Faith, Hope, Uncategorized

Trust His Heart

When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart.

This quote hangs on my wall as a constant reminder that God is always working, even when it seems He is completely silent.

So often, I hear others complaining about God’s silence, wondering where He is and why He is not answering their prayers. I understand. I’ve been there…many, many times. I cried out to God as I watched Him save other marriages, bring redemption to other women. I’ve begged Him to hear my prayer, to save me from my circumstances.

And yet I waited.

Over the years I’ve tried desperately to cling to the truth God is always working, even when He’s silent. I’ve tried to remember that His heart toward me is always good, that His plans for me are to prosper me, to give me a hope and a future. I’ve recited the verses that remind me that all things work together for the good of those who love God.

And I’ve continued to wait.

Today, I stand on the other side. I’ve seen His promises to me fulfilled as I pledged my life and my love to the most amazing man. I have the joy of looking back on this journey and knowing God has repaid everything I have ever lost…and more.

Today, I can look back and see where God was working in the silence.

And I want to share a little of that crazy perspective with you.

In the fall of 2009, I was newly separated and walking through a nasty divorce. I was hurting, lost, lonely. I was looking for love and acceptance and security wherever I could find it. I was a complete mess.

Facebook was fairly new (to me) at the time, and I was enjoying reconnecting with old friends from high school and college. Among those old friends? Roy Martin. Bubba. One of the friendliest guys in our high school. Just a good guy with an infectious laugh.

I remember sitting in a movie theater with my kids and sending him a message. We began to chat, and I told him what was going on in my life—about the affair and the divorce and the hurt and the pain. I also told him about my hope in Christ, that God would use this mess to do something amazing.

I’ll never forget his message back to me: “You don’t know how you are ministering to me right now.”

That message stuck with me and I began to pray for him, sensing something was definitely wrong. Within a couple of days, I received yet another message in which he told me his wife had filed for divorce and he was devastated.

Over the next few months, Roy messaged me and texted me frequently. He was stationed overseas, but I received a message most every morning that simply said, “Good morning, gorgeous.”

I’ll be honest: I rejected him. I knew he was hurting, and I knew I didn’t need to get involved with him. We were both messes and had no business being in any type of relationship. I also knew it was unlikely to go anywhere because he wasn’t here physically.

Rum and Coke became his best friend…

I tried to be a friend as he drowned his sorrows in alcohol and women. Even as he went about his wild living, he never forgot me, sending me a “Good morning, gorgeous,” text more mornings than he didn’t.

I, on the other hand, fell deeply in love with Jesus, seeking His face, begging Him to do a mighty work in me so He could do a might work through me. I spent hours on my knees, asking Him to take that man who would one day be my husband and do a mighty work in him as well. I asked God to take away anything that would cause an addiction. I asked God to bless his works and his finances and his relationships. I asked God to make him the husband and father he needed to be. I asked God to help him surrender, to increase his faith and teach him to walk closely with God.

For five years, I prayed. For five years, Roy ran. For five years, our friendship grew. He turned to me, his “Godly” friend, to seek advice. He reached out to me when he was lonely and sad. He told me when he was being deployed to dangerous places.

And I stood by his side, doing my best to encourage him to surrender to God. I smiled at his sweet texts, always reminding me of my beauty. I laughed at his silliness and his jokes that flowed so easily.

I remember one day I asked him to go to a movie with me and my kids. After the movie, Cassie gave him a big hug. Then, she turned and confided in me that he smelled really good (and he did!). It was so cute to watch her reach out to my friend that way.

I also watched as he changed into a new creation, one who went to church and posted about his relationship with God. I watched as he became a new dad to his children, desiring to become all they deserved and all God intended him to be. I watched as he began to desire to know God, to walk in all his ways. I watched as he poured his life into church and serving God. I listened as God’s words began to flow from his mouth, as he became the encourager.

And for seven years, I’ve received “Good morning, gorgeous” texts.

Somewhere along this journey, God got Roy’s attention. It came one night in church when the Francesca Battistelli song Holy Spirit pierced his heart and his soul and he fell to his knees telling God He was welcome to take over his life, to have complete control.

And while I thought God was silent, He was hard at work softening a heart that had become hardened. While I thought God was silent, He was answering my prayers in the life of a man I had know all my life. While I thought God was silent, He was transforming a man He had brought back into my life at the very moment I humbled myself and began to pray (Daniel 9:23).

And now I know…

When I couldn’t see God’s hand, I could trust His heart.

And so can you, my friend. Maybe you can’t see what God is doing. Maybe your heart is aching as you pour out everything in prayer. Maybe you are wondering when it will finally be your time. Maybe you are struggling because of His silence.

Trust His heart.

Somewhere. Some way. He is working. He is orchestrating your story so you can proclaim His goodness and His grace. And one day, you will be able to look back with a smile and know His heart toward you is good. Always and forever.

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17 thoughts on “Trust His Heart”

  1. Dena,i just had to come and comment. You are speaking directly to me,or should i say,God is using you to speak to me. This is the exact thing i am going through right now. It seems as if God is not hearing me or has forgotten about me. I am separated from my husband for almost a year because of his infidelity,i though i prayed to God to change his heart,save my marriage or get him out of my life,nothing has happened. I am tired and weary. I can barely hang on wondering when He will come thorough for me and take away the pain and sorrow and give me peace,do something instead of living with this uncertainty. Thank you for reminding me that He is doing something even if i cant see it.

