FOUND IN THE
by Tiffany Dorr
I stood there in the middle of the driveway of the home that my ex-husband and I purchased to raise our kids in. With a heavy heart, I watched as the firemen scurried around to put out the flames. I hadn’t been back to that place in 5 years—not since our divorce was finalized and I left with my car packed full of our belongings. Not much had changed, other than the trees that we had planted together. As I stood there, I felt someone’s hand touch my shoulder.
I jumped as she startled me out of my daze.
“How have you been?”
We chatted for a short while. When she walked away, a wave of emotions came over me. It was then that I realized that the majority of the people working to put out the flames were people I had cared about in my past, people who had turned their backs against me during the hardest time of my life. I hadn’t seen any of these people in a long time. Not since the divorce. But yet, here they were, running around me putting out flames.
I stood there in tears and asked God, “Why am I here?”
Immediately, I heard Him speak back to me. “You’re here for a reason. Trust Me.”
God doesn't always do things the easy way, but it's always the perfect way.
Rewind 5 years. I was angry, hurt, bitter, and had been abandoned by the one person I thought would never leave. But, he did leave and it wasn’t to be by himself. I cried out to God, face down in my bedroom floor, just hours after punching my steering wheel and screaming at Him in anger. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I asked Him to take the pain from me. However, I still felt worthless, humiliated, angry, scared, and alone... completely alone.
For a split second, while standing in that driveway, I became angry. I felt like I was reliving that time all over again. This was my life at one time, a life that I never thought would come to an end.
Then it hit me. It didn’t. My life didn’t come to an end the day I drove off of that property for good. It had just started. I realized that God didn’t allow my life to fall apart. He allowed it to dismantle just for a time so that He could rebuild it the way He wanted. I went from a woman scorned with a job she wasn’t happy working, broke with two kids, no home, and feeling all alone, to a woman who—with God’s help—was thriving. Maybe not perfectly, but thriving nonetheless. I had a place of my own, healthy kids, had gone back to school and landed the job that I wanted, bills paid without assistance (not that assistance is a bad thing), and a decent car that I had paid cash for. My life was not perfect, but it was mine.
God showed me that night that He had answered my prayers for stability that I had been praying for over the last 5 years. I had just been too hurt to see it. I thought because I was single, and at times struggling, that God still hadn’t answered my prayers. I had said for years that I had forgiven everyone who had hurt me, but the truth was that I was still angry.
As I stood there watching the smoke boil up from the house, a wave of peace came over me as I heard Him say, “I’ve had you all along. It’s time to let go. Forgive them.” And I did. Ever since that night, I have not had a single negative feeling about my past. That night made me realize how grateful I am for the life that I have. It’s kind of funny how, for years I was hurt, felt like a failure, and didn’t think I could bear being around any one of the people that had hurt me so badly, yet all at once God put me right in the middle of almost every one of them and told me to forgive them. He showed me that although I had felt like my life had gone up in flames, I was never burned. I was at peace.
I’m so grateful for that night. God doesn’t always do things the easy way, but it’s always the perfect way. Whether it’s a change in our lives, such as a time of singleness or a devastating loss of some sort, we can rest in the fact that God will bring us through the fire. Our past doesn’t define us, and our future may not be easy; but our Father will never leave us to fight the flames alone.