Three years, one month, and seventeen days ago, my life changed. Something deep inside me died. It sounds melodramatic to say, and even more so to state that I felt it happen, but it’s the truth. I felt it – this indefinable something, small and precious – flicker out of existence, and it was terrifying. It felt like the end; as though God had ceased to care about me and had turned his back on me.
And now, three years, one month, and seventeen days later, I am here to state with absolute certainty that truly, God never leaves nor forsakes us. God is good, even when the healing doesn’t come. That is true. That is SO true. But there IS healing – complete and perfectly absolute healing. People talk about the dark night of the soul, and mine lasted for well over a year. There was despair blacker than anything I’ve ever known, depression that felt like a bitter acid destroying me from the inside out, anger, and utter hopelessness. Throughout all of this, however, and though I couldn’t see it from the depths, was the grace of God.
It seems absurd to look back over the series of events that transpired between then and now, and to realize how they have brought me to where I am today. Ridiculous, silly things. Things that were probably poor life choices on my part. Things that hurt. Things that were hard. Some things that were fun. But over all of it, God remained sovereign, working out his redemption plan with absolute love and grace and forgiveness. Who knew he could use a complete stranger private messaging me on Instagram to work out his plan of grace?
I love it when God uses people to reveal himself, yet it continues to amaze me, every single time. It seems so unfathomable that a perfect God should use such imperfect beings to showcase his glory. And yet he does. The danger in this is that it could be easy to glorify the bearer of light rather than the source, when in reality that person may have no idea whatsoever that they are acting as messenger.
He spoke the words, asked the question. My heart gave a quick, unexpected thud. And then, suddenly, miraculously, I felt something change. I felt three years of questioning and growth and struggle coalesce, the months of doubt and anger and uncertainty and blindly trusting and desperate faith suddenly making sense, swirling into place and setting something alight deep down in my heart. It was as though the glory of God had suddenly broken over me and the Hallelujah chorus was being sung by choirs of angels. What I’d thought long dead and gone was alive again. Restored.
And he has no idea. No idea that his words broke something loose inside of me, that my heart feels like it’s been made new, that suddenly there is life and healing made manifest.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “convince” in part as”To … satisfy the mind by evidence.” God does nothing senselessly, and what he begins, he also finishes. I am convinced. My mind has been satisfied by evidence. God doesn’t have to explain himself. We don’t always have the privilege of seeing what he is doing. He doesn’t have to show us the reasons why. But when he does! oh, how our faith is strengthened!
I don’t know what my future holds. But I know the one who holds my future, and he is endlessly faithful.