Today I was doing some filing. I am trying to organize and consolidate so that my fiance, soon to be husband will have a good sense of where things are located in his new home with us. As I was filing I came across the diary I had written almost exactly 3 years prior. The diary was written at the darkest and scariest hours in my life. At the time of the diary I was seated on the floor of a domestic violence shelter. It was 4 AM, and my children were sleeping, but I could not because of my extreme circumstances. Today as I read through those familiar pages I was inspired because the theme of this diary was an awe at how God was providing for us. I was also sharing these moments of darkness with 12 other women and 24 children who had their own tales of tragedy, abuse, and fear. To be in this shelter meant that we had taken the very brave step into our new futures.
Reading those pages gave me an honest look at those living conditions, and the huge disparity between my past and that shelter situation. It was a realistic look at what a crisis can do to a person’s health, and what women and children go through when they must escape to an uncertain location and future. Even though this excerpt eludes to loss of health, hair, and possessions, the beauty of the diary is that gratitude for my life, and for the hope of a better future that outweighed any sorrow or grieving. There was no vision of what this better future would look like. There was only a trust in God that He had this under His control. “I know Your plan is better than mine.”
What is amazing is to look back at the incredible growth, and transformation that can happen in a 3-year period. Your entire life can be altered if you keep your heart open to God. Embracing the chance for God to make big changes means giving up your preconceived ideas of happiness. If you can praise God for all the good you have received, even while going through a crisis, then peace and happiness can maintain a foothold regardless. As I read the diary, the woman writing it was so grateful for the donated food, the cracked dishes, the bathroom shared by 8 people, and the safety that God had provided. She was even grateful for the hangers, socks and children’s underwear she had to ask for. She has no idea that in 3.5 years she will be marrying her long time friend, be happy and safe again. At the time of the diary, she feels like a fugitive, or a refugee. She is living in isolation, and has little contact with friends or family due to the extreme nature of the situation. She is in danger, and will suffer greatly in the coming years. With each new obstacle encountered there is a growing trust because God continues to deliver her to safety. Each scary moment is prayed over, prayed before, prayed through. The Holy Spirit is invoked and thanked for continued involvement and intercession.
What helps me to be grateful is being in nature. When I see the vast beauty that exists even in a tiny flower, I am reminded of how much beauty God provides for us. What a great God who wants to give us beauty to color our world. When I see how small I am I realize how I am provided for, even though I am nothing. As time passes I trust in His care more and more. In addition, I trust in the earthly man and friend He has chosen to be my life partner. I am sure my gratitude will continue to grow and mature, and I accept that it will at times be challenged.
Copyright 2017 Marya Jauregui