They knew God in ways far beyond anything I had ever experienced

As I continued to soak in the stories of these women and men who were aflame with the fire of divine love, I began desiring this kind of life for myself. And desiring led to seeking and seeking led to finding. And what I found settled me, deepened me, thickened me.

Stories inspire us, help us to think that maybe our life isn’t so bad, or perhaps convince us that it could be better. For those whose roads are marked, like my own, more by mistakes than selflessness, patience, and sound judgment, take hope in the God who truly and mysteriously blesses our broken roads and redeems us from them and who can repurpose our lives, including our love lives, for something more. We can live a whole life, full of heart, with a capacity to process pain, wrestle with truth, and find ourselves steady at the end of our pilgrimage.

Our stories tell us who we are, why we are here, and what we are to do. As I reflected on my own life story, I realized Father God kept writing my story not putting me to the side saying you are finished, but saying “You are part of a story that is bigger than yourself and I will bring it to pass, just keep following me.”

Circumstances never leave you the same. Do you agree? How do you figure out how to live in the face of unspoken pain?

I have learned to trust God even when I cannot understand my own heartaches. I have asked God “Why?” I poured out my heart to God all the bitter disappointments mixed with anger and doubt. But He does not rebuke me. Rather, he surrounds me. He puts my feet on a rock. He becomes “a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Ps. 3: 3). Discouraged and disillusioned and mired in self-pity, the circumstances of my life screamed “NO” to the question of whether I would move on. But amidst the shouts, hope was whispering, “Maybe… just maybe.” As I write and pray, I sense his movement in my life. He comforts me. He fills me with hope. He bears my sorrows. It’s okay to lament. It’s biblical.

Many people seem to have it all together outwardly, but inside they are a wreck. Their past has broken, crushed, and wounded them inwardly. They can be healed. God has a plan, and Isaiah 61 reveals that the Lord came to heal the brokenhearted.

I came to realize I can bring God the crazy, messed-up pieces of my life and trust Him to turn it into something that people will be drawn to, something worthwhile, something that would convince people. My life doesn’t end in ashes. He will make it beautiful. God wants to do the same for you.

He cared so much for me and He kept writing my story with an overwhelming amount of grace. He heard my cries for Him. When I make a declaration that He truly became enough for me, I mean I fail when I try to fill myself in ways that only God can.

He brought me through places of being so worn out from grief to a place of life and hope. He began to do a good work in me.

And God said, “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you. I’ll make every word I give you come true.” Jeremiah 1:2 MSG