As many of you know, I went through a divorce last year. It was in mid-February of 2020 that my world came crashing down around me. That also happened to be about the time that the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything in my life came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, I was forced to spend pretty much all of my time alone. I am not someone who does well in isolation, but there was nothing that I could do about it. It was just God and me. Turns out, that was all that I needed.
I ended up spending a lot of time reading. I read my Bible, devotionals, and all kinds of books. The one thing that kept standing out to me in my reading was all of the promises that God makes to us in scripture. I am going to share a few with you today that were particularly helpful for me at that time. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Psalm 91: 14-15, “’Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.’” James 4:8, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Those are just a few of the verses in the Bible where God promises to love us, take care of us, and see us through the hardest times; there are literally hundreds more.
A couple weeks ago, on June 29th, God once again fulfilled his promise to turn my despair into joy. That is the day that I asked my now fiancé, Jess, to marry me. That moment was a culmination of God working out so much good for my life. While I don’t believe God desired for my first marriage to end in divorce, he took something that was broken and turned it into something beautiful.
God brought Jess into my life at just the right time. I had gotten back out into the dating scene but had quickly lost hope. Dating during the pandemic was not the best or most encouraging of times. I was getting ready to delete the dating app that I was using when I saw Jess’ profile and thought that I would give it one last shot. We liked each other’s profiles and began talking. A few days later, we were on our first date. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was sitting across the table from someone truly special. The date ended about 3 hours later because the restaurant was closing for the night. We then went our separate ways but continued talking for most of the night. I actually kept the receipt from that date and wrote a note on the back that says, “This is the start of something special, I’m sure.” It’s good to be right.
I had never met anyone like her. I instantly saw not only how beautiful she was, but I also saw how beautiful her heart was (don’t even get me started on her eyes). Her love for Jesus was obvious, and I couldn’t get enough of her. As we began to spend more and more time together, I knew that our meeting was not just by chance. I quickly realized that this was God, in his lovingkindness, orchestrating something amazing in both of our lives. I knew that he was fulfilling his promise to take me to a greater place than I had ever been before.
The truth is that I never believed that I would end up where I am today during those dark times. I was going through life with a heavy heart that had lost all of its hope. In all honesty, I didn’t know that I would ever be able to truly smile again.
The best news is that God does not leave us in those times. Even when everything else in your life has crumbled, God never does. His love, care, and grace for you will never dissipate based on your circumstances. If all that you have is your faith, then you have enough. He will bring you up from the lowest valley and place you on the mountain top. Don’t just take my word for it; God’s word is filled with such promises.
I chose the picture for this post for a specific reason: look at how happy I am. Look at the smile that God has put back on my face. I am not here to tell you that following God will always be easy and fun. In fact, I can promise you that it won’t. However, whenever those times come that your life comes crashing down and your optimism is crushed, he will be there for you. He will lead you to much greater heights. He will turn your mourning into dancing. He will do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine. He will restore your smile and fill you with joy because he is the God who fulfills his promises. He did it for me. Surely, he will do it for you.
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