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Hope for the Battle Weary

May 16, 2019

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Do you ever worry that all of your hard times and suffering will be for nothing? That all of this pain you keep trying to press through is completely and utterly pointless?

I deeply understand that kind of fear and fatigue. What it’s like to pray the same prayers over and over with little to no change, all while the disappointments linger on and on.

That’s why I wish I could give you a gift today. It’s actually one that I received myself in the middle of the most heartbreaking season of my marriage.

When Art and I realized our marriage wasn’t going to make any progress without some professional help, we started seeing an amazing counselor. We spent more than seventy-five hours in his office. It was all with the understanding that we were on the same page and moving ahead together. All the devastation would be repaired and restored and made right.

But during one of our sessions, my counselor knew we were going to leave his office and walk into one of the fiercest seasons of this battle. He took a professionally done frame off his office wall and tore the backing to open it. He pulled out a real purple heart. The high honor the government had given to his family when his brother-in-law was killed in the line of duty trying to save others.

Then he knelt in front of us and placed this priceless medal in my hand.

“Hold on to this, Lysa, for as long as you need it. When the battle gets so fierce you wonder if you will survive, remember this moment of my telling you that you will make it through this. If God gave out purple hearts, you would absolutely receive this high honor. What you are going through won’t be for nothing. Your hurt will not be wasted. It will be for the saving of many lives.”

I looked down at this beautifully outrageous gift, speechless. The moment stole all my words, and I had nothing to offer back to him but tears. I mouthed the words “thank you.” I felt brave that day.

Less than a month after we returned home from that counseling appointment, my heart was devastated again.

I couldn’t breathe. The medal was the only physical thing I felt I could hold on to when every bit of my life was flying around as shattered debris. I had thought we were almost done with that horrific season, and then I realized we hadn’t even started the healing.

And while that purple heart couldn’t heal me, it sure steadied me for the next two years as Art and I did the hard work to put our marriage back together again.

I want to be that friend who helps steady you today, sweet friend. Because I know what it’s like to feel battle weary.

I am sure Joseph, the man who spoke the words of our key verse, was also familiar with feelings of discouragement and fatigue. How could you be thrown into a pit by family, sold into slavery, and then unfairly imprisoned without wondering if any good could ever come of your story?

But God had a plan. From pit to palace, Joseph was positioned to spare not only the lives of his family, but the entire nation of Israel. This is why his words to his brothers in Genesis 50:20 are such a beautiful picture of redemption and hope, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

God has a plan for your life too. The enemy is going to try to trip you and rip you to shreds with the hurtful hisses that all of this suffering is for nothing. Don’t you dare listen.

I’m holding a purple heart in my hand that tells me something different. And it’s not just for me. It’s for you too. I knew it the minute the counselor put it in my hand, it should be pinned on your chest too. And if you were here with me today, I’d do just that. I would remind you that your story, surrendered into the hands of God, will not be wasted.

Close your eyes and breathe. You’re brave and beautiful and handpicked. A decorated soldier in this horrible battle with a glorious ending. I’m declaring over you that the Lord will restore you, redeem you, and write His glorious story onto the pages of your life. The journey might not look anything like you planned, but I’m believing with you that God is working things out in ways you cannot yet see.

Lord, I’m so thankful to know that there isn’t a single thing the enemy can send my way that You can’t overcome… that You can’t redeem… that You can’t use for my good and for the good of others. I’m choosing to surrender every heartache and every difficult circumstance into Your loving and mighty hands. Amen.

Life is full of battles. But we don’t want you to face them alone. At Proverbs 31 Ministries, we want to help you connect your heart to God’s through the Truth of His Word with our daily devotions, First 5 app, online Bible studies, and other resources. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us so that we can continue offering hope and Truth to you and women all over the world? You can give to Proverbs 31 Ministries HERE today. Because we truly believe that when we know the Truth and live the Truth, it changes everything.

