God's Brave Women - Jessica's Story
January 21, 2017 is a date that is forever etched into my very core. This date used to mark the day my world came crumbling down. In hindsight, this was the day my world was just beginning to unfold.
I will never forget walking to the park that brisk winter morning with my husband and two young boys in tow. I remember him turning to me on the park bench, telling me he simply did not love me anymore, and he wanted a divorce as soon as possible. It did not make sense. All the years I stood by him through addiction and abuse and cheating, the numerous counseling sessions, the journey to Baptism at Willow Creek together just a couple months before – nothing added up. Why now? Why after everything we endured together? Did I not do a proper job as the faithful loving wife? Why was I not good enough for this man? Wasn’t I enough?
Shortly thereafter, I learned he moved in the very next day with the woman he had been seeing for a few months prior, without my knowledge. She had a son from a prior relationship. My children immediately went with him to her house on his nights with them. It was as if I had been replaced instantaneously, and my children had a new family already in place. I was left alone and confused. I had never felt this immense amount of heartache in my life.
I struggled for so long, trying to understand why there was so much pain. I thought to myself there is no way anyone else in this world has had to endure THIS much pain – there’s just no way that could be possible. I remember hearing repeatedly that God never gives us more than we can bear. Did God think I was indestructible? Did He make me out to be an unconquerable warrior? When I began to ask these questions, I realized there was a real purpose to my pain. God had lit a fire in me that would prompt me to go on my spiritual journey towards finding my purpose here on Earth.
"I realized there was a real purpose to my pain. God had lit a fire in me that would prompt me to go on my spiritual journey towards finding my purpose here on Earth."
As I started to heal my heart and better my life, I came across the Recover program at Willow Creek South Barrington. During one of our midweek meetings, I was directed toward the powerful Biblical passage in Ephesians 6:11-17. It would soon become my inspiration and hope to fight the battles at hand.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms… Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I felt empowered to stand tall and believe that God would fight for me. Later, I came across a quote by Christine Caine that has stuck with me and become a cornerstone on my pathway to recovery: “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.”
Once I began to live and breathe these words daily, my life transformed. I had no control over what had happened to me in the past, but I had the determination and will to build a new life and make the best of it. I realized I was worthy of pursuing my passions and experiencing God’s best for my family. So that’s exactly what I did and will continue to do.
I developed a one-year plan and made a dream board. Within one year I had achieved everything I had set out to do! I walked across the stage and graduated with an Associates in Applied Science and Paralegal Studies Certification. I obtained a new safer car for my children and I to travel in. I lost fifty pounds and led a healthier lifestyle. I built a pillar of support around me with groups of people in similar situations to me. I became heavily involved in my church groups and further developed my relationship with God. But most importantly, I found the love of myself. For the first time in my life, I found me and realized I was pretty amazing. I was more than enough as a beloved Daughter of the King.
"... most importantly, I found the love of myself. For the first time in my life, I found me and realized I was pretty amazing. I was more than enough as a beloved Daughter of the King."
We individually hold the power within to change and transform our lives. God places it deep within our core. Sometimes we may have to dig a little deeper and do some soul-searching to resurface it, but it is there. I had been planted. I was sprouting a new life. I always had it within, I just had to find it again.
Jessica is in her early 30’s and is a proud single mama. Jessica’s heart is dedicated to sharing her story to empower other women to understand there is a purpose behind every pain and a Father who has a bigger and better plan for all of us. In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time exploring the city, coaching her boys in sports, writing music, painting and writing. She is also pursuing her Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies at Loyola University Chicago.
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
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