INTRODUCTION

It is the desire of my heart to express through this poem, my deep appreciation to God for giving me His grace, peace, and strength that carried me through a very long and heart-wrenching time in my life.

Sadly, some turn to drugs or other means, to escape from the pain of their past and present circumstances.  I can tell you that I don’t know how I would have made it if God had not chosen to reveal Himself to me through His Word and given me His grace that proved to be sufficient for me, His peace that surpassed all human understanding, and His strength. 

When the emotionally painful events began to take place right before I married, I had the knowledge of God, but I didn’t really know the Biblical gospel or have my trust in Jesus Christ alone as my Savior from sin, even though I had always prayed and desired to know Him much more deeply than I did. I was basically a ‘nice person,’ as many of us would say that we are, and a religious one as well, but I was eternally lost as every other religious person is, because I had (wrongly) placed my trust in the kind acts that I did for others, as well as my church attendance and religious practices as being enough to allow me entrance into heaven after I died; I wrongly thought that the good works I did would outweigh the bad things I did on judgment day. I did not grasp the true and complete holiness of God or the sufficiency of Jesus Christ’s once for all sacrifice on the cross as being enough to pay the debt for all of my sins — in full — until I began to read the Bible.

I did everything I could to make my marriage work and to try and make my husband realize that there was a problem. When he didn’t express any concern and failed to respond in a loving, caring way after I poured out my heart to him, but instead chose to be sarcastic, I withdrew within myself and went into a deep depression. My home ended up in disarray, because it was a reflection of the hopelessness that I felt. 

God used everything I went through to bring me to the end of myself, so that I would cry out to Him. He was there through it all, just waiting for the moment when He would choose to reveal Himself to me. Ironically, as I shared in one of my other poems, He used my husband to bring me home a Bible, and as I began to read it, God made Himself more real to me than I could ever have imagined, and I surrendered my life to Him, along with all the sin, hopelessness, fear, rejection, and hurt. As I began to read His Word, God began to reveal His truth to me and He also began to do a deep healing process in my mind and heart as my mind was being renewed by the truth of His Word. I chose to believe the gloriously good news that  I was reading about all that Jesus Christ accomplished for me as I read through the Book of Romans, Ephesians, and Hebrews. I was filled with such joy and peace when I came to understand the Biblical gospel; the fact that I am a sinner in need of a Savior, and that Jesus Christ indeed paid the price for all of our sins — no matter how horrific of a sin we may have committed —  and I chose  to reject anything that I was taught that did not line up with the truth of His Word. Teachings such as purgatory and the Sacrifice of the Mass denied the sufficiency of Jesus’ death as being sufficient to pay for our sins in full. His peace and joy then filled my heart, His  strength was made perfect in me where I was weak, and His grace proved to be abundantly sufficient for all that I went through from that moment on. I became a new creation in Christ; I was born-again, spiritually speaking, as the Bible says we are all to be by believing the truth of the Biblical gospel and not by attempting to achieve acceptance by God by our own righteous acts which appear as filthy rags before Him as it says in Isaiah 64:6!

Even though I wanted God to change the circumstances and my husband, He chose instead to change me, and I will be ever so grateful to God for using all the pain I went through just so that I could know Him in the way that I do.  I came to know God in a way that I never would have if things weren’t so painful.  Sometimes I experienced  hurt so deep, that  it caused me to curl up into a fetal position as I cried out to Him from the very depths of my being!

If I had the choice to go through it all again, I would not hesitate to say ‘Yes,’ because I have come to know God’s love, faithfulness,  mercy,  grace, and His Word, in ways that I could never have known them without going through all the pain and heartache that I did.

My poem will give you just a glimpse of how real God became to me. Lord willing, the book that I am in the process of writing about my life, will reveal much more. 

My deepest desire is to let you know how real He can become to you in the midst of your painful circumstances –if only you will choose to cry out to Him. No matter how overwhelming your circumstances may seem, and how hopeless you may feel, God wants SO much to reveal His love and His truth to you!

I pray for all of you who will read this, that you will choose to seek Him in the midst of your pain, and read His Word, the Bible. If you do not truly know Him personally, I pray that as wonderful of a person as you may be, you will come to understand that you are a sinner (like all of us are) in the sight of a completely holy God, and that there is only one way that He has provided for us to receive His forgiveness, which is by believing and trusting only in the fact that Jesus died in our place on the cross; Jesus willingly took upon Himself God’s full wrath that was intended for us because of our sins and He died in our place on the cross to provide complete payment for your sin and guilt, and He gloriously arose from the dead three days later in bodily form showing that God accepted Jesus’ death as being sufficient to satisfy His just demands for sin.  This is the only way that we can receive God’s forgiveness, be reconciled to Him, and to become His child.  He promises never leave or forsake us, and no matter what we may face in life, His grace, peace, and strength will prove to be sufficient to see us through.

Lord, I thank You for using all the pain I went through, to draw me to Yourself.  I thank You for revealing Your love and truth to me through Your Word, and for saving me from sin and the eternal consequences of  my sin in hell. I thank You for Your mercy and grace, and choosing  continually to reveal Your truth and Yourself to me through Your Word in such amazing ways as I waited and prayed, and by Your grace, chose to live for You even after I saw my marriage end in divorce. 

You are worthy of all praise –no matter what!  And if I had the choice to go through it all again, I would not hesitate to say, ‘Yes,’ because in my times of prayer with You, being in Your Word, and crying out to You, I have come to know You and Your love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness, in ways that I would never have come to know You without going through all the pain that I did. Thank You!

Here are some Scriptures that brought me through those years of fear and loneliness, and I pray they will be a source of hope and encouragement to you as well:

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power rests on me.  For when I am weak then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

“The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit-a wife who married young, only to be rejected,  says your God.” (Isaiah 54:6)

“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil.  For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD, will inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:1-9)

“I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I have set the LORD always before me.  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between His shoulders.” (Deuteronomy 33:12)

“But You are a shield around me, O LORD; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” (Psalm 3:3)

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®.  Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984  International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

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JUST TO KNOW YOU AS I DO 

It was Your grace that carried me through the pain,

As in Your presence and in Your Word I chose to remain,

You saw every tear that fell from my eyes,

When in my commitment to You, I chose never to compromise,

You heard every harsh word that began from the start,

You saw every act of rejection that broke my heart, 

You saw every attempt I made until I was at a loss,

You used all the heartbreak to bring me to Your cross. 

You took away my sorrow, and gave me joy instead,

You heard my desperate cry for help, You were the lifter of my head. 

You shattered my darkness, You rescued me from the pain,

You were there in my weakness, Your strength was mine to gain.

You delivered me from fear with Your outstretched hand,

You took away my shame, and by Your grace I now stand. 

If I had the choice to relive the past, or to avoid all the pain I went through,

I would choose to go through it all over again… just to know You as I do.

Copyright©2009 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/LivingForHisGlory All rights reserved.

Picture obtained from Photobucket -worship-1