Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
I really wish I had these meetings recorded. The kids were 8, 6, and 4. Each of their little voices would recite with Scotty and me. I just have to wonder what they thought. Of course, they didn't know all of the details of our situation yet. But, I feel like they recited words with full confidence that they were true, because their parents seemed to believe they were true.
And, we did! If I'm honest, though, I really did believe God would make our path straight pretty quickly. At that moment in time, I thought my belief would open doors, part waters, heal brokenness, and right all wrongs. And, I believed it would happen pretty rapidly.
The reality is that the past 51/2 years have crept along and included some of the most dark and crooked paths ones could imagine. God began healing our marriage relationship pretty quickly. But, everything else has taken a long time. Not only that, some of our circumstances got worse and worse over portions of the past few years. In some areas, we'd experience a glimpse of God's straightened path only for it to disappear from sight after a few steps.
What I'm saying is that we've enjoyed God's goodness and trusted His sovereignty over the past 5 year like never before, but it hasn't been easy. Our prayers and pleadings for Him to lead us began in those first family meetings, but that trust was tested in the time that has passed since. Scotty and I both have journals filled with prayers to God for answers. On our knees and in our prayer circles, we'd thank Him for his rescue but plead with Him for more deliverance; from uncertainty, financial distress, and personal despair. We trust you, Lord. But, please show us your path. Soon!
In all of the confusion, we both felt God's gentle presence assuring us that He had a plan for us. Scotty and I couldn't imagine how, but we experienced God's nudge that He was going to use it all (nothing wasted) for our good and His glory. Last Spring, the gentle nudge became more like a shove that moved us from MS to FL in about 5 months time. Those months are marked by His presence. In all of my 41 years, I've never felt the assurance of God's plan as strongly. So, we moved! Then, the path became crooked again.
CrAzY! If I were brave, I'd post a few entries from my journal during that time. It's full of question after question after question. It didn't make sense. What was God doing?
And, oh yeah, WHY...?
God is so good! So very quickly, He began to show Scotty and me WHY we are here and what He is up to. We don't have all of the answers. In fact, some of our questions are still pretty big. BUT, we are looking at possible "assignments" that have the handwriting of God all over them. In many ways, the specific darkness of some of our crooked paths seem to have been the perfect internships for our approaching ministries.
This morning, I'm thanking God for His constant assurance in my life while praising Him for not giving up on me during my whining. (There's a good bit of that in my journals too.) I'm so grateful that He didn't show me what the path would look like when I was asking to see it. If I'd known in 2011 how we'd get to 2017, I would have run like the wind! There's no way I would have willingly signed up for the pain, uncertainty, and despair that would accompany our rebuilding after adultery. And, I would have missed the equipping, strengthening, and preparing. See, the difficulty in the crooked path seems to have been necessary preparation for the straightened path.
So, where are you in the journey? If you're in devastation, I felt it in 2011, and it stinks. I'm sorry. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don't lean on your own understanding. It will FAIL you!
Maybe you're struggling with uncertainty that can lead to despair which I faced during 2014 and 2015. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Acknowledge Him in all of your ways. When the way is confusing and causes you to despair, be honest with Him about it. Don't be afraid to express your anger or frustration with the Lord. He can handle it. Wrestle with Him. I've found that wrestling is often where I come face to face with my Savior and take my minimal knowledge of Him to a new level.
Whatever you do, DO NOT GIVE UP. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He will make your path straight. So, even when you can't see the way, trust Him in it. Hang on and follow through. I'm sure the payoff will be beautiful. There's more at stake than our temporary comfort. People need to know Jesus. Lives need to be transformed by His Gospel of redemption. Your difficult journey could be God's classroom to prepare you for a very special assignment some day. Won't it be worth it to cooperate with His plan and wait for His path.
I believe it will be!
I believe it will be!
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55: 8-9