As I worked on improving my self-image and healing my relationship with my husband, my counselor gave me some new assignments. First, she told me that I had to read Song of Solomon. This may sound like an odd assignment, but I had previously mentioned to her that I could not read that book of the Bible. In fact, I hated that book. But my aversion to Song of Solomon really grieved me, because I have a love for God’s Word and His Promises and His Truth.
My counselor encouraged me to read Song of Solomon and to replace the distortions I had about relationships with the Truth. To fulfill my assignment, I was to ponder God’s idea of sex. So, as difficult as it was, I began to read through the book for my devotion every morning while I prayed for God’s help for my situation. Reading Song of Solomon broke my heart. It broke my heart because I realized that I did not have the right emotions inside me toward my husband. Instead, I felt numb and frozen.
At my counselor’s urging, I began to write in my journal daily about the good qualities that I found in my husband. Every day I wrote that he is my best friend and I love him. Then I began to write that he, too, is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I started looking for his strengths and for the qualities that I like about him. My lists became longer and longer, and my feelings about our situation gradually changed.
My husband and I began having a devotion time together every morning. Those devotions helped immensely, forging a bond that drew my heart closer to his. I realized that I had the power to change, and that I could, after all, have the loving relationship found in Song of Solomon. My healing process would involve a lot of healthy self-talk, but I knew that I had to gain the head knowledge first, before my deceptive emotions could turn around and the good and true emotions could become a real part of me.
To help with this process, God gave me a vivid picture of what had been happening in my life. I can laugh now about the image God gave me, but I did not laugh then. He gave me the picture of a stained commode as an illustration of my life. In my house, the children’s bathroom was not being used on a regular basis and, as a result of my depression, I had not been as diligent as I should have been concerning cleaning that bathroom. When I finally did go to clean that room—yikes!—I found a serious hard-water stain in the toilet bowl. I was not happy about this situation. But then, God sent a message to my heart.
That commode was my life, and those mineral stains were the result of all the years that I had allowed negative thoughts and hard feelings to reside in my heart. Satan wanted to stain my heart and to make my life ugly. He wanted to convince me that I would never be able to feel healthy emotions or have a normal married life. God, however, whispered to me that, with a good scrubbing and much hard work, those stains would be gone and my life would shine again. Just like that commode, I would be able to function in the way that He intended. Such a crazy picture! But it brought hope to my heart.
Yes, I had to get the gloves and cleanser and brush, and I had to work hard. But I could clean up that stained commode. I could also clean up my stained heart, if I were diligent about my thoughts and feelings and believed the Truth that I find in God’s Word. I made a conscious decision to replace those negative thoughts with good and pleasant thoughts. I found a promise in Song of Solomon. Chapter 2, verses 10-13 says,
“My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines, and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. The fig tree has ripened its figs, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!’” (NAS)
God was inviting me to come along with Him, to know that my winter was passing, and that a spring full of flowers awaited me.
Are you in the winter of your journey toward healing? Do you struggle, wondering if you will ever be a whole spouse again? Do you have stains and feel ugly? Listen. Do you hear Him calling you and responding to your plea? He says that it will take some hard work on our part, but we must clean and scrub away the thoughts and feelings that have stained our hearts. But as we do so, He still calls us His “darling” and His “beautiful one,” and He wants us to come along with Him as we walk toward that promised land that is ripe and full of good things. Let’s go along with Him as He responds to our cries and says, “Come along!”
Blessings – Lisa
You, my friend, are a gifted writer. I am thankful that you have embarked on this journey to share how God, through your amazing counselor and your hard work, is scrubbing you clean. You have made me want to read Song of Solomon again. I know there are many who need these words today! Thank you for sharing them.
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Love the image of the stained commode. God works in mysterious ways, including giving us bathroom images where appropriate. 🙂