Valley Walking: The Life Raft

Divorce can feel like being on a sinking ship.

My husband abandoned the ship before I was even aware there was a gaping gouge in it’s hull. When the damage was revealed to me, I started frantically trying to save it, keep it from going under, keep us afloat.

As our ship began it’s certain descent, I was forced to acknowledge the awful reality, that my efforts to save it were in vain.

To avoid being dragged down into the dark below, I took one final glimpse at our beloved vessel, peered out into the dark unknown and jumped blindly into the black.

I hit the freezing water with such an unforgiving force that it disorientated me. I was dragged around by the suction left in it’s wake and whirled around in the forces of shock, grief and anguish. I started to kick my legs with everything I had and suddenly I broke through the surface and came up for air.

In the aftermath of our sinking boat, I realise that the situation has now become a desperate battle for survival and self-preservation. In these hellish waters, it is now every man and woman for themselves.

There amongst those grey stormy waves, I wait for my rescue.

The above analogy is the best way I can describe what I have experienced over past months. The initial denial, followed by the brutal realisation that my marriage was over and the shock and loss that came with it. The desperate and single-minded quest for self preservation, at any cost, that I have witnessed from my husband on exiting the marriage.

There have been times where I have felt as though I am going under; physically, emotionally and mentally. Still, from day one and throughout each and every stage, I have felt one undeniable force upholding me, the unconditional and undeniable love of Jesus.

In the fierce and unrelenting waves of uncertainty, I have traveled upon the life raft that is His love. I have rested on it, slept on it, worked on it, lived on it and at times, clung to it by my very finger nails.

There have been times when the waters have been so treacherous that I couldn’t see how I’d make it through and yet times when I have felt glimpses of stillness beneath it. My precious life raft continues to uphold me. I have come to understand that there is no force that can sink it or destroy it. Despite the unpredictable elements that swirl around beneath it, it cannot be shaken, and cannot be lost. It is the one true constant in so many inconsistencies.

I have come to realise how much I need Him. The pure reliance I have come to have in Him is unlike anything I have ever experienced. He has truly become my refuge.

Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV) says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

This passage captures so beautifully the refuge and peace that can only come from God, when things around us look so overwhelming, threatening and bleak. There is a specific word that speaks to my heart, the word ‘ever-present.’ So much in our lives can simply be considered ‘present.’ We can pin our security on so many things that can so easily be lost or can simply leave us; partners, objects, jobs, money and status.

But God’s help is a constant, never ending supply of comfort, strength and love that can never be removed from us and cannot be lost.

Storms may tear through our lives but His love will endure. Floods may ruin everything we hold dear but He will preserve. Earthquakes may shake the very core of the earth we stand on but God’s love is far deeper rooted and unshakable.

When there is destruction in our lives, He will bring the pieces back together again and there will be restoration.

When the waters roar and foam, it can seem even harder to see God’s light and promise for us and to not be afraid. The world can offer us so much fear and hurt that it can be hard to focus on His love and goodness. But it is still there, it is ‘ever-present.’

I am so moved and inspired by the trials, losses and hurts that so many of you amazing readers are brave enough to share. The hardships you are trying to overcome and live alongside. It is making me realise, more and more, that no one is exempt from heartache, that so many of us are on these treacherous waters. I pray that you will find peace and that God will bless you as you navigate your rafts through the stormy seas you may be on.

As for me, I remain on this raft, cradled in His love until I reach the shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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