The other day, as I was celebrating a life that had overcome so many painful moments; I thought back to times, when I just wanted to quit…throw in the towel and forget about life completely…but yet, for some reason, I just couldn’t do it.
Today, I’ve come to see that I never gave up on those very overwhelming moments of deep pain and heartache; because God wasn’t going to give up on me. No matter how many times I went my own way; He just took hold of me and gently guided me back in His direction.
In Joshua 1:9, we read… “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” I guess that once I truly came to see how God wasn’t going to give up on me; that is when I began to do the same.
No matter what you’re facing…and no matter how difficult it may be; get your focus away from the problem and look to the One, who continually is working on your behalf…to love, care and guide you safely through these troubled moments. I have truly come to see that when we can finally see a God, who hasn’t given up on us; but rather, is working overtime to keep us away from the path of defeat; that is when we will also find His strength to lean on, until we safely reach the other side.
If you have already read my writing, on “Daily Hope for the Hurting Heart;” you will see that today I am celebrating 59 years of life...54 years of overcoming pain and deep heartache, and 16 years of ministry work.
You know…I remember many times, when I just couldn’t celebrate my birthday; because you see…my birthday only reminded me, of all the pain and deep heartache I faced throughout the many years of my life.
I think the most painful moment in my life, was when my grandfather molested me. People don’t realize that when they hurt a person in this way; that these memories remain engraved within their life. It’s only been because of the grace of God; that I was able to let go and learn how to cope with life…without facing this dreadful memory, every day of my life.
Through each difficult moment of pain and heartache; God took me on a journey that allowed me to be blessed with a brand new life and a new beginning and so today, I don’t celebrate my birth…but today, I celebrate the time, when God stepped in and set me free and allowed me to begin a new life with Him.
You too, may be facing long and drawn out problems from your past…or even the difficult moments of this present time; but just know in your heart; that God’s grace is more than sufficient, to pull you through the moments; that just seem so impossible to get through on your own. Praise Him!
How many times have we questioned God, as to why we are going through painful moments of affliction? We sit and wonder why we go through these overwhelming times, when God has the power to prevent these moments from happening. In Psalm 34:17, 19, we read…“Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to him for help and saves him out of all his troubles. (19) The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one.”
Today, we may be questioning God, as to why He has allowed a painful moment to enter our lives. We may even feel as though we cannot take one more step forward but the hope we can live with today; is that even though we may not be able to escape these difficult times, we can rest assured that God will be there to hold our hand and walk with us, until He is ready to lead us out of what seems to be a dark wilderness of despair.
I remember many times, when I felt as though I wasn’t going to make it through the long days of pain and heartache but as my tears brought me to a place, where I became humbled before a powerful God; He not only dried those tears but He lifted me up, with arms of strength that could replace the weak moments that I was experiencing at the time.
No matter what you may be facing today…just hold onto the hand of a God who can be strength for you during the weak moments and as you hold tightly to Him, rather than the problem; you will begin to see that there is a way out, of what seems to be a hopeless situation.
Why do we view our losses as moments of defeat? Is it because we hold so tightly to things in this life; that when we lose them; then they become moments marked as failure to us? In Philippians 3:7-9, we read… “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
Throughout my life, I experienced many moments of loss. I remember a time as a young girl, when I would practically live on my bike. I don’t know what there was about that purple bike, with the white sparkly seat but I guess it just made me feel free and alive. As my knees began to progressively get worse; a day came, when my doctor said…no more biking Diane. From there, the losses seemed to pile up before me, as I was no longer able to ice skate or play tennis either and from there; these losses led me to another big loss in my life, as I found out that I would never be able to have children. I’ll tell you…each loss in my life began to slowly take me down, as I continued to ask God “Why?”
