Affairs can be used by God to take us deeply into the deserts of our hearts. Emerging from those deserts we may find ourselves more deeply surrendered to him. According to James Houston in The Heart's Desire here are some possible deserts we face:
For the perfectionist, there is the desert of imperfection where we have to face up to our own weaknesses and let God alone give us humility to face and work through them.
For the giver, there is the desert of inadequacy, where we face the flight from our own sinfulness. We too are in need of help from others and above all from God.
The doer is lured into the desert of uselessness, where we seem to get nowhere, where we face up to the need to become a powerless child of God.
The idealist who has assumed romantically that life will be interpreted and identity given merely by artistic creativity is placed in the desert of ordinariness.
Similarly, the controller ends up in the desert of weakness, and is made vulnerable to the threat of the chaotic in a wholly new way.
The observer or scholar is placed in the desert of solitude until the inner loneliness that substituted ideas for relationships has been confronted.
The rigid or loyal maintainer of the status quo, afraid of change, is placed in a desert of flux that appears as disorienting as sand flying in the desert winds.
The fun lover who fears suffering and pain will wander in the desert of desolation, where for a time life is dominated by pain.
The pleaser or peace-maker needs freedom in the desert storms, where survival requires confrontation with reality, and refuge lies only in God, learning to speak the truth becomes a terrible risk that has to be taken.
What are your 'strengths' you've used to shield your heart and what will be your desert?