She had opened a restaurant with her husband 5 months prior. They were the “go get it” kind of couple where nothing seemed impossible but unfortunately they went in with the wrong partner. Out of nowhere, payroll checks started bouncing, the water got shut off in the middle of lunch one day, they owed thousands of dollars to food vendors that they thought they had been paying...They figured out the partner had been stealing from them. They fired him and tried to fix things, only to make the incredibly hard decision to close a month and a half later. Now they were getting sued, had to file bankruptcy, were thousands and thousands of dollars in debt, she felt like a failure and had fallen into a deep depression. She was completely overwhelmed with life.
She like many of us others, had to hit her bottom. Her whole world was falling apart around her... financially, emotionally, relationally ... She realized she had completely checked out of life, and had finally gotten to the place where she was so sick of herself, she knew something had to be done to change it. She told me it was in her weakest moment, once she hit her bottom, that she began to hear the Lord started speaking to her again and her faith grew immensely.
God started speaking to her first through a friend. This friend had been non-stop calling to check up on her but she hadn't answered in weeks. She said it was out of guilt that she finally called him back, and when she did, their conversation, his emotional support and strong faith, gave her enough strength to allow her to start checking back into reality. God began speaking to her through simple things in her life. For instance, she began cleaning her house and she says, “It's weird, there were piles of things everywhere but instead of cleaning those, I decided to start cleaning the inside of everything, like inside the cupboards and inside of the desk drawers..”. While doing this, she felt God was telling her that He was cleaning her up from the inside, and once her inside changed, her outer world would begin to reflect it as well. She started reading her bible again and going to church despite the fact that many times she did not want to. She was doing anything and everything she could to keep her mind busy and stay focused on what God said about her situation. She said “It's funny, but during that time I started noticing simple things like clouds, and I focused on what God had created, which showed me how much bigger He was than all that was going on around me.” At one point she heard God say, “In 9 to 18 months if you keep doing what you are doing, you will be back on your feet, back to where you were before all of this.” She tells me that that statement alone gave her enough faith to know that everything was going to be ok.
I asked her at one point in our interview, “But how did you hear those things and just believe them.. didn't you ever doubt?” She said of course she had moments where she doubted, but her faith was stronger than the doubts. She knew in order to get through it, it was necessary to believe things were going to get better and to surrender the fact that she couldn't do it, but God could. Simply but profoundly put, she said, “I hold onto the good. When you find the good, you find the Lord and wherever the Lord is you find peace.” This woman has been through many incredibly hard situations since then but she gets through every single one by remembering “God got me through all of the other things, so I know he will get me through this too.” “I grab the good, hold onto it, and don't let go”. She uses this as her life motto. That is such a simple statement, yet it is the best description of faith I have ever heard.
Today, this woman is running an orphanage with her husband in Guatemala. Her faith has instilled faith into others' seemingly hopeless situations. Faith gives a person a reason to relentlessly keep fighting regardless of the obstacles, and with enough faith, no obstacle is too big to overcome.
- a the word changes contributor