“This can’t be God’s plan for me, can it?”

But it just may be God’s perfectly designed will and plan!

Our biggest enemy can be ourselves, fighting against the very thing God is using to change us, our spouse, and our marriage.

Jonah ran from God and was swallowed by a whale. Can you say UNCOMFORTABLE? Most of us don’t realize that God sent that whale!

How many of us have spouses who are in great disobedience and rebellion to God’s will, plan, and purpose for their life? Eventually, they will be swallowed by the whale, if they haven’t yet!

It’s not easy watching someone you love get swallowed up into darkness (sin) and taken out into the depths of the sea over their heads (entering into a season of a rebellious life). What was worse was when I got a glimpse of what was in that whale’s belly. It was NO PLACE for me! YUCK. Full of SIN’S STENCH. This discouraged me and overwhelmed me. I thought, ‘no way was my husband ever going to get free from this.’

And what really hurt deeply was… he was ENJOYING it in there! Sin for the rebellious and the lawless is pleasurable and intoxicating. Like an addiction, they can’t get enough. We watch as they fall deeper and deeper into this and all traces of the spouse we once knew and loved disappears and is replaced by a person encased in darkness. Rebellion, excuses, and blame are their companions.

My instinct to rescue and save was hard to overcome. I became more determined to save my husband. Many times I tried to wrestle that whale’s mouth open to SAVE my husband. No amount of praying and pleading with God was going to get that whale to spit him out. I think I tried to climb in there too. I prayed endlessly without ceasing, I begged God, and I fought the devil in warfare. Not getting any results and watching things get worse, I took matters into my own hands and did what I could.

I exhausted myself. I could not sleep, and I could no longer recognize myself or the person I had become. I had gotten sucked down into the deep darkness of the sea and was drowning. Being out at sea felt so lonely and dark, and I wondered where God was. I was angry and blamed God. I was hurt by everything that was happening in my life. It seemed that the two most important people in my life — God and my husband — had abandoned me. I failed to TRUST God and allow this season inside the whale’s belly to SERVE ITS PURPOSE.

When I finally gave up that’s when I truly surrendered because I saw no other way or possibility. I had prayed every prayer, screamed every scream, shed every tear, and was now on repeat. I had nothing left to do but give up. And that is when God lifted me from the dark sea and placed me on the shore.

Thank You, Heavenly Father for everything You do has a perfect purpose.

And if we just sit back for a moment and trust You, You are most likely going to share with us exactly what’s going on.

The whale was a GOOD THING! It had a real purpose to teach our spouse a very valuable lesson in life: to allow them to experience what they secretly harbored in their hearts and thought they wanted. When someone is enticed by sin and doesn’t find it repulsive, they can fight it, but it will eventually be exposed and dealt with. For some, that means it has to be experienced.

While my husband was being worked on in the belly, I was being worked on from the shore. And this is really the best place for us. To be kept safe and to find the peace and comfort of God. While we allow this season for our spouse to happen, embrace God and fall in LOVE. Let Him become your everything — your Spouse, your Rock, and your Security. Embrace Him and trust Him to take care of your spouse.

Not only is God in control of sending the whale to swallow our spouses, and to know how long they will be kept in there, He also controls WHEN they will be spat out.

It may seem like your spouse is running FREE, having the time of their life and will never change. Don’t worry! It’s all part of the Master’s BELLY PLAN!!!

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger