All my life I followed God’s commandments to the best of my ability. I failed miserably at one point or another. I grew tired of working to be righteous to avoid guilt. One day I stood at a fork in the road of my life. I couldn’t decide which direction to go. Both choices seemed painful. I knew what God wanted me to do. I just couldn’t make a choice. I had lots of doubts about making a mistake I might live to regret.
In utter desperation one late afternoon, I begged God upon my knees with my head to the floor to take my life over and allow His will to be done! I felt confident He would grant my request. My life hit rock bottom in a little under seven months after pleading with God.
Did I make a mistake by giving God full authority to run my life in the direction He would like? I never doubted God’s judgement although the question certainly crossed my mind. I remembered the story of Job in the Bible and knew better than to ever question God. How could I a mere creature question my Creator? I would not make the same mistake Job made. I just bore the pain and drew closer to God.
This was the absolute lowest, darkest, both physically and mentally painful period within my 32 years on earth. My world had turned topsy-turvy. I couldn’t figure out how to mentally process what I was enduring. My heart ached and my upper body shook uncontrollably while crying at the sudden and unexpected loss of life of my dear friend. I had never thought of dying, but for the first time in my life at 32 I questioned what it would be like to be dead for one brief second! Satan I’m certain provided me with an escape route to avoid the torture. A consoling thought came to me, but the thought was not mine.
The pain seemed more than I wanted to face for a split second. I momentarily encountered a sense of relief at the fleeting thought of taking my life which took my mind off all my problems. I rejected the thought as quickly as it arrived. In that moment God allowed me to empathize with people who become suicidal. I always thought how foolish a thought until I faced my own cross. I had honestly never ever thought of such a thing before and could not comprehend why anyone would consider the thought!
As a true optimist, I could always see the good in a situation when I needed to do so to stay positive and persevere. So this experience helped me to develop greater empathy for others that hurt! My faith and obedience in God created a hedge of protection for me to a certain extent. Despite my circumstances I knew I could trust God in this storm in my life like I did throughout my life. Somehow I developed over the years a rock solid trust in God that carried me through this difficult stage in my life.
Furthermore, I recall telling God this was not what I asked for when I gave Him full control over my life nor did I ever dream of this happening. I knew I gave Him permission to do what needed to be done. At no point, however, did I ever feel the least bit angry with God. I recognized that I need to be more specific the next time I pray to God because I did not like the outcome. He knew that option never crossed my mind. He protected me from a greater loss. The loss of life with Him.
The same day following the death, I just remember God telling me that He loved me. I heard in my spirit about two dozen times “I love you.” This soft inner voice kept speaking to me repeating “I love you.” I knew this was the Lord. About the sixth or seventh time I started to feel loved and no longer felt all alone with my pain. I felt God right there with me in the room. His love and presence led me to tears once again.
I don’t recall ever questioning His judgement. I knew then as I have always known that all things work together for good for those who trust in the Lord. Pain can help to purify the soul by forcing us to seek God in obedience and asking Him for the help that we so desperately need and cannot do on our own. Suffering can beautify the soul when the pain gives us knowledge of the Lord, which leads to wisdom. Wisdom comes from knowing, trusting and walking obediently with God day by day. He never leaves us nor forsake us.
Looking back thirteen years later, the situation felt like a crucifixion. A part of me died. Another part of me came alive. I discovered a God with a sense of humor and a personality so real that I could never question God’s existence! God’s eyes looked on me and his ears heard my plea for help one desperate afternoon. He came to my rescue. He waited for me to call out for help before He took control of my life. He never left my side. This is my testimony.