Years ago a friend of mine wrote a letter to encourage me during a grievous season of my life. It was unexpected but the words of her letter and the scripture she gave were timely, they brought hope and comfort when I could not see….
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. Psalm 71:20-21 NIV
In 1997, I was living in Auckland, NZ, and I’d met a guy who became a close friend. We were young and enthusiastic (read: naïve). After a year of friendship we started dating and got married after six weeks.
I know, I know. Typical 20-somethings. No clue. We didn’t even know who we were as individuals, yet there we were, hearts and passions ablaze, jumping into one another’s lives.
After a rough start to the first year of marriage, we decided to seek out counselling to try and make it work. But our relationship didn’t get better, it got worse. We ‘kept busy’ to avoid the inevitable. We eventually lived separate lives under the same roof. That kind of arrangement breeds un-happiness and can lead people to seek other options.
So, after four years, the marriage ended.
When my ex-husband walked out, I was devastated. I knelt on my kitchen floor and cried out to God. I was heartbroken and confused. I felt betrayed. I felt I couldn’t forgive him for what he had done, that I could never trust him again.
I prayed: God, I trust You with my life. I give You my heart. Please help me to forgive. I need your intervention!
As soon as I released forgiveness to my ex-husband there was no denying God’s blanket of peace permeating every part of my being. My whole body tingled with goose bumps as God’s comforting presence brought reassurance.
I knew I had to reach for faith and not lose hope for my future, to believe that God would turn this around. This encounter with God helped me to keep releasing forgiveness because some days I would be ok and other times I struggled as I was reminded of the betrayal, I didn’t want to forgive and the malice would surface….. but God’s word is faithful.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Psalm 34:18 NLT
Newly divorced, I moved to Sydney in 2001 to start a new chapter in my life.
I had every opportunity to take advantage of my single status and to party hard, and to live a care free life once more. And oh my gosh, it was tempting! I had landed a great job, met some quality people who were a God send, and I lived right next to Sydney’s infamous Kings Cross. Deep down, though, I knew indulging in that scene wasn’t for me. My brother even asked how I managed to keep away from all the temptation on my doorstep.
It’s because of when I had made a commitment to trust God to get me through the disappointment, rejection, and betrayal I felt from a broken marriage.
Reminded of this commitment, I felt liberated to be on a new path of self-discovery! I was determined to pursue my dreams and desires. No one was going to stop me anymore!
But believe me, there were many times when I felt lonely. I remember catching the bus home from work one night. I felt so alone that I wanted to burst into tears. It was an ironic moment. There I was in a crowded bus and yet on the inside I was so alone. I thought, how did my life come to this? Was something wrong with me? Then the worst thought came: no one wants me!!
I could have numbed the pain. But taking drugs, sleeping around, drowning my sorrows with alcohol was not the answer. Don’t get me wrong. It would’ve been easy to turn to those vices. It would’ve felt good for a fleeting moment! But when the buzz wore off, the loneliness and rejection and pain would still be there, waiting patiently for me. My deep wounds needed something more than a band aid solution.
I needed God, only He could heal my pain of what I had endured, I had to trust God to restore and bring hope when I didn’t know what to do.
After the first couple of years living in Sydney I had a goal to work in one of the leading salons as a hairstylist. I immersed myself in my job and I prayed for opportunities. God answered my prayers and the doors opened up working alongside innovative artists and even for one of the top agencies in Australia doing editorial, fashion shows, music videos, t.v, advertising etc. I was consumed with my career that I didn’t have much head space for a relationship.
Until Az came along.
For two and a half years he persisted in getting my attention, getting to know me, and capturing my heart, Az mentioned that I was like a vault when he first met me lol but he was patient. He knew how to draw out the shy and introverted island girl who had lacked confidence. He wasn’t just after one thing and that is an important quality for a girl especially when my heart had been broken.
In November 2005, Az and I started dating after we had hung out at a friend’s party. He caught my attention on the dance floor to Beyonce’s Crazy in love lol. It was random and unexpected but we had something in common: we loved to dance.
September 15, 2007 Az and I got married at Balmoral beach, Sydney. It is coming up to our 10th year anniversary next month. Hallelujah!!!
When I sought God first, when I chose to turn to Him rather than to a lifestyle that would never have healed my broken heart or loneliness of spirit I knew I had made the best decision. God not only restored my heart to trust again but He exceeded my expectations….
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah (My delight is in her) and your land Beulah (Married); For the LORD delights in you, And your land shall be married.
Isaiah 62:4 NKJV