52. Desires of Your Heart

52. Desires of Your Heart

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After

Desires of Your Heart

It was late at night in front of my house. The floodlights were on, and worship music was playing. I sat in the dirt beside four flats of flowers waiting to be planted. My tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought back over the past twenty-five years. I had married this man when I was eighteen years old and now he wanted a divorce. He had just moved his belongings out that day, and I was determined to make myself happy by planting my flowers. When I was a child, my aunt had always told me that if you have lots of flowers outside your home it meant you had a happy home. For the first time in my forty-four years I was totally alone. The children were grown and on their own, and now I was, too.

In my early twenties, I realized I needed to be dependent on the Lord instead of my husband. Through the following years of his workaholism and unfaithfulness, I had struggled to make this wonderful provider happy. I doubled my efforts in being the best I could be, and prayed daily for God’s guidance and wisdom for our family. I knew the only one I could change was myself, and I prayed daily for my husband to have God’s salvation. In Psalms 37:4 it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” My desires were to have a family and a husband who loved and adored me. It did not seem to be working out that way, but I hung on to that promise.

Times looked bleak as my husband and I, by the grace of God, managed to get through some very difficult years. We lived through our son’s battles with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and drug addiction, our daughter’s depression and our own inner battles with each other.

Now, I was sitting in the dirt crying as I remembered. I knew I would be all right by myself because I was not really alone. I had built a relationship with God and He did love me.

It was a difficult time, but as I started looking forward to what God had planned for me, it became very exciting — and a relief — to have only myself to consider. I still prayed for my husband each day, but soon realized he had to find his own way. The divorce was in place and the time clock was ticking. I joined a Christian singles group and attended a divorce recovery workshop. I had gone on with my life and had just signed up for college when I got the call.

It was my husband. He was on his way over to tell me something. There he stood on the front porch with tears in his eyes, announcing his acceptance of the Lord. He no longer wanted a divorce and wanted to work on our marriage. It had been six months since he had left, and to be truthful, I was in doubt whether I even wanted to be married. Life was good, fun and exciting, and I was more content than I ever remembered being. Did I want to go back to the distrust and deception I had endured for so many years?

My answer to him was, “I need time.” I separated myself from the activities I was involved with and took time to be alone and pray. The psalm had said the Lord would give me the desires of my heart. I had prayed for my husband for twenty-five years to come to know the Lord and now he said he had. I did not trust my husband, but I did trust God. If I chose not to work to save this marriage, I would be doubting God’s power and grace.

My husband and I set up personal boundaries and had a lot of Christian counseling. We continued to live alone. As the months went by, God did the work of mending a very broken relationship. As I learned to know my husband and trust him, we fell in love, and Christ became the center of our marriage. We renewed our wedding vows in our church on our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary, with many friends and family in attendance. It was the happiest day of my life. Our beautiful daughter sang, “Let’s Begin Again,” and our drug-free son walked me down the aisle to meet a completely transformed man. All of my childhood dreams had come true, and I did receive the desires of my heart.

 

~Susan Lugli
Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul

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