I hear about heartache everywhere.  On the news, in conversations, over text messages, on Facebook… it’s all over the place.  Sometimes it takes me back to times in my life when I was broken too, and I think back to how God carried me through.

I was married once before.  In 2006, about a month before what would have been our five-year anniversary, while we were in Vegas for his sister’s wedding (I was the maid-of-honor), my then-husband informed me that he no longer loved me and wanted a divorce.  Now, I knew we had problems, but I was SHOCKED.  He didn’t want to try, didn’t want to work on it, see a counselor, nothing.  He only wanted a divorce.  I came to learn that he had met someone else, and eventually he and his family moved him out of the home we shared and into hers. Yes, the same family for which I was just the maid-of-honor. My head was spinning.

I was living in L.A. at the time so I was on the phone with my mom a lot.   I’m sure many of those early conversations consisted of me chain smoking my way through crying fits, rantings and ravings… you name it, I was a mess.  I can’t tell you everything my mom said to me during that time, except this:  “One day years from now you’re going to look at the husband you have and the kids you have and you’ll realize that you wouldn’t have them if you didn’t go through this.” That thought seemed so unreal, so far off in a very distant and unsure future, and yet for some reason it stuck. And guess what? 1459956_10151690400437282_1056887932_n My mom wasn’t serving me some pie in the sky philosophy back then – she was speaking HOPE into my life.  She was speaking the very nature of a loving God who delights in restoring what’s been lost.   The months that followed that conversation were some of the toughest of my life, but it was in the depth of my pain that I re-dedicated my life to Christ.  And there He was, waiting in the wing where I put Him so many years before. Jesus answered my heart’s cry with love and faithfulness – the very things my husband had taken from me.  There is no one like our God.

Fast-forward eight years and I don’t know it all, but I know the One who does. And I know that it is only because of God that I have this life now.  It’s this crazy-amazing thing that only God can do – take our setbacks and turn it into a setup for something great.  Taking the worst situations and turning them around for our good.  Jesus said that what is impossible with man, is possible with God.  We just have to believe!

 He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. Isaiah 61:3

It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen.  I’m so glad I never gave up on God when it took longer than I wanted.  My husband and my kids are living testaments of the goodness of God, the proof of restoration… they are the beauty that came from the ashes.

If God did it for me, He will surely do it for you.  Walking through the pain is tough, but He promises to never leave us. Don’t give up!