My first three years walking with God was a total honeymoon. The relationship was new, exciting, and everything was smooth sailing. I was serving in my church and totally committed to God. Commitment was easy back then because I’d not yet been tested in my faith.
I decided to get involved with online dating again. It wasn’t long before I met someone and I launched myself headlong into a swift summer romance. One month later, I was engaged, and just five months later, I was married, my life packed up, and on my way to Washington State. I sacrificed my career, a budding community outreach ministry, the privilege of hosting a weekly prayer group in my apartment, and fellowship with friends and family. I walked away from God’s hopes and dreams for me, chasing after this “shiny object” that looked like it would fulfill my hopes and dreams.
After just five months in Washington, everything fell apart. God revealed the truth about my husband’s deception, and I realized what a foolish mistake I had made. I begged God’s forgiveness and asked for help, which God graciously gave. He delivered me out of that unhealthy situation and brought me safely back to California.
God did not immediately reinstate me into the life I had left less than a year earlier. I had a lot of healing and growing up to do, much like the Israelites did during their 40-year trek through the desert before moving into the Promised Land. And, just as in any relationship where trust is broken, in my relationship with God trust had to be rebuilt. Now, God is perfect. The rebuilding of trust isn’t for Him because He already knows everything about us, past, present and future. I believe the rebuilding is for us, and for others in our lives. I needed to learn that I can be trusted again because no one was harder on me than me. Others who were negatively impacted and hurt by my decision have also needed to see the work that God has done these past two years.
My relationship with God has gone through a major overhaul, as well. We have pretty much started over from scratch. God has torn down, stripped away and laid bare parts of me and my relationship with Him to reveal my weaknesses. Over the past two years, He has been rebuilding me and, together, we are rebuilding our relationship. It is now based on truth and transparency.
truth is that I, as His bride and friend, am the object of His great love, and that truth has set me free… free to receive that love, free to return that love, and free to give that love away to others. This year has been one of transparency… before God, before myself, and before others. God has freed me to embrace my humanity with all its broken and weak parts, and He has encouraged me to share that with others in a way that is uniquely me.
This road of restoration has been a long, and sometimes painful one. God and I have traveled back through over 40 years of junk in my life. Along the way, we’ve dug up hidden treasures. We’ve also made numerous trips to the spiritual dump, getting rid of beliefs, agreements and lies which had polluted my heart and mind. I have felt God’s arm around me as we continue on this path together, and I’ve sensed Him showing me the bright future that He tells me lies ahead. My vision is so limited, though… I cannot see the scenery beyond the path itself. But what I see of the path is encouragement enough because Jesus is by my side. We have left the darkness behind, and are walking together into the light of a new day… and I’m excited to see what God has in store in this next chapter of my story…