#91 God Shaped Hole

 Photo by Erin E Photography

I met my ex-husband right out of high school. At the time, I believed in Jesus and that He died for our sins, but it was more of an “as-needed” thing. God was in a closet and I brought Him out when I needed Him. My ex-husband was into drugs and alcohol when I met him and I became consumed in that lifestyle with him. He made it clear that he had no faith, and to win his affection I made the decision to agree with him in that. I definitely felt it was important to be a good person and respect other people’s beliefs, but my attitude toward God was, “That works for some people but I don’t need that.” 

I lived with him for about a year before I got pregnant. I knew that from the beginning he had an issue with not being able to be faithful to me. This had been a big problem for me, and when I found out I was pregnant I said, “If you are going to continue to live this way, I can’t do this. Are you willing to do this with me and only me? If not, this needs to end now.”

He decided to stick together and even though he had broken my trust over and over in the past two years, I gave him a chance. We got married when our son was two years old. About six months later, I was sitting alone at a park watching my son play and a couple came over and asked me if they could pray for me. I wanted to respect them and even though it felt really awkward, I let them pray for me. They asked if they could pray for anything specific. I said “No,” so they just prayed a general prayer over me. 

A week or two later, a few of my friends from a previous workplace wanted to get together at a coffee house. I was running late and rushed in really stressed. As I was walking in the door, I saw a girl I graduated high school with and she was on the phone. She grabbed my arm, smiled and said, “Hi! How are you? My pastor is on the phone. Can he pray for you?”  I thought, “He better make this fast because I am late!” I took the phone and her pastor prayed that God would show up in my life. That was it. 

I got my coffee and sat down with my friends. They were all quiet. Finally, one of them said they had found out from a reliable source that my husband was having an affair. In that moment, I felt an unexplainable peace, like God was wrapping me up in a hug. While I was still sitting there, we called the girl and she admitted to the affair. It was a pleasant but somber conversation. Again, I had a supernatural peace. 

I was encouraged by my family to work it out with my husband and decided to try. We stayed together for another four to five months after I found out about the affair, but I kept finding messages, emails, and porn. I felt like he wasn’t going to be able to stop. I had also dealt with some abuse. I had never felt as lonely in my entire life.

We divorced when our son was three. After this I felt like God really pursued me. My thoughts started changing. Out of the blue, I had a desire to take my son to church. I had been against that the whole time I was married. It was a miracle that I felt the desire to go to church. After going to church every Sunday for a full year, I gave my life to Christ. 

During this time, God used the sermons to speak to me in powerful ways. One Sunday, the pastor said that there is a God-shaped hole in our hearts. We can try and fill it with whatever, but God is the only One that can fill that empty space. Unless He fills it, we will be constantly searching and unfulfilled. That really connected with me because that is what I had been trying to do—fill the hole with drugs, alcohol, and men. 

In another sermon, the pastor talked about the fact that people will always disappoint us but God never will. God did not create the world to be the way that it is. I was a completely broken person when I heard this message, 23 years old, divorced, with a four-year-old. I had started dating someone and our relationship was not honoring God. I was stressed financially and emotionally. My whole life had been a series of disappointments from people that I loved and trusted. 

After hearing that sermon, I completely surrendered to the Lord. I finally said to God, “I can’t make decisions in my life without You.” I was ready for God to take over. I was ready to be obedient.  I call this the day I was truly saved. My relationship with God really started that day. Looking back, I can see how God brought me to that place. He was with me the whole time and was so patient to wait for me to give up my pride. When I was ready, He welcomed me with open arms. He redeemed me. 

I felt God leading me away from the man I was dating. I wanted a God-honoring relationship, so I walked away.

That was in June of 2013. In the fall of that year, I started a BSF Bible study with some women on the Gospel of Matthew. I immersed myself in the Gospel and was completely changed by Jesus. As I got to know Jesus better, I realized that if I ever remarried, my husband would have to be sold out for Christ. 

Friends had fixed me up with a man right after my divorce—before my life changed. He knew right away I was not right for him. He was a man of great character, a Christian who was committed to living a God-honoring life. And at the time we first met, I was a “train wreck.” We became Facebook friends after we first met, and over the next few months he noticed that I was changing because of what I was posting on Facebook. We decided to meet for coffee. His love for Jesus was so evident. He told me, “I’m not looking for someone to fulfill me. I’m looking for someone to partner with me in serving Jesus.” He shared that he had gotten a divorce because his wife had an affair. It had been a devastating experience for him. I could relate to him—we both knew what it felt like to be betrayed. 

We are now married and I see the difference between a marriage with Christ and a marriage without Christ. God has revealed to me what He created marriage to look like—the emotional connection, the intimacy, and supporting and serving each other while partnering to serve others. 

But it hasn’t all been easy. We struggled to get pregnant, and our first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. A few months later I became pregnant again and the Lord gave that baby an extra chromosome. We struggled through the pregnancy, and still do to some extent, to accept that our child will face unimaginable circumstances at times. BUT—God has given me freedom from circumstances in that I have peace in the midst of uncertainty. It is a joy to go through life’s challenges with Jesus and a husband who is so supporting. God provided a strong, compassionate, prayerful husband who trusts with me that God is sovereign, God is in control, and He knows what He is doing. God is so big but He is also in every tiny detail. He sees the whole world but walks intimately with his kids every step of the way. God doesn’t abandon us when we struggle to believe. He is rock solid—forever unchanging. He is redeeming every broken detail of my past. He is in the business of forgiveness and is patiently loving me in my successes and failures every day. 

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

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