I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known. I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do and I will not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)
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10 years ago, I began to question God. His existence; His love; His devotion to me. It took two agonizing years to lose my faith. I read books, listened to debates, spoke with pastors, emailed experts... It didn’t work.
I remember sitting at our dining room table telling my wife that I didn’t believe any of it. I renounced my Christianity and God. I walked away. You can’t imagine the pain and hurt in her eyes.
The world we knew broke that night.
Smashed into a thousand pieces.
I got up and walked away from the table, from God, from Jesus, from everything I’d ever believed. For eight more years I lived as an Agnostic. Yet as I ran further from God, my wife ran harder towards Him.
We made a decision to take leaving off the table. When we agreed to that, it changed our focus. We stopped focusing on all of the ways that our spouse was wrong. It forced us to work on our marriage. Harder than most, for our opinions, interests, and views were opposite on everything.
We endured the years and each other. We had as good of a marriage as we could have in that scenario. And then two years ago, things started happening in my life. Unexplainable things. Things with what seemed like divine timing. I defined it as coincidence, but it wasn’t just one thing. It was many things. Impactful things. And the grand finale was upcoming.
If you want to hear the end, I must take you back to the beginning…
I grew up in a household of very hard physical discipline. Most people would say that it was abuse - the laws today would clearly define it as such. All of this by my mother.
You see, I didn’t get the "Cleaver family" home. My parents were divorced when I was 3 years old. I lived with my mother. She would praise Jesus on Wednesday nights and twice on Sunday, but one false move and I paid the price. I have no memories of sitting happily in her lap. I don’t remember a lot of affection. I remember anger….lots of anger.
I hated my mother. I couldn’t wait to get out of her house. So finally, I did. But when I went off to college, I began to fight. A lot. I was an angry young man.
For over 20 years, my mother and I had a very eccentric relationship. Once I left home, I only remember telling her I loved her on two occasions.
But last December, I decided to go to a counselor and tell him that I was angry. I had been angry for 20 years and I wanted to learn how to forgive.
After a lot of wise counsel and soul searching, I forgave my mother in April of this year. Truly forgave her. In that moment, I saw my mother for what she was…a broken victim of severe sexual trauma. For the first time, I hurt for her in a deep, deep place. A place I didn’t know existed.
I saw my mother in May for the first time in several years. I told her I loved her one Friday night. I called her the next night and told her I loved her again. Two weeks later, my mother unexpectedly passed away. I just sat for a moment, realizing how fortunate I was to have truly loved and forgiven her at the end of her life.
You see, I was spared from anger, resentment and regret. This was about the 10th event in my life with such personal and unexplainable timing.
Shortly after, my wife sent me Isaiah 42:16. And it hit me hard.
I realized that God had been working around me. He led me by a way I did not know, by a path I had not known. He turned darkness into light before me, He made rough places level ground and He NEVER forsook me. Even when I denied Him, He pursued me.
You see, I needed a real HEART change. I came to truly know Christ and His unconditional love for ME. He has given everything to me and now, His name will forever be on my lips.
I will praise Him forever.
It turns out, that God is good…ALL the time.
written by: Scott Smith
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