This song by Caedmon's Call played in a video slide show when my husband and I were married. It's a beautifully well written song about looking back and being able to see God's hand leading us through difficult times.
I was reminded of this song as I spoke with my friends that I'm visiting. Our friendship began under very trying circumstances when my husband served in a church that was poisoned with sinful actions and hurtful deeds, that eventually split and then split again within about three years. My friends and their family, along with Casey and I, bore the brunt of much of the controversy- their family even more than ours.
So, it seems natural that some discussion comes up of those times and its affect on where we find ourselves now. This time long past had such a profound impact on the lives of some, that I would consider it quite the catalyst for change both for good and bad. Even for those who were deeply wounded and find themselves lost as a direct result of the events in that church, are still on a journey that God has yet to reveal its end. It has been the work of a patient God over the last five years, as he faithfully and lovingly works in all his children for their good and his glory.
In my separate talks, I was struck, though not necessarily for the first time, at how truly profound the events of my husband's first pastorate have been on our lives.
I shared with my friend that had I not gone through that journey, there are so many things that I have endured since, that may have crushed me had I not been seasoned and weathered that storm, now over five years in my past.
The events surrounding the church's split brought some major points of doctrine to a focal point in my life. Before I had nuggets of truth, and after all the truth had come together to create a solid boulder of biblical truth that is a foundation for withstanding life, and embracing the all encompassing grace of God. Understanding the doctrines of grace has solidified faith in God's sovereignty and control over all things. In every thing I have faced, from parenting dilemmas, relational issues to deep hurt, these doctrines have been foundational in approaching all aspects of my life with grace and with the gospel at the center.
In leading me through a time a great stress and hurt, pain and confusion, God has set me free to stand securely in the truth scattered throughout his word.
If we had not gone through that pain, my friends and I would not be where we are today, nor would we have come to a place of faith and trust in a God who leads always in love. My husband wouldn't be the man he is today. Our dear friend and pastor who was in the firestorm would not be the man he is today. Evidences of the strength gained are in stories of battling cancer, financial stresses, lost children, relocation, and in pains so deep, God's leading guides you to the only source of strength- himself.
It's an honor to have traveled that love-led path alongside friends in the faith. It is a journey that will be forever remembered and cherished, for it brought me closer to the loving Guide who brought me through it and continues to lead in love and grace.