My first guest post! Sarah Ann has been a friend of mine for years, and I am honored to share her blog! To read about her incredible life, and see my post for today, head on over there.
I fastened my seat belt, two toddlers wailing and thrashing in the back seat, with a heavy heart. It wasn’t just that my kids were crying and acting as though they were being tortured, I was oppressed in this season of life.
Learning the previous month that my daughter, Joy, whom God brought to us through the beauty of adoption, had been diagnosed with Autism was enough to make any mom want to crawl in a hole for a while, but I was consumed by my entire situation. My life was rapidly spiraling out of control and I had no way to stop the madness.
My husband, a proud police officer, worked nights and in his “free” time, went to school online and had been working on another degree for over three years. While he helped when he could, I was left to do most of the day to day parenting by myself.
I also taught part time and was drowning under stacks of ungraded papers and emails from parents.
We had recently switched Joy to a GFCF diet that required mostly made from scratch food. Needless to say, when I hit the road that night, ready to embark on the hour ride home from my parent’s house, I was exhausted, overwhelmed and at the end of my rope.
I knew that the presence of the Almighty was beside me and that He beckoned me to rest in His strength. I laid my burdens at His feet as I had done daily, sometimes hourly, in this dark season.
I could have pulled off of the road and cried in sheer exhaustion, when suddenly the sky exploded in brilliant hues of orange, sky blue, magenta and yellow. It was as though the sky had been painted these glorious shades just for me by the one who created the universe. The God who knit me together in my mother’s womb and fashioned the earth with His own hands, had met me in my darkness and grief. That light show in the sky was a handwritten love note to me from my gentle and gracious Heavenly Father.
I was mesmerized, and even the kids quieted their voices and were in awe at the scene unfolding before our eyes. The more we journeyed toward home, the more the sky became wrapped in these brilliant hues. Yet I noticed the minute my eyes left the glimpse of God’s glory, the earth seemed dark and dull in comparison. I was left craving more of the Lord’s majesty and not at all satisfied with only seeing the darkness.
God used that sky, a simple sunset, to remind me of my true home with Him in heaven. He is preparing a place for me with Him and it will be more miraculous than the sky around me. My heart, though heavy with grief, was not meant to be filled here on earth and my troubles, no matter how they may loom in front of me, are only momentary troubles. There will be a day when He will wipe every tear from my eyes and the pain I experienced on earth will no longer bind me. When basking in the splendor of my Lord, I will experience true peace, rest and hope.
Another message in that painted evening sky reminded me that He has already given me freedom here on earth. When consumed and shackled to my problems, I can’t focus on the glory of the Lord. No matter how grim a situation may seem, I am free in Christ TODAY. He has set me free from exhaustion, of comparison, of worry, of anxiety and of the drudgery of the day to day life.
God desires me to take my eyes off of these momentary troubles and have abundant joy found in fellowship with Him.
When the times get tough and even when they are good, I need to talk with Him, worship Him and praise Him for who is; the Creator of the world. He loved me enough not to leave me dead or complacent in my sin, but to take my place in a torturous death He did not deserve so I could have life through Him.
That night, on my journey home, revival began in my heart and the healing process started as God began to restore my brokenness. I knew that I could choose to focus on the splendor and power of my Lord, or avert my eyes and see only darkness. I knew I could let the darkness engulf me and stay complacent in my misery or choose to grasp onto God’s hand as He guided me through the great unknown.
I knew that with God’s restoration, my life could be made whole again after an Autism diagnosis. I knew that I had a choice to stay in my misery or use it for the glory of God. I knew I could make an impact on the world around me for Christ and live unabashedly proud of what He had done in my life.
That night I chose light.
I chose to allow God’s healing power to flood my soul and to change me. I knew that I would never be the same, but instead I would no longer be afraid to share the Gospel, so entranced with God’s work in my life that I will never be ashamed to share it with the world.
But God calls to YOU as well. Right now He beckons you to lay down your misery, your anger, your grief, your despair, your sin, your addiction, your pride, your struggles and to find freedom in His presence. Today is the day God longs to restore you and heal your brokenness. Take it from someone who has been in the shackles of despair, let yourself lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus and allow yourself to find freedom and true peace.
Have you experienced a time of despair and has God restored you? Do you need God’s healing presence in your life today? I will be praying for those who are in the pit of life today. May God lift you out of the darkness so you can experience the true peace of His holy light.
Don’t forget to check out Sarah Ann’s blog at Faithalongtheway.com. You will be blessed by her heart!