A Life Saved

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Someone has saved my life. And, how could I not help but love this Hero? He has restored me and given me back all that I thought was lost and more. My Savior has brought me from the depths of ugliness and despair to a place of beauty and joy beyond any place I had ever imagined. Because He loves me, He showered compassion and forgiveness on me when none was deserved.

There was a time in my life when I travelled through the Valley. My seemingly perfect life had become twisted into a gnarled root of sorrow and pain. Through a series of events and a sinful choice I lost everything that I had ever held dear. So deep was my despair that to get out of bed in the morning was sometimes all that I could do. The rest of my day I would move in a fog as I was buffeted through a series of painful thoughts, self-condemnation and the realization of how lost and alone I had become. In anguish I would fall on the floor in my tiny one bedroom apartment and with my face in the carpet cry out to God to take away my pain...but it stayed. I would pour out my heart to Him night after night after night. I asked for Him to make things the way they had been. I prayed for my life to return to the calm and peaceful time when I, in my mind, had it all together. But, my prayers for time to be turned back were met with what I perceived as silence. My cries echoed with a resonating stillness in the empty room as I broke.
But somewhere between one "unanswered prayer" and another, He met me. In the middle of my ugliness and self-pity, He sat down beside me. Totally exhausted, I finally came to the end of “me”. It was then that I remembered, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8). I was not alone! The Lord was there, waiting for me to stop striving and totally submit myself to Him. Somewhere from deep within my broken soul a longing for Him stirred. When I had come to the bottom of life I discovered this truth: You don't know that God is all you need until God is all you have. My healing began in that moment.

As I opened His Word I read it with new eyes and my relationship with the Lord deepened. Then, an interesting thing happened. My prayers changed. I no longer prayed for my life to be as it once had been…I prayed for Him to do whatever He wanted with me. I placed my complete trust in my Savior. Once I accepted Jesus' words to the Father and made them my own, the overwhelming ache in my heart began to fade. "If you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done"(Luke 22:42).

When I looked up from the pit where I had fallen, He was there. I grabbed hold of Him and words of praise began to form on my lips. A flood of relief washed over me as I welcomed His hand on my life. I had come to the point in my understanding that no matter what He had planned for me or where He would take me…I knew it would be alright. And as we continued through the Valley, a welcomed peace settled on my soul. Slowly but steadily, miracles began and my life was made new. Each day, as I placed my trust in the Lord, my faith grew stronger and the difficult path I was travelling came nearer to its end.  My Hero restored my dignity and self-respect, but most of all, He changed my perspective on my life…And that was it -- It wasn’t my life, it was His.

I cannot even try to understand all the complexities of God. He is so far above us. But I have learned to trust Him in all He does for I know He won't fail me. He brought me through the Valley to the other side, where my eyes are clear and my heart hears His voice. I look to Him knowing that He will do with me what is the best, whether I think it is or not. I trust that His plan for my life is far superior to mine. “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” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I have learned that though it can feel like God doesn't answer prayers, sometimes He speaks the loudest in the silence. During the time of my deepest despair, I learned that though at first, I didn't hear Him, He was busy at work in my life...loving me, teaching me and caring for me. When I was in the Valley, I was not alone. He was there, leading me through. When my personal prayers became ones asking where He wanted to take me, we began a journey that I am still on. God doesn't promise that it will be easy, but He does promise that He'll stay by our side. And it’s worth it, friends. I will never forget how He pulled me from the pit I was in. I learned to let God into my life and allow Him to take complete control. And when you let Him in, He'll change your life forever.

Living for Him,

Joan


Today's devotional is also posted at Laced with Grace.  Join me there and read how God's love has transformed the lives of others just like you...

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13 comments

  1. This quote hit me right smack in the face because it's so true:

    "You don't know that God is all you need until God is all you have."

    I am there! Thank you Joan; well written and so true.

    I'm heading over to Laced with Grace too. I'm so glad you are a contributor there too. You have an amazing gift for writing.

    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  2. I, too, have gone through my own "dark night of the soul"--the deepest season of pain where in one fell swoop, healing began. I had to come to the end of myself as well, and the rise from the ashes has been a slow process but one well worth the pain to get me where I am today. So thankful for our "come alongside" God who refuses to let go, even when we cannot feel his grip.

    peace~elaine

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  3. "I have learned that though it can feel like God doesn't answer prayers, sometimes He speaks the loudest in the silence. "

    What a profound statement...amen!

    Thanks for this beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness, especially during the times we don't realize He's there.

