"Light began to overtake my darkness, and He rescued me."
Scripture reference: Luke 15:21: “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son.'”
Maybe like some of you, there was a time where I stepped away from God. I grew up in church, but after my abusive marriage ended, I thought I knew what was best for me. I had always been a “good girl”; I even met my first husband in church. Satan has his evil everywhere, and I was like a lamb to the slaughter. It had been happening to me for years. It was not until my baby started being hurt that my family helped me get out. I was left bruised and broken, a shell of what I once was and now a single mother.
During that time, I did things for which I am ashamed. I was not at all living like a daughter of the one true King. And for that first year away from the church, I felt happy and satisfied. I was having fun and felt like I was in control.
Then came the fall.
I believe He protected me that first year to allow me time to return. I did not, and years two and three living outside of His protection was excruciating and almost destroyed me. I know now, the only reason I lived through that time is the grace of God.
When I finally began to come to my senses and realize the peril I was in, I had been the victim on three police reports in one year and had to file bankruptcy. I laid in bed and cried. As I contemplated what my life had become and realized that God was the only one who could rescue me, the enemy’s whispers began.
“You are broken and ugly. Just look at what you have become.”
“God doesn’t want you back. Why would anyone want you now?”
“He cannot even hear you, so why try? You should probably just give up and die.”
Still, I felt a familiar tug on my heart in the darkness of my chaos. God was beckoning me to pray, but I could not. The enemy’s whispers felt louder than God’s voice, which felt far in the distance. How could I pray? Would He even want to hear from me? Would He remember me?
My heart ached. After hours of this battle, I relented and prayed. It was a struggle to even express a word to Him. I felt like I was having to break through some unseen wall.
That is all I could get out. It was silent but visceral. A desperate cry from a wounded soul. “Help!” and He heard me. Light began to overtake my darkness, and He rescued me.
My life did not change overnight, but change it did. Things and people began to be removed from my life; I even moved to a new location. I returned to church and began making better choices for myself and my son. It was during a conversation with a coworker than I realized that I had been the prodigal daughter. Suddenly, I related to the parable in Luke 15:11–32 like I never had before.
That dark night when I finally cried out to God for help was an echo of the very moment the son had in Luke 15:21: “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’. Just like the father was happy to take his son back, God was still there ready to take me back. Dead but alive again; lost but now found!
That night was also in Psalms 77:1: “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night, I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.”
Not long after that time, I met my current husband. I was candid with him about my past, but he loved me anyway. I can feel the love of God through my husband’s love. We married, and a year later, he adopted my son.
One night, I was cleaning up my son’s room in the quiet after he had fallen asleep. I picked up a book that I was not familiar with and carried it into the light. The first words on the page that I read had me in tears. It was an excerpt from Psalm 68:6: “God sets the lonely in families.” That is what God had done for my son and me.
I fully recognize that my past brings unique opportunities to speak to the broken. I can speak from a place of experience when I tell them that God still loves them, no matter what they’ve been through. I am excited when I recognize a moment where I get to share what He is done for me. Just like Isaiah 61:1-3, he has given me “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
Those who only know me now would never know what I have been through. Praise God, the giver of second chances!
Dig Deeper: How do you think it is, that something written so long ago echoes specific moments in our lives, providing comfort, and reiterating our Father’s love for us?
Are there any Bible verses that have found their way to you just at the right time
What opportunities might God be bringing to you, to share his love?
Prayer for the day: “Abba, Father, You are timeless and limitless. What spoke to Your people so long ago still blesses us and speaks to us today. Teach my heart to recognize Your words in every season of my life. Please send them to comfort and guide me when I fail or falter. Remind me that, even when the world around me feels out of control, I am Your child and only need to love and trust You. Thank you for loving me. I love You! Amen.”