We often try to get through this life alone. We aim for perfection but somehow fall short in some areas, somehow. Abby shares that part of her story here: all while hoping to find love again. Read her testimony below.
“I have a similar story to many who were born into church. I prayed the salvation prayer at the age of 4 or 5 so I wouldn’t end up burning. I memorized scripture and songs (for which I’m thankful today), but not knowing what they meant. I grew up knowing everything that was right, and the “perfect” way to live…trying to follow the rules, but always craving freedom. I thought that if I stuck with God, he would stick with me. And all things would work for my good. But it sure didn’t seem easy, or fun, or free. I wanted to be full of life, and to feel love.
I jumped into the freedom and happiness pursuit in the forms of career and relationships at the age of 18.
The next decade flew by… It felt like a lot of mistakes, and a lot of failure; all from me trying, to make it alone. Trying to be perfect, trying self-help books, trying to create myself…. or, to find myself. Trying to do things on my own. I figured because I wasn’t sticking with God, He wasn’t sticking with me. (I mean, who would stick with someone like me…acting the way I did?) I was forever managing my life myself to keep things ok since I hadn’t lived by the rules and standards embedded in my mind.
Around the age of 29, I decided to try something that was new and humbling to me…nothing innovative, but something I had never truly put my heart and life into. I called for help. To God. To the one who may not love me anymore since I hadn’t followed all of the rules. Tangled in the roots and vines along the path of the life I had created. When everything and everyone close to me seemed to be against me. The One who made me, and loved me no less than he had when he made me…rescued me. Me; the girl that needed so much freedom and life and love. Because—even when I wasn’t sticking with Him, he was still sticking with me. Still going after the one lost sheep.
By the age of 31 I was married and divorced, not just once… but twice. Two amazing children had been gifted to me but once again, I was starting over…and all alone.
So many periods of extreme loneliness, a lot of feelings of failure, and a ton of awkward and difficult situations happened during the years following. (Because raising two kids alone at some rough ages will feel like entire months of defeat to anyone.)
During those rough years we were really walking together—God and I. And sometimes he carried me—because the path was quite arduous. And He was giving me wisdom, and teaching me compassion, forgiveness and grace. With each passing year, I was quite sure I was already healed enough, strong enough, and ready enough, but my Father knew what was the best for me. When feeling unworthy, or listening to the ugly thoughts that promised a bleak future of singleness and striving, I held on to the hope, which my Father had promised. In the smallest of ways, he proved his love, not just words, but using people and situations—showing true affection, bringing full peace and joy.
Four years later, He kept His promise and brought me even more joy and love that I could have imagined. A gift beyond my wildest dreams. I feel like my life has started over and I have been given more than I deserve. I am walking in the freedom I always craved and I have a life and love with an amazing guy that is beyond what I dreamed.
In summary, I made things harder than they needed to be and took a little bit longer to find freedom and true love. BUT, My Father always stuck with me, even when I wasn’t sticking with Him. THIS is my story, and my song will forever be in glory to the One who gave me forever freedom.”
…by His power at work within us, he is able to carry out His purpose and do super abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think…infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts hopes or dreams. (Paraphrased from Ephesians 3:20)