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  1. Pat mccurry

    thanks for todays reading.I really needed it.I have been going thru battles with family a lot of years but on Jan 12 I entered into the biggest battle of all I 57 year old son Jerrya nd I share a house and on thet night it sound like our living room floor was going to fallin so we hurriedly shut things off and came to a motel and here we still are,the power company wont turn power back on till floors fixed and we have run into roadblock after roadblock b0th of us have been back and forth to hospital and all but the floor in now in the process of being fixed and hopefully we will be back in our home withintwo weeks,PTL the man who works city doesn’t like us and if osmone else hd attempted to fix it I don’t think he would have passed it.the man doing work now does a lot of work for the city so he can smoothe out thinnkgs with the inspector Pray we both get well and abck home soon.and thanks again for the reading

  2. Andrea

    Thank you Lysa for the wonderful words of encouragement I really needed them today. My family and I are going through so much and it seems the enemy attacks at every turn. I have recently lost my job and that in turn has led to us losing our only transportation and our health insurance when my daughters needed it the most. Every time you think you might see a little light in the darkness you get knocked down again. God Bless you.

  3. Elaine Jones

    I feel totally alone and helpless. My husband left and our divorce will be final on May 28th. I projected all of my hurt and anger onto him , unresolved from years of pent up anger and bitterness. He left. I would leave me if I could. I have begged with God to soften his heart so that we can work on healing but there is nothing I can say or do that will change is mind. My heart knows that on May 28th I will lose the one the Lord gave me. I blew it. I totally don’t understand and I sure don’t see how I can be used by the Lord in any way, shape or form. I am a nurse, a nobody in the grand scheme of things. I am not an international speaker or anything. I struggle to get through each day. I was raised in church. I know all the church lines but my heart hurts so badly. I know that in time (I hope) I can look back and know this was worth it and that I will be ever so thankful for the changes in my life.

  4. Nellie McGeehen

    I am so tired of the battle. Thank you for the encouragement.

  5. Kay

    This is just what I needed today. I am sleeping with my grandfathers’ WW1 Victory medal by my bed. The back says victory over the greatest war. I am claiming victory in Christ over what feels like the lowest point in my life. This earthly war I battle everyday, Christ has already won.

  6. dawn

    i have had acts 7 8&9 typed and on my kitchen cupboard for over 5 years, at the end of one set of battles heading into the next set (that have continued for the last 5 years) .. i cling to ‘and he delivered him from e.v.e.r.y. affliction’ !! every .. i picked up your book ‘uninvited’ on sunday and am fervently reading through it .. relating to so much of it .. it would seem we all have battles ..

  7. Teresa

    God bless you, Lysa. Even with heartbreak in your life, you encourage us in ways that will all be revealed when we’re all with Jesus. I cant wait to meet you! ❤

  8. Trisha

    Lysa, I’m so broken that I barely have words to express this 2 year journey I’ve been on. I can’t see and I am failing miserably. I prayed a prayer of praise from Exodus and Psalm 51….seeking His presence and holding on to hope. You’re helping me do that. My story is long and filled with change, rejection, and loss. I’m trying to overcome but I can’t seem to find my way out. I just pray someday I will see His purpose unfold in my life.

  9. Ellie

    This really encouraged me…a lot. Lysa, don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but just want to let you know, you’re one of my biggest heroes. I have read Uninvited and am working through Its Not Supposed To Be Thus Way. You are a strong, beautiful woman and you have lifted up my heart tremendously! I sincerely desire to meet you in person one day…💜💚💙

  10. Lois Rindlisbacher

    isa did you and Art get back together. I thought he had divorced you. How wonderful if that is the case.

