“It was June of 1986, just days after my college graduation. I walked into my apartment to find an armed, masked man standing at the top of my stairs. The afternoon he spent in my apartment transformed my life forever. For days and months following my attack, I wept before God, shaking my fist, asking God, How could You sit on Your throne in heaven and allow the horrible things that man did to me? Night after night I lay in my bed, tears soaking my pillow. Questions plagued my mind. Why didn’t You protect me? Why didn’t You warn me? Why did You abandon me? Well-meaning friends would tell me that God had a purpose, that He would bring good out of it. I knew they meant well. But how could they utter such ridiculous statements?” [Excerpt taken from my book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story]
I believed with everything in me that despite all the well meaning words from my friends and family that no good would ever come from what happened to me that day. There would never be any purpose in the vile acts that man committed against me. And that belief guided my life for the days and months following my attack. In fact, that belief landed me on a mat upon which I sat for years.
You see, when I was raped, I was unfamiliar with the Bible. Oh, I had read it now and again, but I did not know God’s Word. I had no idea that the Bible had the answer to every question I asked God. And some of those answers were found not only in one place in Scripture, but were truths and promises spoken by God over and over again.
Once God equipped me with the Truth, understanding, healing, hope and finally transformation came. My trial…my test…became my testimony.
Sweet friend, being equipped with Truth enables us to face our trials from an entirely different perspective. We see our circumstances not through the lens of our pain and the fog of our emotions. Instead, we see them with a fresh view…through the lens of God’s love, His character and His Word.
How I wish I had that perspective in June of 1986. But I am certain if I had, I would not be writing these words today.
My heart beats with great anticipation for this lesson and especially for you to meet a dear friend and hear her story, so let’s begin!
This week I’m replaying a November 2012 video of an interview I did with a woman I loved like a second mom, Bobbie Wolgemuth. In fact, I call her my spiritual mom. I shared her story on my blog a few years ago. To read it, click here. At that time, I asked friends and family to pray for Bobbie as she went through chemotherapy for Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. When she came to visit her two daughters that year, I knew it was a divine appointment for me record her powerful story. She is a living example of how to not only survive but to thrive, even in the darkest of times, with JOY and HOPE.
It’s now November 2014 and a few weeks ago my precious Bobbie passed through the heavens to be with her Savior. The words she spoke in this video carry even more meaning today. I pray her words…and especially her closing song… bless and encourage you.
This Week’s Memory verse
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
This Week’s Prayer
This week’s prayer is from Psalm 62:1-8 (NLT):
I wait quietly before God,
for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.
So many enemies against one man—
all of them trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.
They plan to topple me from my high position.
They delight in telling lies about me.
They praise me to my face
but curse me in their hearts. Interlude
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.
This Week’s Homework:
Read Chapter Four of Living So That. The schedule below is a suggested schedule. If something different works better for you, use it.
Each day answer the questions in your assigned reading (Going Deeper questions are optional).
Wednesday: Read Part One (Why Does God Allow Trials)
Thursday: Read Part Two (God Is All Sufficient)
Friday: Read Part Three (That You May Believe)
Saturday: Read Part Four (Confident Faith to Endure)
Sunday: Read Part Five (The God of All Comfort)
** And don’t forget to share your Call to Action for last week for a chance to win a copy of Marilynn Chadwick’s book, Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars. **