Flashes come to me this morning. Snapshots of my life that I never really understood.
There is the me I dont even remember. The me who lost her mother to the hands of a murderer when I was not quite two years old. The me who was embroiled in a custody fight that my grandparents eventually won. The me who never remembers her mother's face and did not have a relationship with her father until she was 10 years old.
The young six year old that hoped against hope that I could make it outside to play before before my grandfather wanted to 'play' with me himself. Dreading seeing the chain going on the door knowing I was on the wrong side of it yet again.
The teenage me rebelling and wanting someone to love me because I never felt worthy after the abuse that occured in my younger years, the despair of knowing that my grandmother chose to stay with him after she found out about the abuse only increased the thought that I was not enough. Wondering and wondering why if I prayed hard on Sunday and went to church every Wednesday night then why did I still fill so empty most of the time.
Being a newleywed and fighting over nothing but knowing deep inside that it was about control. The knowing that NO ONE would ever control me again. NO ONE would put the chain on my door and leave me on the wrong side of it. Developing a seed of bitterness against each other that became an environment of animosity and failure.
Feeling crushed, and again, not enough to find my spouse had not only been unfaithful, but with one of my best friends. Why on earth was Shelly not enough? Why on earth would I worship a God who could not fix my pain.
The descent into a darkness I never knew existed. Trying to find love in a marriage relationship that was doomed because all the parties have to want it for it to be successful. The anger toward God for 'not fixing' me or my husband to make us have our happy ever after. Was this God worth serving? I had wasted 1/2 my life with a man who would not love me and loved a God who would not fix it. So, I walked away from God for some time.
As I found my way back to Jesus, the confusion would still hit me from time to time. Why had I and others endured such heartache. What good came from it? When would I find my happiness? As my relationship with God grew, I found that a real relationship with Him ends the emptiness. He was a real God who really loves us. He doesn't always answer our way but one day, we will understand the whys.
I now look back with understanding because of this scripture:
Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
Now I am going to read this another way; a way my cousin Nichole did a blog the other day. This has changed my life, seriously. Put your name where the you's are
Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For I know the plans I have for Shelly," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper Shelly and not to harm shelly, plans to give Shelly hope and a future. Then Shelly will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to Shelly. Shelly will seek me and find me when Shelly seek me with all her heart. I will be found by Shelly," declares the LORD, "and will bring Shelly back from captivity. I will gather Shelly from all the nations and places where I have banished Shelly," declares the LORD, "and will bring Shelly back to the place from which I carried her into exile."
See, I have been in the place without a hope or a future. I have been banished and exiled before but the Lord has brought me back. He has given ME a hope and a future. He has allowed me to marry my best friend. He has given me a church family and pastor that is truly home. He has put friend in my life that I know I cannot do without. He has used my pain to help other people.
So as we go through things, and we will, we always will in this life. Cling this scripture. Know that weeping may endure for a night, but JOY will come in the morning because God has a plan for each of us. The beautiful thing about this scripture is that it is not just for Shelly. It is for Stephanie, it is for Nichole, it is for Lisa, it is for Brandi, it is for Jina, it is for Brittany, it is for Brad, it is for Pastor and Sis. Livingston, it is for Breanna, it is for Jason, it is for Robbie, it is for Tina, it is for Candy, it is for Dawn, it is for Joseph, it is for YOU
Put your name in the scripture and wear it when you face adversity and struggle.