I walked to the back of the church building where that obviously broken gentleman stood. I did not know him but I had learned enough. He was going through a divorce, was missing his children, his job was in flux, and his world was rapidly changing. I do not have any idea why, though now I do believe it was the Holy Spirit, but I felt compelled to assure him that he would be okay. He would not just be okay, but I told him that he would smile again. That he would be happy again. As I stated those words, I am not sure if he really believed me but he did appear somewhat surprised. After all, a complete stranger had just appeared before him after worship on a Sunday evening and told him details of her own struggle on the floor of her closet and assured him that he would survive and even flourish again. How did I know this? Because God is good. Because God will not forsake us. Because in your darkest moments, He is still there. There are no guarantees that you will not suffer in this life with heartaches but you have an assurance that God will take care of you. The funny thing is that, on the very night of meeting Ray, I could have never imagined how faithful God was being to me. What a blessing He was bestowing upon me, that I would actually experience for the first time ever, outside of my family and children and friends, true, pure, good love. The love that great marriages are made from. The love that tells you that you are finally home.
What began as me giving support to a new friend from my own painful past experience grew into friendship, which grew into connection and eventually love. And now, I am here today telling you not to count yourself out in life. Do not think that your best days are those behind you. God is writing a story for you, and He is an expert storyteller. He can do miraculous things in your life. He can make beauty from ugly, great from terrible, and happy from sad.
For the past two Novembers, when celebrating my birthday, I have thought…WOW! How could birthdays get even better as we grow older? Somehow you think of the best always being during your younger days. However, my God has enriched my life so much that I have never felt so loved as these past two birthdays. You might be thinking, I know that is your fairytale but I have lost my parent or spouse or child. There are losses that I cannot fathom, and I hope to never know. But I am confident that no matter what, my God is good. He will provide. He loves me and He cares when I am hurting. We have to have faith and trust. If your days are dark today, do not despair. Tomorrow will come.
In Psalm 31, David writes “Blessed be the Lord, for He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city! For I said in my haste, ‘I am cut off from before Your eyes’, Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You. Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Vs. 21-24).
Though I have a number of favorite Bible verses, probably my most favorite is Jeremiah 29:11 which states “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts