Below is a short testimony I gave at the dedication of my son. This was the culmination of a huge work and blessing that the Lord had been carrying out in my life.
Psalm 37 verse 4 says: Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I’ve heard that verse many times over the years. And I’ve been a Christian for many years – I asked Jesus into my heart at the age of 6. Through all of my living memory I have believed that Jesus is the son of God and that he died and rose again.
But it took my life falling apart before I started a journey that lead me to really understand what Psalm 37:4 was saying.
I had my life planned out ever since I was a kid. The plan was that once I’d finished high school, I would leave town (never to return), go to uni and get my degree, get a good job, get married in my early twenties, and have 2 children just before I turned thirty.
I did every single one of those things. Life goals accomplished! Yay, right?
No. It turned out that by the time I had completed my life’s plan (a plan that didn’t factor in life past 30), I was dead inside. I smiled for the world, but inside I was lost, lonely and trapped.
It wasn’t that my plan had been bad. My problem was that while I’d made all these plans – I hadn’t run them past God. I never checked with him to see if that was what he wanted for me. Never checked with him to find out if these were the best things for me.
But most significantly of all, I hadn’t asked him to choose my husband. In fact, I was afraid of whom God might choose for me. I considered Christian men to be boring and I deliberately went away from God’s choice in that department.
So by the time I turned 30, I was separated and headed for divorce, a single mother of a toddler and infant, facing imminent bankruptcy, and to my ultimate shame, living back at home in the place I said I’d never return. My beautiful children, the most precious things in my life, were now part of a broken family and without a full time father.
This was the scariest time of my life. I had no idea what was going to happen to us. But one thing I was sure of – I had no choice but to free-fall into Jesus’ arms. He was the only one who could protect and provide for us. With such deep, daily pain and fear, I started spending every evening in God’s word and talking with him.
One night I was reflecting on the fact that I had achieved all of my life’s plans but had never imagined it would be followed by divorce. At that moment, I heard the Lord say to me, “Are you done now? Are you ready to try it my way?”
Well, my answer was yes. Absolutely! I was done with my own way. I didn’t want to make any more plans, I just wanted to go wherever the Lord took me.
So for the next several years I learnt what it was to delight in the Lord. In spending more time with him I learnt more and more how to hear his voice. I learnt that he speaks to us in many ways including through his word, through other Christians, through imagery, through song and through the stillness of our hearts.
Time and time again God provided for us, cared for and looked after us. I saw the Lord working in my children, showing himself to them even in their very young age, and I saw their own faith develop and grow.
I was never lonely in this time. Jesus used this time to heal me and to replace several lies in my life with his truth.
One such lie was that I wasn’t allowed to want anything. In my mind, I’d made my mistakes so that was it for me – I’d blown it. I had no right to ask for anything again.
I also believed that God didn’t like me. Sure, I knew he loved me – but I figured he only loved me because he had to. Because he loves everyone.
Slowly Jesus showed me that he liked who I was as a person, and that he liked spending time with me. Then he reminded me that when he forgives us, he does so completely. It’s forgotten. Our mistakes are erased and it’s like it never happened.
I’d always wanted to get married, and that desire had never gone away even after failing the first time around. But I was ashamed of that desire because I believed it was a sign of weakness. God patiently worked on me to replace that lie in my life, reminding me that He had created marriage and made it the most special of relationships. In fact, marriage was created to show the world how much God loved us!
Eventually I realised that God was a good father who wanted to give good things to his children, and so I started praying for a husband.
The difference this time was that my desire for a husband was secondary to my desire for a relationship with Jesus. Jesus was my all-in-all, and if it wasn’t in the Lord’s plans for me to have a husband, I was actually okay with that.
The next thing God taught me was to accept good things when he gave them to me – particularly the ones I had been asking for. This proved to be very difficult for me.
The first big step in that lesson was a trip to the US. I’d dreamed of going for so long, and yet when the Lord provided for me to go, I had a hard time believing and accepting that. I kept waiting for the catch. But remembering what Jesus had been teaching me all this time, I stepped out and accepted the gift – terrified as I was – and went on the trip. It was a milestone in my walk of faith, and was one of the most spiritually uplifting experiences I have had to date. My primary purpose for the trip was business related. But once I’d returned, I realised that God’s primary purpose had been to show me how much he loves me, to help me take that step of accepting good things from him, and to give me something fun and memorable to treasure for years to come.
Everything snowballed after that trip. Just 1 month later, Thomas walked into my life and turned it completely upside down. And as I recognised the possibility that God was granting me another one of my desires, I very promptly, completely and utterly freaked out.
I argued with God immediately. I was terrified. How could I trust a man again? How would I know if this time this was the man God meant for me? I cried so much – working through my fears, and residual hurt from my previous marriage.
And this was all before there was even a first date! The only thing that had happened was that we’d started speaking to each other and I realised how nice he was!
I was terrified. Terrified of having my hopes raised only to have them smashed to pieces.
But why would God do that? He wasn’t into torture, didn’t dangle carrots in our faces only to snatch them away with a laugh.
God asked me to give this man a chance. Out of obedience, I did – despite my fears. Step by step, slowly and gently, God showed me the depth of Thomas’ character. Most importantly, God showed me himself in Thomas – and that was the thing that gave me ultimate peace.
If I hadn’t learnt to hear God’s voice, hadn’t been learning how to trust him more and more, hadn’t learnt more about what God’s character was really like, I would have passed up on this great blessing that God was handing to us.
My kids bonded with Thomas in a way that only God could have made possible. So not only do I have the loving, caring, Godly husband I’d always wanted, but my children have the great blessing of a Godly father.
I’m very thankful that Thomas was still waiting for God’s choice after all that time, and I’m so humbled and awed that it was me.
Now we have been blessed with a son, the cherry on top of this beautiful family that God has brought together. This was all God’s plan, his idea, and it is way better than anything I could have ever dreamed up.