I realized last night during several conversations with my wife that she was perhaps the most important tool God has used (and is using) in my healing and coming back to life. I've always known that her tenacity and strength were astounding, but I guess it's only been lately that I've realized just how important she has been in this process. My wife provided a refuge, a place of safety and security in a tangible way, that I had never known before. We know, once we are well enough to grasp it, that God is our refuge and our strong tower, but oh how important it is to have that represented to us by someone in our lives that matters.
Safety and security are things that I never experienced in my life before now. My life has been one of uncertainty and fear, always waiting for the hammer to fall, for someone to leave, for some disaster to strike. I've never been able to trust in God because I never had his trustworthiness and fidelity modeled by the important people in my life. Someone who grows up without a father would have a hard time relating to God as a father, in the same way someone who goes through life never knowing what it is to trust will have a hard time having faith and trust in God. That has been my experience for nearly as long as I can remember, a complete block when it comes to trust and faith in God. I have been consumed with worry, doubt and fear my entire life, which has resulted in anger and even hatred towards God as I blamed him for all of the horror that I saw around me and all the abandonment and betrayal that I felt from the experiences in life.
My wife told me from day one, really without knowing the original source of her promises, that she would never leave me or forsake me. Then she proceeded to live and demonstrate that promise through the ensuing years of rough emotional upheaval on my part. My reaction to the prospect of getting married was a full blown anxiety attack that lasted almost a year, followed by depression and related medical issues that lasted for several years. Only recently has the healing started taking place to the point where I am no longer a dead man walking. Only recently have I been able to pray to God, to trust in God, to worship God, to hear from God, to read his word, to actually understand and grasp the astounding love of God that led him to embark on the perilous and risky endeavor of winning and wooing his lover and bride (that's me, that's us) back to himself.
It was actually a perilous and risky endeavor for God from the very beginning. To bring into existence created beings (Angels, humans, etc.) that were free to follow their own paths, to choose whether or not they trusted or loved their creator. Free to turn on him and plunge the universe into unspeakable horror and danger if that was their choice - which they did. And then, as if that wasn't enough, God chose to prove his goodness and his love to the very beings that had turned their back on him. Instead of smashing his rebellious creation into non-existence and starting over, or forcing their devotion with the iron fist of a dictator, he chose to pursue his errant and adulterous bride all the way to the gates of hell and beyond and rescue her from the very jaws of death. And to do this, Jesus came in the body of an unglorified man and defeated death, and the lord of death (Satan), by inserting himself, as it were, between us and the executioner (Satan) and taking the death blow meant for us.
I can grasp and understand this, really for the first time, because I've had someone do this kind of thing for me in the physical realm. My wife took on a perilous and risky endeavor when she chose to bind herself to me in marriage and pledged to never leave or forsake me. It was a very risky thing to do. She would endure emotional pain and sacrifice and hardship because of it. She could have suffered betrayal and the loss of everything. But she counted the cost and chose to pay the price no matter how high it turned out to be, all for the sake of love. She pursued me to the gates of the hell I was in and beyond. And, as a willing servant/warrior for God, she brought me out of that darkness and into the light. What a spectacular demonstration of God's love, to give sacrificially for someone else. By doing so my wife acted as the hands and feet of God and brought me to life so that I can in turn bring others to life. They in turn can do the same for others. The healing will spread like ripples in a pond as the kingdom of God continues to rescue those being stolen, killed and destroyed by the thief (Satan).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. --John 10:10
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. --Romans 5:8
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. --John 15:13