During one of my first blog post, I quoted this scripture. I was grasping for hope, for faith, for anything to make the terrible heartbreak I was feeling seem ok.
So I kept praying. Everyday asking God to take away the pain. To give me strength and guidance. To heal my heart and not make me so jaded, that I let the world pass me by because I am afraid to trust. I would lay in bed and sob, pleading to god to just stop the hurt and heal my heart. I would fall asleep and wake up the next morning, feeling stronger and a little happier then the night before.
God has been oh so good to me. When I asked, he provided. Not always exactly when or in the ways I was asking for. But as I continue this journey, I become more and more ok with accepting his timing. God is blessing me with opportunities and people that fill my soul in ways that I would have never been open too 6 months ago.
I thought my “season of suffering” as I referred to in a previous post, was going to be long and torturous. But it seems like god had other plans and wasn’t going to allow me to stay in that dark place. He gave me courage I never had before and reminded me that life is too short too not be anything but happy and full of faith.
I’ve now moved through the season of suffering and shifted into a season of strength. During church this morning, our pastor gave a sermon titled “Greater Blessing”. It is part of a series called “Next”. As many of the sermons Steve has given since my divorce, this one once again spoke directly to me, as if he had written it for me. He asked us to think about how we have been blessed to bless those around us. I look back now and think about the blessing that God set up for me, before I even knew they were being done. He specifically mentioned that one of the ways we can do that is by sharing our story of how we have overcome, how we have battled grief, addiction, etc in the midst of those struggles, so that we can share that experience with someone else and say “me too”
Its ironic he mentioned addiction, because I created this blog in 2015 with the intention of sharing my story of how addiction tore my life apart. Sharing my blog and ultimately sharing mine and Jeremy’s story via social media provided me the opportunity to speak with and counsel many friends and friends of friends who had a loved one who was struggling with addiction. I spoke with a lot of significant others, who were in the same position I was once in, helpless and trapped, watching the person they love turn into someone they didn’t recognize and not being able to do anything about it because they were not married and they had to legal connection.
I have always liked the story of Ester. When I first started as a youth leader, I was asked, which biblical figure I like the most. My choice, was Ester. Ester was bold and courageous. She stood to tell the truth, voice her opinion and fight for the good of others, even when it meant sacrificing herself. It took a lot of courage to write the first blog. It is a dark and painful story. But it is my story and if I wanted to provide outreach, I had to tell it.
But back then I was pushing god away and turning my cheek to the love he wanted to give me. That is not the case this time. The shift in my blog was faith driven. I could have rant and raved about divorce and affairs and my feelings without god but what good would that do? There is no substance there, there is no deeper meaning to the pain.
Steve mentioned in his sermon, if we are going to make it to our next blessing, we have to be willing to get out of our comfort zone. I undoubtedly believe that God’s plan for me did not include Chad, so he did what any good god would do, he kicked me off the side of the cliff, in the most abrupt and painful way. But he did not leave me at the bottom of the cliff to crawl in a hole and die. He also didn’t just instantly put me back together again like humpty dumpty either. He walked beside me, providing exactly what I needed, when I needed it. I was not always privy to what he was doing and I resisted, but his love pursued me regardless. My marriage wasn’t where God wanted me. I couldn’t move on to my next blessing if I continued to stay where I was at. God was calling me to what was next.
I still go to counseling every two weeks. At my last appointment, we discussed where I stand in my life right now and where I am going from here. I have come a long way and I had some serious setbacks during my journey to this point. But I am happy. I am faithful. I am willing to move out into what god is calling me to do next, even though I am not even sure what that may be in full detail. It would be easy to stay where I am at because its a good place, heck, it would have been easy to stay in my place of suffering and continue to ask god, why (with no real answers). I’ve known grief before, it has been my friend for so many years and in many different sceneries. But “God uses those experience and leads you through those experiences to be a blessing for others” – Steve Lamotte
So what is next?
Well, I am going to be an Ester. For years, people have told me I need to write a book. I have a gift for words and that has always been a dream of mine. I always thought that my book would solely be about grief, drug addiction and Jeremys death. But given what I have been through over the past 6 months, coupled with the overwhelming grief I have sustained after the deaths of my soulmate and two of my best friends, I feel god calling me to not just write about addiction but to write about grief and faith. Faith has brought me through some horrible times. Faith is how I know I will see Jeremy and Natasha and JN again. God can use this these experiences to help others who are walking in the same shoes as I have because god uses all experiences to bring about good in our lives and of those around us.
This concept is going to be an experience in itself. I am lucky to have such a great support system, including my family and my book club tribe. I have an idea of the substance of my book, but I have no doubt that god will give me the words he wants me to provide to others. I also know that the idea of writing something of this nature will uproot a lot of painful memories but this has been on my heart for quite some time and I am going to take this leap of faith because it is where god is calling me to go.
Stay tuned for more as I work out the kinks of becoming an author!