When I married straight out of college and instantly gained a teaching position my life appeared together. Unfortunately life went sideways, upside down and backwards. I didn’t know what to do with the hurt and frustration but I knew how to smile.
When a person smiles, most people see a form of delight, happiness or contentment. Few pick up on the subtle difference between an inside-out smile and a determined to convince smile. As I sank into deep depression I began loathing the discrepancy between the happy girl at work and confused pain-filled wife who walked through the door. I wanted to be the same woman everywhere.
The marriage unraveled revealing far more than a heart should bear. Abuse and betrayal quickly build a love for truth and a thirst for consistency. I aimed to be honest even if scared, to be who God created me to be even when I felt like an oddball. (If we’re honest, most of us do.)
Secrets & Distrust
I don’t care for secrets and Distrust and I battle regularly (passing things over to God is the only way I win). While married I kept the biggest secret of my life from the world. I did this too well and the repercussions of silencing my heart nearly destroyed me. As God pieced my shattered heart back together I feared silence and became the over-share girl. I didn’t want hide any longer; I wanted to live. (Oh sweet ones, if you’re hiding please come out and take the most terrifying and refreshing breath of your life!)
Walking through the church doors divorced terrified me to the core but God’s love drew me in. That same love also steadied and allowed me to wait in the mess. Because of this, perhaps you can imagine the difficulty of keeping our move hushed as we waited for God’s lead.I battled being consistent and authentic while withholding the possibility of a huge move. However, there are times to wait quietly and patiently on God for further direction.
My life, His Story
I remind my kids and students regularly when they want to gossip, “Is it your story to tell?” You know what? Sometimes our life story isn’t ours yet to tell. Through this process I reached a point where I realized the story of a possible move wasn’t my story to tell, it was God’s story to reveal. When the next steps are uncertain we can wait authentically while following and serving God. The two are not mutually exclusive of another.
Three other women joined me in leading the new intergenerational ministry we called Decades. Days before we met to pray and place the ladies in groups I received the call and knew I’d be interviewing for a teaching position there. I didn’t know how to say what I needed to say, “Hi, I spearheaded this but I might be moving” is not what I said, exactly. Whatever I said, the gracious women from various decades of life stopped and prayed for my family and me.
We won’t get through life unscathed but those scares create sensitivity, empathy, compassion and opportunity. We are able to respond to life consistently when we trust fully in the hope we have in God. Wherever you find yourself on the battlefield, rest confident and assured God is on the battlefield with you. He will redeem in unfathomable ways hurt, loss, disappointment and brokenness. You don’t need to have all the answers for the story of your life because He does.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!