Each year I pick a word that will ‘define’ my year. A couple of years ago it was the word ‘faithful’. And The Lord took me through many experiences that refined my faith in incredible ways!! He took the areas of my life, the areas I wasn’t even aware were flawed, and refined them. I faced some really hard choices and I did a lot of purging! Sometimes it was easy, other times it was heart wrenching. But I learned that in that word ‘faithful’ I had some work to do in many areas.
After going through that year of ‘faithful’, I was reconnected with an old friend from decades ago. When we first reconnected, he was a shinning example of spirituality and grace, but after a while, addiction took him to a very dark place. He reached out for help, and I had decisions to make. I agreed to help but I needed to be able to live my life and take care of my children. He agreed to my terms and we moved forward.
It was a very rocky, trying and emotional time. I kept seeking God and desperately tried to be led by Holy Spirit. I did not want to lose my faithfulness to God in anyway, shape or form!! Nor did I want to affect my children, two gifts that God had blessed me with!!
Leading a God-first life in a time of turmoil can be challenging, but it is vital! It is only with God’s wisdom and the leading of Holy Spirit that we will make it through these times.
This season lasted for a few months. There were highs and there were lows. There were times when I would look up to the sky and just ask God what He was thinking! I certainly did not understand much of what was going on! There were times when I just wanted to walk away from it all!
I actually sat there in prayer before even getting out of bed one morning, and said “Lord, I need something. I need to know how YOU see this person! I really don’t know if I’m doing the right thing or if I should be here! Help me!”.
I then got up, grabbed my coffee and sat down with my Bible. I opened it randomly and there in front of me, glaring out amongst the surrounding words, was Philippians 4:8 which says: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things
This was how God saw my friend. In fact, this is how God sees ALL of us!! We are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and worthy.
This was how I needed to see my friend too, and I can tell you that during those rough times, it was REALLY hard to see him that way!! But what I can tell you is that once I started to see and speak these things to and over him, things started to change! God started to move, and He moved in incredible and amazing ways!!
Our amazing Lord God took to refining not just my friend but me too. And by default my children, their dad, some of my friends and even shook up some other people around us. The changes were amazing and it took my faithfulness to a whole new level!!
The scriptures above Philippians 4:8 are two of my golden scriptures… be anxious for nothing, in all things give thanks and let your needs be known to God, and the peace of God will guard your heart and mind (my succinct version of Philippians 4:6-7). And if that isn’t the epitome of faithfulness I’m not sure what is!
Some people embraced and celebrated the changes going on – they embraced the refining process that God was taking us through. Others didn’t. And that’s ok… Not everyone wants us to change and not everyone wants to change themselves.
During the process, my friend accepted Christ (much like Todd White’s case – an amazing testimony of God’s grace!), was baptized (again something that was not celebrated by some), and is now living a God-first life (definitely something that is not welcomed by some!).
In the circumstances, in the moments, in the darkness, we could not see clearly what God was up to. There were times of confusion and there was definitely chaos! But clearly God was at work in both of us… refining both of us… taking ‘faithful’ to a new level both spiritually and literally.
I am honestly blown away at the person my friend has become. He is actually now my husband and he has become an amazing spiritual leader in our home! I’ve been a Christian for years - he’s ‘relatively new’ and yet in so many ways he surpasses me! And I’m truly ok with that!! His strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. (Side note here – I also learned that the length of time one has been ‘Christian’ accounts for nothing!! It is ALL from the heart and having a heart FOR God!!)
Through it all, God took brokenness and made it whole. He took wounds of many kinds and healed them. He took faithfulness and increased it incredibly. He made beauty out of ashes and diamonds out of dust!
I’m grateful and very thankful for the process we went through and even if I were not married to this man now, I would still be praising God and glorifying Him for the miracles He performed in this guy! It’s never ever about us… It is always about God!! Embrace the dust – You’re on your way to being a diamond!!!