Written by: Brooke
—Continued from Part One: Coming to the Light—
One evening a couple of weeks before Christmas, I was eight months pregnant and crying out to God again, asking Him for faith to help me believe and act on the truth that He would provide for my children and me. He led me to John 4, where Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman. I could relate to the deep shame that she felt as she spoke with Jesus. In verse 10, Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” In verses 13-14, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”. Jesus was so gently yet so powerfully telling me that I didn’t need anything more than Him. If I had Him, I had all that I needed. He would provide for me and help me provide for my six children.
When my youngest son was seven weeks old, I separated and received my divorce almost one year later. I knew and believed enough to act on the truth that God would rebuild my life. He would restore the years that the locusts had eaten. He would take all my brokenness and make it into something beautiful as I laid all the pieces of my life before Him. It has been four and a half years since Jesus rescued me through separation and divorce and rebuilt my life wholly and profoundly.
I want to share my story so others can see that Jesus is a rescuer, a rebuilder, and a redeemer. Rest is possible even as a single mother of six children. Every situation is different, but our hearts all long for love, and when we look for that love from anyone other than Jesus, we will find ourselves empty and broken.
The rebuilding process has been long and difficult, but Jesus’ healing is complete and eternal. My first step of recovery was letting go of the shame. I cried out to God in church, days after being a separated single mom of six, and said, “Why God, why did I stay for so long? Why did I give him so much time?” His answer was clear – shame. Shame keeps us stuck and makes us feel that we deserve the consequences of our choices. I felt for too long that I had made the choices to get into this situation, and I had to stay. That was a lie from the enemy himself. Jesus loved me so much more than my marriage and died to set me free from oppression and shame.
He was sent “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair,” Isaiah 61:1-3.
In the later part of verse 3 and verse 4, Jesus says, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” In Jeremiah 31:2-4, God promises, “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert; I will come to give rest to Israel. The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again, and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again, you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.”
Wherever you are on this journey, let me reassure you that God sees you! He is El Roi, the God who sees me. He will rebuild your life as you lay every piece before Him. He is trustworthy, and He is the one whose healing is perfect and complete. God has used what the enemy planned to harm me with for good to accomplish what is now being done, saving many lives (Genesis 50:20). He has revealed through the confusion and the pain my deep desire for love and that He is the only one that can love me perfectly and completely like I have desired my whole life.
I can say today, with my whole heart, that through indescribable pain and brokenness, I have come to know God’s perfect and complete love, and He is finally enough for me. I pray for you as you read this that you too will come to know His love in this way, and His love will be enough for you also. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)