"The Lord is my Strength and my shield: my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."
I was pregnant and married at the age of 16. I had five children by the time I was 24 and I was dumped and alone by the age of 30.
I quickly re-married to cover up my pain, which only added to my suffering.
Before I was 40 I was divorced twice.
Several years later I met the man who would be my third husband. Our life together was good and we had all the things in life that I never had as a single mom. He was the love of my life and 17 years after I met him he suffered the agonizing death of pancreatic cancer, and I became a widow.
I found faith in God when I was 19 years old.
I thought that my faith in God secured my happiness and guaranteed me a perfect marriage and obedient children.
Being divorced so young with five confused children, thrust me into panic/survival mode.
Not trusting God and thinking the best way to remedy my situation was re-marriage was the ultimate cause of my second divorce.
Life is full of trouble.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Watching while someone you love dies feels like walking hand in hand through a fire and as you watch them slowly slip away, they are praying the fire will end and you are praying it won't because you know when it ends they will be gone.
"When you pass through the water I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2
TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH!
Through hard times I have learned to tell myself the truth. "I'll get through this," "I can make it through this grief," "I can make it through this divorce," "with God's help I can make it."
When I fall victim to the "I can'ts," like "I can't do this," and, "I'll never make it through this," I have already defeated myself. And it's not the truth.
TRUST GOD, SEEK HIM, HOLD ON TO WHAT IS GOOD
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
JOY AND PEACE IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE
I can't rely on another person to make me happy. They wouldn't have enough hours in the day to make me happy! Happiness comes from our outside circumstances, but joy comes from the inside no matter the circumstances. Joy comes from God.
"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16
What is God's will for me? To be joyful, pray continually, and give thanks.