To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness,the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. - Isaiah 61:3
For the past several weeks, my Facebook feed has been filled with “thankful” posts. I had intended to participate…but here it is, November 19th, and I haven’t made a grateful post yet. So, I’ll just start here.
I am grateful the Lord makes beauty from ashes, restores what the locusts have eaten and uses all things for my good and for His glory.
Twenty-four years today, my world fell apart: my husband told me he wanted out of our marriage. He had other interests he wanted the freedom to pursue. I was in the way of him finding true happiness. He made a choice and it wasn’t me.
In an instant, my hopes and dreams disintegrated. I was overcome by the fear of being alone. Alone meant I was unchosen. Unchosen meant I wasn’t good enough to be loved. And I desperately wanted to be loved. I lost my identity. I lost my best friend.
The following Sunday, I found my way to a balcony pew in a local church. When I first met my husband, I knew he didn’t share my faith; I was so desperately afraid of being alone, I compromised. Actually, I thought he would love me so much he would change; but I was the one who changed. I was an unintentional prodigal child. I wept in repentance and brokenness.
The Lord met me in my brokenness. Week after week, I found my way to the pew, desperate to learn about the Word of God. I started having quiet time, reading my Bible and journaling. God’s Word came alive, revealing truth and encouraging my heart. I joined a small group where strong, godly women became my burden bearers, prayed me through the valley days, and mentored me in the faith.
The Lord slowly put the pieces of my world back together. In the ugly, heavy ruins of my heart He planted unspeakable joy and His peace which surpasses all understanding. He restored my hope and gave me God-breathed dreams. He quieted my fears of being alone and assures me He is always with me. He not only chose me, He calls me His beloved. My identity is in Christ, my Savior and Friend, the One who promised to never leave or reject me.
The Lord took the painful experience of divorce and used it for my good. Honestly, it was the best thing that ever could have happened to me.
On this early fall Sunday morning, my heart is thankful. To God be the glory.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28