Like a toddler suspended in time, I have spent endless years testing my boundaries to see just how far God would let me wander off, dangerously nearing the fire on too many occassions to count. I frequently wondered if He even realized I had wandered off. If He had, I was sure He would have protected me from all the painful things I endured. Though I believed He existed, I wasn’t sure He knew I existed.
Until a recent life-changing event that led to thoroughly dissecting my life and the importance of not only believing in God, but giving my life to Him on a daily basis, answers I had been searching for are continually being revealed. I have discovered that God is not the author of evil, man is. His presence and grace have been a constant during the times I thought He was far away. It was me that traveled far from Him.
From the divorce that ripped my world apart, shattering the very foundation on which I stood, especially when I saw the pain it caused my children, God showed me the importance of cultivating relationships and honoring marriage.
From an assault I suffered at the young age of 18, God taught me how to perseve and overcome challenges and trials in life, teaching me the powerful lesson of forgiveness and the freedom it brings.
From the heartbreaking death of my stepdaughter, God taught me compassion to those who experience losing a loved one to suicide, as well as an understanding of bipolar disorder, a mental illness that is so widely misunderstood.
From the rebellious child I was, a stubborn streak a mile wide, God taught me how to channel that “energy” into something positive and to use it for good.
From an accident that nearly claimed my son’s life, God taught me reliance upon Him, the power of prayer, and the importance of making every day count. To take time out of every day, no matter how busy I may be, to cherish those I love, to give that one extra hug, that extra moment to listen and to say a kind word.
When I look at all the prayers I thought God had ignored, he’s given me the gift of immeasurable gratitude for answering them according to His will, not mine. According to the entire picture of which He can see rather than the limited sliver I can see.
God has blessed every step I have taken, been with me on every stubborn detour, helped me back on my feet when I fell, healed my broken and bruised heart. God’s gentle whispers are what I finally heard the loudest.