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I had to look at my circumstances from a different angle – the angle from up above. See, I spent so many years lying bruised, battered, broken, and hugely self-pitying beneath the seeming mountains of challenges and hurts I faced that I missed in many cases the blessings God was in fact giving me. But when I crawled out from under all the debris and started to look at my life from a different angle, I was mightily surprised at what I saw.
For instance, the fact most of my friends don’t read my writing or encourage me in it has given me a phenomenal opportunity to get rid of pride and to learn to be humble. It has also helped me to learn how to have victory over rejection, and to learn to live to please God instead of to live to get attention, validation, and acceptance from people.
Another example. Being abandoned by two husbands has given me the amazing opportunity to develop a breathtakingly beautiful, deeply personal relationship with the Lord I might never have developed because I used to be so consumed and obsessed with the men in my life. And the experience – two times over – of being abandoned and going through unwanted divorce broke me to such a point I finally surrendered to the Lord at a level I never had.
Another one. When my second husband left for the last time, the Lord stripped me of almost everything I wanted or that bore the most significance in my life – taking me to such a depth of brokenness that I finally realized I had a relationship with Christianity – churches, pastors, prayer meetings, etc. – but not with Him.
Losing my family as a result of talking about being sexually abused as a child, and this would have to be one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced, has come with its blessings also. Not too long after I lost my family, I received the greatest gift I have ever received. The Lord Jesus Christ.
Being sexually abused as a child came with countless blessings in the long run. I am deeply sensitive. I have extraordinary compassion. I was so desperate and broken for so long I ended up running into the arms of the Lord. I have learned how to love my enemies, to pray and weep for the salvation of those who have hurt me most.
Oh, and how the list goes on – and on! For in the midst of some of my greatest hurts, the Lord has blessed me beyond measure. He has used some of my greatest challenges as opportunities to draw me to Himself, to increase my hunger for Him, to deepen my relationship with Him, to prepare my heart and life for ministry, to conform me into the image of Christ, oh, and the list, yes, it certainly goes on and on – even to this very day.
The greatest blessing of all, however, is not all the ways in which the Lord has transformed my life and brought me out of darkness into His light through the countless hurts I have gone through, and continue to go through, but the greatest blessing is this.
Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Rom 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.