Sometimes you have to travel down a difficult road, in order to truly appreciate the easier road of breathtaking beauty ahead. An ‘after’ picture is always more spectacular when placed next to the unattractive picture of ‘before’. God will often allow you to go through certain things so that you can experience the fullness of being immersed in your heart’s desires and greatest life blessings. Through every moment, it is always about looking and encountering moments of His completely personal and all intentional love for you. I would like a share a couple of those intentional moments with you, when the memories of pain were followed by memories of joyful relief.
We were staying at a Super 8 in Florida. This particular morning, was very painful emotionally. We had to check out of our room because we ran out of money. It was the worst feeling, to be stranded at a hotel, with no money and having no place to go. After not too long, God gave me the money for a new room. By the time we got into a new room, my heart was already hurting from the desperate need for rest and refuge. After I got my kids settled into our new room, I had to walk to the store down the street to get our supply of food. It happened to be very hot that day and on my walk back to the hotel, I had sweat running down my face. My arms were hurting so badly, as I carried the heavy loaded bags of food back to the hotel. I remember seeing all these people drive by me, staring out the windows of their comfortable vehicles. It was at that moment that I completely broke down in tears, from the humiliation of the suffering.
I started to crying out loud to God in the middle of the sidewalk as if I were all alone. All I could say was “why?”….The rest of the walk back I had to use all of my strength and energy to get back. Once I finally made it back to the room, I glanced up at the numbers of our room and it was room 113. I am the type of person who looks for God to speak to me in every single way, especially with numbers. I knew that God was speaking to me through numbers at that moment, but I was so angry at my suffering that I did not want to talk to Him any longer. I locked myself in the bathroom, as I slid to the ground in weeping tears.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of my phone going off to indicate that I had a new email. I curiously checked my email and I saw that a very special sister had sent me a donation in the exact amount to match that number on our room. The donation was $113. Then I sensed the Holy Spirit leading me to open Psalm 113. As I did, I was completely washed in a tidal wave of intentional love. The title of Psalm 113 in the Passion Translation is “God is Kind”. As I read this Psalm, there was a specific line that was raised up to me and I felt the impartation of the Lord’s promise to me personally. This was the line:
He promotes the poor, picking them up from the dirt,
and rescues the needy from the garbage dump.
He turns paupers into princes and seats them
on their royal thrones of honor.
Psalm 113:7-8 TPT
Shortly after this encounter, things began to turn around. Donations started to show up in my account and God gave us a little time of rest with fresh provision before the next testing of faith. Even in this horrible moment of suffering, God showed up to display a new experience of knowing His personal love for me. Sometimes it may be hard to understand why God asks us to follow Him in the difficult places, but there is rest for our soul when we are anchored by Hope in all of His promises.
In another painful moment, I was sitting in a parking lot with tear-stained mascara streaks all down my cheeks. The night before this day of suffering, the Holy Spirit unveiled to me that we would check out the hotel, because of having not enough money. He showed me that it was a test of faith and that He would send us money to check back in, after, going through the faith test. He even was kind enough to show me exactly how much He would send us. As the day went on, in a parking lot, I started to get tired. I began striving restlessly to earn what He promised me. With heavy tears and frantic prayers, I was in a place of total desperation. I had nothing but hope in the message of my dream.
We were sitting in my adult daughter’s vehicle, with my children tucked in the backseat, surrounded by all of their blankets and things. I was very relieved that everyone had fallen asleep during this time of waiting. Except for me…I was bombarded with worry and battling fears of torment. At this point, I was no longer resting in faith, but I was drowning under my skin in worry and doubt. The Lord allowed me to suffer this in order to teach me how to rest in His promises.
I knew that I had a new love letter that He wanted me to write. I also felt like the tide was not going to turn until I wrote out His message to me of intentional love. So I wrote out the love letter on My phone, using every word that Jesus was giving me. Once His message was written, I finally settled into a place of trusting rest and returned to an attitude of joy. His words to me were the calming balm that my soul needed, a lifesaver to save me from drowning in the emotional storm of panic and worry. Within minutes after the post was published, the Lord used a kind-hearted person to send us the exact amount of money that the Holy Spirit revealed to me in my dream the night before.
While the kids were still sleeping, I began praising God as I drove back to the hotel. The movement of the car stirred everyone awake and when I told them what God did for us, everyone was relieved and celebrating with joy. We checked back into the same hotel and filled our room with plenty of food. Just like the last time, God sent an abundance of provision, so that we could experience a time of rest before the next faith-testing experience.
For every bad thing that we have had to walk through, God has given us a double helping of good. Not one tear has ever been wasted. For every bad experience, the good things that came out of them were far better than any pain that we had to suffer. The pain of one single moment will not compare to the joy that will be given to you right afterward. Surely His goodness and loving-kindness will always pursue you.
You have had plenty of bad moments and there were many times of experiencing the ‘before’ of unattractive memories. After going through hard times, it can be tempting to expect for bad news and to flinch in fear for bad things to come. One of the biggest challenges can be learning how to forget the hurt that was left behind and learn to hope for good. However, now it is time to prepare your heart to receive new memories of good as you experience new shades of the Father’s intentional love. Every day you will see the loving Hand of God reaching out to show you different facets of His intentional love for you. In this sea of life, you are never forgotten or overlooked. Just as a mother knows the distinct sound of her newborn baby’s cry, your Heavenly Father is always attentive to your unique voice as His precious and deeply loved child.
It’s okay to hope again. Hope is the healing honey for your soul. It’s okay to let go of the pain of the suffering that you have endured. No matter where you are or what you do, every single day, it will turn out for your good. Every single day, you will see new memories unfold of the Father’s personal love for you and it will create a mosaic of the most beautiful ‘after’ photo. It will be far better than anything that you can imagine, hope, or dare to dream.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13 NLT
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