Isn’t it amazing how we don’t always see why these moments of loss happen? We can become restricted, due to health issues or we may lose a job that we always dreamed of having or maybe we may even lose someone close to us unexpectedly but one thing I have come to see, throughout my own moments of loss; is that these moments should never be seen as failure but rather they should be viewed as moments, when God is taking one thing out of our lives; to replace it with something that will draw us closer to the plan and purpose He has for us. In my own life, I could not understand why God would not allow me to have children but now, after many years, I can look back and see what He was up to. I came to see that the things that had left my life; only became an exchange, for what God longed to give me, in my life right now.
We may not always understand why these moments of loss take place but if we can focus on where each moment of loss is taking us, rather than viewing them as moments of defeat; then our hearts would be able to experience a peace and hope…even in the midst of what seems to be a defeated situation.
I remember a time in my life, when I was going to counseling for a past sexual abuse. Even after a long period of counseling, I was finding it difficult to leave the past with God. As I sat thinking about this one day; God began to show me a way that would help me to give everything completely over to Him. Within my mind’s eye, I began to picture a white box sitting on a table before me, with a lid to the side. God was asking me to put every thought and feeling into the box…put on the lid and then hand it over to Him. The only thing I needed to remember at the time; was once I gave Him the box; then I would have to turn around and leave that box of thoughts and feelings with Him.
As I poured every thought…need and hurtful feeling into the box, I’ll have to admit that this wasn’t easy because I knew that once I handed the box over to God; then I would no long have control but rather I would have to trust God to take care of everything that I had placed within the box. After finally giving God my box of needs…I began to turn around and walk away…and from that day, I can say that I have found peace…knowing that God took complete control, of all the hurtful feelings that had controlled my life, since I was a young girl.
In Psalm 55:22, we read… “Give your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them. He will not permit the godly to slip or fall.” Today, can we say that we have given everything over to God or are we just speaking these words with our mouths, while we take back everything and attempt to have control over something that is too much for us to handle? When we can truly hand every need over to God; then we will begin to see that life can be much easier and more at peace, while God works to make all things new.
I remember a time, when the doctor had made me stay in my bedroom for 3 months. You see, I had just went through a major knee dislocation, which sent me to the operating room, due to a ruptured tendon…plus some other reconstruction work that needed to be done on the knee.
After returning home, the doctor did not want me going down the stairs from my bedroom because I also had another knee with the same problem, which actually stems from birth and he knew that if that knee was to dislocate; then all the work that had been done, would’ve been completely destroyed.
At first…my time upstairs wasn’t too bad because my husband had taken some time off to help me get stable, for when he would have to return to work…plus my sister had flown out to help; but after my husband returned to work and my sister had returned home…that is when it became the hardest to get through. It seemed as though people had forgotten about me and throughout those days ahead, there would be no visits or phone calls…even from my neighbors. At first, I became very angry…that people would just walk away and leave me alone, while recovering from major surgery; but after a while…God began to show me the reason behind what He was allowing…and that was to help me understand what it would be like later, for others who might be facing a similar situation.
One thing you need to know about me…is that God has used every scrap of pain and heartache that I had ever went through; to reach out and help another person…but before that could happen, I had to know how it would feel; so I could have the heart needed, to reach out to others in despair.
Sometimes, it’s not always easy to understand why God allows moments such as these into our lives; but one thing I’ve truly come to see; is that when we take our focus away from what we feel; to experience what God is doing; that is when the load begins to lighten, while hope once more begins to spring up within us.
I think that one of the things in my life that truly became a road block was religion. I had been brought up as a Baptist…a very strict one and because I was so deeply connected to this “form of religion;” I found it difficult to connect deeply with God…especially during the very hard and difficult days I endured.
As I look back on those moments, I see my Baptist faith, as though it was lifeless and a set of rules that only dictated my life, rather than allowing me to truly experience the fullness of Christ. I have come to see that when we make religion our god; then the true and living God is being blocked from our lives.
Once I let go of my Baptist faith and saw myself as a simple Christian; that is when I was able to find a way to connect more deeply with God, which truly helped me to overcome the very trying moments in my life.
