Has there ever been a significant event in your life where you’ve been drawn to every story and sign of hope that you could get your hands on in an effort to make sense of all your emotional pain or uncertainty that followed a crisis in your life? Has Google (or Pinterest!) turned into an obsession, draining your phone battery faster than you ever thought possible – your Boolean search strings officially mastered? Then keep readin’ sister girlfriends!
I found my story of hope, and looking back, I found it through no coincidence at all. I’ll reserve the details for a future post.
What I read was so inspiring that it made me want to share my story – essentially implementing their story – in hopes that it will create your story…so if nothing else, there will be three of us in the world spreading our stories of truth. The three of us will then inspire a fourth, fifth, and sixth person, and before you know it, our world will be a better, kinder, place. Sounds easy, right?
Through my desperate searches for answers about how my life can go from people thinking my marriage was something to envy to one where people were sharing their own assumptions about the when or how or why of what happened, God (yes God!) was revealing things to me.
What dawned on me through my discovery of hope is that the woman in the story I read? I was her! She had failed to put God first in her life, and oh my! So. Had. I!
For the last 10 years of my life (and if I’m being really honest, my entire life), I failed to center my life on Jesus Christ.
I was always a believer of God, don’t get me wrong, but I was never raised with any meaningful attention placed on Him. The WWJD bracelets never quite influenced me, either. I wish I would have been one of those people who could have told you. But instead I was unphased, thinking, “heck if I know” and on I would go about my business.
In my family, we didn’t talk about God, didn’t talk about prayer, and we certainly didn’t pray…at least not as a family…heads bowed at the dinner table verbalizing our appreciation for the meal before us. Nope, there was none of that. Gulp! I didn’t go to church (except I guess on the rare, rare occasion when my age was in the single digits and I spent the night at my devout Polish Grandma’s house on a Saturday night).
And, we weren’t even Christmas or Easter Catholics! I couldn’t even say that I was a non-practicing, ‘only-when-convenient’ Catholic. My time in the church pretty much ended at my baptism…as an infant.
I refocused my life on God for a hot minute during an earlier place of despair in my early 20s, but once God helped me through that, I thanked him, and set him free to tend to someone else’s worries. Big mistake.
Because of what I’ve come to believe in these last several months (and the very peace that I’ve experienced revealed), is that had I put Him at the nucleus – the very core – of my existence, I know that my today would look different. I’m not implying that God would have prevented my heartbreak or setbacks along the way (because He doesn’t – in fact, in some cases, He creates them), but having a relationship with Him would have made me more conscious of the decisions that I made, and would have increased the probability that I would have made better ones along the way!
Immersing myself in God’s Word over this last year has brought me an unwavering sense of feeling okay. And despite not knowing how far into my battle (or how deep into my pit) I am, I want to share how increasing my knowledge of, and loyalty to, Jesus has brought me out of the depths of despair. While my eyes are not completely dry, my tears have been greatly reduced and replaced with a peace that only Jesus can offer.
What about you? Think about your personal hardship(s) that led to your hopelessness being at an all-time high. If you had to rate your relationship with God on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being no relationship at all, where would you fall? Ten months ago (and pretty much every preceding year to that), I would have unquestionably scored a 0. But today? I’ve gravitated to at least a 2.75, with plenty of room to grow!