Neon Sign

I don’t think I’ve ever been this confused before. Usually when things happen I know exactly what to do. I am confident in my decisions because I know that I am doing His will. 

I can’t say for sure now.

The truth is, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve felt Him; since I’ve heard Him. I feel lost. Alone. 

And I’m scared as hell. 

I’m scared because I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Because I don’t want to mess anything up. Because it’s all on me now. 

Because there’s no one else I can blame.

The reality is I’m a single mom. I never intended to have kids so I could do it alone, but here I am, doing it alone. 

I’m not sure that I actually grasped that before this week. I know it’s been awhile since my husband left me, left us, but nothing really changed. 

Honestly, I rarely saw him when we were married. 

And he has been paying the bills, and we still live in the same place. Truthfully, nothing changed. Not really.

But it’s about to. 

The reality is setting in that everything is about to change. I really am going to be a single mom. I really am going to be responsible for everything. I’m not going to have access to the same bank accounts. I’m not going to be able to count on his payday. The court is going to determine how much child support he pays. And I’m going to have to figure out how to make ends meet. All by myself. 

It’s all about to change. 

And so I have felt chaotic lately. Scared; nervous. I had decided that if I couldn’t feel God or hear God that He must not be around. 

Thankfully that’s not true at all. 

I’ve been in NC since early December. Until yesterday I hadn’t been to an Al-Anon meeting since I left. I thought I would be fine. I even assured my sponsor I was fine. 

I wasn’t. I’m not. 

‘Get to a meeting,’ she said. 

So I did. 

I’ve got a pretty huge, life-changing decision to make soon. I had been praying to God to give me a neon sign. To let me know exactly what I should do. 

This way or that way. 

‘I can’t hear you anymore. I need you to be blunt. Where are you? Why aren’t you telling me what to do?! Give me a sign. Give me something,’ I pleaded. 

I went to my first meeting. The topic was ‘Grief’. I never really thought I had anything to do with this topic, but I do.

I am grieving. 

I am finally grieving the loss of my marriage, my husband, my family, and all that comes with losing those things. 

I have spent most of the time since my husband left distracting myself. Numbing myself. Keeping busy. Refusing to feel the emotions that come when you are going through a divorce. 

But here they are, every single one of them. 

About half way through the meeting a woman walked in late and sat next to me. 

Her name was Lauren. 

She shared that she realized that while she was also grieving the loss of a relationship she became over sensitive. Every little thing used to get under her skin. She would overreact. She would fall back into old behavior. Trying to control and manipulate. And that she just needed to remember to trust her Higher Power. It was okay to grieve and to feel all of these emotions, but that she needed to remember she couldn’t do it on her own. She couldn’t get through it without His strength. Because it was just too much for her. 

Cue the flashing lights. 

See, I was expecting God to answer me the way I wanted. I wanted Him to make the choice. To tell me what choice to make. But it’s more than that. 

He’s always more than I expect.

It’s trusting Him. With all of it. With every last detail. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when it’s scary to trust Him. Even when you think you can do better. 

Even when trusting Him hurts. Especially, when it hurts. 

And this hurts. Oh boy, does this hurt. 

Because it’s my instinct to protect myself. Because I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of feeling things. All. Of. The. Things. 

But that’s where He is. 

And even though it hurts and even though I am hurting, I’m happy I found Him again. 

That’s the difference. My life has been chaos since October 10th, when my husband decided to leave. It was never simple. I never really knew what to do, but I kept my eyes on Him. 

He’s my joy. He’s why I could wake up every day confident. He was why I was so happy. It was never that I was happy my marriage was over, I wish it wasn’t. I never got married so I could get divorced, but I was okay because I never took my eyes off Him.

And then I did. 

He still hasn’t told me what to do. I still don’t know what choice I’m going to make. It still isn’t any clearer than before, but what I do know is that I can trust Him, completely. 

I can screw up. I can make the wrong decision. I can make the right decision. As long as I just make the decision to trust Him. And as long as I keep my eyes on Him. 

I need to actually believe that He loves me and that He knows exactly what I need and not only that, but that He will provide me with everything I need. 

And I hadn’t been believing that. Somewhere outside of the meetings and behind the distractions I had convinced myself that it was up to me to provide for myself, for my kids, but all I have to do, all any of us have to do, comes down to two thing things. 

First, we have to trust Him. Completely. With our whole hearts. He’ll take care of the rest. And that includes taking care of me and you. 

Second, we just have to keep our eyes on Him. It can be too much to pay attention to everything else. It can be hard to pay attention to the details. We can become overwhelmed. We can distract ourselves by paying attention to all of the things we can’t control. 

And I don’t know about you, but the only thing I am sure of, is that I am loved and the only thing I really want to remember is just that. 

Everything else just sort of falls into place. Or at least I finally stop paying attention to the rest. 

4 Replies to “Neon Sign”

  1. My relationship with Christ is sort of like riding a roller coaster. Sometimes I’m on fire for God, and sometimes I don’t feel a thing. How can I stop this up-and-down ride?

    Let me begin by saying that you can’t always trust your feelings, because feelings have nothing to do with the facts of God’s Word. Feelings come, feelings go. And feelings can fool you. Trust the facts, not your feelings.

    One important fact is this: If you’ve trusted Christ, you’re a Christian. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and … no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).

    The Bible promises that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). So we have to base our faith on God’s sovereignty what he has done and is doing in our lives rather than on our feelings.

    Scripture also says “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). So even if you feel like your faith is fading, God remains faithful toward you. His commitment to you never changes.

    Now, this is not to say that we should completely ignore our feelings. Sometimes our feelings are a pretty good indication of where we are spiritually. Our feelings might be trying to tell us we’ve sinned against God, or that we’ve put our relationship with God on the back burner. If either is the case, it’s time to listen to your feelings. Scripture tells us, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30). When we sin, we “grieve,” or disappoint, the Holy Spirit, who lives inside us to help us live the Christian life.

    So, next time you don’t “feel” like a Christian, do a gut check. Go to God and ask, “Have I sinned against you?” (See Psalm 139:23-24.) If you determine your bad feelings are a result of sin, ask God to forgive you. And ask the Holy Spirit to help you go on walking with God.

    And think about those times when you’re on fire for God. What are you doing during those times that gives you joy? You’re probably reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, hanging out with Christians, going to Bible studies, telling others about your faith.

    You are not alone here Lauren, all of us Christians experience this….love your writing.

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