August 16, 2009

God's Little Helpers

The past 7 months have been the most difficult in my life. They have been painful, stressful, backbreaking and heart aching. What my young children and I have endured, I wouldn't wish on anybody. Things got so bad and hurt so much that my faith became very weak and I felt my strength to go on, almost gone. I couldn't see an inkling of a plan here that I wanted any part of. I didn't see my life making any sense or having any purpose or value. I even recall saying to God that if this is all my life was going to be, that I would prefer if He'd just get it over with quickly instead of making it slow and agonizing.

I can't lie and say that I am completely happy now or enjoying any of this. But I can truthfully say that I'm seeing God's hand in this situation in a good way. The enemy has used my husband to attack me and hurt me for a long time and continues to use him to throw darts my way. But God said that no weapon formed against me would prosper (Isaiah 54.17) and He would cause all things to work together for good for those that love Him. (Romans 8.28)

Throughout this tragedy of a life we've been living, God has still shown us so much mercy. He's reached way down into the pit that I believed I would never get out of and touched me with His overwhelming love. That love has come in the form of the people that He has brought us to and brought to us.

The domestic violence shelter we were placed in when we first walked out of our life of abuse was called Genesis. That was our new beginning. We met some wonderful people there who offered us kindness and comfort in those early days when our wounds were still fresh. Some days I cried so bad I could barely breathe because it felt like I was just punched in the gut. Their encouragement helped me through the days when I considered returning to our nightmare to avoid feeling the pain of freedom.

We have been shown love by our family. My sister who offered to share her home with us after we left the shelter. My mom and youngest sister helped me with caring for my children as I went through the last few months of my pregnancy. My mother and father for helping us financially when my husband who swore he would always take care of his kids decided it would be more fun to withhold support from his family. My aunt Cynthia who made it possible for us to take a mini vacation from our problems and spend a weekend with family at our reunion this summer.

Our spiritual family at Christ Tabernacle in NY has continuously lifted us up in their prayers which has continually provided us with God's grace and favor, bringing the provision that we need when we need it. Providing words of comfort and encouragement.

Obviously God doesn't drop things from the sky, have them magically appear out of thin air, or make money to grow on trees. He uses people to bring us the things that we need and the things He wants to give us in "good measure, pressed down and running over" (Luke 6.38). And so many people have listened to His voice and come to our aid.

I would never have seen things this way before because we tend to associate a cup running over with material wealth. But our cup is running over with goodness as He continues to pour out His love on us through new friends we have made at Turning Point a domestic violence organization and Life Church - our church in PA. Through these wonderful people we have received shelter, food, things for our new baby, and above all the loving kindness that only God can give.

Although this is a season that God knows I would not have ever wanted to go through, God through his infinite wisdom has brought a lot of good to us. We would never have met the people that we have met had we not gone through this and we would not have received His love and mercy in the way that we have.

In the 23rd Psalm, David says, "Surely goodness and mercy (or love, in some versions) shall follow me all the days of my life...". I know that most days I wish the goodness were in front of me so that I wouldn't experience any pain. But if we didn't ever feel that pain, then there would be no need for us to trust or have faith in God. But as His word says, it follows us, and it's not at a distance either. It follows us up close and is right on our heels. The obstacles are right in front of us. The pain is right next to us. His goodness and mercy are right behind us. And His loving arms are all around us.

To our family, especially my oldest son Anthony who has suffered along with me for so long; my friends Lou, Shei, Denise, Elan, Nani & Kela & Austin, Liz, Zory, and all the praying sisters; our Christ Tabernacle family, our Genesis family; our friends at Turning Point; the staff at St. Luke's hospital; the friends and co-workers of our friends (Rachel, Lucy) and anyone who has shown us love by something as simple as offering up a prayer & supplying something as big as a bed, you may never know how deeply your actions have affected our lives for good, but I want to tell you, THANK YOU & GOD BLESS YOU ALL, from the bottoms of our hearts.

To all of God's little helpers in our lives, the ones we know and those we may never meet, thank you for sending His big love our way.