Good morning and Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful, safe and joyful start to the year 2019.
As you may already know, I’ve started a new series on the blog about a month ago called “A Story of Hope.” I was planning to share 12 Hope stories between mid-December and Christmas but I think this is something I’d like to continue throughout the year if anyone is willing to share their story.
I was so glad when I heard that Patrick, a friend I have met recently was willing to share his story of Hope and how the Lord was able to use his brokenness to bring him back into right relationship with God. Here is Patrick’s story!
In the first three quarters of this year I was going through pain and suffering, and I asked, “Why is there hurt, why is there pain in many things.” It happened, I was going through my first breakup ever, something that I never expected to go through. I expected and tried to make my first romantic relationship the only one. I saw the pain that others went through in relationships, so I valued being careful who I give life to before starting a romantic relationship.
During and after my first relationship is where I experienced how God loves us unconditionally, just as I loved the lovely lady that I was with. I always understood that God loves us unconditionally butnear the end and after that relationship I now know and have experienced more how God unconditionally loves us. Yet, that didn’t come without knowing and experiencing loss, rejection, pain and more. I will explain more.
Before I go on, the woman that I was in a relationship with did not intentionally hurt but it was an inevitable side effect after fallingand perusing in love.
I believe the relationship did not have to end, I know it was a choice by the woman I was dating, and they had their reasons and I respect their reasons. This also means that I don’t believe that I had to learn more about God’s unconditional love this way and instead in another way, but since it happened God used the time of suffering for good, to grow me and I believe God always does that even if we don’t see that right away. I believe God could have used something else to teach me more about Him but God used this because of the choices made by myself and the woman that I was dating.
You probably know from your own experience of pain and suffering that is has drawn you to God or if you don’t believe in God it drew you to something, friends, family, etc.
That is built into our DNA. Those things should draw us to God even if we know about or know Him. But before and during my time of hurt and pain I would sometimes think that myself was like the character, Dr. Strange. He had so much pride in his work and his hands just as we can in other things, our status, our relationships, our abilities and more. Then one day, that can all be or mostly gone and your whole world can collapse because it was that thing that you built the foundations of your life on. I did that with my relationship, my abilities and other things. When things started to fall apart before breaking up I was trying to give all those things back to God. It was hard but wanted to save the relationship and get back to the heart of things. I thought I got to that point, but things still didn’t work out and eventually my relationship with her was gone and I was doing okay at first with God but then things got worse. I was starting to live a double life. Praising God, grieving in Him and writing a song that helped me during that pain. After the song was done things got worse, I was fighting things like lust, not knowing that I was just covering the pain that I still had. It led to feeling alone and helpless
The past month, December, I have been slowly working on my relationship with God again. I am seeing the differences now, even as I write this. I am once again, that’s right again taking refuge in God, letting him be my comfort. Plenty of times I took comfort in God this past year for many things, mainly my breakup and confusion for why and what will come next after this. Yet I would often think I am good again and leave His comfort and not realizing that I am not healed enough, to be honest I never will be. There will always be pain in this world and that’s why we should be in God’s comfort all the time! God is there for you, every step of the way! Each day I need to remind myself of that, but I have failed to even do that and that’s okay because if I surround myself with people to disciple me and read God’s Word, His thoughts will transform mine and I will more easily be able to remind myself to be in God’s comfort every day.
This reminds me of Psalm 34:1-10 and specifically verse 8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” and that reminds me of Job. He looked to God, he was in God’s comfort and even going through the tough times and losing everything he still did not turn away from God which would have led him to go into more despair as we may know from experience. If you depend on God, you could lose one or many things and instead of your whole world collapsing.
So, after going through that breakup I would rather part of my life collapses as I find comfort in God so that I can grow and let God work in my life.
As Psalm 23:4-6 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Because of that season in my life, I am now better preparedbefore any future struggles that will happen because God warned us there will be trials in this life. Also, as Westerners, we typically aren’t good at handling suffering compared to other people around the world. So, I encourage myself and others reading this to prepare yourself for pain and suffering through prayer and study in God’s Word.
So when a part of your world collapse God is there to catch you as you fall, only if you let Him catch you, if you go to Him, ifyou reach out, He’ll be there, pursuing you and waiting for you.