As the car radio shuffled through my Favorites playlist, The Call, a closing credit song from Narnia II: Prince Caspian, came on. As always is the case when driving, this song has a way of silencing whatever raucous is going on and ends up with the kids singing along.
There’s just something about that song that I love — her voice, the instruments used, the movie itself where Prince Caspian and Queen Susan had to part ways. I haven’t seen that movie in years, yet it still can stir up the same mix of emotions listening to it now. As I often do, I try to take a song and apply it to myself, hoping I can make it personal as I sing the words. No matter what though, outside of the actual storyline of the 4 kings and queens going in and out of Narnia, personally applying the lyrics didn’t connect at all — that is, until just recently. The introduction to the song spoke volumes to these last few months.
It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
Until it was a battle cry…
I have to say that I’ve been quite distracted these last few weeks. With changes in school schedules, sports, bedtime, homework, etc., setting aside time to blog has been very difficult. The biggest distraction, however, had to do with God’s revelation to me at the beginning of this summer.
With all that has happened these last 4 ½ years, my desire has always been to lean not on my own understanding but to trust God in everything. Up until May, I’ve continually prayed for a willingness to obey Him no matter what, even if it meant getting back together with Kabeer. Although I truly had forgiven him and even had compassion for him, his new wife and the people in the cult, I did not have a longing or even the imagination to fathom going back after all that had happened. I would express to God, “I don’t want to go back and have no feelings like I did but if that’s what You want, I’ll do it, Lord. I know You can do anything and You know what’s best.” I would end that prayer telling Him; actually reminding myself, “Lord, I trust you. I just trust You.”
As we were loading the car for Red Robin to celebrate my daughter’s birthday this May, I received a text from a friend that Kabeer had a child. As a picture came through my phone of him holding his newborn son, there really was no emotion in regards to my feelings toward Kabeer. The feeling that came to me at the moment was the reality that this actually hits the next generation and that my kids now had a half brother. This new, disheartening reality would be added to my list of long-term prayers.
My kids were always my biggest concern and my prayers would mostly be for them, not necessarily for me. Since the divorce was finalized, I would constantly be in prayer for the dynamics of our family unit. I would pray for the provision of a father figure, the experience of love from an earthly father, and a godly example of how a husband should love his wife. I prayed all of these prayers unsure of whether or not that man would be Kabeer.
As I went to bed that night my mind wandered to the news I heard. For God to bring Kabeer and I back together after he already had a wife (not legally) was hard enough to comprehend. Now that a child was involved, my heart went out to this newborn. How can Kabeer come back to us and leave another wife and child behind? The longer all this went on, the more complicated things got. Still, I just gave it all to the Lord and tried to not rack my brain with those thoughts.
My prayers expanded that evening. Not only did I pray over my kids, I prayed for all three of them; Kabeer, his wife and his child — that God would open their eyes to His truth and that this child would somehow come to know the tender love and gentle compassion of our Father in heaven. I also prayed, “God, I’ve done all I can, I’ve tried and I’ve waited. Even with all of this, I just want to obey.” A peace came over me as I went to sleep that night. I felt a release from God that I was now able to move forward without guilt and shame. It truly felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.
In the next few days, the topic of divorce and remarriage came up on Christian radio on more than one occasion. These verses happened to be part of my bible reading that week as well: “But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:15 NLT) I’ve read this passage many times, but it never resonated with me. I was actually stuck on the verses a few lines before where it talked about a wife not leaving her husband; “that if she must, she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:11) I had heart-to-heart talks with God every so often about that. “That kind of bites, Lord. I didn’t choose any of this. I didn’t divorce him. He made that decision.” Yet, even in those straightforward talks with God, they were few and far between and never too consuming of my thoughts. I was pretty content with things anyway and too busy with the kids to think about that kind of thing.
Since the day I prayed and felt that release, it seemed like that scripture was hitting me smack dab in the face. I always knew Kabeer to be a believer so it never dawned on me that this scripture was referring to our situation now. As he continued in the cult, he eventually renounced Christianity and was no longer a believer as this scripture referenced. No doubt I still pray for him, his salvation and his relationship with Jesus, but God knew that was what I needed to hear in order to reconcile where I was.
