86: Listening to Him

86: Listening to Him

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Listening to Him

By Robbie Iobst

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

~Psalm 84:5

On a Wednesday night eight years ago, I discovered my husband’s lies and left him. The note I put on his chair in the living room told him I just couldn’t live with him anymore. It was all over.

I needed to be alone to think and pray, so I took my four-year-old son to Gamma’s house and went to spend the night with my friend, Desha. That night, I found myself sobbing in Desha’s bathroom. Lying on her spotless bathroom floor, I held my Bible and prayed, “God, I need to hear you clearly.”

I opened my Bible, and my eyes settled on Psalm 84:5: “Blessed are those... whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”

God revealed Himself to me, comforted me, and told me the truth through His Word. Blessed are those who have hearts set on pilgrimage. The ones who persevere through the journey are the ones who live in blessing. In that moment, I knew I needed to persevere in my marriage.

At first, I said, “No!” I wasn’t the one who had lied. I wasn’t the one who had betrayed the trust in our marriage. But as I continued to cry and pray, God showed me that I had done things that hurt our marriage. I wasn’t blameless.

A week later, my son and I returned home. John and I entered counseling and began the long road, the long pilgrimage, to putting our marriage back together. God walked with us each step of the way.

Seven months later, we stood on the beach, surrounded by close friends, and renewed our vows. Our marriage was restored because God told us, through the Bible and His people, to hang in there even when we felt like running. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. At the top of our invitation to the renewal of our vows, we placed Psalm 84:5. And then we wrote: Blessed is the couple whose heart is set on marriage.

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