All Roads Lead To Somewhere, But Where?

I have posted this before. It's my testimony- my hope and prayer is that you will take from it how much I love God, and how wonderfully, amazingly, good and loving He is. It's a two part post so I will post part 2 later this week (probably wednesday)...

Part 1- Before Marriage:

I have a true story to tell you.

It's about the road that has led me to this place that I'm at right now. While the road has been rocky and the journey a little ugly at times- it has led to the most wonderful of places.

I started on this road when I was about 7 I think (while the exact age seems to have left me- I remember clearly the place and the company). I was sitting in the hall of my house where I grew up waiting to use the restroom when my father came down the hallway. I asked him to sit down and visit with me for a minute- I had some questions. Questions about Jesus and God. Questions about my salvation and where I would go when I died. There in the hallway, with my earthly father's support, waiting to use the bathroom, I chose to believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Fast forward a few years to a teenager who believed in Christ but really didn't take it much further than that. Who was super quick to throw others under the bus with judgement for their "sin", but felt like since she wasn't going to the parties and doing "those" things then she must be doing right by God. Right?.

Fast Forward a few more years to college. I continued to say I loved God and believed in his Son as my Savior, but unfortunately continued to live a life that was contrary to what I professed. I made many poor decisions and followed the road of the world in a way that I'm sure made satan sing with joy. I dated and then later became engaged to a guy that was a relationship unhealthy for both parties I'm sure. Emotional damage seemed to be the base for which that relationship was built on. I prayed and prayed that God would heal our tattered and torn relationship. I was marrying this man for crying out loud! How could we ever have a successful marriage if we couldn't even date properly? I shed tears over the brokenness of it all- all the while crying out to God to fix what we seemed to tear down and break so frequently. With invitations sent out, two wedding showers under our belt, dress, flowers, and cake all purchased, and less than a month before the wedding we threw in the towel and walked away from each other.

What had gone wrong? Had I not prayed hard enough? It felt like complete failure had consumed me. Embarrassment. Shame. Hopelessness. What had started as a smooth road, had turned into pebbles, then rocks, then boulders, and had come to its end as this huge mountain that I could see no way over. Along with the ending of what I thought was supposed to be the beginning of this new life came other changes. I immediately moved home to my parents after living on my own for 3 years, changed schools (or so I thought at the time), and basically just tried to figure out where it had all gone wrong.

The next few months to follow would not be what I would describe as pretty. Without going into too much detail lets just say that rock bottom seemed to be my new address. However I had mastered the art of putting on a happy face and making it seem like all was well in the world. I was not happy with the person I had become, and I know that God was saddened by where my life had gone.

It was one of those things that in the midst of the sin and shamefulness I could hear and feel the Holy Spirit convicting me. Telling me to turn away from the ways that seemed to be consuming me, but I just kept turning from him and digging myself deeper and deeper in. I just kept turning to the world to try to put out the pain, but it only seemed to produce more pain and more trouble.

It was during this time of lowness that the future hubster came into the picture (again. Seeing as how he and I had grown up together and then dated in high school for a couple of years off and on, only to part ways when I went off to college). I'm not going to lie and say that it was all roses right from the start, because frankly drama usually follows when your heart is saying one thing and your brain is saying another. However, after a few talks, a few situations, and a few shed tears it became apparent that Nolan was God's answer to the prayer I had prayed a year earlier. The prayer where I had prayed for him to heal the brokenness of another relationship with another guy. The prayer where I thought he had abandoned me and left me hopeless. The prayer I thought he had chosen not to hear- not to listen to. It wasn't that he didn't care or had chosen to ignore me- instead like a faithful and loving parent he had just chosen to say "No."

"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." -Jeremiah 29:11-14

You see, only He knew my future. My small faith had left me feeling abandoned and alone in my time of need. I felt that God had failed me, but he had really delivered me choosing to reveal himself true and faithful on his time, not mine. Most of all he chose to show himself loving despite the lack of love I had shown him.

Nolan and our marriage was a "good and perfect gift" that could have only "come from above," but like I'll show you tomorrow when I finish this story- sinful nature is not pretty, and can unfortunately, cause hurt and pain within the most wonderful of God's gifts.

For now I'll leave you with this. My hope is that through my story you can find hope. Just know that God is faithful, and merciful, and always- ALWAYS- shows himself true. Unfortunately we have to hit rock bottom sometimes to recognize our need for him, but find joy in those moments- for it is then that God's Glory and Awesomeness can truly be realized and we can find him.



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