What has it meant to me in my life? Is the issue that it caused me pain? No, that is not the issue. Nor are the specifics that caused my pain the issue. The issue is how it changed me.
I need to show how it changed me for the worst in the beginning, and that change kept me captive in a pit. It turned me....not against, but away from my Heavenly Father. I lost my trust in Him. Not my trust in His Son for eternal life, but my trust that He is able to do "exceedingly abundantly" above anything I would ever dream to be possible. I also didn't understand that this ability of His, this power, has more to do with inner transformation on my part than a changing of outward circumstances.
My soul cleaves to the dust;
Revive me according to Your Word.
I have told of my ways, and You have answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts,
So I will meditate on Your wonders.
My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Your law.
I have chosen the faithful way;
I have placed Your ordinances before me.
I cling to Your testimonies;
O LORD, do not put me to shame!
I shall run the way of Your commandments,
For You will enlarge my heart.
Mid August 2002
Winter of 2002-2003
Early Spring 2005
Late May 2006
September 25 2006
April 16 2007
What do all these dates have in common? They are dates and times that stick out in my memory as the most painful times in my life. I don't feel comfortable sharing all of them, but I felt the need to put down in writing the date where pretty much everything began, when my world, little by little, began to fall apart.
This is my "[telling] of my ways," as Kind David said in the wonderful, and encouraging verses above. My purpose in writing this is not to discourage, even though some of the things I will share as I tell my story will be very sad, and I'm sure as hard to read as they will be to write, but I need to share them, in order to show just how far down I was, to glorify how far God has brought me up. (And He's still not done.)
Brothers and sisters, I pray that you realize how loved you are. No matter where you are in life, no matter what you're going through, no matter what decisions you have made or what things you have done, you are LOVED. By a powerful, but gentle, Father, who desires NOTHING more than drawing you closer to Him.
This is my comfort, and the reason I can thank God for everything that happened to me, because I know now that it happened for a reason. It was all a part of God's wonderful plan to bring me to Himself. He didn't orchestrate the pain, much of it was my Enemy doing His best to keep me from seeing my Father's face, to keep me from reading the love He has for me in His eyes, from His Word. But though it was meant for evil, God turned it to good, and I am His vessel, willing to be used in whatever way He sees fit, to His glory, to proclaim His love, to show His majesty in the miracles He worked in me.