Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lordyour God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed (Joshua 23:14, NIV).
Unlike Joshua, we usually don’t get a warning before somebody leaves. Although his goodbye speech wasn’t concerning a breakup, but rather his death, we can still learn from it.
In our relationships--is it our main goal to fulfill all our promises and give it our best?
If I’m honest, my answer isn’t always “yes.”
Normally, we hesitate to give 100% of our heart and soul, in case we need to protect it from heartbreak later.
What an amazing reputation Joshua had. He was Moses’ assistant who went on to lead Israel. Talk about important! He was the one who would later take Israel into their Promised Land. Instead of being unfaithful in his role as Moses was towards the very end--Joshua remained faithful to God and His people. I wonder if the same can be said of you and I?
Are we faithful to those God has placed in our life--even when they are not faithful in return?
My story begins at the young age of fifteen. I fell in love, hard, with a boy named Jake (not his real name). Jake told me that he loved me and I swooned. Other than family members, I had never had anyone say those three little words to me before. I hated the thought of ever being separated from Jake. Unfortunately, our summer romance didn’t have a chance. He lived on the East Coast and I on the West Coast. The only times we would be able to see each other would be over the summer. Instead of flying home happy that I was in love, I was miserable and cried all the way home. I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting a whole year to see Jake again.
For some reason, my body rebelled and I literally cried for three days straight. I thought, at the age of fifteen, that I had found the one--and was willing to do whatever it takes to make it work.
By the time Jake wrote me an apology letter, I was already in the San Diego Children’s Hospital. The patches of eczema I developed on my feet (probably from all of the crying) had spread to my face. My rebellious teenage body robbed me of the next six years! The medication given to me by the doctors made me gain one hundred pounds within ten months. Instead of going back to school and forgetting about my summer romance, I lived with deep regret over my tears and over a love that would never ever happen ever again.
It took me many years to overcome the lies I believed and the drawn out emotions from the whole ordeal. Every thought of Jake felt like a knife to my heart. I thought for sure no man would ever love me because I was fat, broken, and super emotional.
Those six years were some of the worst and best years of my life. God met me in my heartbreak and I learned who my first love really was. God showed me why He would never leave me or forsake me. I learned how to read through the Bible and apply the Scriptures to my life. I was like a sponge soaking up my time in the Word.
I wasn’t surprised that Jesus healed my heart and soul completely, but I should have been surprised when Jake came back into my life.
Since I was new at reading the Word and applying it to my life, I thought when he came back into my life that this was “the” sign that Jake was meant for me. Why else would my body have had to suffer so violently after we parted ways?
Instead of taking the time to think and pray things through about Jake--I jumped in again and put my heart on the line. I welcomed him back with open arms and dreamed about spending the rest of my life with him.
I was such a fool.
I thought once again I knew what I was doing. When Jake bailed on the relationship for the second time--instead of crying--I choose bitterness as my poison. I even questioned my relationship with God because I thought He was the one who told me Jake was the one for me.
It took a cross-country move for me to realize God was right where I left him--in the Word. I found God in Texas while pursuing writing and missions. My healing came in the form of school.
I learned once again through the school of suffering that my life was not my own and God’s ways are higher (and much better) than mine.
I was only living in Texas for a few short months before my eczema took the skin off my hands due to bad weather. Another three years went by before I understood how to properly take care of my body, heart, and soul. For some reason, suffering and heartache have gone hand in hand (literally) in my life.
I, along with Joshua, can say with full confidence that I still believe in “all the good promises” of God. “Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
If you or anyone you know is currently experiencing the gut wrenching pain of heartache--I urge you to connect to the One who has both the power to heal and to save: Jesus!
Recently, I wrote a short eBook on heartache and how to find healing God’s way entitled Loves Me Not. I encourage you to pick up a copy on Amazon for only $2.99 and be encouraged.
Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Star. Learn more about Renee at www.devotionaldiva.com.