Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lousy Thursday

I always refer to the day before Good Friday as Lousy Thursday. No, it's not the same thing as Maundy Thursday.

Lousy Thursday is the day my husband dumped me.

Brandon and I met in a Sunday morning small group at church in Akron. After our first conversation, I called my dad and said, "Dad, I met the guy I'm going to marry." He said, "We'll see about that, Rachel Anne."

We will, indeed.

I pursued Brandon for six months or so while he was completely uninterested in me. I got the "just friends" speech and everything. He was pursuing another girl, but it just never seemed to work out for the two of them. Brandon and I kind of became best friends as he spilled his guts to me over this girl.

What I recall from Lent that year was how I poured my heart into my prayer journal. I don't think I've ever been so dedicated to prayer as I was during that Lenten period. I prayed—over and over again---that God would either take away the feelings I had for Brandon or please let him love me. Either way, I just wanted him to be happy and what was best for both of us. I just wanted God to move it either way so I didn't feel so heartbroken all the time.

I wrote in that prayer journal every day. I prayed those prayers until I ran out of paper.

Then a few weeks before Easter, that girl (who became my friend and is now married to a wonderful man) gave him the ol' heave-ho. It never got serious or anything—they really only had a few dates. So after a few weeks, he finally decided to date me. I was overjoyed! I was ecstatic!

I was dumped in less than a week!

You have to understand that when we started dating, we hadn't so much as sat on the same couch together because I was so hesitant to push the envelope with the man of my dreams. All of a sudden we were crazy lovey-dovey and it was—weird. So I can't say I blame him for what happened next.

The evening before Good Friday, we went for coffee. I remember there was some polka band playing at our coffee shop. I wish I could tell you I was remembering that wrong. B and I decided to go for a walk, and he told me, "I guess I didn't like you the way I thought I liked you."

The sound of my heart breaking had to have been audible.

Lousy Thursday.

We decided to keep our plans for the next day, Good Friday, in the best interest of our friendship. It involved going to East Cleveland to the art museum and out to eat. So we went.

And, to this day, my husband will say it's the best date we've ever had. And we weren't even dating. Didn't even hold hands.

Until we got back to my house. We sat in the driveway and talked for almost two hours. We held hands after a while. He told me he couldn't picture his life without me, and that was scary. He told me that I'd be the first person after college that he could see seriously dating, and when you date people after college, you might marry them. Also scary. He wasn't sure he was ready for that.

We ended our friendship on Easter Sunday after I had him over for a lamb dinner (that I prepared just for us). We didn't talk for two weeks after that because it was too painful for me to try to be his friend. We didn't try dating again for a couple of months—May? June? Somewhere in there. But when we did, it was perfect. It was natural.

We were engaged that September.

We were married the following May.

And he's still the man of my dreams. It's clear God crafted us specifically for one another. He knew just what each of us needed and wanted in a partner.

Sometimes stuff in our lives hurts more than we can possibly comprehend. Whether it's heartbreak or illness or losing someone (which can happen in a lot of ways), life is full of junk we'd rather skip. Pain we'd rather not have to go through. And the Sunday school answer is, "Well, God has a plan." Sometimes we don't like the Sunday school answer. It feels trite and awful.

But you know what? Sometimes I just need the Sunday school answer. I need to believe God has a plan, or I don't know how else I'd get through things. He's shown me on more than one occasion how he answers prayers in his own time but in my best interest. Even when stuff hurts, even when I can't see for years and years how he plans to use the pain in my life, I know he's working behind the scenes, doing more than I can possibly think or imagine.

Who knows? Maybe I had that devoted patience and that heartbreak because someone reading this blog seven years after the fact needs to know that God is listening and working and caring even when he feels a million miles away. I mean, he couldn't possibly understand the pain you're feeling or the things you're going through.

Even though he watched his son die a horrible, violent death on a cross. No, God couldn't possibly understand pain.

He has feelings. Sometimes we forget that. We were made in his image and we have feelings, so God does, too. He feels pain. He feels loss. And we can't forget that he has a plan. Trust that. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says:

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'"

People remember the first part of those verses, but not the second. Yes, God has a plan. But when you're scared or unsure, you need to go to him—pray to him. He will listen. If you go looking for God, you'll find him. He never moves away from us—it's always us moving away from him.

What plans do you need to trust God with today? What heartbreak will you allow him to work on?

He can handle it, I assure you.


  1. Hello,

    I have visited your blog and enjoyed it very much. It has a great inspiration.

    Would you like to visit my weblog which I created about 6 months ago?

    My husband and I are Iranian and live in the UK. We love Jesus and our weblog is mostly about our Lord. Since we are Iranian we have added some Persian topics to the weblog, but you can read and watch English ones.

