I don’t typically share a lot of my personal crisis or difficult circumstances on this platform because I want this space to be a quiet haven of joy, where we can marvel at beauty and ordinary miracles. But recently I witnessed an extraordinary miracle that came from a place of deep pain and I want to share with you what God has done.
Last year my family entered a valley of darkness and hurt. I grappled with the pain of suddenly being in a situation I never expected to face, whirling in a tornado of unwelcome emotions, and experiencing my world turned upside down. My foundations were pounded as I stared at a future I didn’t want, bereft of the dreams and expectations I had planned. Relationships were broken, strained, and I didn’t know how to navigate. I didn’t want to. I wanted to hide in my bed, in a locked room, until the world went back to something familiar. But instead I went to God’s arms. For perhaps the first time in my life, I routinely poured out my soul to Him – praying for my family, for Him to guide us and hold us, telling Him how I felt, my doubts and fears.
God sent people into my life – primarily through books – that helped put language to what my family was going through. They helped me find a place in the tension of believing God is good when my circumstances were not. And in all this darkness and hopelessness, God started to teach me something precious – that my hope cannot be placed in anything of this world, only in Him. Until last year, I had no idea how much I looked to earthly things for my hope and security and not to God. Through the pain, God held out to me His truth that yes, things in this world will fail and fall apart, but He never will. I started to long for Him, for His perspective, in a deep and desperate way.
And while I was praying for God to do a work in other’s hearts, He did one in mine. He woke me up from spiritual complacency. His Word no longer became an ornament to my life, but my central axis. Walls and false foundations came down, and His truth poured into my heart in fresh and life-giving ways. It was painful to have my eyes opened to sin patterns and coping mechanisms that weren’t healthy, but also exciting and comforting to see God working so dynamically in my life. I’m a different person than I was at the beginning of the valley. God has used it to wake me up from complacency and seek His kingdom. He has given me a heart of understanding and empathy for others that are hurting.
His work in my heart would have been enough, but God has done so much more In His great mercy, He was working and healing hearts in the rest of my family too. Relationships moved toward healing and restoration. God answered prayers in ways I never expected or dared to hope for. At the end of September, my whole family gathered together to celebrate the new life God has brought from ashes. We rejoiced in His miraculous work to knit again what had been torn apart, His grace that makes forgiveness and restoration possible, and the resurrection of what was lost. I stand in awed amazement and humbleness at what His grace can do His power has been so personally demonstrated to me and my family.
Psalm 109:30 says “With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord, and in the midst of many I will praise Him.” I do praise and worship God for the blessings He has given. While I write this from a place of celebration, I do remember the days of waiting and agonizing and know some of you might be in that place too. We can’t always control the situations that happen to us or their outcomes, and right now you may be waiting for your miracle. I want to tell you that I know the hurt and disappointment that comes with waiting in the dark. But God has shown me that He is with me and He is with you too. Circumstances might not turn out the way we hoped, our relationships might not be all that we wanted, but God is a sure and strong foundation. He is able to carry us through disappointment and hurt and work in ways we never dreamed possible. Never give up hope – God is with us, and that my friends, is always the most remarkable miracle.
Blessings to you,