Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
A few years ago, this verse would have caused me some frustration. I mean yes, so I can accept in my mind that God will cause all things to work together for good, even for my best, but the problem is what about when all those things just suck?
Six and a half years of fighting for a marriage, followed by divorce, followed by two years of continued fighting for restoration was terrible. It was painful. It was a lot of fight and struggle, but I can honestly say on this side of things that it was for my good, in fact for my best.
Had I not walked through that marriage and fought for it, I wouldn't have my two beautiful babies. Had I not fought through the divorce, I wouldn't have full custody of my babies or my home. Had I not stood for two years following the divorce for the promise and hope of restoration, I wouldn't have grown intimately in love with the Lord. I wouldn't have healed from the pain of the divorce with a strength at my core. I wouldn't have been able to help others heal through teaching Divorce Care or through starting this ministry. I wouldn't have seen two marriages restored and I am certain many more to come. I wouldn't have seen many marriages also blossom out of my struggles and pain. I wouldn't have written a book on the struggles that is reaching many hurting hearts. Finally, I wouldn't have met the man God created to be my husband.
All of this overwhelming blessing has poured out into my lap. All of the praise and glory goes to God who had a perfect and beautiful plan from the start. Yes, I cried through the marriage, divorce, and my stand. Yes, I cried and begged God to do things my way.
Deuteronomy 30:1-5 MSG "Here’s what will happen. While you’re out among the nations where God has dispersed you and the blessings and curses come in just the way I have set them before you, and you and your children take them seriously and come back to God, your God, and obey him with your whole heart and soul according to everything that I command you today, God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there and bring you back to the land your ancestors once possessed. It will be yours again. He will give you a good life and make you more numerous than your ancestors."
But on this side of things, I would not do anything differently. I am grateful to God for the trials and the pain and struggle, because of all the immense blessing He has poured over my head and because of the person He created in me. I have my identity. Queen. Bride of Christ.
Revelations 21:2 "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
After all of this, I truly can say thank you God. Thank you for these trials, despite the pain and the hurt and the scars. Thank you, because I was chosen for this. Just as Christ was chosen for the trial set before him, my Father chose me for this, in order that I could participate in the furthering of His Kingdom and so that He could pour out His overwhelming blessings in me. These blessings don't just stop with me. They overflow into all those around me.
Hebrews 12:2 "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
I heard Him again a few days ago calling to me. "Would you rather have this or that?" and finally, my answer is pleasing to His ears. "Not my will, but yours be done."