Rather than write a cheesy introductary post, as you pretty much already do that on the top of the Home page, I felt the best thing to start with was a Facebook post I made awhile back. This is from September 19th, 2019. For those who do not know the exact significance, September 19th, 2017 was the date that my friends and I received notification of the criminal charges against us for a prank we had pulled two years earlier. That day, I had sent in the final pieces of my security clearance application to finalise my internship with the U.S. State Department, serving in the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland. That afternoon had felt like my whole life was coming into place, that everything was working out perfectly. The news that day shattered that misbelief in a hard way, and lead to a very difficult time in my life, perhaps the formative. This post was a reflection two years later on how this trial shaped me.
“Two years ago today was the worst day of my life, without a doubt. Life came crashing down all around me and I had no answers. I was broken and confused. I thought I had faith at the time, but the longer that hardship continued, the more I realized I didn’t. Quite frankly, I was pissed off that this was happening. I had made one mistake and in return my world was ruined. How was that fair? How was that supposed to be a part of God’s plan for my life? The answers were so distant, and that scared me as much as anything else going on.
The next few months were up and down. Encouragement flooded in from those around me and my family. The extraordinary lengths people went to to make sure that we were cared for during this time were astounding. Yet the harsh reality of the situation always remained in the forefront, taking any joy I had at every turn it could. I prayed that God would take this burden away. I wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t care if this was meant to lead towards something greater, I couldn’t take it anymore and wanted it out of my life.
Yet I found comfort and reassurance knowing that Christ not only knew my pain, but experienced pain far greater. He experienced our hardships and our suffering, but did not simply leave it there. Jesus Christ redeemed suffering itself when He gave Himself on the cross. He redeemed everything I was going through so that in the midst of my pain and frustration, Christ could come alongside me and walk through it with me. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says that “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you, through his poverty, may become rich.” Jesus Christ Himself had redeemed my suffering, and if He did so to be able to love me, and to be able to meet me in my darkest times, at the times when I least trusted him, than how could I ever doubt that He loved me?
There was never a moment where the light bulb suddenly clicked on, no sudden realization that gave meaning and understanding to it all in an instant. But over time, I started to see how God was using this to do something awesome in my life. He showed me just how much I need Him, and showed me that I need Him in every aspect, not just the ones I feel comfortable inviting Him into. I love the words in the song “Scars” by I Am They, where it says “Darkest water and deepest pain, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Because my brokenness brought me to You. And these wounds are a story you’ll use.” God showed His heart in all of this, using my brokenness to reveal Himself in ways I totally needed and quite frankly, revealed Himself in ways that I would not have been able to experience had I not gone through this.
I still have struggles to this day, however. The journey is not yet over. Times when I feel uneasy about life because things don’t seem to be falling apart, and I’m just waiting things out until the next disaster. Times when I question whether or not I wasted an opportunity to know God deeper through this suffering, could I have done more? Is there something that I missed? I still struggle with these questions today. Yet despite that, I stand testament to the truth that Jesus Christ seeks to meet us where we are, and shepherd us through every high and every low, and all we have to do is come before Him and trust that the Creator of the universe is more powerful than anything we face, trust that peace and healing begin in Christ Jesus.”
I still to this day do not know every way in which Christ intends to use my story. But thankfully, I have come to a place in my life in which I no longer need to know, but instead wholly trust that God is good.