It’s been four years since Nate’s assault, which really just blows my mind. It feels like a lifetime ago… but somehow it also feels like just yesterday too. You don’t ever completely put something like that behind you, because it changes you to your very core. It molds you, shapes you, puts you through fire until you’re burnt… or purified like gold.
But I’m constantly reminded that God can turn ashes into beauty; because the pain, and the fear, and the feeling of ultimate helplessness taught me to trust the only One who controls tomorrow. I used to struggle with levels of anxiety that just weren’t healthy. I thought through every worst-case scenario and worried about it until I felt sick.
The journey to find emotional healing after Nate’s assault really taught me to tackle one problem at a time… and to trust the unknown in the hands of a miraculous God. I remember sitting by Nate’s bedside in the ICU, holding his hand and realizing that we might not have the money to pay for that month’s mortgage. And for the first time in my life, I completely surrendered a problem into God’s capable hands. I physically didn’t have the energy or strength to worry about money, because Nate needed my complete attention. I had to trust that God would take care of what I couldn’t… So I prayed, asked God to intervene, and left my fears at His feet.
I felt peace after that prayer, and I really did refuse to think about finances for one more moment.
And that very day, someone paid that month’s mortgage… and others donated money to help us with groceries, car payments, gas, etc. We had so much extra money left over that we were able to pay the mechanic in cash, when our cars both had extremely expensive repairs later that year! God not only provided for the concerns at hand, but He also provided for a problem that we didn’t even know about yet.
My God is big. He’s bigger than any situation that this universe can throw at me. And it’s easy to forget that, because there’s a lot of hurt and pain in this world. Sometimes, we feel alone. Sometimes we wonder, where is He?
The thing is that this world isn’t perfect… but God is. And while heaven will be beautiful and nothing but peace and happiness, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work here. It doesn’t mean that He can’t work in every single situation if we let him. Even amidst the toughest of situations, He is good.
He is peace. He is strength. He is the guidance we need to rise above the circumstance with grace and joy.
Even during those tragic circumstances, He wins. He brings people together. He teaches us to trust. He gives us hope amidst the darkness. He shows us how to love, to forgive, and to face tomorrow with a solid foundation beneath our feet.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as Nate and I are about to put the legal side of this experience behind us for good. We’re smack-dab in the middle of paying lawyer fees and signing retirement papers, but Nate is going to officially be retired from the CO position… which means we can finally move on. It comes with restrictions, because he will only be cleared to work part-time. And there will be a pay cap for the rest of his life, which isn’t ideal (since he’s only 32, and inflation could potentially hurt us one day).
BUT we’re trusting. And we’re praying about decisions. And we’re calmly formulating a plan. (Paying off our mortgage as quickly as possible is the biggest part of the plan, so we’ll be coming up with a pretty tight budget in the near future).
I thought about it this morning and realized that none of this had been in me and Nate’s plans, when we got married and began our life together. It’s unfamiliar territory. It’s a little daunting, because it’s so unique of a situation. (You can’t exactly buy a finance book on how to deal with your future, should you find yourself in this sort of predicament).
BUT God wins. The Bible doesn’t promise that the road we travel will be easy, but it does promise that we will not walk it alone. And it doesn’t promise that we will be rich, but it promises that we will be provided for.
Nate and I always have been. We’ve been provided for, protected, and held. I truly believe that we always will be.
And that puts a smile on my face, because I can face this particular situation with confidence, hope, and joy. I’m not scared. I’m just excited to see how God shows off next!