I borrowed another old blog post. I’m still in awe of what the Lord plucked me out of and where He placed me. He is so, so good.
I’m reflecting today on a really ugly time in my life. A time when I made decisions that cut deep. The scars remain, although they fade more with each passing year.
My story isn’t that unique:
Girl grows up in Christian home.
Girl is unprepared for the real world.
Girl that has always been so confident that she would make wise choices forevermore, falls hard and fast for the wrong guy.
To make up for her shame and embarrassment (and to keep her pride, she thinks) she sticks by the guy above friends and family even though he is mean and mistreats her.
It was a very ugly time a little less than a decade ago.
A time that I wouldn’t hear from him for days and I would know he was with someone else even though he was supposed to be mine. Instead of being a strong woman, I became a crazy person.
I specifically remember one evening that I wanted to be out of my lonely apartment. I didn’t want to sit by the window, watching to see if he would come like he said he would. I went to the park and tried to journal, even tried to read my Bible. But I wasn’t ready.
I wasn’t ready to surrender. My thoughts. My pride. My emotions.
My shattered, bruised, used, discarded heart.
I would journal a little, then pick up my phone and call him.
Over and over and over.
Until he turned off his phone and I was crushed all over again.
Oh, how it hurt.
I remember that evening so vividly. I was so ashamed of what I had become. Of the person he led me to believe I was.
Worthless. Ugly. Crazy. Bitchy. Pathetic.
I was in such a beautiful place overlooking our city. And all I could see was my phone that just lie there, silent.
How grateful I am that the Lord delivered me one year later.
I had sunk even further and one night in desperation, I cried out, “Oh Lord, my God, forgive me! Please rescue me from this as only You can!” And He did. Immediately. My life changed overnight and I was redeemed from inside out. The Great I AM told me the truth:
Instead of worthless, He said I was worth dying for.
Instead of Ugly, He said I was fearlessly and wonderfully made in His image.
Instead of Crazy, He said I could be wise in the knowledge of His Word.
Instead of Bitchy, He said I had His Spirit in me to make me joyful and peaceful.
Instead of Pathetic He said I was HIS.
Just a few months ago, the Lord gave me the sweetest gift. One of the partners of my publishing company is an excellent photographer. He offered to take my author photos for me and one evening, he, his wife (my editor), their lovely daughter, and myself met for the photos. We laughed and talked and had a peaceful, happy, productive evening. At one point, it hit me: how much the Lord had changed my life.
How far He has brought me.
And as I sat, having those pictures taken, talking about where we were in the process of publishing the book, I couldn’t stop smiling and looking around at my surroundings in awe.
Just short of ten years after that awful night in the park, God brought me back to the same place to show me, loud and clear, just how much He had redeemed my life from that awful pit.
Although I wish I never would have taken that wrong path, how I wish I hadn’t put my family or myself through the unbearable pain for as long as I did…although the nightmares of that time still haunt me and the scars still throb every so often…
I can smile with joy because He has done it. Exactly as He promised He would.
Photo credit: Michael Sloane