Perspective in the Dark Times

Like you, I’ve endured a lot of “circumstances” in my life. We all have a story – every single one of us. I know these situations wounded and derailed me, and they hurt. Bad. They knocked me down and broke me. During those times, pieces of me hardened and died. I gave up on God and, for a long time, I was nothing but an angry, bitter shell.

However, God never gave up on me. Instead, he loved me unconditionally, used the pressure to reshape me into something new, and gently chipped away at the dead spots to unearth the new treasure he had formed.  It hurt, but staying mad at God hurt infinitely more.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. 2He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.” – John 15:1-2

Hindsight is a gift, and God used it to help me recognize how He turned the enemy’s schemes around for my good. Ultimately, He used every situation and circumstance to grow me and my faith. They say “pressure makes diamonds,” and it’s no coincidence that the earth’s most precious treasures are formed in hiding, buried underground in the blackest, darkest environment. I’m not saying I’m a diamond yet, but experiencing the pressure in that dark pit of despair – and then making it out on the other side – changed everything in me. Everything.  God transformed me into something new, different, and unrecognizable.

Unbeknownst to me, God was right there in the pit with me the entire time. He never left my side.

So, what kind of pressure did I experience?

  • Multiple forms of abuse in childhood and adulthood? ✅
  • Job loss and foreclosure during the mortgage crisis? ✅
  • Career-ending injury? ✅
  • Heartbreak? ✅
  • Miscarriages? ✅
  • All the other stuff? ✅

James 1:12 – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Take heart, and know God won’t leave you in that pit forever. It’s only a stop on your transformation journey. When God finally unearthed me, the past abuses sparked my desire to advocate for and empower women, and they made me more compassionate. Now, I look for the story behind someone’s eyes, instead of assuming things about them based on the behaviors I see. I’m also more discerning about whom I trust, and less naïve regarding people’s motives.

The foreclosure was a blessing in an awful disguise. It taught us more effective ways to steward money, the art of delayed gratification, and the importance of future planning. It helped our family make better, healthier choices and turned our financial lives around. (Thank you Dave Ramsey!) The injury and subsequent surgeries taught me how to rest and redirected my career into something even more fulfilling.

The heartbreak led me to be willing to be alone, rather than with someone who mistreated me, and that left space in my life for my kind, respectful, God-loving husband, when he arrived. Once he did, I refused to compromise who I was for a man, so I knew he genuinely loved me for me. Our children are both rainbow babies, with each born after a miscarriage, and those made me cherish the honor and beauty of motherhood that much more.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Time creates the space we need to see His masterpiece. When we look back on how He worked in us during these events, it builds our trust in Him. It also develops our faith and character, but for that to happen, we must also be willing to let go, forgive, and change.

We have to believe in Him, our loving Master Vinedresser/Diamond Maker. He is trustworthy. Every. Single. Time. It makes it so much easier on us when we choose to trust God with the outcome while we’re still in the middle of the circumstance – when we immediately start looking for Him in it, rather than waiting years for Him to prove himself to us. (Again.)

Prayer: God, help this woman know You are turning her into a beautiful, priceless diamond. Open her eyes and help her recognize You will use every experience, good and bad, to shape her into something brand new and magnificent. I pray she trusts You immediately and fully in every circumstance, but especially during the difficult times. Thank You for helping her shine brilliantly, and for allowing Your light to shine through her. Amen.

You are loved.

How is God working in the circumstances of your life? I would love to hear from you – and so would the other readers! Please share your experiences it in the comments below.

Thank you for reading! I know how valuable your time is.

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Image by Dimitris Christou from Pixabay 

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