Broken Hallelujah

 

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Disclaimer: 

I have not spoken about this time much in my life. Not even with my closest loved ones. That is how much heartbreak came from this time in my life.. So, putting this one out to the world, is difficult but this part of my life I know is just a small part of my story but a really profound part.  It is a big part of my faith walk and I have learned a lot through it.  I just pray that Jesus will use it for His greater good and use it to touch someone who is going through something similar in their life right now. I know releasing our troubles and pain we went through will help heal and I wholeheartedly believe Jesus would want me to share it. Hope it encourages you if you have been through similar experiences or similar emotions.

 

Failure.

Such a strong word and one that is filled with hard emotions, deep regrets, and shame.

But what does failure really mean?

Failure/Failed: Not achieving its end or not lasting; unsuccessful. Nonfulfillment, frustration, collapse, coming to nothing; failing through.

I may have experienced failure and that may be what happened to me the fall of 2012. But what I learned through the years is that I know that one season in my life, does not define me or my future. I know that if I did “fail”, it wasn’t a failure in God’s eyes. It was a redirection instead.

I still look back on that Fall and to be honest, a part of me still feels like it was a failure, in every frame of the word. It left a huge scar on my heart..but time, perspective, and Jesus has taught me so much.

At this time, seven years ago, I was preparing to leave home for the first time. I got accepted into a golf program..plus, I was going to be the first woman ever to be in attendance in that specific program.

It was an honor and I was so excited to be on my path that I just felt I was meant to be on. I knew golf was my path. It was my passion and my whole life. My golf clubs felt like they were an extension of me.  I couldn’t wait to get there and begin my new path and life.

Packing in my bedroom that August and looking over at my acceptance letter, I never would have fathomed I would be back in my bedroom in three months with what I thought my life path was and it would be shattered. Broken.  It was what was in front of me as far as I could see but soon it was going to be behind me and I had no idea.

That time at  SUNY Delhi was filled with so many different emotions. Indescribable joy, intense feelings of honor and self worth, deep heartbreak, and despair.

On top of all the emotions I was feeling at school, I was dealing with my first romantic heartbreak. My first boyfriend had cheated on me, did not have the decency to end it, and was ignoring all my phone calls and messages. If it wasn’t hard enough that I was failing 3 out of 4 classes.  Failing. That word is a hard one to swallow. Especially that  college because it was connected to my dream.

But, I was beginning to question if this was my path. When I was sitting in class one day, I felt I had an out of body experience. I felt like I was looking through the window at myself and I didn’t belong. It broke my heart. Even though I felt like I wasn’t meant to be there, I questioned myself for days to come and my biggest question was, if I wasn’t failing and going through heartbreak , would I feel more connected to it all?  I tried to take my emotions out of it and focus on my passion, but more and more went wrong and I started to feel disconnected from golf, which felt dark. Something wasn’t right and I knew that feeling was bigger than myself and God was telling me I needed to let go of that path and go home. 

As I looked back in the rear view mirror driving home that day, I couldn’t really process what was happening. All I thought was that I failed and I didn’t know how I was going to recover from it all…

I sure did feel like a failure. My heart was broken for multiple reasons. I was being ignored by someone who told me he loved me and would marry me. And the pain from not having a plan for my life anymore. My days after that consisted of crying and crying and more crying. I prayed and cried some more. I had people come up to me throughout my time at school there saying I was making history and I had incredible talent. Those times and phrases kept playing over and over in my head when I went back home for months. I felt like I screwed up my life.  It was the hardest thing to fathom that I was in a golf program, which was always my dream and then I was back in my bedroom with no plan, starting from scratch. I did not know how to react and process all of it.

 I didn’t know how to really deal with all this heartbreak at once. When I look back on this time now, I still remember what it felt like, like it was yesterday. But time and  growth in my faith has put it into perspective a lot more.

I felt like my life had no plan, but God had a plan…

Their are scars there from both of those heartbreaks. Although, I see more beauty than pain now. In the moment all I saw was pain, but now I can look on it and see where God was moving in my life and it makes me smile with gratitude.

All I had was God. Those nights, no one was holding my hand, but God. I didn’t know at the time, but I didn’t realize that was all I needed, Jesus. 

I remember how I got through those many days and nights after I got home. I would pray and memorize scripture. And one night when the pain felt unbearable, I challenged myself to focus on Jesus instead of my pain I was feeling. I would picture Jesus sitting next to me, smiling, holding me, telling me that I had an amazing future ahead and that helped tremendously. When I would just think of Jesus, my pain faded more and more and I learned through that one visualization of my faith that He was enough and was the most important in this life, because of how much peace I felt from that simple thing.  I look back and see how He was sitting right there next to me, and how he was guiding me along the way, giving me God winks and hope for my future.

