God's Brave Women - Debbie's Story
God will not waste your pain.
I believe that statement because I have experienced it so many times in my life.
I had a rough start. I grew up the youngest of seven, in a home with parents who were doing their best, but had many problems. This made it difficult for them to provide a stable environment for myself and my siblings.
I was orphaned at 4 and was moved from Indiana to Illinois into a children’s home where I would live most of my childhood. There are many stories from those years, which I have written about in my book, Survival Academy. I talk about the abandonment, how it drove me to look for love and belonging in all the wrong places. I made some pretty poor choices in relationships and living situations, and ultimately surrendered my heart to Jesus.
Up until then I had been living for myself. My heart was so hardened by life, but Jesus came in and rescued me. I started reading and believing God’s Word and living His way. And slowly my life started changing.
I know that God had a lot of work to do in my heart to help me believe how much He loved me, unconditionally, and that He was trustworthy. As I look back, I always see a fork in the road – a choice to forgive and extend grace or to become bitter and stay a victim.
"As I look back, I always see a fork in the road – a choice to forgive and extend grace or to become bitter and stay a victim."
With everything I’ve suffered through, I can now see how it has developed something in me for others. I would say I am a very compassionate person, and that has only come from Jesus and the pain I have lived through. But He has not wasted any of my pain. He is using it for His glory and my good. I’ve come to know God as my Father, and now I can encourage others to trust Him and enjoy His unconditional love that will bring salve to their broken hearts.
Most of my transformation has taken a lot longer than I thought, partly because I kept going around the same mountains over and over thinking I’d get a different result. As I have come to know God through Jesus, a real relationship has developed, one that He meant to have with me from the very beginning. I have so much more peace and joy and way less drama. And when the Bible says “perfect love casts out fear,” I am experiencing this with every decision I make to trust and believe God.
"And when the Bible says “perfect love casts out fear,” I am experiencing this with every decision I make to trust and believe God."
I am no stranger to grief, not only losing my parents, but my newborn daughter, Melissa Joy. She would be 29 this coming January, and I can hardly remember all the months and months I cried and mourned her death. At the time, I thought I would never get over it. But once again with God and my church family, I was able to finally accept the reality that I would see her again in heaven. God has used that tremendous loss to help me listen to and support other women who have faced a miscarriage, stillborn or infant death. I never wanted to be part of that club, and to this day all these years later, I remember visiting Melissa’s grave and looking over to another section of the cemetery, which I later learned was the infant section. I had no idea how many women lost babies. It was a real eye opener. As I started getting stronger, I would go there to try and share my experience, strength and hope with grieving women.
God did not waste my pain.
He will not waste yours either.
Debbie Forney is a speaker, author, and encourager. Within her heart, she carries one great desire... that people would know the depths of God’s great love for them! Her recently published book, Survival Academy, can be found on Amazon for purchase. She lives in Ft. Myers, Florida with her husband Ron, a dog, a cat and their daughter, Laura, not far away. Feel free to contact Debbie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her online @www.debbieforney.com.