The theme of my life for 25 years now has been fits and starts. A long windy, disjointed path that somehow brought me to this place. How did I get here? 44 years old, Mom, step-mom, grandmom, wife, friend, Cyber-security professional, college student, (still!)… Teacher, dreamer, encourager…
When my husband and I married in 2010 we had a few contemporary Christian songs in the ceremony. “God Blessed the Broken Road” and “God gave me you” were two of them. And yet, the more I travel this path called ‘life’, the more clearly I see that God does have a plan. He has been in control all along.
Just like in Jeremiah 29, I spent many years “in exile”. I married, planted my gardens, had my daughters; and in many ways, prospered (so I thought). And then one day I woke up, and found all of that gone. And all I had to believe in and more….. was gone. And I was ANGRY! “Why did you take my whole life from me God? My husband, and daughters, my career; all that I worked for, all of my life, so I could be comfortable. Live happily ever after.” I was living in Babylon, and I didn’t know it.
On that day as I lay sobbing on my floor, God delivered me.
“When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jer 29:10-14)
I was living a life apart from Him. Living in “the world”. I thought I was happy. I thought I was loved. But it was all a lie. In my pit of despair, I reached up, and He showed me love. He righted my ship.
He brought a broken man into my life, with his 3 broken children. And God said “Go.” “Go to the placed where you said you hated. That place you never wanted to return. Go there; and love them, like I have loved you”
Don’t get me wrong, it has been a hard bumpy road. While I may have had my doubts at times, God has been faithful. With every twist and turn came opportunity to choose to love and serve, or choose to run back to Babylon. Where I felt comfortable and safe. Today, and every day, I wake up and make a choice. I chose to love, even when it hurts. Even when it’s hard.
My nature is to look backward, and try and “figure things out”, – to learn from the past and not repeat it. To help others not make the same mistakes, and endure the same heartache that I have had in my life. There have been so many!!! God has hardwired me to be a learner, and a teacher. To bring things full circle.
Christians and non-Christians alike know Romans 8:28.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.
But it is the rest of Romans 8 that I love. “There is no condemnation…”(v.1) “You are not in the flesh, but in the spirit if God lives in you”(v.9)
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”(v.18)
This gives me INFINATE HOPE!!
He has called me to use my life as an example. To use my experiences, and teach. Every failure was for a reason. Every dead end, failed attempt, every lie, every heartache can be made for good. Nothing is a waste. EVERYTHING can be used for his glory! EVERYTHING!
“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – (Rev 21:5)