I want to give a quick backstory before I get into the meat of this post. In case you didn’t know, in July of 2015, I was pregnant with my son, Elisha. A week before I delivered him, my then-husband was arrested and didn’t come home for 2 years, leaving me to raise our family on my own. I’m not sharing this for sympathy, to play the victim or whatever other negative perception you might be having. I’m only sharing it so I can brag of God’s grace, mercy and goodness in my life.
Fast forward to now. God has shown me so much favor in a short amount of time. The past 3 months, especially. More than I’ve ever had before in my life. When my ex-husband was arrested, I was active in the church. Doing everything I thought I should be doing. But I wasn’t genuinely full of joy. I have lost everything and feel like I have more now than I ever did before. I’m in the process of getting it all back, but not material things. The important things. So why do I have more joy now, with less, than I had when I thought I had everything?
It took me losing everything, walking away from God and then being hit so hard in the face with reality that God pulled me back in. Swiftly.
I’ve had my heart broken many times. Very recently, actually. By people. Situations. Circumstances. By my own expectations being too high. I’ve also been the cause of my own heartbreak. I became very bitter and antisocial. I would say whatever it was that I felt with no regard for anyone’s feelings. But that’s not who I am. The truth is, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I allow people to hurt me for a lot longer than I should. I’m also very sensitive. If you knew me during my bartender days, this may come as a shock to you!
God has been showing me things about myself that I don’t like. Change is hard. Growth hurts. I’ve cried more times in the past 3 months than I have in a year. It’s overwhelming to carry all the weight of your family alone. But God has not failed me once. His grace and mercy have sustained me and I feel more grateful now than ever. That’s where the joy comes in. I feel the peace that passes all understanding. Is everything perfect? No. Not even close. Do I struggle with loneliness, anxiety and sadness? Yes. Some days are better than others.
It took everything falling apart in order for it to be put back together, the way God intended it to be. I’m still growing. Still working on changing. Still being put back together, one piece at a time.
My prayer for you is this. That you are grateful, wherever you are in life, so you too can experience the peace that comes with being content. I know trusting Him fully can be scary. But give him the pieces you’re holding onto. He can re-purpose them and sculpt the ashes into His perfect will.