God is Faithful

Over the last four years I have seen the faithfulness of God in amazing and surprising ways. From providing cars exactly when the others broke down, to giving me strength to withstand years of legal challenges, to sending money my way when I was truly in need, to be able to keep my house, to answering my fervent prayers for guidance with clear direction, and many more small and large miracles.

I began to see the incredible faithfulness of God when my life was turned upside down after my husband of three decades left me, and subsequently we went through a difficult divorce. I have never experienced betrayal and abandonment to that degree and felt utterly unprepared and scared to death. There were days and weeks of crying and I was so distraught that I lost 15 pounds in about 6 weeks. I felt that God had messed up and should get on the ball and make everything turn out okay. But He did not mess up, and in time I gave up trying to understand why this was happening to me and to my kids. One pastor told me that even if God showed me His reasons for these confusing events, I would still have to cope with them. So I had to put one foot in front of the other every single day and force myself to trust the Lord. And He gave me tremendous support with my family and friends, my First Covenant family and our dear, caring pastors, an affirming and knowledgeable therapist, and especially from the Thursday morning Bible Study ladies. These people came alongside me without judgement and held me up in prayer and encouragement when I was exhausted and overwhelmed, and I will forever be grateful to them.

Many of the early days were so difficult that I began to set an alarm to pray every hour! Even with working and caring for my kids, I would try to pray each hour that the Lord would guide me and that He would calm my fears for a completely unknown future. I had to train my mind to go to the Lord to remember that He was on the throne and that He KNEW what would happen, even though I had no clue. I also had what I call “Jesus Time” as many mornings as possible. It was my version of a quiet time where I would journal about the multitude of thoughts and fears swirling in my head, and read Scripture and pray, and try to set my mind on God and His provision for me. I used to joke that if I could just have Jesus Time all day long and ignore everything else, all would be fine :))

And the amazing thing is that over many months and years I was compelled to learn patience and was forced to wait upon the Lord and learn how to rely on Him alone because there were NO other options. It is quite humbling, and scary too, to tell the Lord that He HAS to work and move and handle the constant challenges, and that I have ZERO control over any of it. But it is absolutely beautiful to see how He worked. And He did carry me through, and eventually I stopped crying all the time and started on the difficult road of forgiveness, and began to see some hope. Yes the future was a mysterious landscape, but there were glimpses of hope and the Lord was unmistakably present with me.

After surviving this terrible ordeal, I can honestly say that I learned more about God and myself  during this time than anything else in my entire life. I would not wish the pain and suffering on anyone, but I thank the Lord that He paved the way for my journey, and I persevered only because He sustained me with HIS strength and provision. He has given me a better understanding of deep suffering and I try to be compassionate and patient with others who are suffering. Each day I pray in thankfulness and joy for my new sweet husband (and his kids), and that my kids are coping well with the many changes we faced. I ask the Lord to use me as His vessel and that somehow my experiences can bless others.

Stephanie

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