It’s a beautiful, sunny spring day, and we are starting to get a few hints of my very favorite time of year: Colorado summer. This morning I met a certain special someone at my neighborhood coffee shop for breakfast and when I got back to my apartment, I grabbed my Bible and sat down on my new white leather sofa (that I have been wanting for years, love it!). Jake curled up in my lap, I took a sip of my almond latte, and as I just sat and relished the complete happiness and gratefulness I feel this morning, it’s really quite overwhelming, I felt God speak in my soul. Just one word, with so much power, and I was instantly reminded of so much.
3 years ago, my life was pretty good; I lived in the Denver suburbs, I had a good job, I had been married to my high school boyfriend for 5 years. My life was pretty uneventful and I was content, I felt safe, I had all of the things we are told we need to have for a “normal, happy” life. And then it was taken from me. Suddenly, almost completely without warning, I was alone. I found myself in a new town I didn’t want to be in, without a job, staying with my parents, trying to figure out what had happened to my safe, normal, uneventful life. I was broken and God provided me with time and space to rest and heal. Throughout it all, I knew without a doubt that God had a plan for me. I was in the midst of the loss, reeling from shock, but even then God knew, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.” Though it was a painful time of life, it was so beautiful. I allowed myself to show others my brokenness, to let others support me in my weakness, to fully trust God and let Him put me back together again in the way he always intended me to be, it was so freeing. I truly am a different person now than I was before, and I am so much closer to who He created me to be.
I had never felt as loved as I did in those days. My family and friends pulled together to surround and encourage me and hold me up when I was weak. As people spoke scripture over me, spoke life into me, lifted my spirits, a theme began to emerge: the promise of restoration and hope.
The first parts of these verses are what I focused on when times were hard, they are the reason people spoke them over me, but I feel like I am noticing the second parts (in bold below) for the first time this morning. God is so faithful!
“I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten…you will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (Joel 2:25)
” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16-21)
“The Lord is faithful to all His promises.” (Psalm 145:13)
So here I sit, grateful to the point of tears, in the city from which I was carried into exile. Literally every piece of my life has been restored immeasurably more than I could have asked or imagined. I thought I had a good job as a manager then; I’m the CFO of an incredible company making a difference in the world now. I was so grateful for my cookie cutter house in the farthest Denver suburb; now I live in a 100 year old apartment near downtown Denver with so much character in an awesome neighborhood. I was doing my best to be healthy then but I was sick all the time; I have since discovered all of my food allergies and feel 1000 times better. I get to travel all over the country and the world, I’m playing music again, I have the most amazing friends and family, I could go on and on and on…and then I met someone, and I am blown away. All I can say is that God has a sense of humor and is giving me such an amazing story to tell. My life is truly incredible, far better than I could have hoped or imagined, and it is only because God has been so faithful to restore that which was lost. He deserves ALL of the glory!
God has spent 3 years leading me down His path towards restoration (I imagine Him chuckling a bit as He kept me on track when I tried to make plans and forge my own path). So this morning, as I was feeling so unbelievably happy in a simple moment, to remind me of all of the promises He has fulfilled, he just said “See?”