Therefore, behold, I will allure her (Israel) and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart.
There I will give her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor (Troubling) to be for her a door of hope and expectations. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me Ishi (My Husband), and you shall no more call Me baali (my baal).
For I will take away the names of the baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned or seriously remembered by their name. Hosea 2: 15-17
Today, looking out over the frozen tundra that is my front yard, I am reminded that God has MORE for us. Greater expectations, truer hope, than we could possibly have for ourselves. Hosea 2:15-17 illustrates this truth powerfully.
You want to hear a little secret? I am a blessed woman, and I am grateful. God has brought healing and abundance into my life in so many areas, and I am grateful. Yet, to this day, anyone who really knows me will tell you that I have a husband-shaped hole in my heart. That’s right, I admit it: I dearly wish that I were married to the love of my life. Don’t get me wrong—I love my life, and the amazing family and friends in my life—but in the midst of the joy and freedom of my single life, I still struggle with my unexpected marital status. And not being married, even years after having weathered a devastating divorce, can still bring me down from time to time.
I live under grace, under forgiveness, and in the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, daily, (sometimes minute-by-minute!), and I am grateful. And God has my heart, my soul, my mind, and everything else that comes with the package that is Catherine! And yet, as He very well knows, from time to time, I do indeed suffer from what I’ve come to call the occasional bout of Man Sadness. Many is the time I’ve called a friend to share that I’m struggling with feeling Man Sad—and they know all about it!
But I’d love to share another little secret with you about this area in my life. Lately, the Living Lord Jesus Christ has peeled backed this veil a little more and shown me surprising joy in the midst of my singleness. He has reminded me that I am precious, and that I am indeed NOT alone, and that I DO have a husband! He has lured me into the wilderness of loneliness, into my own valley of trouble, and given me enough time to stop looking within, and to look up—to Him. And He has blessed me in a deeper way with a sense of His presence. He has blessed me by revealing the wonderful truth of His Lordship in my life in a new way: by reminding me that He is my Ishi.
Such a great gift comes with a responsibility. It is my job to love my Ishi, to listen to His tender words of love as He speaks to me, to make room for Him. Making room for my Ishi requires me to stop listening to the voices of the false gods in my life, and to ‘stop mentioning or seriously remembering’ the losses that came before.
So here is my gift to you on this chilly February morning: know that you are loved. Know that as you struggle through your own Valley of Troubling, that God is waiting to transform your journey into one of hope and great expectations. Take His hand through the valley, look up to Him and find yourIshi.
Catherine & Ishi