That shift in mindset changed everything and opened up a world of thinking that I had not encountered before. All of sudden, the idea of having a husband, a partner and a best friend kept stirring in my spirit. I started getting excited about the possibility, even dialoguing with my kids that I was open to God bringing someone into our lives. From there, my prayer list began. As I had been encouraged a long time ago when I first got saved, my spiritual big brother, CJ, encouraged me once again to make a list of the characteristics and qualities of what I wanted in a husband. How ironic it was to be in this position once again — this time with 8 kids in my mid-forties! Definitely not the same as the early years of life and definitely unchartered territory for me.
There was a side of me that felt like a giddy single young lady entering into the dating world, eager to explore my options. Yet there was that other side of me that knew I couldn’t take any of this lightly. First of all, I wasn’t a young lady in my 20’s. I was double that and some. Secondly, it was no longer me looking out for just me. In the forefront of my mind were my kids and their needs. There was no room for testing the waters or going into things blindly as the dating world often does. Navigating through all of this brought challenges, emotions, distractions, and thankfully, even a lot of humor going through the process.
I saw the progression of that song growing in my own situation: The initial idea or feeling of “dating,” to the hope that I would actually marry again, to the quiet thought of my “wish- list,” to the quiet words of prayer for my future husband, to that last part of the song, the battle cry..
That battle cry came out as I fiddled with the online dating scene. Yes, that’s what I said, online dating. I’m not knocking it as I know people who are in solid marriages from it. As a Christian, however, I do feel it has to be a God-led thing, which in my case it definitely was not. I didn’t acknowledge Him or ask Him about this. I started it solely out of curiosity. Within minutes of actually having a profile in place, I smacked my forehead, asking myself, “What in the world did I just get myself into?” I did attempt to shut the whole thing down that night, but customer service convinced me to try it out for at least a month. At around midnight, after scrolling through all the “possibilities” there was finally an attractive man whose profile introduction exuded a love for Jesus that was genuine and alive. Just as I had unique and unfortunate circumstances, this person had his own, which brought him to this place. Realistically speaking, there really was no chance of anything happening between us due to our geographical distance and other life circumstances. It was just an encouragement for me to know that there were actually available attractive men out there who unashamedly loved Jesus — even more specifically, one that God ordained just for me.
That next morning while spending time with the Lord, my thoughts went back to the idea of a husband again. I pulled up that man’s profile, literally lifted up my phone toward God, pointed at it, and exclaimed my battle cry, “God, I want this!”
As time went on, I came to the realization that God’s timing on this one wasn’t as urgent as mine. Unfortunately, that battle cry soon became my preoccupation. For the sake of time and even sparing myself of some embarrassment, I won’t go into the juicy (well, really not-so-juicy) details of my life these last 3 months. Let’s just say that it’s been quite an adventure. Putting myself out there in one way or another has opened up a can of worms that I’m going to have to put the lid on again. In a nutshell, my trusting in God’s plan, my prayer list, and my priorities turned upside down. I spent less time with God and spent more time on pointlessly scrolling through profiles of men that I’d never date. I was also distracted by selfish and shallow desires and couldn’t hear the Holy Spirit as clearly as before. Hence, that was a huge reason why I haven’t been writing like I did previously.
It took my good friends to knock some sense into me to stop looking and to trust that God is going to work it all out. One friend in particular set me straight during a long overdue lunch date just last week. Her words hit straight at my heart, which is exactly what I needed. “Eileen, God didn’t make you ordinary, He called you for an extraordinary purpose and Satan wants to rob you of it. You’re not going to find your husband that way. There is a strong man of God for you and your family and HE is praying for you right now. Eileen, you don’t need to search him out. He will find you.” Silent, then nodding, then tearing up, then sighing in relief, I finally had a clarity of mind that cleared away the fog of these last few months.
I’m back, clear-headed, and refocused on God again. How right on that scripture is that states, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so EASILY entangles…” (Hebrews 12:1) Satan thought he could use the same old stuff he did before I was a Christian. Had it not been for God’s love, His Word and the faithful friends in my life, I would have fallen for his stupid tricks and would have been entangled once again. In Jesus’ name, no more. I want what God has for me, I want to be used by Him and I don’t ever want to forget my first love; Jesus. Yes, that battle cry is still there — it’s just a quiet prayer as I wait patiently for God’s timing. I don’t know where and I don’t know when but I know he’s out there. Whoever he is, he’ll know where to find me.
Lord, thank You for your patience with us as we tumble and fumble through this life . Thank You that I can trust in Your perfect timing and in Your perfect plan, not only for me, but for my whole family. Just as You’re preparing a place for us in heaven, You’re preparing us for this man and this man for us. I’ll patiently wait on You with that part of my life. Until then, continue to be glorified in my singleness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.