On Thursday, January 27, I stood before my abuser - my father - in a courtroom. It was a day unlike any other and held some of the most difficult moments of my life.
As I sat across the aisle from the man who stole so much from me, also being the man who raised me, my heart trembled with sadness. Thoughts of "what could have been" raced through my mind. The sadness I felt wasn't for myself or even for my family, but was for what God allowed and what He decided not to do. Or at least, not yet.
And yet, despite the sadness, I found peace in knowing God was with me in that very moment.
As I took the witness stand to give an impact statement, I asked God to supernaturally ordain the words He has given me to read. These were words that had been agonized over, prayed over, and cried over for weeks on end. And truth be told, they were NOT the words I would have chosen to say on my own.
But the Lord gave me peace that these words He wrote on my heart. I sensed that these were the words He had given me permission to say in a moment that felt holy for me somehow.
Our family has prayed over this moment for a long time. I talk more in my upcoming book about how we ended up at this point, but for now I simply want to testify to Gods great faithfulness during this season.
There were many, many dark moments on the way here. Many times I felt all alone, many times I even felt God was cruel by not fixing it. Sometimes I felt He had left me to walk this by myself, clearly not parting the waters like I had begged.
But, as the clouds begin to lift in this stormy season, I see, as always, God's hand weaving in and out of every step we've taken - even the ones that felt backward. His steadiness is enabling each and every breath. His preparation and His timing, although often the antithesis of our own, has been, in fact, perfect.
My father (finally) pled guilty to three 2nd degree felonies and is now a registered sex offender. Even today that is difficult to write out for others to read, but it's part of my story now. It's part of this larger story that God is writing for me, and perhaps writing for you.
My hope in sharing this part of our personal darkness with you is that you would see the great faithfulness of the Lord despite the (incredibly) messy parts of my life. That you would see a woman who struggles to believe God, but at the end of the day trusts that He will ultimately bring beauty out of these still smoldering ashes. That you, too, would trust God with the dark parts of your life, even if it's a struggle to do so.
God is greater than the darkness. He not only is our light, but the light. Let Him light up those parts of your life that feel difficult and messy. Let Him shine His grace and mercy into the places that scream they're too much.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." 2 Timothy 1:7