Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Rough Places Made Smooth

  ... along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.
--Isaiah 42:16 NIV

Ever had a week that was full of "rough places"? Mine has been like that so far.

If you've been reading my blog--or know me at all--you know that I'm recently divorced from my former pastor-husband. (Note: as I've mentioned before, I'm not sharing details about the divorce, just sorting through some of my thoughts as I trudge through the process.) 

As I'm discovering, the process of rebuilding a life post-divorce is very rough indeed. Here are just a few of the "rough places" I've gone this week:

* updating my will
* seeing my doctor before my health insurance was cut off
* finding a mortgage company that will refinance my home loan in my name only
* cleaning/prepping the house for the assessment--and getting rid of many memories in the process

I'm definitely traveling along "unfamiliar paths" these days (Isa.42:16).

Unexpected paths.

Rough places.

Yet as I've stumbled along some rough places this week, I have discovered that God has gone before me. Here are a few examples:

* The lawyer who helped me redo my will is my former Sunday school teacher who has known me since I was very young. Before one particularly difficult decision, she stopped to remind me how rare it is to have such a great family. She said far too many people sit across her table and struggle to think of just one person they trust enough with their kids or finances. Yet there I was, with an amazing mom and sisters and brothers-in-law who all love God; I trust each of them implicitly to raise my children wisely. Yes, I agreed, I am very blessed. In that moment, at that table, God shone His light into that dark place to remind me, Look at the family I have given you. I will not forsake you.

* Next, I went to the doctor--not thrilled about the fact my health insurance was being canceled. What if my asthma flares up? What if something happens to me? After I waited anxiously in the frigid room (why is it always subarctic in doctors' offices?), my doctor came in. He, too, is a Christian and has encouraged and prayed for me for months. He asked me how I was, and I told him--weeping--the latest news. He gave me a fatherly hug, had his staff fill a bag with samples, and assured me he would make sure I always have medical care. I was overwhelmed with relief. Awash in gratitude. Aware of another God-whisper: Don't worry about tomorrow. I will not forsake you.

* The process of refinancing my home has been filled with God-glimpses. My father-in-law-in-law (what do you call your brother-in-law's dad?) who has been a father figure to me through this whole "unfamiliar path," is helping me with the paperwork. My friend who works for a title company is helping me with the process. My Realtor friend came by to help me stage my home. My fix-it friend taught me how to unclog my sinks by disassembling the pipes underneath. (I felt so empowered!) A dear friend gave me delightful scents to make my house smell nice. A neighbor mowed my yard. Another neighbor came over to help me change my light bulbs. And--surprise!--a friend told me I won a Scentsy drawing and got a new plugin! So many God-reminders: Look at the people I have given you to help you through these rough places. I will not forsake you.

Little by little, I'm starting to see how God is guiding me along these unfamiliar paths and turning the darkness into light. Now, to be honest, it doesn't feel like God is shining a dazzling spotlight and dispelling all the darkness ... but if I look hard enough as I travel through these rough places, I can see the flickers of grace that guide me along the way. Step by step.

Even as I stumble on these unfamiliar paths, He IS going before me to make the rough places smooth.

He WILL NOT forsake me.


  1. Choked up as I am reading this. Praising God not only for these sweet reminders that he won't forsake you, but also for your ministry and testimony through this most difficult time. You are in my prayers sweet friend!

  2. Jennifer, tears flow as I read your blog this morning. My heart and prayers are with you as you walk this new path in your lives. Every day is a new opportunity to lean on our Savior and see His hand in every step of the way. I'm so glad that you are seeing God's provision for you as you go forward. Love and prayers.............