“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
It looked like the beginning of a beautiful relationship. The kind that documentaries like Black Love are produced to tell.
The kind that romance novels are inspired by. It looked like something as beautiful as all that and it was good because it had been a long time coming. My husband passed away nearly thirteen years ago, and the desire of my heart for the last 8-10 years has been to find love again. Not just marriage or regular love, but that powerful, awesome, best-friend, passionate steady love that I once enjoyed with my dearly departed. I was only 29 years old when I became a widow, and although I loved my husband to the depth of my core, I never thought I’d see the end of my thirties still single… and here I am in my forties.
I’ve spent the last decade-plus raising my daughter, cleaning up my relationship with God, and desperately trying to find my footing. I have immersed myself into my career and ministry and along the way, I have had countless prophets and well-meaning friends come to me with messages that my time was coming soon. Soon… And I believed… But soon, really does mean nothing when you’re talking about it inside the context of the God-factor, because He works and exists in eternity as we carry on in time, and time’s “soon” and eternity’s “soon” are two very different things. Thirteen years without so much as a workable prospect insight is not my idea of soon.
But one day an unexpected phone call made my years of waiting feel like they were living on borrowed time. I was introduced to a wonderful man of God who made me feel alive again, and he came highly recommended by some friends in whom I still wholeheartedly trust. It was something straight out of a Christian fairy-tale, or maybe it wasn’t so dramatic, but that’s the way I remember the beginning, and every prayer I prayed about it rendered a green light. Without going through a bunch of details, I will tell you that it was the right relationship and every interaction was sweeter than the one before. He spoke of marriage often, and my friends bubbled with giddiness as they prodded me to prepare for the impending wedding bells.
This time I not only believed, but I could feel it. I could taste it, I could hear the wedding bells chiming in the distance, and this time the man at my side seemed to perfectly fit. My heart began to safely trust. My mind began to prepare, and my optimism began to spring like a well… and then it all changed. Suddenly.
Just as soon as he had shown himself perfect, or not really perfect, but perfect for me, I saw the signs of a man unprepared for what we had so swiftly embarked upon… together.
I wasn’t inside my own head or leading myself own with desires of grandeur. No, this man was showing all the signs and saying all the words of falling in love with me, and then in a blink, it all changed. When I tell you it happened in an instant, I want you to know it happened in an instant.
The man I began to trust and let my guard down for became cold, distant, and just abruptly started to pull back. I found myself confused and scrambling around to pick up the pieces of my heart that I was just beginning to give away. I was blind-sided and the worst thing about it was, I couldn’t even accuse him of being an awful person. He wasn’t, he was just a man who’d bitten off more than he could chew. He was a man with good intentions, he thought so well of me but became self-aware enough to put something on pause that he knew he wasn’t ready to fulfill. I was thankful and devastated. I was back to square one. The wait that I once thought was on borrowed time, reclaimed its time, and boasted to me that it was still its show. My moment of coming up center stage and taking the long-awaited bow would have to… well, wait… indefinitely. But what about my plans? What about my soon? What about all the prayers I prayed that God Himself had green-lit? I prayed some ridiculous prayers too! God, if this is You, let him say this, and he’d say it.
God, if this is him, let him do this, and he’d do it. What about God’s promises of soon? What about my heart that was staggering from the blow of yet another disappointment?
What about me?
The questions were coming faster than the answers, and I began to do what I didn’t think I’d ever had to again, start the recovery process of healing from disappointment. You see, I know this process well. I’m no stranger to it, and I know without question that human life will be full of them, but not in this area. I thought I’d suffered enough. Was this some kind of cosmic joke? Did God find some sort of pleasure in allowing me to get so close to my dreams only to snatch it away just to see what I would do? I knew that wasn’t true. That isn’t His character, but in the area of love and even in the success of my writing career, I felt I’d been given all the tools to make something big and beautiful happen, but never the real opportunity. I’ve gotten close. I’ve gotten oh so close, on both accounts, but I was never really able to walk through the open door. What was God trying to teach me that I hadn’t already learned in the last disappointment?
