I would have never thought my days to follow the trial would be spent miles apart from my husband fighting for his freedom. Yet, here we are.
I have never felt as weak as I had in the moments that followed sentencing. My heart ached with a pain like never before and I would have done anything to take it all away, not only for my own self, but for my husband and our little girl.
I was angry and I was bitter. In my lament, I cried out to the Lord, questioning His goodness. Why did this have to happen? Why do we deserve this? Why us? Why are we continuing to suffer? WHY?
It wasn’t long before God spoke to me through a fellow Christian brother. As he spoke with Christ-like empathy and divine wisdom he said, “I know it’s not easy and you may not want to hear it just yet but instead of focusing on the why you need to start asking what.”
I knew he was right. I was so caught up in feeling sorry for myself that I wasn’t seeing the opportunity to glorify God; I wasn’t seeing what the Lord was doing in and through us and what he was preparing for us.
This was never about me and this was never about my husband. This was about Christ. This was about God’s kingdom. Our current trial was an opportunity for God to bring light into darkness and to bring hope to a broken people just as he had done time and time again throughout Scripture.
“Those people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.” (Isaiah 9:2)
So I asked, “What?” What do you want me to do? What are you preparing us for? What do you want us to learn from all of this? What can I do to better serve you through our pain? And it was there, in humble surrender to His will, that I found some answers.
“… I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. I will end your captivity and will bring you home again… (Jeremiah 29:10-14, NLT)
Turns out I was asking all of the wrong questions. God reminded me that His goodness is surrounding me and just as He had to Israel in Isaiah 43 he, too, declares that nothing can compare to what He is going to do (vv. 18-19). He is undoubtedly working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). I find hope in believing that life is being restored and hope is being renewed, not only for myself and my husband, but also for all those who get to witness the grandeur of our God’s grace through us and the many incarcerated servicemen at Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas being ministered to by my husband.
Therefore, I will praise the Lord and rejoice always for His promises never fail. And just as David declared in Psalm 27:13, I am confident that I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.