I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen, in my life and in others’ lives. God takes our mistakes, our life situations, the crap that gets thrown our way, and turns it all around into a message for someone else.
All the sickness I’ve been through, the depression, the miscarriage, the stress of day-to-day life as a fisherman’s wife, all of it, God has used to bless someone else with. In the middle of the mess, whether created by our own mistakes, or someone else’s thoughtlessness, or a serious illness, whatever, it can seem as though God doesn’t care, that He isn’t there. But He is.
I remember being in bed 5 days out of 7. I remember being so weak I couldn’t fill the dishwasher or washing machine without resting after a few minutes. I remember feeling completely useless as a mother as my mother-in-law came yet again to watch the girls so I could go to bed. I remember crying out to God in the midst of all this :“WHY WHY WHY? Why aren’t you LISTENING TO ME? Why am I sick? Don’t you SEE ME? Don’t you CARE???” And yes I questioned whether or not He really, REALLY was the God He says He is. My faith was shaken. However, after 7 years He healed me. No more Chronic Fatigue. No more aching joints & confusion. He showed me how to eat, what supplements I needed, and within 6 weeks, that was that. It was all gone.
Another time a family member was at death’s door. I won’t get into the specifics in this post but it was due to a foolish decision on his part. He was in a coma, nearly brain dead. 3 neurosurgeons reviewed the scans of his brain and only the stem was working. We were told that he would not survive without life support. We as a family, chose to remove life support.
The day before life support was to be removed, our daughter, who was 2 at the time, asked me if he was getting better. I told her no. She very adamantly said “But Jesus can make him better”. I, in my state of nearly broken faith, thought to myself “it’s too late for that”. However, she was adamant. I asked her to pray for him because I couldn’t anymore. My own faith was pretty nearly gone. Her simple prayer was “Dear Jesus, please make him better. Amen.” That was it. And do you know what? THE NEXT DAY after life support was removed, the numbers on all the screens above his bed (heart and breathing rates, etc.) that were supposed to go DOWN, instead WENT UP. The doctor literally threw his hands in the air and exclaimed “This isn’t medical science!” and backed out of the room hastily! This family member just celebrated the birth of his son. God took this horrible mistake that he made and turned it into a testimony of His healing grace & power.
In mid 2000, I became pregnant again, only to miscarry 4 months later, a bit late for a normal miscarriage. I had to have a “D & C” to remove the baby as I had a fever, etc. and my body was not expelling the baby as it should have. The procedure is the same as for an abortion. Never in my life have I gone through any horror like that. Take the joy of the delivery room and turn it completely upside down and that’s what you’ve got. I nearly passed out from the horror of the whole thing.
It took years for the mental pain to subside. However, God has used this experience to bless many others who have experienced similar loss. Again, God took a mess and turned it into a message of His loving grace.
I also spent many years fluctuating in and out of depression. I remember feeling like I was falling, falling, falling, into a dark bottomless pit. I even remember thinking that I could understand how someone could take their own life. I wasn’t actually suicidal, but I could understand the hopelessness of someone who was. And yet again, God has used this story to bless others. I have received several messages from women who also experience depression who have been encouraged by my (God’s!) story.
When we’re in the middle of the mess, it sure doesn’t feel like good ground for a testimony to grow out of. But God, being the Master Gardener, knows just where we need to be pruned and how to prune us. He allows these experiences in our lives, I believe, to allow the “dross” like selfishness and pride, to be removed, allowing His Love to then be reflected in us.
I thank God for these experiences, as painful as they all were. I thank God for the sickness, the fatigue, the depression, the loss of our daughter. I have received many messages from folks that have been touched by these testimonies. It blesses me to think that God could take my own messes and turn them into messages for someone else out there that is hurting like I was.
He can do the same for you, if you will let Him. Ask Him to let His love shine through you today. Who can you encourage today? Do you know someone that is going through something that you also have been through? Offer a kind word, share a cup of tea, write a letter (actually with a pen & paper!) and share your heart with them. The very Light of Christ will shine through, warming their heart and yours. :) Trust Him today!!