  11. Shelly

    Hi Lysa, Appreciated the analogy of the Purple Heart. 3 years ago I went through a devastating separation and unwanted divorce. My children are still suffering from choices that my x-spouse has made. Life has been hard, but God is good. Thank you for reminding me even though this is not what I had planned that God has a purpose in this. I needed that verse today and I hold onto Isaiah of Yahweh being my husband and provider. Thank you for reminding me that He holds my hand. Blessings!
    Shelly Marie

  12. CarlaB

    Thank you for your transparency. I picked up your book “Uninvited,” I almost didn’t buy it. I walked around the store, holding it and going through the pages. This book has hit me to my core, each chapter I can relate to and brings me to tears. It has opened my soul to see me for who I am. This book is helping to get to the point of being unstuck. You help organize my thoughts. I could not think about what I am going through with the right words. Thank you again. This book has been cleansing, gut-wrenching, and right on time. Blessings to you!

  13. Janev Clayton

    Thank You So Much
    Such an encouragement. It has come at a very timely season for me.
    Where I am asking the Lord how I can live in the fullness of all he has for me,
    My marriage, My children, My friendships and relationships.
    And how to release others by inhabiting who I am.

  14. Holly

    I’m in a foreign land, my husband has betrayed me, continues in it, won’t let me and my children return home, has taken control over all finances, and my children are a mess do to the many years of narcissistic abuse….But your words give me encouragement to trust that God has a plan to rescue me. When I wake up tomorrow, instead of crying about my situation wondering how I will ever get out, I will think of that Purple Heart. Thanks.

  15. Anonymous

    Hi Lysa,

    Just wanted to thank you for what you have allowed the Lord to use to minister to so many around you. I ordered your newest book last week, and you would not believe how the Lord has ministered to my soul through it. A life-altering moment came into my life that left me feeling like I could not breathe. Nothing made sense, and even worse the tears streamed and would not stop. I spent the evening in tears, and looked at your book, with its title, and truly smiled because it was the perfect fit. All I was thinking is “It’s not supposed to be this way!” And yet, through your book I have been so ministered to. While I am not going through a divorce, the hurt caused by people I trusted, the people that are supposed to be there as support and encouragement engulfed me as did the pain of how God’s plan did not fit the picturesque plan that I had in mind. I’ve been fighting the hurt every morning I awake. I’m fearful to face the people that hurt me, because honestly, there is nothing I can do, and the situation is truly out of my control because I know God has a purpose in it. This post here that you shared, truly uplifted and encouraged my spirit. It is like a sweet aroma, and I know that the Lord will continue to help me through this battle through your book. Thank you so much!

  16. Eleanor Mijumbi

    Oh how you have blessed my heart Lysa. I pray one day i will meet you and let you know in person how much. I recently watched one of your interviews and i was blown away at how similar our situations and timelines were, the difference is that your marriage was restored mine is not yet. I was reminded to keep the hope and allow God’s will to be done and not force my will on God. Because at the end of it all His will is way better than ours. I am working on getting your book “it’s not supposed to be this way.” God bless you abundantly, your family and your ministry.

  17. Daughter

    I came to your blog to remember this part of your journey that I had heard you share.. maybe on a podcast or some video. My husband of 20 years had an affair that I discovered almost a year ago, though honestly *I knew* in the months leading up to that and I recall you saying in your journey that you have a very discerning spirit but the lack of details made you feel crazy. Same, girl, same! It took about a month for him to have a softening of his heart to try marriage counseling with a Christian counselor who seemed to understand what we needed to do to heal our marriage. It was slow-going, partially because no matter how many times I told him that I needed him to say “I want to be with you forever” he would not say these words. He would treat me and our 4 children so kindly like before but I could never feel secure that he really still wanted me, and I really really wanted to feel like this could never happen again.
    When you told this story about Art and you after one year how it all exploded when you thought healing was on the way…. I admit that I thought whew I’m so glad that my husband and I are on our way and that husband is sorry and willing to do what is needed to repair our marriage, with me- it will take us a year to a year and a half, tops.
    Within the last month, I started to see the signs of trouble. He started nitpicking at me and I couldn’t do anything right in his eyes and he was generally dissatisfied. He started leaving to go on walks or take our little one to the park for hours. I picked up his phone one night and saw what I needed to see. I can’t even describe the complete devastation. He was defensive and then proceeded to write me an email telling me all the things that I have done wrong and justify all the reasons he has had affairs. Now he is just walking around our house and life acting like everything is okay even though he is having an affair!!- our kids don’t know, our families don’t know, our friends don’t know. All of these people would be shocked and devastated to know this. This is not the person I married and this is not the husband I had 3-5 years ago. I never in a billion years thought he would do this. I’m considering asking him to move out. It’s really hard to just carry on with my life and taking care of my kids (including one who is severely disabled). We built this life together over the past two decades which is our whole adult lives. I’m so scared about my future. I thought I had this future planned with our adult children and our grandkids and our travels and and and…. And now it’s just shattered into a million pieces. I don’t know how to do life without him but I also don’t want to do another day with this version of him. The grief is like no other. I have had hard times in my life, my family growing up was/is a mess. Nothing compares to this pain- he was the only human being that I have trusted. Thank you for your writing and openness… maybe I can find some hope that my life can be okay again someday- I am watching you and praying that we can get a miracle. Right now it is very hard to see that light and to stay afloat.

