Surprised by Restoration
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad!
— Psalm 126:1-3 ESV
In the midst of all these changes with men in my life, these gentle shifts that were gradually moving me away from my bitter response to trauma in my life, I came to know Jerry. He was a man I had met years before, a widower who had experienced his share of trauma in his own life, including the long illness of his wife and sudden profound deafness in his fifties.
Jerry was older than I was and not really what I considered “my type.” I’m pretty sure that I, with my rambunctious household, was not exactly his type either. But he quietly and respectfully proclaimed his intentions to be there for me, to be my friend, and eventually, when I was ready, to make me his wife.
It took a while, let me tell you. It took a lot of patient strength and gentle perseverance on Jerry’s part, a lot of urging by my friends and my children, who clearly saw what a treasure he is. It took a lot of prayer and then what felt to me like a gigantic leap of faith. Now, looking back, I can only marvel at the amazing gift of grace Jerry has been to me and my entire family—an extravagant gift from the God who sees me.
So, what has been the upshot in my life from all these experiences?
I certainly felt loved by God when all this was happening. I wasn’t blind to this healing of old wounds, the joy of restored relationships. I didn’t realize until I looked back that I was also losing my cynicism about men. With one redemptive encounter after another, God gradually dissolved a clot of bitterness toward the opposite sex that I didn’t even know was there.
As a result, I have a deeper sense of relating to God as my Father and Christ as my Brother. My respect for my son Sam as a young man has grown, and I hope I’m a better mother to him as a result. I am truly able to feel what I once gave lip service to—the wonderful, God-given differences between men and women. Bit by bit, I am losing the gut-level distrust that sometimes made me prickly or overly independent.
What a surprise all this has been! I’ve sent up plenty of prayers for healing in the aftermath of one of the biggest traumas of my life. In the middle of it all, gently, quietly, the God who sees me—and sees so much more than I’ll ever see—was also granting prayers I never even knew to pray.
Oh Father, You have done great things for us. You sent Jesus, and we are glad. May the gift of Your grace shine so brightly through our lives that those who see, have no choice but to exclaim: “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Adapted from: The God Who Sees You: Look to Him When You Feel Discouraged, Forgotten, or Invisible by Tammy Maltby; David C. Cook, 2012
— Tammy Maltby, Guest Writer