…and if destruction’s what I need,
then I’ll receive it Lord, from thee.
I’ve heard my entire life that God is a jealous God. He loves me unconditionally and more strongly than any human ever could. So where I am today is surely because I have looked for love, affection and purpose in all the wrong places. I say that I love my God. I say that I desire Him to be first in my life. But how true have I been to Him? He is one lover you cannot fool. He see’s right through every step you make, and knows which way your heart leans. I know He knows then, how I long to put Him in his right place in my heart, how I hate the humanness in me that puts people before Him; but as much as I have prayed for change over the years, I always had a part of me holding back. Wishing He’d bring change to me, but not wanting to really let go of my other desires.
I cannot deny He loves me now. Because He has destroyed me. There was no other way for me to see clearly. I know this. The pain is insurmountable, but I have my God, and that is all I need. I always looked for love in men, and friends, and family. I put my hope in true love, that I would find the perfect man for me and all would be well. That I would feel well-loved and appreciated by him. That he would get me through life happily, by giving me purpose. How horribly wrong I was to look to a human, who can only love as imperfectly as I. As I scrambled to find a man for affection and love, looking to all the wrong men for the initial excitement of falling in love, finding faults in men who were truly good; my focus was not on my Lord. How sad He must have been to see me in the arms of ones who were nothing compared to what He wanted to give me.
I thought my only weakness was a need to be loved by a man. But through the past couple years God has shown me that was not the only place I was looking away from Him. I lived my life to please everyone other than Him. This was harder for me to see, because the people I was trying to please loved Him, too. I have always craved love from my parents. That they would just once say they were proud, or that they would love who I am as a daughter, and a woman. I rarely asked God which direction to go, instead leaping to places I hoped my parents would approve of. Beginning college at a small Christian college seemed like the perfect choice. They would be proud…how could they not be? Joining a Christian college could never be wrong, could it? But I believe that God had other plans for me from the start and that it was not His will for me to be there. My path there was lead by my need for human approval and although God does expect us to honor and love our parents, I didn’t even consult with them about whether it was a good next step for me. I didn’t consult with God either.
I knew my way of living wasn’t “that bad” in the eyes of the world. However, the world often doesn’t see that the most important thing in any human’s life is to focus on God, and to live solely for His glory. I knew repercussions would come if I was truly a child of God. He will not let a child of His stray forever, won’t let them throw their life away on useless worldly desires.
When I got married I thought everything was now right in the world. My new husband seemed romantic and seemed to love the Lord, although in a slightly distant way. My parent’s liked him even though they thought we rushed into the marriage. After having my first child through a traumatic experience, I was sure that having a family of my own was going to correct all things. Make the pain and loneliness stop.
God knew. He knew that I was forcing a path that was not in His will. He let me do it, as He always does. He knew that stopping me before I got in too deep would not help me learn a thing, or change at all. So I was married, and then it began. He let the hurricane begin, and my life began crumbling. My sweet husband became colder immediately after the wedding. His control tightened around me as he went through the cycle therapists call the emotional abuse wheel. Meeting me with anger and disappointment over things which might have seemed trivial to me, and then apologizing and being sweet and caring long enough for me to forget. Slowly he began to wear down my will to carry out any dream outside of being his wife. My dream marriage was obviously not what I expected.
However a baby was on the way, and surely that would make my dream of a family come true! I had dreamed of having a baby in the “right” circumstances for so long that I was beyond excited for my little boy to arrive. We moved into our new house and I painted and remodeled, working late into the night getting it ready for our family. I distracted myself from the way my husband was more focused on the child I was carrying than on me. Distracted from the way he treated my daughter, as though she were spoiled and unruly, when in fact she was quiet and smart and loving. Oblivious to how I was doing all the work to get the house ready even though I was exhausted from the pregnancy. And when my baby arrived…oh the joy was unbelievable. He was perfect in every way, and he needed me in a way no one else ever had. I got up with him every night, feeding him and watching him for hours after he fell asleep. He was a dream come true.
But my love of him was taking my focus still from God. I now also had to focus on holding my marriage together, loving my daughter enough to make her not notice her step-fathers lack of interest, meeting the daily needs of my children, including my step-son who had bigger questions concerning dating and his future.
I struggled with serious post-partum depression which made all this very difficult, draining me of energy and beginning to drag me down into a hollow shell of who I was meant to be. I began to cut myself daily to take away the emotional pain, which led my husband to find excuses to increase his control. Under the pretense of worry, he began to call all my friends and co-workers daily to see what I talked to them about; bullying them as long as they would stay on the phone to get information on his broken wife and telling them everything I was going through so they could keep an eye on me. This was embarrassing and only increased my depression because I had no one to talk to who was outside his control.
I began my own idea of control by having affairs. Unfortunately the guilt I carried from those moments wasn’t something I could hide for long and I had to confess to my husband. The marriage ended as horribly as a marriage could end, I suppose. To punish me for leaving him, he took everything from me. Just as he always promised he would if I ever dared walk away. He took all our material things, yes, but that was not what hurt me. It was when he took my son from my parent’s house where the kids were being watched. Took him and told me that I could not see him until I came back home. This child, who I had adored above all things, was ripped away from me at only 6 months old. I had not spent one day without him, and knew what every sound of his meant. It was the most heartbreaking thing that has ever happened to me. I did not see my son for two months, and never got custody of him. Through threats and scare tactics, the man I thought would love me for a lifetime tore everything I valued from me.
What is left then? God allowed me to be stripped clean, to the bare bones. My husband, my home, my possessions, my step-son and oh, my baby boy were gone! Because he cleared our bank account when I left, my husband also left me in a position of being unable to care for my daughter. Because he sent the police to look for me at my job when I left, he caused me to lose my job and my only source of income. Many of my family and friends turned their backs on me, because they believed walking away from a marriage was never the answer. With nothing left, I had nowhere to turn. If it hadn’t been for my fear of God, I would have ended my life.
Even then, when everything gone, and the pain so deep I couldn’t breathe, I did not immediately turn to God. I was too ashamed, too humiliated and I wanted to show Him that I could pull myself out of despair. I didn’t want Him to have to clean up the disastrous mess I’d created. It took a great deal of time but very slowly I began to seek His forgiveness and seek His face and began to see what had happened to me. And how glorious it was and how merciful it was! He may have let everything be taken, but he was changing me for the better. Not for my sake, but for His glory. What more could I dream of? What more could I ask for but to be used for His glory after everything I’d done wrong??
Although I tried to date after the divorce, my heart was being changed. I had no passion to follow the ways of my past. I began to feel as though my eyes were being opened, clearing and seeing through the haze I’d lived in for so long. I saw my parent’s as good people, who had tried to raise me right and while they were to be honored I was not to shape my life by fear of what they’d think of me. I began to see that the love of a man who had not reached the devotion I felt to my God was not sufficient and that I would be happier waiting patiently alone, until God sent the man he chose for me (IF He chose one for me) into my life. That I should not live life in the moment and do what makes me happy, because my life is not about me. My happiness will come to me in the form of blessings from following God and going wherever He leads me. It is not His purpose to follow me around and pick me up after my mistakes. It is my purpose to follow Him and trust that He will use me as He sees fit.
Kate Hamlet is a stay-at-home mother of four and lives in Grand Rapids with her children and husband. She is very passionate about helping women find hope after bad choices. She enjoys writing and designing jewelry. To follow her posts and to purchase her jewelry follow her on Facebook at Kate Hamlet – Author/Artist or on Instagram at MareVistaDesign.