This is a post I shared over at Thirty One:10 a couple weeks ago. Here’s a little bit about my story in case you missed it.
I grew up in a Christian home, always went to church, was involved in my youth group and pretty much never rebelled growing up. Even now, I’m totally not a rule breaker. One of my earliest memories was when I was three years old and as my mom baked chocolate chip cookies in our small kitchen I came to her and told her I needed Jesus in my heart. I knelt at the edge of our kitchen and prayed that Jesus would come live in my heart. If only my story continued this way, but it doesn’t.
My real story began when I was a sophomore in college.
I heard my phone ring. As I put down the make up brush and palette I was holding to grab my phone, I glanced at the caller id. I saw the word, “Dad.” I smiled. It was March 20th, his birthday. I assumed he was calling because he thought since I was visiting my best friend at her college for spring break I might forget to call. We chatted lightly for a few minutes as I wished him a “Happy Birthday” and asked him how he was doing. I felt what I can only describe as a heaviness on the other end of the phone. My heart sank. I felt something more was going on. Something he was hesitating to tell me. And there was. He was leaving. Leaving my mom. Moving on. Things weren’t working out and the distance was hard on their marriage and he was leaving.
See I grew up overseas and when I picked a college I was preparing to move to the US and attend college while my family continued to live overseas. Things didn’t quite happen that way. Through a series of events, my family decided to buy a home in the US and moved here right before I started college. My Dad started his own business but, after a period of time, my Dad felt that trying to begin his own business was not providing for our family and he moved back overseas.
His news was devastating. I wasn’t close to my dad growing up, but this rocked my entire existence. If you can’t put faith in your parents, family and the sacredness of marriage, what can you put your faith in? I began walking down a path of anger. Anger and bitterness. I dated a lot of guys and committed to none. After all, why commit when there’s a chance you could put your heart on the line and have it walked all over. My dreams of someday getting married were skewed and suddenly getting married seemed like a ridiculous notion to me. What was the point? After all, my dad left my mom, met a new woman six months later and married her soon after. How would it turn out differently for me?
Praise Jesus, God is so much bigger than me, because my story didn’t end there. He pulled me out of the ocean I was drowning in and in spite of my kicking and screaming led me to a place of forgiveness and repentance. It came in a way that was unexpected. And when I forgave my dad in that moment, I forgave him with my whole heart. I understood what it meant to have Jesus as my Daddy. He was my provider and he loved me so much. It wasn’t that I never knew he loved me, it was that I had forgotten how much I loved him. When I repented, he met me in that place. Not only did it renew my relationship with my Heavenly Father, but as a result of that experience, God repaired my relationship with my earthly father. My relationship with my Dad is better now then it ever had been growing up. Another awesome result of that experience? I learned how to reopen my heart again.
Not long after I moved to California, where I met my amazing husband. From our love for God and each other came our two beautiful children. God knew what I needed and he met me in the moment I needed it most. Despite my dumb decisions, despite my anger and despite myself.
He Met ME!!
I hope that you know that no matter what you are going through, God will meet you there too. He will not just walk along side you, but he will pick you up and carry you through the hardest parts of it. He is the calm in the storm. Let him take a hold of your life. He will change it for the better. I promise.