What more did I need to render to fix my life to be worthy enough for this prayer to be answered, I mean fully answered with no take-backs and no almosts? To tell you the truth, I still don’t know, but what I can tell you is that in the weeks following this disappointment, I began to enjoy a closeness with God that was so unimaginably sweet that I grapple to articulate it in words. I found comfort and joy in His encouragement, and it seemed the more I presented my disappointments and struggles, the more of Himself He began to reveal to me. I was living a love story with God. I was basking in love far superior to the one I had prayed for, the one I thought I’d found and the reality of it was overwhelming. The love I was experiencing with the Lord was the kind I always dreamed was possible, but even in all my years of serving and loving Him, had never really touched. That type of closeness was reserved for the King David’s, the Apostle Paul’s, and the Apostle John’s, but I didn’t think that sort of intimacy with the Father was truly possible for me. I was too much of a mess. Too much of a hot head at times, too back and forth between being discouraged and encouraged that I felt I just wouldn’t ever get there. You see, ordinarily, the door of disappointment would swing wide open for discouragement, but this time yielded disappointment, opened the door to more of Him.
I saw my King in a form of His glory that has always been there, but I just hadn’t been privy to. I wasn’t broken enough. I was always so quick to pick up my own pieces and reason my way through my own deliverance that I was too blind to see the grandeur that He was so desperately trying to reveal to me. This time as I began to pick up the pieces, I realized I couldn’t. I was too tired, and my heart would not survive another rescue and recovery mission from me. I had to let God do the fixing, and when I surrendered, He showed up. He didn’t just show up to comfort me, I’d let Him in to do that before. This time, He showed up to change me, to be with me… to dwell.
So, I’ve written all this, not to air out the details of my disappointment. I already did that with God. I wrote it because I know I’m not the only one who’s had to suffer through a series of disappointments, and I also know that there are those out there who are going through even greater battles than a love story gone wrong. Some are reeling from the loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, incomes, marriages, and even those who are suffering through the loss of their health.
Some are watching wayward children wander even further away from God and their heart’s intentions when they birth them, and those who are starring down the barrel of a prognosis that is nothing but grim. Believe me, I get it, and the temptation is to feel that you’re alone and to wonder why a loving God didn’t prevent it. What I can tell you from this last experience is that if you yield it, He will come. If you’re anything like me, you know how to sulk. You know how to ask questions and answer them with your own cynicism because this disappointment feels oddly like the last five, but you also know how to carry on. You know how to throw scripture at it, to grin and bear it and eventually move on, but do you know how to yield? Do you know how to be brutally honest with yourself and with God and say, this one hurt and I am not okay? Do you know how to let Him in? To trust Him enough to believe that His way of fixing it is far more effective than our own? If we know and love God, in our intellect we have no issue with saying that His way is better, but when we’re used to licking and dressing our own wounds, it isn’t so easy to raise our hands and just let Him do it. The hardship for me has always been that I know without a shadow of a doubt that He is capable, but is He willing… and how long is He going to let this wound breed before He fixes it? Remember I told you His soon and our soon are totally different, but there is also a difference between patching a wound and healing it.
The Lord our God is in the healing business. We patch, He repairs. We do enough to get by, but His is a completely transformative and restorative work.
The latter takes more time, more effort, and requires more pain and grit, but it is also the more excellent way.
It’s the way that shows us what we are truly made of, and it’s the way that shows us how loving, how majestic, how utterly amazing, thoughtful, and kind He is! The Lord our God is for us and He will use ANYTHING, including disappointment to get close enough to us to have the kind of fellowship that not only comforts us but changes us into people that look more and more like Him. Be encouraged and be willing to yield. I promise you a great return on your investment to trust Him. Love,
BY: Ronda TruFiyah
Ronda has a knack for infusing great music with great verse! She is a single mother, a writer, a minister, a sister, a daughter, and a friend… but most of all, she is a child of God. She is His perfectly imperfect proof that broken things, battered things, and seemingly unusable things, can be revived and restored. The life God has breathed in her to revive her broken pieces is spoken through her poetry and books with the hopes that the hearer will also LIVE. Her work is a testimony.
Articles by Ronda
FALLING IN LOVE WITH JESUS
If you just fell in love with Jesus… If you just started speaking on His goodness.
If you just started preaching. If it took a whole global pandemic for you to turn your attention to Him… Don’t you DARE be ashamed!!! Don’t you dare sit quiet if mockers who are supposed to be rejoicing at your conversion, scoff at it. Listen to me! We all came to Jesus because of a pandemic. .Continue Reading…