I came across a book recently that I put on my Amazon wish list. After sending a sample of the book to my Kindle, I promptly purchased the actual book. It's entitled "Wilderness Skills for Women: How to Survive Heartbreak and Other Full-Blown Meltdowns". The title was what first caught my eye, and for anyone following this blog you can imagine why. Here are some of the excerpts I read that told me this was a book I needed and needed now.
Throughout the Bible, a wilderness season is a time of testing, trying, and training an individual. It is often marked by a period of isolation, loneliness, temptation, sorrow, and waiting. Why? Circumstances that try us, train us. Situations that break us, shape us. Such is the wilderness. In the midst of the “dark night of the soul,” we are often miserable, but there, we are made. Transformed by the testing...if we pass the test, that is.
I saw a girl who didn't seem to have joy. A woman who didn't have assurance that the future was filled with hope, and, therefore, she was living in the pit of despair. I saw a pathetic, broken-down, miserably sad woman who obviously didn't believe that God was in control or had a purpose in her heartbreak. But I did believe—with all of my heart, by the way. I just wasn't choosing to live out what I believed; therefore, my emotions were ruling the day, and I was in the crazy place more often than I care to admit. And do you want to know the worst part? The real tragedy was my witness. My fretful and fearful response to my situation was speaking volumes to a watching world about my faith in my God.
That day, the breaking point, I cried out to God. I didn't want to live in despair anymore. Help me! I want joy again. Help me, Lord! I want peace again. Show me why I am an emotional basket case. Where am I failing to live out my faith?
I knew I had a decision to make. You see, walking by faith is a choice. I had to choose to believe who my God is, to believe what my God has said, and to believe what my God is able to do. Turning to the Bible, God taught me how other wilderness wanderers like me came forth triumphant from their seasons of testing in the wilderness. And He also taught me skills that I needed to learn from their experiences. These lessons are what you hold
Jordan, Marian. Wilderness Skills for Women: How to Survive Heartbreak and Other Full-Blown Meltdowns. B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Reading those I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was having a wilderness experience. I have known all along that God was using this to mold me for something, but it's easy to get lost in the pain and lose sight of His plan. I will admit I have spent much of the last week angry at God and questioning what He's doing and why He's taking so long to answer my prayers. I have prayed, I have fasted, I have begged, I have pleaded. I have thrown myself at His feet broken and hopeless. And in all this, I realize I am prolonging my wilderness experience, because I am no longer learning. I quit drawing close to God and instead got angry because He didn't jump when I demanded it. I'm reminded of the words He spoke to Job in Job 38-40. He is God. He is in control. It's time I start living like that is what I truly believe. Will life instantly fall into place? I wish... But I can trust that nothing I am going through will be wasted. Not one single moment, because God is in charge of them all.