Recently I read a post over at Storyline called Are You Going Through Hell Right Now? In this post, the author shares some of the challenges he is currently facing. One of things that has helped him get through these times is a folder he keeps at his desk filled with encouragement. He takes it out daily and reviews the contents as a reminder, the items “act as anchors of hope in times of uncertainty.”
As I read his words, I thought back to one of my going through hell seasons, as I did, I thought about a small spiral bound notebook that was with me during that journey. I went to find that notebook after reading the Storyline post.
When I picked out this notebook from the Dollar Store so many years ago and decided to start writing down Bible verses to encourage me through my own hell, I had no idea how much one small act would impact my life and my journey. Over the past few days, I’ve reread many of the verses in this notebook. Most of the verses I’d written down were similar in tone… a desperate cry from a sinner who was in deep need of God’s healing and grace in her life.
As I read, I could picture myself sitting on my back porch and praying again for God to rescue me. Particular verses about being pursued by an enemy seemed to speak loudest to me at the time. Addiction was my enemy and, time and time again, I was getting back up off the ground and choosing to run to God. I had come to a decision that no matter how many times I fell down, I would get back up and continue to seek Him. I had decided that after years of turning down the volume on His voice in my life, after years of going it alone, after years of running in the wrong direction, I was ready to listen. I was ready to believe with all my heart that He could and He would set me free. I was done trying to hide from an all-knowing God.
As I looked back on this time in my life, as I read the verses in this little butterfly notebook again, I am so thankful. And, this might sound strange to some folks, but I am now thankful I went through that time of hell. It’s weird to me how you can look back on a dark time like that in your life and remember how powerful God’s presence and love was in the midst of pain and uncertainty. That season in my life was the first time in my life when I actually experienced God as a trusted friend and counselor. He was sitting out on that back porch with me every single morning. He didn’t judge me. He didn’t yell at me. He simply wrapped His arm around my shoulder, listened to the ache in my heart, and faithfully breathed His hope into my situation.
I don’t know what you are currently going through but I hope you are not trying to go through it alone. I hope you will cling to the Truth that God is bigger than whatever hell you are facing. He is bigger. Run to him. And, if you happen to fall down again on the way…make the choice to get up and keep running to Him no matter what. The journey is worth it, my friend.