i've been reflecting lately how much can change in a year. in April 2012, i was in a very different place. i was preparing to quit my daycare business of ten years to pursue my dream of safe families. i was excited, passionate and sure of the road before me. this was my destiny, what i was created to do. i had just gotten a hebrew tattoo on my arm that says "He turned my mourning into dancing, my sorrow into joy". i naively thought it was a testament to my past. i had no idea it was a glimpse into my future. i thought all of the ducks in my life were in a row. little did i know that events were transpiring, unbenownst to me, that would change the course of my future. i was coasting along, so sure of my path. i was forming a board and meeting with local social service agencies and getting people excited for the vision. fast forward to august... my world crashed in a way i never saw coming. one moment in time, one shocking discovery and it all fell apart. my life, my marriage, my mental health, my sanity. i found myself facing a darkness like nothing i had experienced before. to say it was overwhelming does not do justice. for the first time in my 20 years with Jesus i wanted to die. i just wanted the pain to stop, in whatever way possible. in the pit of that agony, i was angry. angry at Eli, angry at myself but more than anything...angry at God. how could He let this happen to me? where was He? i had spent so many years trying so hard to follow him, to obey him, to do what he told me...and this is where it got me. my pride blinded my vision so deeply all i could do was ask Him why? i spent days and weeks raging at Him. i mean really raging. i yelled at him, i begged him, He remained silent. in all honesty, maybe He was speaking but my rage was so loud i could no longer hear him. i don't know. as i tried to put the pieces of myself back together, i found myself starting to heal but my anger at the Lord remained. i couldn't shake it. over and over i asked him WHY? over and over... silence. i've believed my whole life that He doesn't allow us any suffering that can't be for His glory. i was desperately trying to cling to that truth when it was the antithesis of what i was feeling.
so one day i was driving home from a women's Bible study that i didn't want to be at and i didn't want to hear. i was listening to music while esme chattered in the back. i was overcome with rage. i said out loud "how could you do this to me?" and in His still small voice, when i was quiet enough to hear, He spoke.
"what if I used your greatest nightmare to be the thing that set you free?"i was so stunned by that response i had to pull over my car. is that what happened? was i being set free from a bondage i didn't even know imprisoned me?
i was being set free from the chains of codependancy. i was being set free from the fear of abandonment. i was being set free by a God that loved me too much to let me keep going the way i was.
i wish i could tell you that it was smooth sailing from then on. it wasn't. it has been so hard, finding my way back. it is a process that at times i have longed to end. it has been filled with moments of doubt, fear and steps backward. but through it all, He has carried me in a way i have never experienced before. He has shown his majesty in the broken pot that is my heart.
i'm not there yet. we still have work to do. there are still far too many days where i am overcome with fear and anxiety. when i revert to my old coping mechanisms. when i forget.
but those days are fewer and the darkness is not so dark anymore. when they come, i recite truth to myself and meditate on it instead of the lies my mind is feeding me. i surround myself with his praise when my emotions are betraying me. i soak myself in His word when the world is screaming "you're not going to make it!"
i find that i am no longer the person i was a year ago. i am prone to tears, i am humbled by my own failures, i am no longer sure of my path. but i have a hope that was missing for so long. i have a peace that transcends the chaos that is often my life. i have dancing, sometimes sprinkled with mourning.
this is just a piece of my God story, a tiny morsel of the tapestry He is weaving of my life. it is not the end, really a beginning. as my mother told me as a child..."Abby, don't write the ending to a story God is not finished with."
He is not finished with me.
Praise Jesus He is not finished with me.