    My weblog is

    God Bless,


  2. Amen! What a good love story...all the way around! :)

  3. I want to start off this comment by one saying you are so lucky to have such faith, and two I am not trying to argue with you but trying to gain some understanding. "God has a plan"?? Why why why is his plan for us(my husband and I ) to get pregnant and then lose the baby twice? People keep asking me "are you going to try again" and I keep wanting to tell them I think God is sending us a huge message I DON'T WANT YOU TO BECOME PARENTS STOP TRYING I SAID NO!!! I wish you a very happy Easter and if you want to pray for us pray that somehow someway we get our faith back.

  4. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing; you gave me hope

  5. @needsatimeout I wish I had an answer! I'm sorry for the pain you've been through. Why was his plan for my mom to die when I was three? Why should a girl have to live a life without a mom? I don't know. It took about 25 years for God to give me clarity on that issue---and some things we won't understand in this life.

    When you're mad at God, tell him. When you don't understand something and your heart is breaking, tell him. He can comfort you. He can even give you some answers or some direction. But he can't do any of that unless you go to him---seek him with all your heart.

    I will certainly pray for your faith.

  6. Rachel, this is great. Been following you on Twitter for a bit (found you via the #p31shespeaks tag, and I will be there in July!!!) but this is my first visit to your blog. You have a very comfortable way of sharing your story and weaving God's truth through it. Also I grew up in Canton (live in TX now), so I loved hearing you talk about Akron and Cleveland!

    Finally, THANK YOU for sharing the rest of that Jeremiah 29 passage. I love the latter verse more than the one people frequently use. You WILL seek me, and you WILL find me when you seek me with all your heart. When I don't find him, I always know it's time to look for that part of my heart I'm holding back.

    Keep it up. Good to know you better today.

  7. Lately my heart has been breaking at the thought of possibly losing our foster baby girl. No such thing is actually set in stone, but she is going on visits with bio-dad and the thought of possibly losing her, down the road, has been pulling at my heartstrings. I know God has a plan and that she may be taken from us and I know that God is going with her if she does. I pray about this all the time. It's hard to trust, but I am trusting. What I feel is not as important as what I know. I know that God comes through for us. I know that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, and He does :) We serve an amazing God! Without Him, I would have no peace, but I do have peace. Praise Him for that!

  8. Rachel,

    Your posts are always so powerful, and often make me a little misty eyed. You're so strong in your faith and I admire that very much.

    One of the things that really stuck with me from one of my Sunday School classes was how God will answer your prayers with a "yes," a "no," or a "wait." I think your story is a perfect example of how God was asking you to wait. I loved it.

    Oh, and Christian broke up with me once too. For 24 hours. It was the worst 24 hours of my life!

  9. This is such a WONDERFUL story. God gives us what we need when we need it, not a second too soon. My hub & I had a similar story except I was the one who didn't want anything serious...then when it was right, we were inseparable. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. We just started studying the sovereignty of God in our home school this morning. Then I was sitting and listening to Micheal Card (on my Scribbling in the Sand Cd) talking about how God never wastes anything. He uses our pain to bring about great things and mold us into who we are. It is hard to trust when we are there. @needsatimeout--I am praying for you friend! It took us 6 years and a miscarriage to get our first child and it was the most pain I have ever experienced desperately wanting a baby. It is so hard, and so painful. Don't let anyone deny the pain. But remember that there is nothing you are going through that God hasn't experienced Himself. He gave His Son. He watched Him suffer. He did it because He loves you. He does have a plan for you, hold on tight to Him!

  11. Thank you for sharing this heart-warming story. God bless you and yours this Easter.

  12. Rachel, thanks for sharing that. Yes, He can handle anything. I can testify!

  13. @Rachel
    So sorry about what you're going through. We were there with our girls when they were foster too. Such a stressful, unknowing sort of place. May God give you over-and-above all you need to be a blessing to your kiddo, even in the midst of the ups and downs and possible reunification. Sending hugs!

  14. You guys are so sweet! :) That is a great story and somewhat similar to ours. We were friends for about a year before Aaron FINALLY decided to give in!! (I was wearing him down!) I just love how God works things out! :)

  15. Thank you for such a sweet story! It is very hard to know that God has a plan, and it is very hard that he doesn't always consult us on those plans! I've been known to pray "God, I know you have a plan but if you could just give me an idea of what that plan is it would really help me right now." We are so used to being in the driver's seat it's hard to accept that, in all honestly, someone else is completely in control! I remember the heart break of a boyfriend who I thought I would marry moving away, I cried for six weeks! At the end of that six weeks, I met my husband! I can think of time after time that God has worked like that, in my life! GOD IS GOOD! What a beautiful, inspiring, story!

  16. I always love hearing people's "how we met" stories. Thanks for sharing!


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