    1. Hi Amanda, sometimes I say these texts to remind me that sometimes God brings us deep down to the bottom before he can bring us up.

      “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face”.Job 13:15 and The lord gives and the Lord takes away – blessed be the name of the Lord.

      Feeling your pain today. When you feel discouraged, lay those feelings at Jesus’s feet. Just say “Jesus I lay my loneliness at your feet today” – that sort of thing. It does help.

  2. I am like Amanda above. I am separated because of infidelity over a year and have prayed and fasted non-stop for my husband but he is not interested at all. I have had to leave it all at God’s feet. It has made me distraught and so sad praying for so many years and I have felt at times why bother praying as it has been so long except that God said to be like that women who bothered the judge and keep praying. Recently I was contacted by a long-term friend who also is like your Roy – very worldly but very dear to my heart. I had to stop contact with him because I knew I was too vulnerable and would do something stupid. It was very hard. To be honest I still love this man from many years of being close friends and have prayed for him often over the years. I wish it would turn out like your life but for now I just have to be faithful to my husband and wait for God’s leading. Thank you for sharing with us the details. It is a sweet story.

    1. Oh and today I got served divorce papers from my husband. Life does not always turn out the way we plan but God gave me a promise that I will be like a tree by the waters PS 1:3 and there will be mourning at night but joy in the morning.PS 30: 5.

  3. Thank you for sharing the story and the beautiful quote. I am walking a path similar to yours. My husband had an affair almost two years ago, then filed for divorce, and forced me into a divorce I didn’t want. I prayed and fasted and prayed and had others pray with me, but my husband’s heart did not soften. Days after the judge signed off on our divorce, he married his affair partner and became someone else’s husband. I now have to send my four precious children to them each Friday and the pain is more than I think I can bear at times. I often feel forgotten and wonder if God sees my immense pain and wonder what in the world He is doing so thank you for the reminder that He is working even when I cannot see it. It often feels like there is no end in sight of pain and loneliness and shattered self-esteem, so thank you for the reminder of the hope I have in Christ.

    1. Oh Erin,how i feel your pain through your words. My husband says he will not end up with his lover but deep down inside,once we do get divorced,i know he’s gonna end up with her. I dont care anymore but i will definitely will not allow him to take my kids around that woman,he’s not gonna have it that easy. I will fight it with my every being if i have to. Hang on Erin,God has something better in store for you.

    2. So sorry to hear this Erin. The pain is sometimes more than we can bear but God walks with us through all this sorrow and he has good things ahead. This is a season as ecclesiastes talks about . One day our season of sadness will spring forth into a season of joy,

  4. Amen, needed to see this in black and white even though my heart knows God’s working on the other end of the mountain.

  5. Wow, God used a bad situation to redeem two people. What an unexpected double blessing. My former pastor just preached a series that concluded with the thought that God isn’t interested in restoring the innocence of paradise before the fall but that his plan has always been to show Himself thru redemption. That’s what it’s all about! I love your story!
    Sue Davies

  6. Oh my! You do not know how much I needed to see this today, thank you. Anf thank you Jesus for letting me find this! I am in a situation of waiting, still waiting. For a job, a relationship , a life it seems like. I am friends with a nan who is going through a divorce. My feelings are deep for him and I know it’s not about me right now, but IRS about my continual prayer for God to work in his life, no matter the outcome for me. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  7. Just found this blog today. My marriage of 33 years is ending because according to my husband I am “unloving, critical, unsupportive, have a negative attitude, am unappreciative of all his efforts and unable to fulfill him sexually”. among a myriad of other complaints. He swears he has not been unfaithful, but had considered it many times over the years. He does have several women friends that he confides in instead of confiding in me. He started blindsiding me with these complaints almost a year ago. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and in his mind that is the root of all my problems. I should have been able to move past that and be able to be all that he needs for me to be in the bedroom. He claimed that my abnormal attitudes towards sex have made him a victim of my abuse as well.

    Never mind the years of him criticizing my weight, my housekeeping, my family. Never mind the public shaming. Never mind the day when he told me that he usually tunes me out and doesn’t listen when I try and talk to him. Never mind that over the years he has consistently refused any attempt by me to get him to consider any kind of marriage enrichment opportunity because it would interfere with his recreational activities.
    We have suffered much job stress, loss and grief over the past several years and somehow he has convinced himself that all his feelings of helplessness have their root in my inability to make him “feel like a man”. I’m not saying he doesn’t have valid complaints. He most certainly does. There has been no acknowledgement on his part, however, that his attitudes and actions have also contributed to the failure of our marriage. We are both in individual counseling but he has categorically refused couples counseling, saying there’s no chance that I could change enough to convince him there is any hope of saving the marriage, that it’s time for him to “move on” and find some way for him to be happy.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but this is all new territory for me. God has been faithful to me over this past year, giving me the message that His grace is sufficient, and that there will be restoration. I just was hoping it would be with my husband, as I do still love him.

    1. I am so sorry. Your words bring tears to my eyes. While we all must accept responsibility for our part in the failure of a marriage, it sounds as if your husband wants to blame you. I’m sorry, but I truly understand. Every bit of our divorce was always my fault, and I’m certain it was an attempt at diverting any blame to make him feel better about himself.

      Would you send me an email at dena@denajohnson.com? I will send you a copy of my book manuscript. Many hugs and prayers.

  8. Thanks so much for this message, Dena. I’m facing a trying moment in my life, but don’t want to lose hope. I messed with opportunities and now face the repercussions. Pls help counsel me, ‘cos I don’t want to give up.

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