None of us are immune from going through trials and challenges…curveballs that come out of left field that we were never expecting to EVER have to face in our lives. But the Bible actually says “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange has happened to you…” (1 Peter 4:12). The honest truth is if we want to serve God with our lives, we’re going to face some trials, have some curveballs thrown at us and have our faith tested. How that happens in our lives may look different for each of us but it’s in these times we learn to hold on to God for dear life, to trust Him with our lives, to grow and be stretched in our faith, to learn to have more compassion for others and to overcome through His promises.
I had just turned 31 when my marriage ended suddenly. It was a massive curveball, that as I’ve mentioned before, I had never imagined or expected would ever happen in my worst nightmare!! In the aftermath I had to seek God and work out “what does this mean for my life?”, “what does it mean for my beautiful babies?", “what about the call of God on my life…does it change that?”, “is this it for me?”, “am I now meant to stay single the rest of my life?”. I had so many questions. I literally threw myself into the Word to find out what God had to say and in it found so many promises of God’s incredible goodness and faithfulness. It gave me strength and hope to know that, not only was God with me, but He also had a beautiful future ahead for me and my boys. My life was not over…it was a new beginning.
God is the Redeemer and Restorer of all that has been lost, broken and stolen from our lives. And everything the devil has tried to use to destroy and debilitate us, God turns around for our good and His glory.
There are so many beautiful promises in the word of God that we can hold on to no matter what our situation or trial. Promises of healing, promises of safety, promises of provision, promises of restoration, promises of His goodness and faithfulness, promises of a future and a hope. Hold on to your promise and don’t stop believing! Let me just say though, it takes us being obedient to His Word for His promises to come to pass. We can’t just take things into our own hands, then ask God to bless it. It doesn’t work that way! It’s trusting God, keeping our hearts right and following His leading.
As a single mum, there were so many promises I held on to for myself and for my boys. I could tell so many stories of God’s goodness, favour, protection and provision to us time and time again. That didn’t mean life was perfect or that we were living the dream - there were plenty of hard times - but God was definitely with us and looking after us. I just want to encourage, especially all the single parents, to pray and speak God’s promises and favour over your kids. Just because they are in a single parent home or going between homes does not mean they have to grow up disadvantaged or wearing the residue of those circumstances. God promises in Isaiah 54 that “All your children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children.” God fills all the gaps!
I remember a few years ago my boys were flying interstate to see their dad for the holidays. When I got to the airport the lovely stewardess, who was flying with them, remembered them from a flight 6 months earlier (what are the chances?!). That in itself was such a blessing, feeling that God had her there and He was looking after them. After they boarded I was waiting in the airport lounge for the plane to take off, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the stewardess. She’d gotten off the plane just to tell me how amazing my boys were and that she’d flown with hundreds of kids and had never met any kids as happy and polite as my boys…and that she hoped to have kids just like them one day. They were standout kids. After she left I just sat there and cried. That encouragement wasn’t testament to my parenting skills but to the goodness and favour of God over their lives. It was like God was showing me a little window to say “See, they’re doing great…I’ve got them…they’re going to be just fine…” It was such a beautiful, humbling and encouraging moment.
I also believed, as a single mum, that one day I would remarry and that God had someone handpicked for me and my boys. What I didn’t know is that it would take 10 years to come to pass! Being alone for those 10 years felt long and there were times when I thought, maybe this is never going to happen, but God knew exactly what He was doing and I just had to trust. Even when I first met my now husband, it was another 2 years of just trusting…but that amazing and crazy God-story is for another blog! :)
I said that to say, don’t be discouraged if your promise is taking longer than you expected or if it comes differently than you imagined. Keep trusting and believing. God’s timing and His ways are so much higher than ours. Get those promises God has given you through His Word - highlight them, write them out, memorise them and don’t let go of them. Hold on to the promises of God over your life - they are yes and amen – and they will come to pass!
Jules M xx