I was honored to guest blog as part of Remade Ministries’ “Faith Over Fear” series (#justdoitafraid) thanks to my dear friend, Beth Kinder. She creates amazing studies and workshops that encourage women, empowering us all to turn from the past and embrace who God created us to be. Please check out Remade Ministries. God can remake anyone.
Here’s my blog…
I’ve spent a lot of time in the pits. From my dad’s death when I was 13 to the day I met Jesus at 35, the road I travelled was full of them. But Jesus changed everything. I was a sponge soaking up His Word, growing as a church leader. I ran after God praising Him for new life––rejoicing the pits were behind me.
Then I met someone.
He shared my love for Jesus as we discussed living for Christ and past shame being washed away. Everything I said he said too. Like a parrot. But because of my past I didn’t want to judge. I didn’t question his claim to transformed life. The difference: I could point to when Jesus changed my life and how.
We offered our relationship to God and married on a beach in His presence.
Immediately he changed. I attributed it to stress of purchasing a house and relocating to his hometown 1,400 miles away. Just before moving day, driving back from church, he announced he was leaving the marriage. We were only married three months. How could I possibly have caused this?
I cried out to God. Family and friends begged me not to move. But I made a promise to God and my husband that day on the beach. Truthfully, I believed this would blow over. We drove 24 hours together and he dropped me off at our new empty house. And left.
A raging storm unleashed shattering my life into pieces. I was alone in a town where I knew nobody, with only a sleeping bag and a pillow. Days and weeks passed as I tried to reconcile with my husband. He wasn’t coming back.
Failures of my past roared again.
The enemy whispered in my ear, “You have shamed God for the last time… He will never be able to use you now!”
I pleaded with God from the bottom of the darkest pit I had ever known. Clinging to the last thread of hope I met God in His Word. Psalms and Job embraced my despair and fear. I couldn’t go on. Faithfully my sister fasted in my darkest hour. And Jesus reached down into that deep pit and lifted me out. It was another salvation experience. I sat on the ledge.
The pain of a short, failed marriage faded quickly compared to betrayal by my Heavenly Father. “If You loved me God, why did you let this happen? You were there on my wedding day. Do I not hear You? Is my faith a lie?”
I wrestled with God for 18 months.
Praise God for His faithfulness! In my anguish He lovingly confirmed I may never know the why’s of life but that’s okay. I know Him. And He will still use me, because of where I’ve been.
Choosing Faith Over Fear strengthens and transforms us. Our roots grow deep as moment by moment we place our trust in God. Now I know:
- God’s faithful children can be pushed into a pit by someone else. Love everyone in a pit of life, regardless how they got there.
- The pain and shame I experienced allow me to understand the shoes other women are walking in. God can use our pain to bring hope to others.
- God is still in the resurrection business. I’m living proof.
If you struggle with fear or shame, you’re not alone. God took the broken pieces of my shattered life and put them back together in a new mosaic that shines for His glory. He can do the same for you.
“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Let’s talk: What is one way you have chosen faith over fear?
May I pray? Father God, thank You for the love and faithfulness You pour out to us in our darkest moments. Thank You for holding on to us and never letting go, even when we don’t know if we can make it another day. I lift up those reading this who are afraid, alone or ashamed––I pray that today You will move with power to show them You are by their side. May You shine a light of hope into their day. Amen.