Are you at a messy place right now and your mind wonders if God really does redeem our stories? Not just when we enter our heavenly home but here and now, this side of eternity? Maybe you have found yourself on a detour that you never saw coming. Maybe you are facing this very moment some ugly, difficult and untended parts of your story that have left you face down on the carpet desperate for God’s intervention.
Friend, can you just pause for a moment from your tears, your questions, your doubts and hang with me for a moment? Our. God. Is. Faithful. Always. I get it….. your circumstances may NOT be okay! However, YOU’RE going to be okay! How can I proclaim this so boldly and confidently? Because I have walked through those kind of chapters and am now reaping the joys that God brings as the pages turn.
The pain in my eyes that I had for literally years is now gone and has been replaced with precious peace and radical relief. God DOES redeem! He takes the worst parts of our stories and redeems and truly creates beauty from the ashes that may surround us.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Is. 61:1-3
If you need hope this very moment please read the above scripture again. Pay attention to every word. Do you see it? Heavy words like brokenhearted, captive, darkness, prisoner, the grieving and all who mourn are the ones being addressed in this passage. Friend, if any of those words describe who you are or where you find yourself on this journey, your heart can be FULL of hope! You’re going to be okay!! Why? Because Jesus came for YOU! He has already made a way for you. Your ashes are no match for His abundant grace.
February 2, 2019 represents so much more than my wedding day…but a rescue of sorts. A day when God boldly declared to my heart as well as others that He is well able to redeem and take what the enemy meant to destroy me and my family and make it so beautiful. It represents the answer to countless prayers prayed by many that I did not even know were praying for me and my family. You see, it’s not just our victory in Jesus but other’s victory and testimony, too! Those who loved us, supported us, believed in us and more importantly those who believed that God had good plans for us in spite of how it looked then. My heart is so thankful. My prayer is that in sharing this it will give YOU a shot of hope because at numerous times, I was wondering and struggling, too! Broken, wounded, stressed to the hilt, and ever so desperate. It wasn’t just one hard thing but many that left me with eye twitches and stress rashes…..but God! No, things did not happened as I had prayed but God took me on a path that has been paved with amazing grace and beauty for ashes. If you are wondering if this could ever happen for you my answer to you is a resounding and confident YES!!! It is so hard to believe when your heart is filled with pain and you can’t see clearly for the fog that surrounds you. I get it. I really do. I promise you, our God is faithful. He sees you. He invites you to trust Him as He is working out the future that He has for you and those you love.
So my friend, whatever chapter you are in know this; it’s only for a season. Many times we have no control how long our painful seasons may last but you can be assured that God’s timing is perfect and purposeful. You, my friend, are on the pathway to greater joy and intimacy with Christ than you have ever known. Stay on the carpet, ugly cry and let your knees burn. Don’t ever stop wrestling. Stubbornly hold on to your faith as you hold on to your God. Follow hard after him…stay obedient no matter what your feelings tell you. Expect God to move! He will sweet sister, He will!! Your waiting time is not wasted time…He is creating room in you for the beauty that is yet to come! One day, you will see clearly that He not one time left you in your darkest moments. He was cutting away the lies from the past to make room for a NEW season, a NEW beginning that could not compare to anything you have experience before.
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the lord.