14 Apr Second Chances
Those of you who know me well know I have experienced some very difficult things in my life. However, there are probably some who do not know this part of my story. I am divorced and remarried. I grew up at Central Baptist church on the corner of Queen and Adelaide. Even though my fickle heart did not always choose to obey, I cannot really remember a time when I did not want to serve the Lord with my life. After high school, I spent a year at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, with the plan to attend university in London when I returned back home. However during that summer in between, God began to tug on my heart strings by suggesting that He had another plan. I enrolled at London Baptist Bible College (now Heritage College), graduated two years later, eventually married, and moved with the college to Cambridge. I spent eleven years working for Heritage, mainly in the area of residence life. As I discipled young women and encouraged them to follow in the way of God, I knew I had found what I what I loved to do. Even when family life refocused my priorities and shifted my attention, I still thrived by connecting with women, but now in the context of the moms I was meeting through informal play dates and organized neighbourhood prayer times. Life was going well.
However, in 2004, God was about to take me through the deepest waters I had ever known. One day I found myself staring into the mirror, now a single mom with two daughters as sadly my husband left our family and the Christian faith. Over the span of four months, I relocated back to London, sold a house, bought a house, and started a new full-time job. I would be remiss to not say that it was all because of the faithfulness of God that some mornings I was even able to get out of bed. It was often a discouraging and lonely time in my life, filled with moments of desperation and wondering where God was in all of it. Yet the Lord never stopped weaving His perfect plan for my holiness throughout those painful days.
In time, Guy and I were married, blending together our broken families in His gracious, loving way. We began to attend Redemption in 2009 and settled into a new kind of family life.
When my oldest daughter decided to attend Heritage College in 2012, I have to admit many hidden emotions rose back to the surface. It was a time of both repentance for those I needed to forgive and healing for the wounds that still laid bare. It also rekindled a passion for seriously studying the Word of God, something that had been ignited many years before. I had enrolled in seminary while I was home with two young children, but had left that all behind when my first marriage ended. Now here I found myself once again, sitting in the classroom, opening God’s Word, and digging deeper with a new-found sense of what it meant for my life to be hidden in Christ.
Over the years, God was faithful in providing me with a job I enjoyed and coworkers who became friends. Yet as time passed on, I began to have more and more days when I could not ignore the unsettledness of my heart. It was much like that tugging I had felt in my earlier years. I kept on working, kept on studying, kept on being a wife, a mom, a stepmom. Then in 2011, after a couple of years of serving in other areas, I was asked to lead the Tuesday Evening Women’s Bible Study which was held upstairs in the rented youth room at Compass Church. I was so thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to once again do what I loved. Yet never once did I imagine what was still ahead.
God faithfully grew the women’s ministry at the church over the next six years. One night, as Guy and I were excitedly talking about our upcoming trip to Israel, I suddenly saw an email that had landed in my inbox. The Lord had opened up the door for me to move into a new position as the Director of Women’s Ministry at the church, something that I did not expect to happen in my wildest dreams. But that is the great thing about our God. He is the God of second chances. He loves to use the broken, even the ruined. I am so very grateful that although my life did not turn out the way I would have expected, all along He was taking my pain and turning it into His glory.
My life verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says this: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I pray that I will spend the rest of my days continuing to be assured of this one thing. Even when I am at my absolute weakest, God is always enough.