1 Kings 12:24 – ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the word of the Lord and went home again, as the Lord had ordered.
The following is an excerpt from a book written by myself and Susan Haynes Brogan entitled, “Just Susan”.
After 22 years of marriage, three beautiful children, a lifetime of expectations not met by both parties, and more hurt than joy, I finally arrived at a day I will never forget. I decided to be unapologetically me and file for divorce. Four words rang out of heaven into my discontented mind and sunk into my subconscious, “This, Susan, is My doing. This is My doing. I have given you permission to make a decision that will free you for the rest of your life from bondage, so make the decision.” I had become so accustomed to the valley that I kept self-sabotaging the mountain and God had finally had enough.
I had been riding a merry go round, dizzy and disoriented, for entirely too long. I tried everything, even to the point of groveling to get off the ride in my own strength and find peace, but to no avail. It kept spinning, faster and faster, until I felt I would be slung off into oblivion at any moment. Some people came, time and again, to ride with me at the playground in the hopes of talking me off my solitary ride but they eventually got ill enough from the dizzying speed to step back onto firm, solid ground only to stand by and watch me take yet another turn.
A house divided against itself cannot stand and my house had long been divided. I had gone from being Charlie’s daughter to Tommy’s wife and needless to say, I was jacked up when the man married me. I was not following the Lord, I had never dealt with the past hurts of adolescence, and I sure didn’t know how to love. In fact, the word “convenience” comes to mind before the word “love” when I look back at my wedding day. Love was my most elaborate method of self-harm. It was pain I could handle. I could beat myself up with love everyday and still somehow come out on top, feeling nothing from the onslaught but carrying bruises in my heart year after year.
I learned that every decision made in my marriage was based on bad choices that came barreling into the merry go round on the backs of boisterous children disguised as former regrets. Every choice led us further away from the center and pushed us nearer to the edge where each of us held on for dear life as the ride spun out of control. There is nothing in life more frustrating that trying to raise up something God is trying to kill and I did it for decades. I led others while bleeding. I attempted to minister through unbearable pain. I tried to please everyone around me at the cost of myself. I heard it best said when listening to a sermon from my favorite pastor, “Some people come into our lives to take us from point A to point B in order for us to get to point C…alone.”
The abrupt halt of the merry-go-round, which was stopped only when God poured out His grace, signaled my arrival at the destiny God intended for me. It wasn’t helping me get to my destination, so I had to cut it off and move on. Both my husband and I changed over time to the point of being able to let go and step onto solid terra ferma and walk in opposite directions out of the playground toward completely different paths of righteousness.
I never thought I would get to this point. I didn’t want to fail at marriage, knowing that it is sanctified by God as a holy union. I didn’t want to live with the knowledge that I could have done something different, said more, had more compassion, felt more, loved more. I could not understand why this had to happen to me. How would I ever face the women of Jacob’s Well from a pulpit on a Sunday morning? How would I ever explain it to my children? How would I learn to live alone for the firs time in my life? Would I ever have peace? Would I always miss him? Would I always long for his warm body in my bed? Would I always wonder what could have been, if only…
Separation comes after revelation and what the Lord revealed to me took over 20 years for me to finally see. The day that I hit my knees and surrendered my life to a Christ who I had only heard about in passing began a journey that would eventually lead me right to the playground. It was God’s will for me to get off the swings and walk over to the ride that would forever change my life. In fact, He guided me right to it with His loving hand and helped me climb on. It didn’t matter to Him that I get carsick going two miles up the road. It didn’t matter to Him that I wasn’t all that fond of stepping onto it. I did it anyway, and He pushed. There is no real victory without conflict and the swings were entirely too carefree. Each push from the Lord sent me spinning faster until my joyous laughter turned into queasiness mixed with confusion and doubt. My Father pushed the merry-go-round and as I came a full circle revolution back to Him, He always had something to say in my ear as I whizzed by.
“Susan, you are going to break out of the dungeon of mediocrity.”
Another nudge and one more lingering whisper.
“Your latter days will be greater than your former days.”
Again…around…push…another barely audible sentence as my Lord grinned at my confused and dazed look.
“Fix your eyes on what is unseen. Do you trust Me?”
“Who do you say I am? If it was meant to stay, it couldn’t leave.”
A shove and a smile…
“Don’t mix seasonal people with lifetime expectations. Your destiny is not tied to the one who left.”
“Courage is fear, just one minute longer.”
“Seek first my kingdom.”
Another push…around again…
“I promise I will stop this ride when you decide to let go.”
“Do you love me enough?
“I love you, Susan, more than anyone on the planet ever could.”
In neglecting to truly be alone with God, I robbed not only myself, but others, of blessings because I had none to pass on to them. I wanted people to see no one except Jesus through me. Jacob wrestled alone with God. Moses was alone at the burning bush. Gideon was by himself threshing wheat. John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness. Being alone is exactly where I had to be in order for God to really be there with me, uninhibited and given complete and free reign over my life.
Each push around a full circle moment had me searching and looking upon God with bewilderment. The day it was truly over, papers signed, love lost and then found, the merry-go-round came to a stop. I stepped off, gazed into the eyes of my Beloved Creator, took His hand, walked toward the horizon, and said for the first time in my life, “It’s me God, just Susan.”
If you would like to order this book that was a divine appointment for us both, you may do so RIGHT HERE. You can follow Susan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/susan.h.brogan?fref=ts and https://www.facebook.com/justsusanonline/?fref=ts
You can read 1 Kings 9-12 about the Lord’s appearance to Solomon and the Queen of Sheba’s visit at www.biblegateway.com.. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #1Kings