The church is a wonderful place where hurting people can come to heal; where broken people can come to be fixed.
But my life is exactly the opposite of what I expected when I came to Christ. I came into the church looking to minister to others, to share the Gospel with the hurting and needy. Now I am the one who is broken. Each day I struggle to commune with God when I know that He is the one who is allowing my trials. I struggle to find time to read my Bible, to pray…my days are filled with going to work, caring for my children, taking care of the house, and dealing with the messiness of brain injury. My vision of God has become cloudy as I feel ripped apart, broken down, and my life looks nothing like I expected it would.
“I once was lost, but now am found” becomes turned upside down to so many of us who once felt found yet suddenly feel lost.
I don’t doubt even for one second that I am saved. I had a very strong conversion experience in early college that completely changed my life and my heart. But I also have no picture of what it looks like to be a thriving, mature Christian who is always grieving, always weary, always feeling like giving up yet pressing on. My husband and I have grown in our ability to accept the limitations and frustrations our family faces due to his brain injury. But I am still learning to live surrounded by the grief of lost opportunities, the pain of seeing my husband suffer, and the loss I feel as I watch our family impacted by the strange symptoms of his unique illness. I am still learning what it means to trust and love God in the midst of such profound difficulties. I am still learning what it really means to fight for faith.
I have often quoted this verse from Paul:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:7-12 ESV)
I know that God uses blogs like Chosen Families to make us feel like we’re not alone. And I am so thankful for this ministry and this community. But I need more than just words on paper. I need the living, breathing church to come in and minister to my hurting soul. I need role models in my life of Godly Christians who have suffered lengthy trials and are still walking faithfully with their God. I am praying that God would provide me with an older mentor, with the friendship of a godly woman who has suffered yet not lost faith.
And by God’s grace, I pray that one day I will have the privilege to play that role in someone’s life. That one day, God might use my walk of faith and trials to lead me to a young woman who feels lost, overwhelmed, and broken, so that I can point her back to the God who found her and keeps her.