“Father, remind Tanya that she is the daughter of a King, and You would move the mountains of Jerusalem for her!”
This was my pastor’s prayer as he held my hands and listened compassionately to my sobs. I had asked to meet with him for guidance. My husband Rodney had passed four months earlier, and I was struggling. Really struggling. I didn’t know which way was up. Finding myself suddenly alone, I questioned God’s plan for my life. It definitely was not what I expected.
Rodney and I had so many plans that we had prayed over and were excited about. I just didn’t understand my purpose any longer. I was no longer a wife – I was a widow. What did that mean? I still felt like I was the same person. I had defined myself by my most important earthly relationship – my marriage.
God had established a covenant between Himself, Rodney, and me twenty-five years earlier, and He had blessed our marriage with a wonderful, loving relationship that had been strengthened through so many struggles in our quarter century together. Through this covenant, God taught me the true meaning of sacrifice, servanthood, and submission. I understood what it meant to love and be loved.
But my mistake was believing that my marriage was all that defined me. That was only part of God’s plan. My pastor reminded me that it wasn’t my job to “figure out” God’s plan for my life. He would reveal His plan, as I needed to know. It may be that my job in that moment was to heal, not decide my next role in life. All I had to do was stay close to God – read and meditate on His Word and listen for His voice. He would let me know everything in His time.
I felt such relief in that reassurance. It was okay not to know. My job was to be obedient to what I knew to do, and that was to pray and read His Word daily so I would recognize His voice. As I grew closer in my walk with God, He began to reveal new directions step by step. I soon realized my true purpose – it was to glorify Him. My purpose was not determined by what direction I took. My purpose was only determined by my identity in Him! The path on which He placed me was only to provide opportunities to glorify Him, and sometimes that would happen in unexpected ways. My job was to be ready for those opportunities, and to help someone else along their journey to recognize their purpose in glorifying the Lord.
Isaiah 54 – The Restoration of Israel, the wife of the Lord
This chapter in Isaiah teaches us that no matter how desolate we may think we are in our situation, God’s love is limitless and His plan is redemption. These truths are illustrated by declarations of love and redemption through beautiful comparisons to a woman experiencing barrenness and widowhood, and how God will restore her. The lyrical poetry of the chapter provides an inspiring picture of the nature of God and the depth of His love for His children. In verse 10, God makes His promise to Israel, ‘For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
The same God who made these promises to Israel is the same God who formed the covenant between Rodney and me, and provided healing from grief. He is the same God who offers eternal life to the lost through Jesus Christ, and the same God who provides love, comfort, and guidance for His children today.
Three and half years ago, the mountain of grief I was facing overwhelmed me. Today, I realize my pastor was not asking God to move the mountains in my life – he was really asking Him to shift my perspective – to lift my eyes off the mountain in front of me and to place them on the Navigator of the journey. I don’t have to know every step of the path up the mountain – just Who to follow.
Tanya Nelson is a freelance writer and guest blogger for Crossroads Play Therapy. As a young widow, she frequently uses her personal experiences with grief to share God’s promises of healing and restoration. Tanya believes the purpose of her writing is to point others toward discovering the nature of God through His Word. It is her desire that readers will come to understand that God provides all we need to heal and live victoriously.
Kim Jobe has been taking photos since receiving a Fisher Price camera for Christmas shortly before starting elementary school. Born in Jackson, TN, Jobe grew up in Corinth and now lives in Fulton, KY aka the bottom left corner of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Jobe graduated from Corinth High School, attended Northeast Mississippi Junior College – to be a member of the Show Band from Tiger Land – before receiving a bachelor of science degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Mississippi University for Women. She spent 23 years in the newspaper business, 10 years in education, and is celebrating her third year as Fulton County Transit Authority’s Marketing Director this year.