Today, we must realize that we can’t live with a “form of Godliness” that contains no power. Just stop and think about this…can religion save us…heal us or even heal the brokenness within? I say… “No!” Only God has the power to reach down deep within the soul and mend what has been broken. I truly believe that once we are willing to let go of religion and our own man made ideas; that is when the power of the Most High God will move in and do a great work within us!! Praise Him!!
There was a time when I was dealing with the sexual abuse that I had gone through as a child and as I look back…I remember one particular time, when the memories I was dealing with, were about to take me down for good.
One day…after a counseling session had ended, a lady from the group brought me home, since my husband had to work. As I entered our empty home, I remember rushing to our bedroom and as I sat on the bed, I began to cry, until there were no more tears left. At that time, I felt as though I was in a world of my own. I felt as if no one would be able to understand the deep pain I was experiencing at the time. As I clung to the bedpost…with tears coming down my face…my eye caught a glimpse of my Bible sitting on the bed. As I opened it, this is the verse that stood before me… “The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking…Psalm 34:18a.” From that moment, I began to feel as though Jesus had sat down beside me on the bed and said… “Diane, I am here with you; do not fear anything, for I will walk through this time with you.” From that moment on; I began to memorize a verse of hope from that Bible because I knew that when I carried that verse within my heart, to each counseling session; then I was never alone.
Isn’t it amazing how we can search and search for someone to love us, when we already have someone standing before us that will not only love us but understand each painful moment we experience?
Today, we need to begin anew, by talking with God. Share your feelings with Him; for I have come to see that He is a God that will listen and never walk away and when you feel as though you need a hug, just let Him lead you to a Bible verse, like He did me and I guarantee; that you will truly feel His loving arms wrapped around you…giving you the love and understanding you need, until the trial has passed.
When I was a young girl, I never really knew what was awaiting me in my life; otherwise, I probably would have went and hid somewhere…although, I’m sure that I would have been found, by an all knowing God.
Anyways…as I look back over the years, I remember moments; when I actually felt as though God had abandoned me…while thinking that Satan was out to win the battle for sure…because you see, I was not only going through one problem…but one problem on top of another. If it wasn’t knee surgeries and chronic pain; then it was deep heartache over a past sexual abuse and the loss of many things in my life…and I don’t know about you; but when life becomes that overwhelming; those moments begin to tell a story…a story that says… “How am I ever going to come out of all of this…and where is God!”
It seemed that at the moment, when I was about to throw in the towel and give up; God was using His word to once more remind me that I wasn’t abandoned by Him and that He would be there for me. In John 14:18, we read… “No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you.”
Even though I felt lost at sea…in a world of my own…God did see my despair and through His caring Spirit; He walked out on the water to me and stood close to me, until each storm came to its end.
Why do we allow moments of heartache to dictate defeat? Don’t we realize that these are the moments, when we experience the touch of God’s presence the most? In Ecclesiastes 7:3, we read…“Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.”
Isn’t it amazing how Satan can twist up our way of thinking, as his aim is to get us to believe that moments of heartache can only lead us in the direction of defeat? Even though Satan lures us into moments that can lead us to a broken heart; God has plans…plans to take these weak moments we fall prey to; so He can exchange these moments of weakness, for a strength that will not only lift us from this present moment of heartache but a strength that will keep working for us, as we face other challenging moments ahead.
I remember a time in my life, when all I felt was sadness and deep heartache. As I looked into the face of my problems, I honestly thought that I would never experience laughter again. Each moment of heartache only seemed to shatter my heart even more, until I felt as though I was headed to a place of no return. As I viewed these moments at the time, I began to believe that I had lost everything…including God, while the strength that I once held to, had now left me; as all that remained was a thread of hope.
As Christians, we need to redefine our way of thinking and come to see that sadness isn’t a bad place to be…only when we come to see it in the wrong way. Even though we don’t enjoy the moments, when the tears just don’t seem to stop falling; we can find hope…knowing that our tears become a language that can connect us to a powerful God…a God who can refine us through these difficult moments. When we are willing to look beyond the tears; to see these moments as an opportunity for God to work in our lives; then we won’t fall prey to the deceptive lie that attempts to walk us down a path toward total defeat.