When I read Isaiah 43 I can see how my story weaves into it. This chapter speaks of how God loves, pursues, and redeems his people despite their disobedience.
While I grew up Christian, I can say my faith had not taken deep roots – but oh, how thankful I am those roots were there! By the time I got to college I was full of questions. I did not know it back then but everything related to my view of God. I was relying on my own understanding, not on God’s word. I could not see God had created me and called me by name. I could not see how valuable I was (am) to Him. I was unaware I could not know who I was until I knew who God is. This lack of identity in my early adulthood left me insecure, with a wrong sense of purpose. There was a void inside me only God could fill yet I was looking in the wrong places for fulfillment.
When I met my husband in my late twenties, I was broken and did not even know it… Not only was I looking to him to fill the void inside me but also to my career to define me. Our relationship became strained over the years by a combination of factors and we ended up divorcing after eight years of marriage.
That was tough for our family. It was not our plan. I mean, who gets married with the hope of getting divorced? Surprisingly our divorce was the very thing God used to bring us back to Him and even more surprising: back together and remarried. It was God’s grace in action.
We praise God for our reconciliation because only He can give beauty for ashes. It has not been easy, but we can honestly say God has been with us. He continues to be with us as we rebuild parts of our relationship. Only in Him can we find strength for the tough times, grace for when we fall, and hope to continue the journey. Only in Jesus can we persevere, move forward, and continue celebrating anniversaries (this year will be our 13th).
Many times I wondered why we had to go through so much and why it took me so long to accept that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Honestly, I am still unpacking what it means to follow Jesus, to let Him live through me, and to live in a state of surrender to Him. Part of that surrender was to stop asking and start trusting.
As imperfect as I am, it amazes me that God still loves me, pursues me, and calls me His.This is one truth I need to remember because it brings me hope. It tells me I am not alone; that I have a purpose greater than myself and there is One who loves me despite my brokenness. He really makes all things new.
That is the hope I have for myself, my family, and for all I can reach. The hope that in Jesus there is fullness, new life, and a plan that goes far beyond what we can imagine.