It is 8:30 in the morning and I am sitting at my dining room table drinking my coffee. This certainly is not my favorite place for this activity. I love sitting on my back patio in the warm morning air enjoying the last moments of peace before my day starts. Since we are still technically in winter, the dining room will have to do.
One of the most mundane activities that I mindlessly do is search Facebook. I know, we are all guilty of just swiping a long and seeing what our “friends” are up to in life. Many days I sit and read post after post of why someone is angry, or “you know what I need” statements. Today was no different. I must say that in the past I was guilty of just putting all my emotions and feelings out on this platform and just wait for someone to respond and we can wallow in our feelings for a moment and then what? Do we feel complete and whole afterwards? No, we just feel better that someone, anyone understands our feelings and we feel somewhat validated.
Almost on year ago God started me on an incredible journey of healing and restoration. I wrote a brief journal entry that only the people closest to me have heard or read. It was deep and intimate and in the right timing I will share with everyone what God was showing me. Before I begin to dive into why I am writing this let me start by saying I am no different than you. Many times, I feel that Dave and I have been judged wrongly. So many people see us and think, oh my goodness they have it all together. Their marriage is great, their children are amazing, they seem to not have a care in the world. When we go to them for advice they are always so caring and compassionate. Let me just say that we have our struggles just like everyone else. We have walked down some pretty dark roads that not a lot of people know about. God has brought us through, and God is the only reason why we are the people we are today.
Let me start by saying that I grew up in a pretty good home. My parents were hard working, caring, and dedicated parents. They made their mistakes, but they worked hard to show us that God should and needs to be the center of your life. When I was in high school my dad left the church that we grew up in to search for a deeper understanding and love for God. There was nothing wrong with our church, he just needed more and at the time he grew comfortable with his surroundings and needed to change. That journey took our family on a path that taught us the difference between religion and relationship. That message is what I am so passionate about. See, in a relationship it is not about the do’s and the do not’s. It is about falling deeply in love with the Creator of my life. When I started falling in love with God and understanding His love for me that is when my entire life changed. Did I still face challenges? Yes. Do I face heartache and pain? Yes. Am I immune to the hurt of this world? No. What makes me different? The only difference in me is God. The only answer to my struggles, hurt, and pain is God. The only “thing” that changed my marriage was God. The only answer to my overwhelming anger was God. The only solution to my pain, hurt, and inadequacies is God. I know it seems simple and like a coop out, but God is truly the only answer. God, and only God.
I have had to learn how to rely on Him in some of the darkest times of my life. I rarely share what God has walked me through. I normally share it in a one on one conversation when I know that God wants me to share my journey in hopes that it will touch someone else, and show them God’s love and guidance. I don’t shout my struggles from the roof tops because it is too easy to take the credit for what God has done in my life. Believe me, I would not be alive today if it were not for Him. I would have committed suicide a long time ago.
All this pain and heartache is the main reason why I love working with teens. Sure, I enjoy math and God certainly has given me a talent to teach, but my main motivation is showing my students what a relationship with Christ looks like. I don’t share all my struggles with them, they are not ready to handle the depth of what I have learned, but I do share that God is the only answer for the struggles we see in this world. I did not drag myself out of the depths of heartache and despair, God did. I did not change my view of myself and my shortcomings, God did. I did not heal years of hurt from destructive behavior, God did. I did not heal a scar so deep that I couldn’t accept anyone’s love, God did. I did not restore my marriage when it looked like it would never survive, God did.
Any chance that I get I will sing His praises, because He was and is the answer to every obstacle that I face. I am not different than you, I don’t have this perfect life and seem better than anyone else. The peace I have only comes from God. The joy I have in all situations only comes from God. I have learned how to lean on Him when there is no other answer. Now I lean on Him because He is the answer.
No matter what you are going through, He is the answer. No matter how deep the scar, He is the answer. No matter how hurt, destroyed, or weak you feel, He is the answer. In the loneliest times of my life, He was and is the answer. I choose to love Him more and more because I know that through His love I can and will overcome the challenges of this life. That is my message to all of you. He is the answer. I pray that you will find this love and peace. I know that His love for you is overwhelming, I pray that you will accept it and grow in your relationship with Him.