Because of a bad decision, a sin I committed at the age of 15, I lived many years dealing with the consequences. I also lived believing God was angry with me and had no true purpose for my life. I lived my life wanting to serve Him and did so in hopes of gaining His approval. Wanting His love. But never feeling worthy. I felt my life could not be used because of my sins. My past haunted me daily.
Almost six years ago I embarked on a journey down a very dark path that drew me closer to Jesus. As I was cast out by a church and turned away by friends and family, I learned what following Jesus truly meant. I learned how to listen to His voice and follow His leading. For the first time, I embraced His love and understood and accepted His grace.
When you make a choice to go against the beliefs and advice of others and hold fast to what you know to be true, you expose yourself to great challenges. Defying another, especially a pastor, leaves you vulnerable to enormous ridicule and loneliness. When you make a choice to follow the Holy Spirit as He leads, you don’t always win the favor of those around you.
That was me. I had spent hours and hours upon my knees in prayer. Praying for so many things. Looking for answers. Looking for change. When the Spirit began moving in my life and I stood up against those who attempted to manipulate me into following their voice, I faced severe consequence. But those consequences changed my life forever and grew my faith in ways I never thought possible.
I was left totally on my own. My church, my friends and certain family abandoned me. They cast me aside. At the time, it was devastating. It was heartbreaking. But now it has become one of the greatest blessings and lessons in my life.
God taught me to trust Him in all things. Even when it seemed all hope was lost and I felt like I was sinking, He was there.
When you are dealing with storms, often through the darkness, God parts the clouds and gives you a beautiful glimpse of His love. In dark moments He reveals to you those things or people in your life you need to separate yourself from but also those you need to pull closer. He provides when all hope feels lost and emptiness is overwhelming. I experienced those moments. They became precious and intimate gifts from my Heavenly Daddy as He made His presence known in my life.
When the gossip spread that I was running from God, having an affair, and had walked away from my faith, He intervened and revealed Himself in mighty ways. From simple messages from those who loved me to finding bags of groceries at my front door, His presence was undeniable. From each verbal attack from those who questioned my character and made me doubt myself, God spoke into my heart and reminded me I was His and He had great plans for me. Though others walked away, His presence never left me. His arms were always there to hold me up as He embraced me with His love.
The past couple of years have been amazing. God has blessed and provided for my children and me in more ways than I can write in one post. But this Christmas He sent me a precious reminder. Many months ago, my daughter broke something of mine that was very special to me. It was something from my previous life that held a significant place in my heart. It had served as a reminder of God's faithfulness through my trials and storms. The day it broke, my heart shattered. But God.
On December 1, 2012 God gave me the most wonderful blessing I had had in many years. He gave me my husband. Some know our story, others have formulated their own version but to summarize, we were two broken people, God redeemed and gave to one another. My husband is my dream come true. This Christmas God used him to remind me of His restoring love.
Unbeknownst to me, but not my boys, my husband had collected the pieces of my broken angel and was determined to repair the damage. He spent months gluing back the many broken pieces. Each time I left the house (which was rare) he would pull out those pieces working to repair what I had lost. Behind the scenes he worked to restore the brokenness.
On Christmas morning, as I pulled the angel out of the bright red bag, overwhelming joy flooded my heart. As I took it all in my mind immediately went to the love of my Heavenly Daddy. For years my shattered heart laid a broken mess. Broken and unraveled, I needed fixing.
But God. He scooped up all my broken pieces and one by one began putting them back together. It took time allowing for the “glue” to dry. It took great precision as each piece now fit a little differently. And some were no longer needed. Things didn’t go back the way they had once been but instead fit together in a new and more beautiful way.
He took the entire broken and shattered mess I had become and turned it into a masterpiece that became a display of His restoring love and grace. A magnificent portrait of His faithfulness. Just as my husband restored my angel.
My husband is a beautiful reflection and reminder of God’s love and faithfulness. His love is something I have never experienced. Each day because of his love for me, I get a taste of how my Heavenly Daddy loves me. So complete and selfless.
I look at my life and see what others do not. Many feel pity for my children and sadness for what we’ve endured. Heavy hearted because they come from a broken home. But God has shown me something different. Each time my children smile and laugh, I am reminded that God restored our broken home. He put together all the broken pieces of our lives and gave us something beautiful. A home full of love. A home where He is welcome. He took our shattered broken mess and turned it into a extravagant tapestry of His love and grace.
How enduring is God’s loyal love;
the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.
Here they are, every morning new!
Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.
Have courage, for the Eternal is all that I will need.
My soul boasts, “Hope in God; just wait.”
It is good, The Eternal One is good to those who expect Him,
to those who seek Him wholeheartedly.
It is good to wait quietly
for the Eternal to make things right again.