James and Kyla seemed like the perfect couple. He was a successful architect. She was an ophthalmologist who put her career on hold to raise their children. They had a nice house in the suburbs and appeared to have a wonderful marriage.
But when Kyla first came to me for a counseling session, she told me they were near divorce. She had fallen out of love with James, who seemed to value his work more than he valued her. He worked long hours. She felt disconnected from him.
At the same time, James felt tremendous pressure at work because he was the family’s sole provider. He worked hard because Kyla always pressured him about family finances. At one point, without asking him, she even borrowed money from her parents to pay off a school loan. James felt betrayed.
Like many of us, James and Kyla began marriage with lofty expectations, but the realities of life hit them hard. They lost touch with each other. Their lives became chaotic and lonely. Their hearts became deeply and severely broken, and their behavior reflected those wounds.
People who become brokenhearted always feel alone—like no one can understand or relate. And yet James and Kyla aren’t the only brokenhearted people in the world. We’ve all felt the sting of hopelessness and despair.
We’ve known the death of a loved one, and asked God for answers.
We’ve known sickness and disease, and questioned “Why me?”
We’ve struggled with money, and wondered if we’d ever turn the corner.
We’ve seen our dreams die, and when our dreams die, our hearts break.
Why do some pains hurt us so deeply? It’s because our deepest wounds are felt where they meet with our greatest gifting. “Show me a man’s wounds,” someone once told me, “and I’ll show you his purpose.”
Whenever Satan sees someone born with a unique talent or ability, he instinctively understands that God must have a special purpose in mind for that person—and he goes on the attack.
Why does God allow this pain? It’s to prepare us for His purpose.
God has a dream for your life, and he has a dream for mine. Realized dreams are almost always the product of gifts and wounds working together in the human heart. God uses both to make us into what he wants us to become.
That’s why the early struggles in our marriage resulted in Karen and I having a marriage ministry—because God redeemed our marriage. He turned our wounds into hope. He uses our past to help hurting couples build a bright future.
It’s through brokenness that we are forced to admit our inability to make it on our own. That’s where we see our need for Jesus. The apostle Paul put it best in 2 Cor. 12:10—“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
God saved James and Kyla’s marriage. They are still together. Their marriage is growing stronger, and someday God will use their wounds to help others.
What plans does God have for your scars? You’ll find out when you give Him your brokenness.