It’s 2012 and the year was marked with deception, distress and disappointments. I remember it like it was yesterday, because it was just recently the Lord walked me back there to remind me that the same God that was there is the same God who is still here.
I had come to the end of myself, and by that I mean I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. My marriage looked like horrible ever after instead of happily ever after, the business had taken a turn for the worst, and poor choices from a child left me gasping for air. This particular year would prove to be the start of a freedom journey that would have a lot of unexpected turns and far too many bumps in the road.
The night will forever be marked in my mind and fastened securely in my heart. I was desperate for answers, but not prepared for the one answer I would be offered the night I entered the glass room. I should explain that the reason I refer to this room as the glass room was due to the fact that the whole room could be seen through a glass wall. It was an ordinary room with a whole lot of exposure due to the visibility that the entrance offered. Okay, back to the night in the glass room.
I can’t quite recall the topic of the teaching this particular night, but I can definitely remember the hurt I held in my heart from betrayal that led to deep-rooted bitterness. I distinctly recall the prompting to come up to the front for prayer at the close of the message, and my quick retreat toward the back of the room toward the door. It wouldn’t take long until I would be stopped in my tracks, as the strongest presence-that I still to this day have a hard time explaining, began to turn me toward the front of the room. If you’ve ever seen a small child fall in the floor in protest as their parent tries to pry their dead-weight body off the floor-that was the scene playing in my heart. I had no desire to go for prayer, and I have this thing about airing my dirty laundry-especially to a complete stranger! I hesitantly agreed to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and soon found myself eye to eye with a lady, that as luck would have it-HEARS GOD! And boy, did she hear Him that night! The conversation would prove a turning point in a journey that would ultimately bring me truth where deception had taken up residence for most of my life.
As I stood looking eye to eye with a complete stranger, I was asked what I needed prayer for, and very assertively I answered, “My husband needs prayer.” I proceeded to list my grievances, but was very politely interrupted with these words, “Do you trust God?” I’m sure the look on my face was a sure clue to the lady that I did not agree with the question, because after all, did she not just hear me tell her that my husband was the problem and it was him that had the problem! I quickly replied to her question with a very matter of fact “Yes, I trust God,” but before I could convince my heart that those words were the absolute truth, I followed the answer with, “most of the time I trust God.” But, even that wasn’t the complete truth. Looking back now, I think the Lord had already cleared the way for a little truth to be offered in that moment by a willing vessel at the front of that room.
The truth was, I had some deep roots of hurt and distrust that had been planted early on in my marriage-accompanied with a few lies that fasten themselves tightly around my heart. There was some broken trust that had occurred in my marriage, and the past was pounding my present with a lot of lies that I had been living out as if it were my reality.
I always believed that I trusted God whole-heartedly, but as I stood there that night I realized that my trust was contingent upon my circumstances. And if truth were told, many times still today, I find myself questioning God’s heart when less than favorable circumstances find there way into my life.
It was in the glass room that I realized for the first time in my life, God saw me and loved me enough to show me the truth about who I was a part from my circumstances, and that my security is not determined by another’s choices or actions. My security must be rooted in the truth of who God is and His heart toward me.
It reminds me of the story of Hagar. Hagar the maid of Abraham and Sarah has fled due to the mistreatment from Sarah. Hagar has given birth to Ishmael after Sarah takes matters into her own hands in hopes to speed up the promise of God. If you know the story, you know that it created division between Sarah and Hagar to the point of Hagar fleeing from Sarah’s presence. Hagar finds herself all alone and I’m sure heartbroken by the treatment she’s received after obeying the instructions she’d been given. In the wilderness alone, Hagar encounters the angel of the Lord. At the end of the encounter, Hagar gives the Lord a name, El Roi-the God who sees. Genesis 16:13
It is this characteristic that changed the way I understood and would later come to know God. He is the God who sees you and me. He sees every struggle, every hurt and every tear. When we trust God’s heart, we can trust that every pain has a purpose connected to it, that will one day lead us to the plan that only God can reveal to us as we walk closely connected to him.
It’s not easy for me to write that last sentence, because I don’t like the pain and most times I question whether or not there’s a real purpose for those things I have to endure. Many times I find myself attaching phrases to my struggles such as, “it’s not fair”, “it’s too hard”, “I can’t do this again”, or my signature words that cause an eye roll from God, “I’m done!
After I’ve thrown my fits of fair or not-I remind myself that the same God that saw me that night in the glass room, is the same God that sees me in this glass room called life.
His love never fails, His arm is not too short, and His power is made perfect in my weakness.