Thursday, July 11, 2013

Halfway Through 2013, The Most Eventful Year of My Life

Here we are, July 11, 2013...I'm all about milestones, and this day marks a halfway point for me in 2013.  Like everyone else in this world, I have had a life of ups and downs, victories and losses, joy and pain.  But, this year, without a doubt, has been the most challenging year of my life.

On January 11 of this year, the man I had been married to for 12 years and who I had been in a relationship since I was 17, decided that he no longer wanted to be married.  It was one of those things that I had expected but never thought would actually happen.  We had been having struggles for around 5 years.  I fought with everything I had in me to keep that marriage alive, if nothing else, for our 2 children.  However, no matter what I tried, I could not save it.  After a month of begging him to come home, seeking help to change my behaviors that had contributed to the marital problems, and battling internal issues, the realization sank in that I could not restore the relationship.

When those pivotal moments face a person, you can choose one of two basic paths...to crumble, give up, run away, or to rise up, conquer, and reclaim your life.  I was very tempted in that first month to just disappear.  I had all but purchased a ticket to leave town.  I had set up arrangements to visit friends far away, I had plans in place to take care of my kids, and I was ready to run away and take a self-destructive path.  THANKFULLY, God had another plan for my life.  Spending time on Facebook, of all places, I saw a post of a Facebook friend, who I had never actually met.  This person had been down the path I was on, but they had survived it.  Not only had they survived, they were joyful.  They were positive.  They were real about the struggle of being divorced and a single parent, but they were not negative or bitter.  All I knew was that I wanted to be like that.  I wanted for people to look at me and see joy in the midst of a life changing event.  I knew, through that person's testimony, that if you seek God in the storm, He will bring you through...that God is bigger than any storm.

When I look back over the past 6 months, I am in awe of how God's timing made sense.  I know God is not an advocate for divorce, but He also has given men free will, and while I was surprised at my life's change of events, He was not.  God knew what was going to happen; and, He had set a plan in motion that would take care of my children and me.  God knew exactly what I would need during this time.  He had already placed me in a work environment where I would be surrounded by love, encouragement, and Godly counsel.  I see where He has me "working", and I am blown away at His sovereignty.  I work at a church in the children's ministry.  During this time, I have been surrounded by co-workers who have prayed with me, prayed over me, held me when I cried, listened when I yelled, reached out to my hurting children.  This job has given me the opportunity to seek professional counseling services for my children and me...something I could not afford otherwise.  This job has also personally blessed me.  This season has dealt me overwhelming feelings of rejection, isolation, and worthlessness.  But, by having a job where I know God has called me, and by being able to do the tasks for Him that I was created to do has reminded me how valuable I am to God.  Whether man sees my value or not, He does.  Being able to do exactly what I was made to do has been a great gift!

God's provision during this time has also been mind-boggling.  My faithful friends, or my cocoon as I call them, have risen up and walked every step of this journey with my children and me.  They have provided meals, sat up long nights with me.  They have wrapped my children up in so much love.  They have answered midnight phone calls from me on my darkest nights.  They have sent me encouraging texts at 3am when they know I'm wide awake.  They have brought me laughter.  They have reinforced my lacking strength.  The relationships in my life have been a huge gift.  Not only that, God has provided my children and me in a new-to-us home that we have made 100% completely ours.  He has provided financial support above and beyond what we need.  In fact He has blessed us so greatly during these past 6 months, that we have been able to share His blessings with others.

When our world began to change, I was ready to fall apart.  Instead, I fell into the arms of the One who made me, who knows me, and who has promised me a future of good, not harm.  I chose to seek His face.  I have spent more time in His Word, more time in intimate prayer, and more time reflecting on how He has beautifully interwoven the details of my life.  But, He gave me that choice.  He provided me with the option to fall deeper into Him or to run away from Him.  Believe me, it was tempting to run.  God knew that.  He placed His people in my path to guide me to His arms instead of fleeing to a world of destruction.  My friends and I have often spoken of "burning bushes"...I used to say I wish I could have an Old Testament moment with God where He would appear to me and say "Amber, this is what I want from you...this is what your future looks like...this is what I have planned for you...".  The reality is, He has placed these burning bushes all over my life.  And, this season has given me the opportunity to slow down and take note of them.

Even though I do not know what is to come, I know He has me in His hands.  I know the next 6 months are not going to be easy.  I know more changes are going to keep coming, more long nights will keep me awake, more painful encounters will challenge my joy...but I will CHOOSE to trust in the One who knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I will CHOOSE to be a woman after His own heart.  I will CHOOSE joy over cynicism, faith over doubt, restoration over condemnation, and His peace over the world's temptations.  I asked God to use me through this season...to use me during it and after it to lead others to Him and His amazing grace and love.  He has done just that, and I pray that He will continue to use me.

God is bigger than anything you have going on in your life.  He wants to be there for you.  He wants you to call out to Him.  If you do, if you CHOOSE Him, your life will never be the same.  Believe me, I'm living it!

2 comments:

  1. You are awesome, my friend! Love you lots!

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  2. You are awesome, my friend!!! Love you lots!

    ReplyDelete