Rose-Marie* stood at the sink washing dishes. By hand. One pan was so dirty it needed special treatment. Like her heart.
She knew God loved her, but her ability to love and forgive seemed wretched. How did God’s way work for her? Or anyone?
She twitched her head. Think of all the scenarios of evil in the world that God’s love has to work through—has to have an answer for—a way to heal and restore without force or coercion. Is it even possible?
She found a scouring pad and spoke aloud.
“God, I haven’t always done well in Your school, in letting You teach me, but now I’m tired of spiritual limbo. Your way must work in every circumstance, for real problems. It needs to work for all cultures and situations. That’s what I want to test.”
“So, what is faith?” The Spirit posed a gentle question.
“It’s naked trust, and I haven’t had much experience.” She bore down on the pan.
“What kind of experience do you need?”
“Experience with trusting for the ultimates.”
“What are the ultimates?”
“Life, death, health, economic security. An ultimate for me is to find my reason to be. My place. Who I am. My place of belonging. Another ultimate is to love and be loved. For Your way to mean anything, it must be tested in these ultimates.”
The metal at the bottom shone through. She rinsed the pan and left the kitchen.
That was over thirty years ago, and Rose-Marie, aka Merita Atherly Engen, has had plenty of faith-tests in those ultimates. Some she passed. Some she failed.
Love, however, has never failed.
Most recently, I have gained deeper insight in how God’s way works in some of the most horrendous situations. Specifically of how His love has restored and is restoring the lives of those who have endured childhood spiritual, sexual, and ritualistic abuse and trauma. The more I learn, the greater God becomes.
He’s answering my prayer of years ago. He’s showing me that no matter what the Enemy, the Father of Lies, the Evil One, concocts through human agents, God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is able and willing and powerful to restore.
If you have been trapped by dark-side abuses, struggling to be free, invite Jesus into your situation. Cry out for help. Believe in Love’s way. It probably won’t happen overnight, but one step at a time, the light of Love will dispel the darkness. Then stand back and be amazed at the power of His might.
He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: For they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place. He delivered me, because he delighted in me.Psalms 18:16-19
*Rose-Marie is the fictional name I’ve given myself in my yet-to-be-published book, “Heartache of Promise.” The story is based on a section of my life, so yeah, Rose-Marie is yours-truly.