I am a single mom to 3 beautiful adult daughters after a 13-year marriage. I have been a disciple of Jesus for 24 years. My story starts about 20 years ago when I was married, newly baptized and committing to making Jesus, Lord of my life. I was so full of hope and joy about the future. I was confident that the power of God would correct all the wrongs in my marriage and other relationships that were toxic to me and my family. By faith, I believed God could do anything, so I knew there was hope. I told my husband about my decision because he was serving in the military overseas and wasn’t able to witness my transformation. When he returned home, life got really difficult and the prayers started flowing fervently. My husband knew me to be a cussing, arguing, fighting, nagger that considered him to be nothing more than a sperm donor. He thought that because I said it many times. He was shocked when I would ask him questions about what I should do about caring for our children. He was reduced to phrases like ‘do whatever you want’ or ‘why ask me, just decide’. I was so hurt that he didn’t want to change with me. I was also hurt that God would not move his heart the way I was praying. So, after about a year, I gave in and started the old habits that were familiar to me and him. I had lost hope that God could or would be willing to fix this mess we created. Finally, my husband moved on and started a new life without us and I felt alone. No man and no God to protect me.
I could hear a small whisper to my heart saying, God never changes and He sees all things. Why would God allow this to happen? I started my journey to understand God better, so I was driven to read the bible and pray. I didn’t know what it was worth, but I just did it anyway. As I read, I came to understand love in a new way. As I prayed, I realized I was able to talk to a creator who cared about my thoughts and wanted to give me answers, but I was required to be quiet and listen. I would go to church and listen, I would have one on one sister talks and mostly listened, I would read my bible then sit and listen to the thoughts that ran through my mind. I was being transformed into a woman of self-control and faith. I started to understand God isn’t my personal bully, or a personal assistant to push people and circumstances around to suit my desires. But God is the creator of all things and He acts to show love to everything He created and in the best interest of everyone. That was the best revelation God’s love showed me. Now I understand 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8 better and Psalm 139 and Philippians 2: 1-8 are my scriptures to live by and they provide me confidence in knowing God knows what is in me and what he expects of me. I am to love everyone as described in 1 Corinthians and to do it regardless of who they are to me. They could be my enemy, my child or a man I love that may someday hurt me. Philippians reminds me to stay humble because it makes the loving others command easier and Psalm 139 reminds me that God is helping me do life because He loves me and thinks I am pretty special and now here I am in God’s perfect peace. Life circumstances are still constantly requiring me to go back to reading my favorite scriptures and praying. All the hurt hasn’t been removed, but my response to those hurts, have completely changed which allows me to be at peace and have pure joy!
My practical steps to peace and joy:
- When I feel abandoned by God, talk to someone that I consider a friend, someone that won’t let me forget when God worked it out for me when I had no way to help myself.
- Read the bible, sometimes, I just need to pick up a paper bible and just focus on the words, no particular scripture, it’s all good and is never void of power.
- Remind myself, that I need to keep waking up every day, and do something toward changing the situation, and sometimes that means just waking up…period! This thought process has not failed me yet.