Do you ever think about how fairy tales seem to have the perfect ending? Now, think about everything that has to happen before the ending can take place. Many events happen between the beginning and the end. In just about every story, there are high and low points, just like in our everyday life. We have all been given a unique and beautiful story. I am going to share how God has turned the lowest point in my life into a high point. My life is not your average “fairy tale,” but a story written by God that has yet to be finished.
I am going to share a small snapshot of my life with you to help you understand where I am coming from. Like many people, I have been going to church since I was born. My childhood was pretty normal until I was 11 years and that is when everything changed. I remember so clearly the day my dad sat me down with my brother and sister and told us he was leaving because he did not love my mom anymore.
The main reason for his decision was more complicated than that, but at the time, we were too young to understand. I will explain that part in a minute. In a moment, my whole world was shattered into a million pieces, and I am still processing everything that happened that day, almost 13 years ago and trying to put the pieces back together. My life would never be the same, but little did I know, down the road, God had bigger plans, even when I could not see it.
Throughout middle and high school, I struggled with feeling worthless and unloved.
I thought that because my dad left no one would ever love me and that I was worthless. Even though it was not my fault, I still blamed myself for him leaving. I now know that the divorce was not my fault and the situation was out of my control. There was nothing I could have done to change anything for anyone.
When I graduated high school, and started college, I was still angry with him. My dad chose the gay lifestyle over his family and God. I got to a point where I did not want anything to do with him, and during my freshman year at NGU, I went about a year without seeing him and very little communication in between. I was angry with him because I felt like he had rejected me. I was angry with my dad for choosing another man over his family.
Throughout college, I have carried a lot of the hurt with me, but I am slowly getting to a point to where I can move forward and begin to heal from the hurt. I am not there yet, but God is always working.
I share all that to tell you that even in broken families God can make something beautiful out of a terrible situation that no one should ever have to go through. I have seen God do amazing work in my life in the past 13 years, but it was not until recently as I was looking back, I have really been able to see God at work in every aspect of my life.
Now I am going to go through my three main points for this lesson:
My first point comes out of Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you” declare the Lord, “plans to prosper you, and not to harm you to give you a future and a hope.”
Nothing we go through is wasted. He knew everything we would ever face even before the thought was formed in our minds. He allows us to go through difficult situations in order for us to trust Him.
The Lord already has our days planned out, the good and the bad. In the moment, it may seem easier to try to figure it out on our own, but in the end it is better to let God take over and trust in his plan for our lives. Choosing to trust in Jesus in these dark times in my life was not easy, but He gave me the strength to trust him when I had nothing left in me.
It was the most difficult and darkest moments in my life I had to choose to trust Jesus through it all. Even when it seemed like I did not have any faith. A story where this verse is evident in my life:
When I was a senior in high school and I had started applying to colleges, I was applying everywhere except for NGU at first. I finally applied here because my mom wanted to even though I had no desire to go there, I still applied anyways. The year went on, and it did not work out with the school that I was planning on attending. I went up to NGU for an interview (this was second semester of my senior year) and I went into the interview thinking, “there is no way I am going to this school.” I come out of the interview about an hour later, and during that time is when God revealed to me that I was supposed to attend NGU. God’s plans are so much better than our own plans, and when we allow him to, he will lead us exactly where he wants us to be.
Lately, God’s been showing me that it is okay to not have all the answers all the time and that its okay to not always know what the future holds.
My second point comes out of Romans 8:28.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.”
I have heard this verse hundreds of times throughout my life, and I got tired of hearing it after a while, but it has always stuck with me. Looking back on my life I am starting to see the good that has come out of a horrible situation, that I would not change for anything. He will bring something good out even the worst of situations.
I do not know exactly how God is going to use my story for his glory, but I do know he will and that he does have a purpose for it. Even if it was just to draw me closer to him, it and even if my story can help just one other person, it is worth it.
Another verse that has gotten me through one of the hardest times in my life is Psalm 147:13, which says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
This verse has been a theme for me over the past couple of years by allowing God to do the healing in my life.
The healing process has been a gradual one and is still pretty fresh, but, Deuteronomy 11:13-14 brings me to my third point which says: “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today-to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart, and with your soul-then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.”
Even in the midst of hardships, God commands us to love Him and He will bless us more than we can imagine. He will give us more than we deserve when we choose to honor and serve him with our whole heart.
A Band-Aid is meant to keep a wound from being infected. The past 13 years I have been keeping the “Band-Aid” over my heart, but slowly, God has been taking off the Band-Aid and letting my heart begin to heal. I kept up the Band-Aid in order to prevent more hurt, but in the end, it has only made the wound worse. In order for my heart to fully heal, the Band-Aid must be removed and my heart should be slowly exposed once again.
To sum up my three points again, I would like to say that:
• God has plans for us,
• He works all things out for his glory,
• He will bless us with more than we can imagine when we love and serve him with our whole heart, and
• Challenge: I encourage all of you to trust God even in the most difficult and darkest times in your life. He will see you through if you allow him too and he will make your story beautiful. Do not be afraid to share your story with someone because you never know whom it will help or the impact it may have on someone else’s life.
My name is Emily Voigt. I’m a senior in college, graduating in May of 2016 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Psychology and Education. My goal in writing is to share my store hoping that others will be encouraged by it and realize that they re not alone in their struggles. I pray that God will use my writing in order to make a difference in the lives of other people. I have always had a passion for missions, especially orphans. I hope that after graduation I will be able to work and/or teach in an orphanage while sharing the gospel with the children.