.
I had to learn I did not have to control. As my reliance on God would increase, my ability to control situations would decrease.
Once Justin confessed his affair to Trisha, he believed they were beyond repair and redemption. He had an affair with Trisha’s best friend and all he wanted was to be with her instead. Trisha felt as if she had lost everything. She feared if he let Justin go then he would choose her best friend, but the problem was he already had. As many of us do, they had asked for help and then not allowed for the transformation to follow.
As a whole, Justin & Trisha became so blinded by their own sin and struggles, they believed it was impossible to repair the damage. What’s done is done so it’s better to simply live with the consequences, right? Wrong.
God’s desire is to refine us. He wants nothing more than for us to look like Him. This can only come when He breaks us, for when God places us on the path of brokenness we are led to a new life with Him. Brokenness requires us to surrender everything before the throne of God and understand awareness of Him is our only hope. As we walk the path of brokenness, as we walk through the wilderness with only God, we become a new creation. It is an individual decision. It is our choice.
While it is easy to point the finger and Justin & Trisha and say we would never have these issues in our lives, if we are honest with ourselves, then we know the truth is we already have. Even further, we probably still do. These issues of lust, passive-aggressiveness, and control thrive in all of our lives. We want to be rescued, but we look to things other than Christ to rescue us. We look to the other party we’ve created in our discontentment to rescue us. Christ is the only one who can rescue us from our situations.
Trisha described her situation as having to allow God to break her heart so she could trust Him for who He said he was. Justin said he had to start over in his relationship with God.
Like us all, the author’s of Beyond Ordinary had to find forgiveness. Forgiveness from God, forgiveness from themselves, and forgiveness toward each other in order to find full and complete healing. Confession to God and forgiveness from God are useless if they do not lead to a transformation in our lives.
We cannot forgive and expect to receive something in return. This conditional forgiveness will only lead us feeling void. The forgiveness we desire is only found in Christ.
Painful situations are hard to overcome. Looking past the hurt is difficult. Yet we cannot make up for whatever we did or whatever was done to us. We cannot redeem ourselves because when we try we will only rob God of the work He is doing. The redemption we desire is only found in Christ.
Forgiveness is choosing to grieve. We have to acknowledge we have been wounded. With brokenness comes healing and with healing comes freedom.
Sometimes things are more about our relationship with God than anything else, even if that means losing everything we hold near and dear in the process. We have to allow God to work. We have to allow Him to break us and transform us. We have to choose to become a new creation. This is what puts us on the path to extraordinary lives.