This Path, His Purpose

Facebook keeps popping up my posts from years past. The ones that hit me are the ones from two years ago. I look at those and realize I am in a completely different world now. My life as a whole has certainly not been easy, but these last two years have been some of the most difficult years.   They have also been some of the best.

Two years ago, on September 1, 2014, Labor Day, four days before my 27th wedding anniversary, my husband left. That day, and the weeks that followed, my world was turned upside down. The past was tainted, the present was traumatized, and the future no longer existed. This was the event I thought would never happen. As rocky as our marriage had become, I thought we were both committed to no divorce… I thought wrong. In the weeks and months that followed, God was faithful. He provided money where none should have existed. He dropped a part time job in my lap, not just any job, but one that I loved, and would lead me directly to my future career. He provided a wonderful lawyer. My family supported me. My karate students and my friends supported me.   My church family supported me. My biggest fear had been my church’s reaction… I’ve known quite a few women going through a divorce that were abandoned by their church, or even worse, given very bad council. In spite of what many churches teach (and what my fears told me), divorce is not the worst sin ever… in fact this divorce wasn’t my sin at all. I am certainly not saying I was a perfect sinless wife, and I freely admit that I shared in the breakdown of our marriage; but I tried to fix it too. The divorce was not my sin.

So in spite of doing all the right things to the best of my ability, focusing on my family, being active in church and missions, and homeschooling, my marriage came apart.

These last two years, and my life today, were not my plan. It was not something I had ever considered. It was devastating. But in that devastation, God was rebuilding a whole new life for me. A new life that has brought me great happiness, and more importantly, joy and peace. I cannot explain it, except to say that God blessed me beyond belief with Himself, with His Word, with His Church, even with the world around me. In taking my marriage, God gave me even more of Himself.

I believe in the Sovereignty of God… that He has a plan that even includes the bad things in this life, because He is all powerful and nothing can stop His Sovereign Plan. In those devastating moments in life, He grieves with me, He counts my tears, He comforts me… but He also has a much bigger plan that will use that devastation for my good. Rarely can the good be seen in that moment of pain, but my life today is proof that it exists.

In the most difficult times of my life, God taught me things I could not have known otherwise. He has shown me His faithfulness in very hard places. I trust Him more today than I ever have before. He has shown me how to find joy in every day, how to thank Him even in the midst of tears. And how to hope for a future in Him, even if it is not the future I envisioned.

I am now half way through a graduate program in Library studies. I have loved school and homework more than I could have imagined. God has given me jobs and experiences to support my studies, and I am actively pursuing a job in a seminary library. The future is uncertain, but I know where I am supposed to aim. I trust that God will open the right doors at the right time. Two years ago I had no future, no direction. Now I have a clear picture and a goal. But even more than that, if God changes my direction, I trust Him. He is the source of my joy, not a future job. God did not save my marriage, but He saved me, He protected me, and He taught me to trust Him for the future. And I thank Him for it.

When I am struggling with the Sovereignty of God in the midst of bad things, I remember this:

  • God is not happy when I suffer. He weeps with me, He comforts me.
  • But He is happy when I obey in the midst of my suffering, and when I cling to Him in my grief and pain.
  • That brings Him glory, and makes me more like Christ. Christ suffered, not just because of the ones who put Him on the cross, but to pay the price for our sin, yours and mine. He suffered, and was obedient, and clung to God in His grief.
  • I tend to suffer in anger… forgive me Lord.

Proverbs 16:9    The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Romans 8 – Just read the entire chapter. I was going to quote 8:28, but I can’t just read that verse without the rest of the chapter.

Psalm 138:7-8

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
You preserve my life;
You stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and Your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;
Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of Your hands.

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.


©Rebecca A. Givens, 8/21/16


One thought on “This Path, His Purpose

  1. It is hard to see God’s hand in the middle of the suffering but holding onto His promises is what gets me through. When the suffering is over, we can usually look back and see God’s hand at work in directing our path, protecting us, providing for us, etc. Praying for you!


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