It was a snowy day, and I was in a parking lot chock full of cars. Several of us were leaving a meeting at the same time, so there was lots of cars moving and—you guessed it—I got rear-ended. It was a fairly gentle tap, but the worry of whether or not there was damage didn’t even enter my mind. You see, I was driving my car with the dented fender.
My very first blog entry was about how I got that dent in my car to begin with, and how it began to symbolize something much bigger, much more profound in my life. Yet what struck me in that moment was the absolute, complete lack of worry or fear I had as I felt the impact. I was actually more worried for the other person’s car! After all, mine already had a dink in it, and it ran just fine. There really wasn’t a whole lot of ways to make it worse!
Now maybe it’s odd that my car teaches me things. I promise it doesn’t talk to me or anything! Still, I couldn’t help but reflect on the hurt and anger I felt the first time I learned my car had a nice sized crater in the rear bumper versus this time. I realized that, once again, I’m having a parallel experience in my own life.
Back when I was going through the deep, life-altering circumstances of divorce, foreclosure and bankruptcy, single parenting, and starting all over in a new career, I felt so much anger! So much pain! I spent many a night on my knees, crying out to God, praying for solutions and direction. There was no real light at the end of the tunnel, just the tiniest of pinpoints simply because I knew deep in my soul God wouldn’t fail me. I clung to God and that pinpoint with all I was worth.
Most of all, I begged God to protect my heart. I didn’t want to become bitter. I didn’t want to become a grim statistic, yet another victim of ugly circumstances, crushed under the weight of a burden I wasn’t strong enough to carry. And God showed up for me. Again, and again … and again. It felt like He literally carried me through that time, gently, lovingly, wisely. He gave me answers; He gave me direction and lit my path so I couldn’t miss it. Even when I veered to the right or the left, it was so bright I could always find my way back. He sorted through the rubble of my life, and helped me find incredible jewels that could only be revealed through the breaking.
When I think of those days, and I compare them to where I’m at now, just a few short years later, I’m absolutely blown away. I have a business that is thriving and continues to grow. My children and I have become incredibly close, and they continue to thrive and grow. I even bought a house! Who knew it would all turn out so incredibly well? God did!
Curiously enough, last month I faced a challenge that was like a flashback to harder, more challenging times. It was deeply personal; it involved those I love most in this world; it exposed me in ways I’m normally not comfortable with, and there was really very little I could do to change it. I had to let it go to God, and allow Him to take it over for me. Only this time, I felt an odd sense of peace about it. There were long prayers, yes, but no nights on my knees, no crying out in fear and doubt. Why? I’d been there before, and God had seen me through. Not only that, but he’d done some pretty cool things inside me and the ones I love through the process. So I was at peace in the midst of the storm; I knew without a doubt God would help me.
Now I’m not saying I don’t struggle anymore. That would be a lie! Instead, I’m learning how to let go of outcome, trusting in God’s divine direction. He will lead you! So wherever you’re at on your journey, whether you’re once again facing some difficult circumstances or you’re working through that very first big, emotional dent, know that God loves you. Even if you feel broken, remember God helps you find the most precious, the most valuable, the most coveted inner jewels of all amidst the rubble.
For Further Thought: Jesus’ brother James tells us, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not lacking anything,” (James 1:2-4). No, he wasn’t a sadist (though I used to wonder!). He knew, in a very deep and profound way, the incredible blessings that would come from trials. Let that be your pinpoint of light if you need it to be, and remember–you are not alone! God will carry you if you let Him.