Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June Hope Chest- Hope Will Pull You Out of the Darkness by Michele Linville

Many years ago, I began to ask this question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”.   

I was actively involved in my church, was studying my Bible, and my prayer life was at its strongest.  I believed that God rewarded faithfulness, so why did my life begin to spiral out of control?

I had health complications my entire life, but at age 27 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and began to suffer some major health complications. My husband was not a Christian and was an alcoholic.  His drinking had never caused major problems in our marriage, but he began to spiral down a road of depression and even heavier drinking which led to gambling addiction and infidelity.

After several years of praying and fighting to save my marriage, I found it was a losing battle that was exhausting  me mentally, physically and spiritually. My husband filed for divorce, both of my boys were diagnosed  with A.D.H.D. and my eight year old son required a child psychologist for depression. 

With my health still failing, I was forced as a single mother to care for my children alone. I drug them to their doctor appointments, set up individual education plans (I.E.P) with their schools and struggled with their learning limitations. I was in and out of the hospital while struggling to maintain a full time job to support my children. 

 I am not going to lie. I cried myself to sleep many nights. I prayed in anger asking God what His plan was for me because I was starting to feel like I had been forgotten. I was lying in a hospital bed after yet another surgery feeling so alone, like even God had abandoned me, and I opened a card from a friend that had Hebrews 13:5 printed on it. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

 It is amazing how God can speak to us if we just listen. I began to realize that God never promised my life would be easy. I also started trying to focus on what I did have instead of what I didn’t have. 
  • I had two beautiful, healthy children, in spite of the limitations with education we were facing.
  • I had incredible parents that stepped up to the plate and did as much for me as they could when I needed them. 
  • My best friend had supported me unconditionally through all of this and spent hours nurturing me as I licked my wounds.
  • And as bad as I was struggling, I reminded myself that there were people facing terminal issues that had no hope of a cure.

 I still had hope of recovery.

 There it was. A small word of only four letters that pulled me out of the darkness I had crawled into.


 It was a life altering revelation, God hadn’t moved, I had. He was still there waiting on me to trust Him. I changed my prayers from, “Why me?” to “Help me accept your will.” Speaking from experience I can tell you the hardest thing you will ever do is completely trust God with all aspects of your life. I stopped worrying and started feeling hopeful that God would deliver me. And if He didn’t, then it was my responsibility as a Christian to know there was a higher purpose for my life than living a life of contentment.

 How many times throughout the history of the Bible had God been at active battle with evil? And any war that He fought, He always sent his strongest soldiers. And when those soldiers were called to battle, how many, like myself, whimpered and complained? 
But God always knows better than we do.
 I began, through prayer and study, to realize He hadn’t given up on me but had led me into battle knowing my limitations and more importantly my strengths.  I began to focus all of my attention on my church and my children.

 God led me into a relationship with a Christian man. Joe was a man I had known all my life and I knew he was a man of integrity and kindness. He had raised two boys with A.D.H.D. ,was  incredible with my boys, and understood my frustration.

 After some time had passed he began talking about marriage. This made me nervous, because I didn’t want to make another mistake. I prayed one night asking God to give me a sign to show me which direction He wanted me to go in. I wasn’t ready for marriage but didn’t want to decline if it was something God was putting before me. The very next afternoon, Joe took me to our church using the excuse that he needed to adjust the projector for Sunday’s service. After we walked up to the front of the church he dropped to one knee and began a proposal that still gives me goose bumps to think about.  He told me that God had brought us together, and he wanted us to be married with God and our church as our main focus. He also said he wanted us to blend our families together into one.
 He basically said everything that I had prayed the night before. It was as if God was not only giving me a sign but using my very words in Joe’s proposal to confirm my faith that this was where he was leading me. 

To wrap up my story, Joe and I married in 2005 and he has helped me raise my boys into responsible, intelligent men who refused to let their learning disabilities limit them. My oldest son has a heart of gold and has transitioned into the working world with little problem. My youngest son graduated high school this year, is an Eagle Scout and  a responsible, amazing young man. I have two step sons, two daughter in laws and five grandchildren that love me unconditionally. I have been in remission from Crohn’s since 2005. 

Coincidence? I really don’t think so, my faith tells me differently.

 I still have struggles with my health but nothing I can’t live with.  I have learned to take nothing for granted, even a small little word like Hope. That one little word  helped me move mountains.

 Never give up. God has a plan for each of us.

 I share my story with you hoping that someone out there can relate to my situation or find hope in the fact that God will never leave you.   All things are possible with God, so even when life gets hard, Let go and let God!

 Never give up hope.

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