Desolation, barren, dry; these are words that can all describe an experience in the wilderness. Two things can come out of a wilderness experience; a new journey or death. When I say death, I don’t mean physical death but rather a spiritual and emotional death. It’s when you write your own death certificate. It might say something like this, ” I couldn’t find my way out of the wilderness so I am destined to pound in my tent pegs deeper in the hard dry soil and just make a go of it. Maybe, just maybe things will change, but I can’t find my way, so I am camping right here!”
That is how I felt at several points throughout much of last year and even some this previous spring. I felt left for dead in the wilderness. Life became so difficult; it was like walking in a sandstorm. It was hard to see and put one foot in front of another. I found myself there with my mouth full gritty sand and my eyes burning with the wind that I learned the greatest truth. I was desperate. I didn’t have to just survive. God actually wanted me to thrive in the wilderness. It was actually God’s will for me to flourish in the wilderness and not be left for dead. Contrary to the lies that were seeking to overcome me, God was there. His presence was real in the midst of the pain. He was my deepest comfort in the wilderness storm and He did provide.
My wilderness was a marriage that had a meltdown. Not meltdowns that you can kind of wade through and brush yourself off after you fall down. But a meltdown that nearly left us for dead. It was all we could do to garner all that we knew up to this point and cry out to God to help us figure out how to not just “make it” but to come out on the other side with new life and a hope for our future. It took humility for us both to realize we were beyond our own leadership skills and experience to emerge from the darkness. We had to call in reinforcements and let others know that we needed help. Band-Aids were no longer an option. Surgery was needed.
In humility in the wilderness, I fell on my knees. I surrendered. Reinforcements arrived and carried me to the foot of the cross where I found hope and healing.
Today, we are on the backside of that wilderness; we have been bruised and broken. Each day brings new healing and hope and we look forward to our future.
I am a different person. I have emerged stronger with a greater sense of awe and love for my Jesus. I am grateful I didn’t get lost in the storm and just die in the wilderness. God resurrected His truths in my heart. I know now when I am at the bottom and exhausted from the journey, God desires to give my desperate heart strength because He doesn’t believe in dead carcasses in the wilderness. I am destined to thrive and not just survive.