So many women, so many stories. A year of very high highs and very low lows. Not just in my story, but in the lives of those still walking the valley bottoms, hoping there is light somewhere ahead and the valley will not be endless, full of more and more hurt.
I have spoken and prayed with women who have wondered if God will ever answer their prayers as He has other people’s. They hear me speak of the reality of freedom from fear, trusting God with the unknown, facing my giants, and creating healthy boundaries that allow me to live with others and for God with a renewed sense of purpose. I can hear in their voices and see in their faces that they want that, but just cannot begin to believe it if for THEM as it has been for me.
They use words like:
- “What if I try what you have done and NOTHING CHANGES?”
- “You just don’t understand how BROKEN I am/ how MESSED UP I am/ the things I have DONE.”
- “Maybe I DESERVED what I got.”
They believe they are the exception to God’s rule, have slipped through His fingers, and been forgotten, all while God carried others forward to that dream of wholeness and healing from the past. How can THEIR mess be changed or used by God as in other people’s lives?
Most of the stories in the Word of God are people on journeys from a hard thing, through hard things, to harder things. They believed God and His Word, but the journey still included trials, loss, hurt, and rejection. They also cried out for relief, deliverance, and answers. Sometimes God was quick to intervene. Sometimes God waited and then intervened. Others times God allowed them to endure long and then revealed His plan and gave them hope that His answers were coming, but maybe they would not yet be alive when they came.
What I have learned walking through from my darkest moments to this moment of hope in the God who has never left me, is that the trial is not endless, God is in charge, and God sustains. He is working a plan to save all people, not just bring me relief in this situation I currently face. He is not a “bandaid” God. He is a “heart and mind transplant” God. He is doing a work in and through me to not only change the SITUATION I face, but also change ME so I see Him and the situation through HIS eyes and how He is working it FOR my good and His glory. This requires faith on my part to allow Him to work in me, to change those around me, and make beauty from my ashes.
If you were to pull a caterpillar in the chrysalis out before it was ready or help a baby bird out of the shell they were struggling to escape, you would short-circuit the process they need to actually live their life as God created them to. Now if He cares that much about how a baby bird and a butterfly become what He made them to be, do you not think that He can transform what seems too broken or impossible in your life to make you what He intended for you to be?
You need to stop looking at the process He is working in other people’s lives and comparing it to what He is up to in yours. He knows that the process to healing and wholeness is painful, hard, and endless.
HOW can He know?
Jesus was born as a babe in a manger – the God of the world was born and laid in a feeding trough in a dark, cold cave. He faced life where it was too cold or hot, his stomach growled, and he was bone-tired. He lived in a messy earthly family, with a meddling momma and a daddy who was gone too soon, leaving Him to care for her and his younger siblings. He was misunderstood by family, friends, and finally the religious leaders and Rome. His heart ached at the sickness and disease all around Him. He was betrayed, beaten with a body dripping with skin and blood, and then hung on a cross where He suffocated and felt more excruciating pain – as if He was a criminal. Then the very Father he entrusted Himself to had to turn His back on Him as He bore OUR sin and the sin of the WORLD. And right before He died there, He cried “IT IS FINISHED!”
What was finished? The payment for sin, the power of the curse of sin, the work it takes to make broken people new, to restore what was lost in the Garden with a bite of forbidden fruit. A way was made back to the Father through His Son’s blood shed for you and me. This is how I know he understands what I have lived through, what has been done to me and said to me, and ALL the collateral damage that has flowed from it to this very moment. It cost Him His very Son – His BELOVED Son in whom He was well-pleased.
After thousands of years giving law and prophecy, Jesus fulfilled them all at the end of His thirty years of earthly life – by dying on a cross and rising from the dead. Jesus for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and SAT DOWN at the right hand of the Father. He now works to intercede for you before the Father, knowing your past, knowing your mess, caring about your hurt, and working it all for your good, drawing others to Himself as He remakes you into HIS image, readying you for heaven.
Jesus has graciously moved me on in this very long journey, where I too once believed He had left me alone, without hope or answers, deep in the valley, trapped in my hurt. I now see His sacrifice FOR me to set me free from what Satan intended for my harm, hoping it could separate me from my God and Savior. Now I see His hand working and trust Him to continue what He started from that revelation to the present.
How, you may ask?
He is bringing hurting women – like YOU – to me with a very clear message that shines His light of hope and truth into their darkness, calling me to reach my hand to them, encouraging them to believe that no one is too broken for Him, helping them see that His ways and timing are always good and right – even for them.
I KNOW He is working currently making beauty from YOUR ashes, even in your darkest valley, because He was in mine even when I could not see it. Are YOU ready to trust Him and believe that you are not too broken to be whole and healed by Him?
I ask you to take my hand, walk with me, and I will show you the new path God has for YOU. Together we will discover what the Lord has been working in you through the valley, showing you how to live free from the past, with hope for who He made YOU to become in Him.