After a much needed season of rest, reflection and regrouping, not to mention settling into a new life in a new country and a new job, I’m finally ready to process all the interesting emotions I faced when the Lord asked me to surrender all of my plans to Him.
I know my friends and family have not been kept in the loop as often as I would like, but this season has not been about updates or posts and touristy blogs…I’ve had to intentionally step away from having my private life be public. And you know what, I’ve enjoyed it so much. The decision to pack up and leave my home country was not an easy decision, but I was serious, and so was God. I’m continually praying about it, and waiting on the Lord for direction, but this decision in faith wasn’t meant to be temporary, I wanted to go ALL IN, and so here I am, living life in a way I never imagined, proclaiming God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life and thanking Him for answered prayers.
In 2011, I went through a very public divorce in a small town “bible-belt” community. My world came crashing down and yet, it all came together. I get it, this was the season of turnaround, the season where I would tangibly feel the presence of the Lord in my life like never before, and unfortunately I had an audience; this was one of the most difficult times in my life, yet the most precious. I finally understood and felt so much of God’s grace in my life. I don’t need to get into the details of the situation, or the relationship, but it was messy. Through the experience of rejection, betrayal and deceit in my relationship, I came to understand acceptance, love, and pursuit of my Heavenly Father. This is my story, and I will give Him praise through it all.
The very same year I started attending a small church close to home, and this church family introduced me to the sweet love of the Father through community. I experienced a new revelation in my walk with the Lord, things I learned as a child became meaningful and tangible, Bible stories, songs, hymns and a relationship with Jesus meant so much more. When the rest of the Christian community and even members of my family were ashamed of my situation, even when I had no control over the decision this man had made, God provided some amazing godly relationships that demonstrated Christ’s love to me in a season of emptiness and hopelessness. Each season brought new revelation in my heart. A mission trip to India, church-shopping and quitting my 8 year career…. all brought me to this point. God literally used specific people in my life to push me out of my comfort zone. I was completely frustrated with my job, with all of the demands and the incredible amount of pressure and lack of fulfillment in my life. God was calling me elsewhere. But I couldn’t just quit, or could I? I decided to pray about it for a year, and each day led me closer to an answered prayer. Not without trials. So many trials, so many tests. I’m thinking of the story of when God allowed Simon to be sifted like wheat.
You see, in my 7 year season of healing through brokenness, I have learned to let go…let go of other’s opinions of me, let go of the negative labels from my past and embrace what God says about me. I’m living proof that God is never finished with us or our stories. He desires relationship with us, and so don’t ignore the gentle nudges in your heart for more. That yearning in your heart was designed for a purpose. Nothing in this life will satisfy until we come to the realization that only He can satisfy. My new life here is far from perfect, but it’s the perfect fit. I see challenge as a way to dive deeper into the arms of Jesus. The beautiful thing is that He is teaching me all about trust, not just that, but how trusting Him completely involves courage, it involves a willingness for change and a heart that boldly proclaims and praises the work He is doing in our lives.
So my story isn’t about me… it’s about Him. It’s about what He can do with a life surrended. It’s about what He will do when we wait patiently for His leading. I don’t have a perfect life, but I’ve learned to embrace the many blessings He has given me. In fact, I appreciate the gifts He has given me that much more. For all the losses in my life, God replaced it with many invaluable gains.
In life you’ll meet some very interesting people who are caught up in the details of OUR lives more than they are concerned with the details of THEIR lives. Girls, don’t get it twisted, you are NOT defined by your past. It’s really interesting, but people will try to remind you of it even when you have forgotten about it. They’ll try to make you feel like every bad day means you are still grieving your past, every challenge is harder because you are tied to that “label”. Sisters, you are not the label, you are not your past. In fact, I wish I could share this more often, but what I’ve been through is what God prepared me for. What the enemy intended for harm, God meant it for good and for His glory (Genesis 50:20), and so as I reflect on my past and what I have learned about myself and others, I am thankful for His grace and for His unfailing pursuit of my heart. I am thankful for this opportunity to share what following Christ is like. That it’s not about me anymore, but about what He has done for me, for us. Life is an adventure and full of purpose when you know what you what you were created for, relationship with our Creator!
Join me on this journey. Share your thoughts and comments, not for me, but to build a community of sisters who believe they have purpose above what was done to them and what has happened to them.
I’m excited to get back into writing and sharing a bit more of life and testimony for those of you interested. My prayer is that God gets the glory in my story. Sister, He has everything under control and it won’t look or feel like you think it should, but trust Him. Your timeline is no match for God, He will work in your life and in your heart, He just asks you to trust Him fully. Eventually you’ll learn that it’s not even about what you need, desire or want, those desires will eventually fade away and you’ll soon realize all you want, desire and need is Him.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31)