Life has been challenging lately.
I can’t go into the details here and now, but I’m grateful to have a God at Work Wednesday for you because no matter the circumstances, God is still working! He is working even and especially in our trials. Read on, friend…
“God really worked some amazing miracles in my life as ONLY HE can. My goal is for you to understand how God works in our lives even when we are suffering and don’t understand our circumstances. He is bigger than anything we will ever face. My story is proof.
My parents married quickly when my mom discovered that she was pregnant with my brother at the age of 20. By the age of 23, my mom had 3 children – my 3 year old brother, 1 year old (me) and my infant sister.
My dad had a hard time holding down jobs and was an alcoholic. Being married with 3 young children was a tough transition for him. He was rarely home and being out drinking with his buddies was always much more appealing. My mom was a loving mother and she really did the best she knew how to do despite her anxiety, depression and being alone so much.
Fortunately, during this time of her life someone invited her to church and that first Sunday morning in church she gave her life to Christ. She became a devoted follower!
Growing up there was a lot of dysfunction in our home, but I didn’t really start to discover this until I got older. From as far back as I can remember, I was being sexually molested by 3 different members of my family. Starting at about age 3 or 4, my uncle abused me when we would stay at my Grandma’s house or when he would babysit us.
Then when I was elementary aged, my brother started molesting me. Then after that, my dad did as well. I never felt safe in my own home. I would change my clothes in my closet in hopes that nobody would notice me. I stayed the night at friend’s houses often because I just didn’t want to be at my house during my growing up years.
Fortunately, during this time I was also in church whenever the doors were open. Our church sent many kids to camp each summer. My family couldn’t afford to send 3 kids to church camp each year, but somehow I was able to attend every summer from 4th grade through my senior year in high school. Every single year, God provided.
I’m so grateful because it was there that I met my Savior and devoted my life to serving Him. It was at Church Camp that I learned how to worship, how to study the Word, how to find God in nature and how to commune with God on a daily basis.
I could also be a carefree kid and let the weight of the world off my shoulders for a while. I learned so many amazing songs that I still sing today. It was at camp that I fell in love with Christian music. It was at camp that I understood the magnitude of Jesus’ love for me and how He was with me during my time of suffering. It was at camp that the Lord filled me up until my cup was overflowing.
I would return to my home life filled with the love of my Heavenly Father. It definitely saddens me deeply that I endured such suffering throughout my childhood, but yet it was through that time that I realized that everyone on this Earth will let me down.
I learned from a young age that God is the only true source of comfort and strength. Even when the people on this Earth who are supposed to love me more than any other let me down, He is there. He will never disappoint me or leave me alone.
I can remember time after time reading scripture out of my Precious Moments Bible alone in my room and crying out to God to comfort me and give me the strength to face another day.
He met me there and He comforted me in a way that no person could. His presence was palpable to me. I was overcome by His warmth, presence and comfort when I needed Him most.
Those moments are a gift to me and I feel so blessed that I was able to commune with Him at such a tender young age.
In May of 1998, when I was 19 years old, I met my soon to be husband, Scott. After our 1st date, I knew he was the man God chose for me. In Oct of that same year, Scott proposed to me and changed my life forever. We didn’t waste any time and got married in July of 1999. I feel like God blessed me with such a wonderful man, because my childhood was so tough.
He is the best gift that God has ever given me! Being his wife is one of my proudest accomplishments. After 3 years of marriage, we moved to Kansas City for 7 years. It was there that I went through several years of counseling to heal from my past. Going to a Christian counselor and sorting through all that hurt was extremely difficult. If you have been through something like that, you know.
But I am so grateful that I was able to lay those burdens at Christ’s feet and again he was with me through it all. My husband was also by my side through the long, painful healing joureny.
During that time of healing God also give me the courage and strength (along with the steadfast support of my husband) to confront my parents about what had happened. We set up boundaries for myself, my marriage and for my future children. A couple of years after that, (again with God’s strength) I was able to fully forgive my three abusers.
One day, I felt really prompted by the Lord to tell my dad that I had fully forgiven him. He cried and thanked me for telling him and told me he had always wondered.
I encouraged him to seek forgiveness from God and he assured me that he would. My dad and I don’t have a Hallmark card relationship by any means, but he knows he is loved and forgiven by me and by our Heavenly Father.
If you have experienced anything like this in your life, you know that none of this could have been done by a human. It can only be explained as Christ working in a miraculous way. On my own, I never could have forgiven.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
I have been married to my husband, Scott, for 16 years now. We have 5 beautiful children. 4 girls and 1 boy ages 2 – 9. I have been blessed with the privilege of homeschooling them. I’m so thankful that God is equipping us to give them the childhood that I always wanted.
God is so good and so faithful.
God assures us through his Word that the Lord will help us endure our suffering.
Romans 8:35-39 tells us that absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love.
James 1:2-4 says that we should count “various kinds” of trials as joy because of the benefit they produce in us, that we “may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Believers are called to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring us comfort and strength and to remind us we are never alone. No matter the depth of our suffering, we don’t need to lose hope.
While I sometimes I wish I hadn’t endured this suffering, I’m also so thankful that as a result I found Jesus.
Genesis 50:20 says “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result.”
Nothing brings more glory to God than us shouting our stories of redemption from the rooftops. Praise Him for his ability to reach in and save, even in the most desperate circumstsances. If you have endured abuse of any sort, I’m praying that you will have the courage to tell someone. I’m praying that you will seek help and counseling and start the hard, intense work it will take to process and heal. I’m praying for you, and I hope Mary’s story encouraged you today. <3