Today’s story comes from a woman who has aged in grace and beauty, and who possesses wisdom that she wears like a golden crown. Her testimony speaks to the lack of identity so many women carry, and search for in unfulfilling relationships. But the gold in her story appears through her decision to wait on and trust in God, Who has brought not only healing and fulfillment, but blessing besides!
I have known this wonderful woman for many years, and never seen her so complete. I have personally witnessed the change in her, and the joy she speaks of. God has truly given her a gift she couldn’t have found on her own, and she has stepped into the best season of her life, the season of God’s unfolding goodness, His perfect and prosperous plans for her.
This is a story for women young and old to hold onto. Surely God is faithful, and desires that we should experience His best! And His best is worth waiting for!
“My name is Carolyn. I am a woman after God’s own heart, a warrior, and a witness. I am 71 years old. I am a mother, grandmother to six (2 natural, 4 step). I have been a worship leader, teacher and successful professional. And this is my resurrection story…
I could write a very sad story of a woman who has been molested, beaten, wronged, mistreated, cheated on, survived life threatening situations two times; a woman who has been in bondage most of her life, oppressed, self-effacing, alone and insecure. I have endured several unsuccessful marriages, lived alone fairly happily for 30 years, and yet, still carried the desire to marry “the one”. But I knew I only knew how to fail in relationships, and I was an expert at divorce. So I will pick up from there, and tell you the simple, short version of my story.
I have been a Christian since 2004 (this time). I was raised in a Christian home, but chose to go the way of the world in my early 20’s. I returned to the Lord in 2004. Right away, I discovered the text Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” I had many ups and downs, including clinical depression, financial breakdown, losing everything, but through it all, this text and my intimate relationship with the Lord pulled me through.
As I served the church in various position (worship leader, teacher, coach, whatever the Lord had for me), I dealt with whatever came my way. I never gave up, nor considered that. Somehow, my faith drove me through because I knew where the heart of the Lord was: to give me hope and a future.
Outside the walls of church, however, I did not feel okay about myself unless there was a man in my life. I had a “boyfriend” for about 5 years on and off. But, the more I prayed about us/him, the more confused I became. My life did not really include him; he didn’t attend church with me, didn’t support me in any way, but I could not let go. I broke up with him multiple times, somehow always ending up seeing him again. There was a bondage or control that he or the relationship had over me which I could not break.
I had broken it off several times, but there finally came a time when I truly meant it, when I was truly done. Something was different, but I didn’t know if I could stick to it. I did not let myself see him for a month, seeking to pray and read the Bible every time he came into my mind. I was rigorous about doing my devotions every morning, reading the Bible and praying. I started receiving gifts from my friends out of the blue: plaques, wall hangings, all with Jeremiah 29:11, but no one knew how meaningful that Scripture was to me. God was literally coming onto my walls and desk reminding me that He had something good for me. I felt that I had a deadline to get myself together. I was no longer seeing the ex-boyfriend, I was praying, reading the Bible and taking care of me. I committed to eating well, losing over 70 pounds, and letting someone new emerge. He truly had plans for me.
One night I had a dream in which several men were demanding that I accept their proposal. I did not know any of them, but they were pushing for an answer. I told them I could not decide and left (in the dream). I awoke being fully perplexed by the dream. But God had plans for me. I noticed that my focus was not on needing a relationship. Something had shifted in that I was confident in me and the fact that if God was the only mate I had for the rest of my life, that would be just fine. I chose God and His will, so I was just fine. I was more confident and had a sense of freedom that I had never had before.
I canceled all of my online dating accounts, and I made sure the man I had dated off and on for a long time knew that it was truly over, which meant blocking him from my texts. I closed the doors of the past. I don’t know if any of this had anything to do with the breakthrough that came, but this was all part of my process. I had a joy about life that I had not had before, or at least not for a very long time.
Within two months, I was brought face to face with the love of my life. The perfect man that God had created for me. We knew in an instant that something special was happening. I had confidence, trust, warmth. I felt beauty, and did not doubt for one second that he was the man God created for just ME. I didn’t find him, because I wasn’t looking (for once). God had brought him to me!
For the first time in my life I am free of the self-doubt, lack of self esteem, feeling that I am alone, or do not fit in. I am home, and it was all by the grace of God.
I am 71 years old and I met the love of my life at 69 years old. I had a lot of growing, learning and living to do to be ready for a man of my husband’s quality. I have never been this happy. I did not even think or know anyone could be this happy, because from my oppressed state, I couldn’t even think of happiness or joy at this level. When you are in the manhole, you do not know there is light outside until someone takes the lid off!!!
God has a plan for all of us, and his plan is to honor us, prosper us and bring us a hope and a future. Stay in His word and let go of the past, because there just might be your rainbow on the other side of that hill you are climbing. Never give up. You are worth it.”