Every once and a while, I receive an email about purchasing unclaimed luggage. While some people may enjoy the mystery and surprise of purchasing and opening some strangers’ abandoned luggage, I find it very unappealing. I’m not a risk taker.
Sometimes we cannot avoid the risk no matter how safe we play things or how secure we believe we are. Marriages, even when centered and rooted in Christ, are a risk. Why? John 10:10 says, “The thief (the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The devil will find cracks in your marriage, in your job, and in your life to enter and begin his destruction.
I thought my marriage was safe. We laughed, loved, and were meant to be together- until we weren’t. More and more, I found myself alone while he became angrier and colder. At times I felt like a prisoner in my home, and at other times, like a ghost.
When he finally went to my father and asked him to tell me he wanted a divorce, I felt abandoned, betrayed, bewildered, and destroyed. We went through a very dark separation and a very contentious divorce. Even when it was over, his rage knew no limit or bounds.
Over the years, I have dealt with my anger, and I am still here through only the Grace of God. The depression, the anxiety, and the desire for vengeance took me to dark places, places that looked and felt like the main street of hell. The only reason I made it through was knowing that Jesus walked with me.
Still, I felt like a piece of discarded, unclaimed luggage.
As I looked around, I saw other marriages being restored. People worked out their differences, gave their hearts back to God, gave their marriages back to God, and they testified of the power of God.
I prayed. I got on my face before Jesus. I prayed scripture over my marriage, begging God to restore my marriage- to save my ex-husband, to put this family back together so our children would have both parents and a healed home. And when the praying didn’t work, I screamed and begged.
I was still a discarded, unclaimed piece of luggage.
Then my prayers changed. I prayed for someone to find me, to see me, wondering if God was angry with me. Restoration was coming- not for my marriage, but restoration for the relationship between God and me. In the meantime, I wondered where God was and why His plan had to include me being alone.
I wondered if God was angry at me like my ex. I wondered if He forgot about me, like my ex.
You, Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
Why do you always forget us?
Why do you forsake us so long?
Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
renew our days as of old
unless you have utterly rejected us
and are angry with us beyond measure.
You see, God found me- He never lost me. Matthew 10:29-30 says He knows the number of hairs on my head. Psalm 139:13-18 says He knew me from the very beginning. God knows my relationship with Him, my heart, my name, my thoughts, my worries- He knows everything about me. And He knew where to find me when I felt discarded and unclaimed.
I was the lost sheep- He left the 99 to find me and claim me as His. He never stopped searching, never stopped running after me, never stopped waiting with open arms for the prodigal daughter, never stopped letting me know how much I was loved and valued. All of this, even though in my heart, I felt discarded.
He claimed me as His when the darkness tried to claim my life. His light pierced the darkness.
He claimed me when the Atlantic Ocean tried to claim my life. He plucked me from the ocean with His Hand.
He has never disowned me or said He has had enough of me. His mercies are new every morning.
That’s how much He loves me. And you.
Through our hurt, abandonment, betrayals, and pain- through the walk we take down the main street of hell, He never leaves us unclaimed.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
He is still writing your story.
You are not an unclaimed piece of luggage.
You are His and He will never forsake you.