I have this fresh perspective on my life. I am not sure how one achieves such a season. I would like to think I conjured it up in the hours I spend with God. I would like to think I have somehow earned it through holy behavior. But the truth of the matter is God has some perfect timing and now is when he is choosing to bring a wave of change in my heart. I have been asking for this for a while now, but I just wasn’t ready. I couldn’t tell you the exact thing that I needed in order to flip the switch. But nonetheless, I am here—in this space. I have cast fear aside and have been allowing my feet to go beyond the borders of my human possibilities. It is strangely comforting to know that I am totally dependent on the Creator. My success and failure in the world’s eyes is irrelevant. I am successful because I said yes.
This journey—a life lived in relationship with the Creator of the Universe—is so much deeper than I could have imagined when I was an innocent 10 year-old girl kneeling at the altar at church camp in the summer of ’94. I remember saying to God that he could have me. I was choosing him for my own. Up until then, I was riding on my parents’ religious coat tails. I had faith by family inheritance. Now I wanted my own connection with God. Even though I made my own declaration, I still followed the path set before me. I related to God the only ways I knew how—by way of religion. I went to church, I tithed 10% of all money that came my way, and I repented fervently of my terrible sins. I lived in a constant cycle of trying to clean up my act as a human to have a chance at an encounter with the Presence. I welcomed guilt and shame as part of the conviction package. I was so grateful to receive salvation that I worked every day as if it had to be earned anew. I was stricken with spiritual poverty. I had nothing to give because I was hoarding all I had to simply sustain my own righteousness.
Ten years later my world was blown to bits. My marriage of two years ended with adultery and church drama beyond my comprehension. I saw members of church staff turn their backs on me. I trusted people in God’s ministry and I was left to heal from the wounds, they inflicted, by myself. Although this is easily labeled as the hardest time in my life, I can say the timing to accept the responsibility of truth God had for me was, in fact, perfect.
It was in that season that I learned that all people are susceptible to sin. And if we are being honest, those in positions of influence for the Kingdom come under greater attack than we as onlookers can understand. I also learned that forgiveness is possible regardless of the offense. For forgiveness sets the offended free regardless of the offender’s remorse. These truths came at a great cost, but the lessons that I learned will benefit me for the rest of my life.
My perspective on God, and Christianity, changed in that hard season. I tore down the religious beams holding up my faith and beliefs. I started over.
When hard times hit, please press into what truths God has for you. He hides truth for us not from us. He has such beautiful timing and he wastes nothing. No hurt will ever go without truth. We can overlook it because we can only focus on our pain. We have free will to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to God’s part, or worse we can blame God for the bad. It is not in the nature of God to do bad things. I’m sorry if that upsets you, but he just isn’t wired for evil. We live in a fallen world and until we leave this planet, we will be doing battle with the Evil One. The choice we have is to either ask God for his truth in the situation or focus on the pain. He is eager to impart the payoff to your costly wound. No hurt is for nothing. Romans 8:28 assures us that, “God works all things to the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This doesn’t mean you will look back on a painful event with joy. You may never be glad that thing happened. But it does mean that he can redeem aspects of that event with his truth and his goodness. So that you can look back at an event and at least put some part of it in the good column. Again, this is a choice. He won’t force you to see good. He will, however, invite you to. He longs for you to embrace his goodness in this harsh world. Brokenness is often times God’s greatest hour. He floods into the cracks of your heart at your invitation and not a moment sooner. He pursues you with all his might to a point and waits with high anticipation for the go ahead to invade your heart and soul!
If you have wounds, please go after his truth in those moments in time. He can still redeem that situation and do miracles beyond your imagination. I cling to Ephesians 3:20 when I am hurt, scared, nervous, or really any time is a good time to declare this verse.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or
imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
He transcends our human minds and hearts. He can do the impossible. He will work all things to good. We only need to ask and believe.