“Be strong and steady…for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
1 Corinthians 15:58
Had you of asked me that day as I stood in the sunny bedroom of my children Paul and Diana, then 5 and 3, what the future would look like, I would not have had an answer. Life as I knew it had come to a standstill. My self- worth hung by a thread. When the chief from the Kingsville Police Department started talking, he snapped that thread and it lay shattered on the ground.
I purposefully chose to have Paul and Diana at a safe place other than home that morning.
When I left to take them there I knew that at some point the police were coming to do a house search. I returned to find that they had entered our home through an unlocked living room window. They were methodically going through everything - OUR things…nothing was sacred.My husband had been arrested the day before and they were looking for evidence.
Feeling like an outsider in my own home, I stepped into the living room and sat down on the couch. The Captain handed me a copy of the search warrant and I read it, thinking as I did, "There is just no way my husband did this."
Somebody asked me to move off the couch so pictures could be taken for the investigation. That’s when I slipped into the children's bedroom. I didn’t trust my legs to support me so I sat on the edge of one of their beds. I loved that little sunny room. It had been the setting for many happy memories – goodnight prayers, early morning tickles, stories and songs. I began to cry and pray, "Dear God, what is going to happen to us?"
The Captain came into the bedroom, opened his mouth and proceeded to dismantle our lives.
"You know, if you're withholding evidence we'll file charges against you…I've noticed a number of Christian books and tapes around here. It must have been your faith, could it be that you expected too much from your husband? ...Only you know what went on behind your bedroom doors. Could it be that you made demands on your husband that he couldn't fulfill?"
Now these many years later, I can answer the question about what my future looked like after the arrest.
What I was certain would destroy me, did not. I learned valuable lessons as I trekked through that hot, dry wilderness. I’ve been changed. I could have chosen to be bitter; I allowed God to make me better. I am the woman I am today because of the experiences of my life. I’ve developed a heart of compassion for others. My faith has grown incrementally. I’ve learned to trust again. God has redeemed my pain.I’ve learned to trust again.
I have made mistakes along the way; I could have walked my journey better I’m sure.
In the end, when I stand before God, it won’t matter how much I own, the places I’ve been or the people I’ve known. What will matter is what I have done with the life I have been given. We go through hard times, we learn, we listen, we become wiser through the experience. That learning, for me, has been filled with seeds of hope, healing, and encouragement.
Those seeds have been entrusted to me - they have been given to me to plant in the lives of others. I won’t see most of those seeds come to fruition. It’s my job to plant them. Another will water them. God will cause them to grow.
You’ve been wounded.
You are scarred. Those scars are proof of experience. Every scar has a story. Your story contains seeds that are yours to plant in the garden of another’s life. Put your gloves on, it’s time to get to work.
“Father, please redeem the pain of my life. Help me to heal, to identify the lessons You have taught me in the hard times. Then, give me courage to ‘plant’ them in the lives of others.”