Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Mine is a story that is in no way uncommon or unique. But, I believe that my outcome is. Not often do you hear of a flower emerging from the ashes of a fire. And even less often do you hear of that flower being the result of divorce.

The Bad, The Ugly:

My parents split during my senior year in high school- a pivotal time in any young person’s life. Although I had seen it coming and was surrounded by tell-tale signs of suffering all around- I was devastated and caught off guard. They had promised me that divorce was to be the final option.

I cannot begin to tell you the mental and emotion anguish that engulfed me during that year. I went from a carefree teenager to a girl laden with the burden beyond her years. My heart and mind slumped into a state of such depression that I began to take out my anger on myself- desperate that it would give me the attention I so needed. I refused to feed myself, instead hunting down any type of diet pill I could find; I would exercise and run until my insides felt like they were about to implode. The TV and computer were my closest friends, although I can honestly tell you that I do not remember interacting with either one. And those who should have been my closest friends had left me aside, too caught up in their own social life to recognize a sinking Titanic. There is no blame there, young people rarely look beyond themselves; it just goes with the territory of being young.

Although I did not miss my main graduation (I was dually enrolled in my private school and public school), I missed my graduation picnic from the performing arts school I attended and completely spaced my public school graduation. The summer following my parents’ separation is a blur with little blips of memory here and there. But, for the most part, I was just a shell.

I swore that I would never, again, allow myself to feel the warmth of love and risk being forsaken.

Their separation affected my spiritual growth, as well. For a season, I stepped away from what the Lord had planned for me and did my own thing. Which mainly involved hanging out with those who were not positive influences; those who would not only allow me to wallow in my sorrow, but make a party of it. I became a Peter, sort of, denying all that I had been taught in my elementary years- the goodness of the Lord. It had become a sweet candy, turned sour, in my mouth. I wanted to spit it out. After all, what had God done for me? He only allowed my world to be torn apart at the seams; throwing me into a downward spiral, toward inevitable doom.

Still, there was that candle flame that He would not allow to be snuffed out. That little flicker of hope- so tiny that only He could sense it and keep it safe from the turbulent winds of my stormy life.

The Good

Graciously and faithfully (and ever so gently, as a doctor nurses a patient back to health) He brought me back to Himself and taught me this:

"He will never leave me nor forsake me."

A side note: like the good God that He is, He sent a man whom I have looked up to, all my life, drive from the farthest part of America to Sun Valley, Idaho; stop in the very deli that I worked at and told him to tell me how great Christ’s love is for me. Cliff Graham said himself, “I have no idea why I am here in Idaho- I just felt that I needed to come here” and the next day, “I figured it out! The Lord wants me to tell you how much He loves you! GO TO BIBLE SCHOOL!”

In the last 8 years since the divorce, I have battled with not being a part of a whole family and dealing with a step-parent whom I had no say in whether or not she could join my family. Getting married and having a baby of my own only compounded my sadness and understanding of what had happened all those years ago. But, because He is so good, God did not stop teaching me. He has also spoken, sweetly, to my spirit:

"Only I can complete you the way you need to be completed."

At the end of the day, I know that God, my Father, took a horrible situation and turned it into an opportunity to show His love, grace and providence over me. He is the Master Mixer. He can take the good, the bad and the ugly parts of life and can bring them all together, making them into something so full of potential and beyond imagination or expectation that you will be in awe of His love for you.

Beyond Good!

Keeping to His word, He does not just heal our pain and leave it at that. He takes us, makes us whole, sets our feet upon a solid path and points our vision toward His future for us!

He also showed me this- that my parents were not born perfect, but they are covered in the blood of His son, Jesus. In all that they went through and all their pain, He held them just as close as He held me. He has mixed their lives into His will.

Philippians 1:6:
“I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Amen! What an AWESOME God we serve!


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