In the last few years, I have experienced a wilderness, which at the time seemed unbearable. The darkness covered any glimmer of hope and the pain seemed to swallow me up. I have experienced the wilderness of addiction followed by the light of recovery, of loneliness followed by loving community, and of loss followed by abundance. However, this time of wandering carved a place in me I was sure would never heal.
As a child I was fortunate enough to have a God-centered neighbor who loved the Lord with all her mind, heart, and strength. I am certain God perfectly placed Miss Pollock in my life. As I sat broken-hearted one morning, I heard her voice in my mind, "You should memorize scripture!" She memorized scripture to recall in any circumstance. At the time, I never knew I would need her wisdom so desperately. I was sitting in an office and I picked up a Bible, prayed, and blindly flipped the pages to the Psalms. As I could hardly catch my breath, I read feverishly like a parched traveler when she finds water as God's nugget of truth fell off the page. Psalm 56:8 - You keep track of all my sorrow. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book. As I melted into my chair, a wash of comfort spread over my broken heart. To know God holds every tear and knows my every sorrow eased my pain. I wanted to know my shattered heart mattered to God. I needed to visualize God carrying a bottle of my salty tears while writing down all of my pain in His book for safekeeping. It allowed me to let some of my burden fall upon Him. Reflecting on the many escapades in the wilderness of my life, God has shown himself to me through others. He continuously shoves people in my path who ooze His love and grace in my darkest hour. All I have to do is be willing to look for them and open to experiencing God through them.