I felt His presence so clearly and there is so much beauty that came from my pain. We can’t always see that in the moment of great pain, but there is beauty and good memories from that hard season of my life.

My good memories, between the tears, were all from Him and I see so much comfort in that now.  It may sound odd, but sometimes when I’m going through something now, I think back to how I devoted all my time to God and relied on Him in those dark moments because I think it reminds me that I always have to rely and seek Him, even if I am happy and joyful with my life. I find comfort in those moments, even if they were painful.

God had me right where I was supposed to be, at that specific time and season. Like the bible says in Philippians 4:12,  “ I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty…”   I have had those seasons where I did not have much and was in great need for comfort and hope. And then I know what it feels to have everything going right and amazing miracles happen. Life is a mixture of both. 

I would not want to go back to those times, but I think only God could make me see things that way and make my heart feel that way. He truly is a good, good God. 

You might be thinking, how is there beauty in your heartbreak or pain? There is beauty because, maybe thats what that season was all about to begin with. God showing me that I can handle what life threw at me and to plant in my heart the desire to seek Him and grow my trust in Him, when we do not know where life is going. That season grew my faith in a new kind of way, that I wouldn’t have experienced without that heartbreak. I believe God throws us curveballs sometimes not to hurt us, but to show us to always rely on Him and it shapes us into who we are, for the good. That time of pain could be to help someone else or to prepare us for what we are truly meant for.

During that time, I remember seeing a picture on Pinterest, that I still look at to this day when I do not understand God’s answers or a turn my life has taken. God is with a little girl taking away her teddy bear and she says to God, “ But I love it God”, and behind Jesus’s back, is a larger, better teddy bear and Jesus simply says to the girl, “Trust me”….

It makes me tear up when I see that picture, every time without fail. It reminds me of exactly what God was saying to me in those times and when He takes things away from us, He sees the bigger picture when we cannot and replaces it with better than we could ever imagine, because God loves us dearly and wholly.

He does not want to hurt us. He wants to give us His best, which is better than what we think is our best.  Some pain is necessary for our story.

I have walked through many challenging times in my life. From accidents, sickness,  relationship heartbreaks, career paths changing, death, bullying and much more. Instead of viewing every adversity as a negative, try flipping it around and ask yourself how you can grow through it and what lesson God is trying to reveal to you. Pray that to God as well. Ask Him to reveal what He wants you to take from this .

For anyone that is reading this that is going through a heartache or a painful season, God has got you exactly where you are supposed to be at this very moment. Might be hard to see, but try to Trust in Him.  For so long, until recently, I boxed up these painful times in my life, so I wouldn’t feel those deep pains again. I haven’t talked about them much, even with my closest loved ones.

It is hard for me to share sometimes, but I feel sharing more is good and healing. God wants us to fellowship and share our struggles, along with the miracles we live out, with others.  It is what connects us all in our faith walks.

I feel God has given me the strength to look back, to learn, and see the beauty that was in those moments. If I hadn’t looked back, I would have never seen what God is doing and how far I’ve come and my amazing story in Him. 

Time, experience, and God building your faith with those different experiences makes you have different eyes for different times in your life.

That girl sitting in that bedroom in pain and feeling hopeless 7 years ago, will always be apart of me. I had to be that girl at that time. She is the many layers to me that make me who I am today. Without those times, I may not have known God as fully or have compassion for others going through adversity.

What I can say now, is God was putting the pieces of my life in place. I would never had said that 7 years ago, but time and where my life has gone since that time, is evident that it was all for a grander purpose and reason. I feel HONORED that God had pursued me and my heart. The God of all creation heard my prayers and gave me a future and a beautiful life. And He still is shaping my future and getting me through current difficult times as well. 

Knowing He did it once, I know He will do it for me again. Foundation is important in faith and I feel humbled and blessed I have that foundation from those trying times I went through.  All I can say, is all my thanks goes to God and I will always be thankful for those times, as much as the joyful times in my life. Because it led me to Jesus. The most important thing. Who would want to change that?

 

Trust God in the difficult times. He knows what He is doing….

 

All for Jesus,

Steph

4 thoughts on “Broken Hallelujah

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  1. You painted a very clear picture of such a painful time in your life. It’s such a blessing to see how God has given you a foundation of faith and trust in Him for when times get tough in these current days! Thanks for sharing :]

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