    Thanks, too, for visiting my blog and commenting. Come back again, anytime!

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  4. Super post, Joan. I really enjoyed. Thank you so much for sharing it also over at LWG today :)

    It is so true, God is all we need. Even if we do not understand His ways, I know that I can trust Him; He knows what is best for me.

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  5. Beautiful testimony, Joan...it brought to mind an old song I had not thought about in a long time...

    ""Lean on Me when you have no strength to stand.
    When you feel you're goin' under, hold tighter to my hand.
    Lean on me when your heart begins to bleed
    when you come to the place that I'm all you have,
    then you'll find I'm all you need."


    Praise the Lord!

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  6. Thank you for sharing! So beautiful- I agree whole-heartedly!

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  7. This is so beautiful. When we ponder what He truly did for us, how can we not give all? Thank you, Joan.

    Laura

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  8. Oh Joan - this is so beautiful. I esp love this: "During the time of my deepest despair, I learned that though at first, I didn't hear Him, He was busy at work in my life...loving me, teaching me and caring for me. When I was in the Valley, I was not alone. He was there, leading me through."

    I too had to come to the end of myself and be totally alone - although I wasn't. He was with me every step of the way.

    Thank you for sharing this story.

    I really appreciate that you take the time to visit my blog and comment. I eagerly await to read your comments as there is such heart felt wisdom in them from someone who truly walks with Him. xo

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  9. I just visited your blog for the first time today through Jo Princess Warrior. It is incredible how the Lord ministers to us and redeems our darkest times. This post resonates so much with me and knowing others have endured such darkness and seeing how the Lord has restored is so encouraging. Thank you for this blog and sharing what the Lord has given you!

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  10. The following comments were posted at Laced with Grace (www.lacedwithgrace.com), a devotional site for women.

    andrea perdue
    08. Jun, 2010 at 5:45 am #
    He always answers!! Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support.
    Blessings,
    andrea
    Linda
    08. Jun, 2010 at 5:52 am #
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony of God’s love. Having been delivered from the pit myself I find peace in His love. Everytime I hear one of His daughters tell of their rescue, my heart swells with pride for HIM and him alone.

    Blessings,
    Linda J
    Iris
    08. Jun, 2010 at 6:09 am #
    Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. Yes, the road of life is not easy, but as you said He is there with us. Some days I have to take on step at a time, but I know that He will see me through to the end.
    Marsha
    08. Jun, 2010 at 6:48 am #
    Joan, I love hearing testimonies of those He has redeemed from the pit. I was a pit dweller, too, so I know the joy of which you speak.

    Thank you for these wonderful words of encouragement, dear sister. And welcome to Laced With Grace!

    Blessings.
    Tricia
    08. Jun, 2010 at 12:09 pm #
    thank you so much for your devotion today. No matter what we are going through it is encouraging to put our eyes back on Him. Beautiful testimony. I’m glad we are sisters in Christ!
    Denise
    08. Jun, 2010 at 1:03 pm #
    Such a precious testimony, bless you.
    Debbie
    08. Jun, 2010 at 4:04 pm #
    Joan, this is such a beautiful and heartfelt devotional!

    This is one worth writing down:

    “God doesn’t promise that it will be easy, but He does promise that He’ll stay by our side.”

    I’ve been learning that through these difficult days for me right now. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie
    Bernadine
    08. Jun, 2010 at 4:43 pm #
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us today.
    Dineen
    10. Jun, 2010 at 10:32 am #
    This is so beautiful, Jordan. Our God is so good. How He loves us! He’s always there, in the smallest of details. He restores our hope (which just so “happens” to be my anti-spam word for this comment) and gives us purpose. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that He’s all we need.

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  11. Joan,, we must be sisters from another mother,,but the same heavenly father..
    I too lost everything,, and the things and people that i had judged and snubbed my nose at,, I became,, I had lost it all,, I was looked down upon be so many , including myself..and yet he never left me,, he never gave up on my, instead he has turned my scares and a bad time in my life into a new heart and mind, and gave me my family back and i have a heart for woman who are still being held in bondage by satan.. This is an awesome post..thank you for telling me about it and I am looking forward to becoming good friend..
    Have a blessed easter sunday..

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  12. Hi Joan, such a beautiful post and beautiful reminder that God is always there, waiting for us to be ready. Thank you for linking this testimony up at Encourage 24/7. Love seeing you there.
    God bless
    Tracy

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  13. Thank you, Tracy! We are blessed to have a Savior who never gives up on us! We can never fall so far that we are beyond His reach! Blessings, Joan

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