  18. Kay Bradley

    I don’t know if I’ll ever fully be able to put into words the situation I have found myself in over the last year. It has been a nightmare that doesn’t seem to end. I am trying to follow God’s plan for my life, but am in a season of silence.

    A year ago I was on staff at a church as their preschool director. I was accused of having feeling for a co-worker who was the family pastor. He and I were very close friends, but nothing inappropriate EVER happened. After denying these feelings, I was not believed and treated with disrespect. My work environment became hostile and I ended up resigning promising myself I would never work in ministry again.

    Fast forward. Present day. I have been called back to ministry at another church. I am in the process of getting a divorce. I have lost several friends because they didn’t want to be involved in the rumors that had been started and continue. The family pastor is also divorced. He has completely ignored the fact that we were friends and is completely out of my life.

    I feel in a state of betrayal. I’m hurt and lonely and questioning everything about my past and no hope for my future. I want to run and hide. My kids are struggling. My daughter questions her gender. My son is having tantrums and biting himself.

    I don’t even know how to pray anymore. Looking for advice, but also wanted to say thank you for your work. Because of your calling, I have been encouraged on very dark days.

  19. Sandy

    I read this today as I continue to journey a too-long season of hurt and confusion in my marriage. Second marriage, almost 20 years. We are both believers and attend church regularly…our pastor is a strong leader. He is aware of some of our issues, but my husband lacks true self awareness and feels he is doing just great. We rarely talk (like I am talking to myself much of the time), or he assumes I want to argue so walks away, little to no affection, we do not share many of the same interests, it is like I do not exist or just on the periphery. Yet he will do most anything for others, things I wish he would do for me. Though others in our small circle do see the struggles. Several years ago he stopped attending church for a period because of the things he was doing. He eventually went back and most of those behaviors stopped, but true confession was never offered. I’m retired and stay pretty busy with Bible study, volunteering, grandkids and friends. But this isn’t what I hoped for during this stage of life, and trust has been violated numerous times. But my question is, how do I deal with the internal pain when I know I can’t always be running to friends for prayer and a listening ear. They’re human and love the Lord but are weary of hearing my heart…so I mostly hold it in. And I don’t want this difficult season to define me. We’ve tried counseling to no avail. It is hard to work on marital healing as a party of one. Thanks for listening to my heart…
    I wish God gave 💜

  20. Tammy

    Thank you for this. I was lead to this reading and scripture for a reason. God is so awesome
    And worthy to be praises

  21. Renee Pearl

    What happened to your/my marriage is so unfair. How do I get past the unfair and move forward? How do I say grace is for him too? He gets God’s grace for all he did, I know he does and yet my heart screams “it’s not fair!” I don’t sense his “tortured pleasure” from his affair. I sense his forgive and forget mentality and “come on, let’s move forward.” I lose hope in reconciling the unfairness of it all when I can’t see a way. There is no way to make it fair and if I haven’t accepted it being unfair by now maybe I won’t be able to.

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