" We have come to bring you Good News, that you would turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made Heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. In the past, he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness." Acts 14:15-16
I've found myself on platforms singing and sharing deeply painful portions of my life story, regularly. Yet, I still marvel at the fact that I am here at all. To be used by this perfect God for any place of servitude is beyond my comprehension.
As I read the text above during my quiet time, I recalled the days where he 'permitted' me to go my own way. In the hurts, the remembering of trauma and abuse, I believed the lies. I blamed God. My cries for relief met silence.
I kept pushing against him for my will, my 'need'- or what I thought I needed. I fell into worshipping myself, food, things, love of man, and other worthless gods.
He allowed me to go. He allowed me to walk toward a cliff and over the edge until I found myself falling into a wilderness of despair. Grasping for something to hold onto, my self-fashioned gods were of no help and no comfort. There was nothing solid under my feet. I had walked off my Rock.
Depressed and suicidal, I couldn't lift my head any longer. I wondered if God was real.
"If you exist, which I am not even sure that you do, I need you to show me. I need to see you, God."
I cried out to him from the corner of a mental hospital. I was at the end. I didn't want to live. I begged him to take my life every night as I went to bed, yet I would rise to see the miserable sun greet me each day. Why? The flashbacks of abuse haunted me at every turn. Secrets kept. The voices, the lies, I couldn't take anymore. I believed the merciful thing would've been to let me come to Heaven and be healed of it all.
He wanted something more for me. He wanted to introduce Himself into my soul in ways that couldn't be reached through any other avenue. He longed to take up all my shattered and scattered pieces, fuse them for His purposeful use. So I could know Him and make Him known. I only needed to surrender and hand my broken pieces over to Him.
What joy as He pieced my heart back together. A new creation, as I met him there once again in the dark corner of that hospital room.
Days later, I wandered down a corridor to an empty therapy room. There, in the corner of the room, sat an old, broken-down piano. I sat, dusting the ivory keys off and breathing deep. I wrote the first song I'd written since I was eleven years old. "walking hand in hand... with the lover of my soul...". It was just the beginning of a beautiful journey of surrendering the things I wanted for my life.
I found that the more I exchanged what I wanted for what He wanted, the more He revealed Himself to me, and the more I wanted of him.
I want to encourage you today. He is with you on every crooked path, in every broken place, and every impossible space.
I testify to the truth that,
"He never leaves and never forsakes...", just as He promised.
He does not take you somewhere difficult and drop you off to manage it on your own. He longs to walk through the fallen world with you, empowering and teaching you through His Holy Spirit.
"...He never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness."
As I look back now, he never left, even though, often, He felt silent and absent. I peer into the rearview, and I can see the evidence of His goodness. He gave me a view of His faithfulness, His loving patience over every difficult circumstance of my life.
Where are you walking these days? Look for the evidence of His goodness and mercy. Press into Him, He is faithful, and He is actively working something out for you. In your determination to remain focused and abiding in Him, you WILL find the richest of treasures, and it is EVERLASTING!!!