The sword is swung the final time. Shouts of victory envelop the air. The time has finally come for all to rest and resume normal living. Well, that sounds nice if that were at all possible. In reality how can one go to war for months or even years at a time and resume normal living? I find that sometimes we, as believers, do just that. We encounter a divorce, financial set back, or a major illness, and once the war is over we try to move on and continue with life as usual. We somehow forget, although we’ve won, we have in fact been at war.
War takes you out of your normal routine. During times of war all focus is on the battle. Whether you know it or not your attention has been divided, your strength waned. You have won the victory but you are no longer the person who entered the battle. War has changed you and if you don’t take the time to rest, recalibrate and gain a new focus you will have cheated yourself from the spoils of war. Think about it. You fought to the bitter end and the war ended but what did you actually win? Perhaps in the beginning it may look like you have gained nothing.
Let’s use divorce as an example. You’ve fought, fasted and prayed yet your marriage ended in divorce. Now one may say how is that a victory? In this case it is a victory simply because you won. You didn’t lose your mind. You were hit with overwhelming emotion, disrespect, dishonor, and outright shame and you still survived. If one simply rises from this type of war and tries to move on they are more than likely setting themselves up for a do-over war game with someone else if the previous battlefield is not cleaned and evaluated properly.
Although divorce did not take you out it will leave you mentally exhausted at the least. In severe cases you may also find yourself in financial ruin and in a battle for custody of your children. So this still leaves the question how has the victory been won? Because every selfish-desire, every lie has been stripped away leaving you to face the bare nakedness of who you are.
Divorce has a way of stripping you of every good desire that may not have been God’s will for you. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying God doesn’t want marriages to work. That would be ridiculous when we know as the church our relationship to Christ is the perfect picture of marriage. But that’s exactly where I’m going. Marriages that have ended were more than likely not representing the picture God painted at all. Sure there may have been happy times in the beginning or along the way but somewhere, somehow hearts separated, desires changed and the enemy monopolized on the hidden things in the heart. Before you know it you are in divorce court with your heart rent yet some part of you ready to move on. As I previously said sounds good but it doesn’t work that way unless you plan on repeating the process.
You might ask what makes you an expert on this subject? I myself went through the terrible war of divorce and in the beginning wanted more than anything to move forward with my life but the more I took steps forward the more I realized my wounds still needed mending. I began to realize I wasn’t even sure how I ended up there. I began to realize although I was a mess, I somehow had gained freedom. The crazy soul robbing cycles that clouded my vision was gone and now I looked around to see the battlefield was a mess and so was I, but the war was over.
At that moment I resolved in myself that marriage was not for me and Jesus and I were going to ride it out until my time to be with Him. After about a year or so I realized that was ridiculous since I love to talk and tell stories and whom would I tell them to? I had no children and was left alone with the dog and frankly she wasn’t the best listener since she herself had been part of the divorce and had lost a family member as well.
At this point my mind was made up to lean into God more than ever for understanding. Sure I could have written a thousand page book on what my ex-husband did to cause things to turn out the way they did but I knew that I had attracted this drama I called life into my world. I’m a firm believer that you attract what you are. The condition of your soul at the time is what you will draw to yourself. So I began a very long and intensive journey with God to show me what was imbalanced in my soul and to allow him to heal every broken place.
As God began to heal the wounds I began to see the spoils of war. Yes, I had lost my marriage but I had gained something more. I’d gained a more intimate relationship with God and with myself. I was beginning to discover the real me that was hidden beneath the battle scars. I’d gained me and I found that I was stronger than I thought and God had better plans for me than I’d imagined. I discovered that God never had planned for any of the terrible things that happened to me to happen but my impatience and unhealed heart lead me into a relationship that did not have my best interest at heart. All I can say is there nothing like slowing down and allowing God to have His way in you. It will require great surrender and patience but I promise you it will yield great rewards.
So I’m saying if you’ve suffered through divorce or any other life disaster stop trying to get things back to normal. Now, there is a new normal. Yes, you have a new job and it pays more but it will take time to build new wealth that will further outweigh any abundance you had in the previous season. If you suffered an illness, give your body some time to be made strong again so in your new state you will find yourself stronger than before, and by all means, if you have encountered a divorce don’t be in a hurry to find the next best thing when your soul is still entangled with the old. Bottom line, sit and be healed and allow God to build you brick-by-brick instead of wall-by- wall. Sometimes the spoils of war are a newer, wiser, fresher version of you that you didn’t know existed.
Author: Petrina Milan