Isaiah 58:12 (NLT) Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
I sliced my finger deeply months ago. A few weeks after the initial injury, the outside wound healed back together, but still felt weird on the inside as if it wasn’t healing to what it was prior to injury. All of a sudden, months later it became painful to the touch. I researched pain in scars and discovered that pain can occur as nerves regenerate and reconnect. I worried that the pain would remain permanently, even praying that it wouldn’t. After a few days, the pain subsided to more like sensitivity, and now it doesn’t hurt at all. I can finally say it feels normal as before the accident. It’s been a long process for such a small wound to heal, but it makes the best example. Restoration is just like this wound. Although, the prodigal has returned home and the marriage is back together on the surface – there’s much more to heal hidden underneath that requires a lot more time. HOWEVER, there is regeneration. There is reconnection. It’s just a more delicate process, and there’s gonna be pain in the healing.
God had to show me that restoration was not the end of what I’d been hoping, praying, and waiting for…it was the beginning of the work He was gonna do in us together! That perspective helped me wait expectantly for the changes I wanted to see in my prodigal, rather than get angry for the changes to not have already taken place. We, as standers, must realize that God reveals truth to the prodigal the same as he does for us…in layers. It will take time for the prodigal to realize all that he/she came from out of the Far Country. They were deceived to think another person could be this dream come true, and it takes time to realize it was actually sin and wrong in so many ways.
There were so many times, even after standing for my marriage and my husband coming back home, I begged for God to release me from the marriage, because I was so hurt and devastated by it all. I couldn’t understand why God didn’t bring my husband back as some radically changed man. I look back now in my journals and at my marriage the way it is now, years later, and see how it’s been a process of rebuilding. The breakdown of our marriage was a stripping away. The early days of restoration was the beginning of a rebuilding process. God tried to show me many times, but I was so raw with emotions going in every direction, I couldn’t catch on. BUT we pushed through and took baby steps everyday. God was repairing the breaches, at the same time Satan was still trying to destroy them! Marriage restoration is just like the Israelites in the days of Nehemiah (4:16-18) trying to rebuild the destroyed wall of their city. They were trying to build, while their enemy tried to tear it down. So the Bible tells us they would build with one hand and carry a weapon in the other! That’s what you and your spouse MUST do!
The enemy will attack you both with low self-esteem, doubt, insecurities, mistrust, extreme emotions, and fear. These will come like a flood and threaten all the progress that’s made, but you combat it with prayer, the word of God, the promises He gave you, worship, journaling, zipping lips, patience, perseverance, and cutting out the world’s negative influences. These are the weapons we use to fight the enemy, Satan, not our spouse!
I look back over those days written in my journal and can see where we’ve been. God was right. It was the beginning. We aren’t the same people we were when we first married. Thankfully, we aren’t the same people we were when we came back together. Our marriage now is what we always dreamt it could be. Just like my sliced finger, the pain will subside. Regeneration will happen. You will reconnect with your spouse. And one day, it will be stronger and better than it was before!