Several years had passed….and yet here I was, in the same place, standing in almost the same spot where I’d previously experienced one of the most painful incidents in my life.
They say that if a memory is combined with emotion it is etched in the brain forever. Given the feeling of fear, devastation, and emotional pain that made me feel like I couldn’t breathe, I doubt I will ever forget that day.
And yet here I was…returning to the scene of the crime and THE PAIN WAS GONE.
Instead, the words seemed to come alive in my spirit as I sang,
“Old things have passed away…your love has stayed the same,
Your constant grace remains the cornerstone.
Things that we thought were dead, are breathing in life again,
You cause your Son to shine on darkest nights.”
For me in that moment, they weren’t just words. They were my anthem as I remembered past experiences while living in the light of God’s restoration and healing.
It had been that kind of a weekend.
One of the speakers spoke from a book that had been my lifeline during a separate experience of betrayal by a respected leader and another shared her testimony that brought back way too many memories of the pain our family had experienced. And yet, each memory that was jogged and brought to the surface was met with the reality that God had brought us through each event.
In His faithfulness, He held me as I cried my tears.
The precious Holy Spirit spoke words into our hearts, brought Scriptures to our minds, and sent people into our paths who helped us know the right way to go. In every situation as we continued to follow Jesus through the pain and choose to apply Biblical principles to the situations, God did a healing work. So much so that years later, I could hear look back at each individual memory of abuse, pain, betrayal, and devastation and see God’s hand leading us through each incident.
Standing there, at the scene of one of the crimes, I could truly say:
“I’m ok. God brought me through. Truly, God has taken our ashes and made them beautiful. (Isaiah 61:3) The old has passed away, the new has come.”
It was a beautiful moment---a place of tragedy now turned into an altar where all I could say was, “Thank you God for being there, for bringing me through, for creating hope and restoration where I didn’t even think it was possible. Father, you are truly amazing.”
Why am I sharing this with you?
Well, I know today that there are women who are reading this who can completely identify with the testimony of healing. Yet, there are even more who are sitting right now in a place of pain saying, “I just don’t see any way out.”
The pain is too strong.
The heartache too deep.
The mountain seems too big and you’re not even sure if God can solve it.
All you can see is the loss, the devastation. You can’t even imagine a day when things will look beautiful again.
It’s my prayer that this article gives you a breath of hope, because trust me when I say that I’ve been there. Without going into a lot of detail, I’ve been in the absolute depths of despair.
I’ve experienced loss. Abuse. Betrayal.
I’ve felt the intense anger and paralyzing fear that rests in your soul and wonders, “Is this the end?”
Today I’m here to tell you that:
“No, this is not the end. There is hope.”
If you will run to Jesus rather than away from Him…
If you will obey His Word and follow Biblical principles even when it seems pointless and ridiculous…
If you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide you one day at a time, literally one moment at a time…
God will take what currently seems like an ash heap and incorporate it into the beautiful tapestry He has for your life.
I promise you, this is not the end.
All of God’s promises are true. Even though you may not be able to see it now through all of the fog, God is there. He has a plan. If you will cooperate with His plan, He will find a way to bring you through this, heal your heart, and bring restoration to your life.
I know because I’ve experienced it.
Standing for a few moments at the scene of the crime, I remembered the pain, but I was overwhelmed by God’s healing, His grace, and His power to create something new.
I believe that the same thing is possible for you.
No matter what your situation…God is there. He has a plan to bring you through. If you will cling to Him and follow His ways I know that someday you, too, will be able to return to the scene of your crime and say, “I don’t know how God did it, but He brought me through. The old is gone and the new is simply amazing.”
“Dear Heavenly Father, today we thank you for Who You are and all that You do. I thank you for your grace, your mercy, and your healing power. Father today I pray for all of my sisters who are experiencing pain in their own lives. Even though I don’t know the depth of their struggle or the cause of their pain, Jesus, You do. Today I ask that You would comfort them. Fill them will hope. Give them the strength to follow You on their journey and to obey your Word. In Your way and in Your time, bring them to complete and full restoration. Heal their hearts, their minds, and give them a new life beyond anything they can imagine. In Jesus name. Amen.”
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)