Michelle Barr’s Thin Place: Kneeling Beside My Hope Chest

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Traditionally a hope chest is filled with physical things a young lady will use once she leaves home. Michelle found hope beside her furniture, not in it, because of who met her there.  (Has God met you somewhere? Share your Thin Place Story here.)

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There were many thin places during the 21 years of my marriage, but the thinnest came after my husband walked out of our marriage for a 20 year old girl. My heart was beyond broken; it felt as if it had been ripped out of my chest when he told me he “…had to see if things could work with her.”

I wanted nothing more than to curl into a fetal position on the floor and wail out my broken heart until God would take me out of my misery, but I had to hold it together for my children. I was afraid if I let go of my emotions that I would never gain control again and my children would lose their mom as well as their dad.

I tried so hard to be strong for my two young teenagers; I needed to assure them I could take care of them no matter what happened. I tried to keep our routine as normal as possible and stay positive for them, but I couldn’t sleep or eat. I was past exhausted and reaching my physical breaking point.

I surrounded myself with KLOVE radio, church, my daily Bible reading and prayer – they all kept me going but I was still broken, still felt cast aside like an old dish rag, still felt unwanted and unloved.

My breaking point came in the middle of another sleepless night at the foot of my bed beside an old hope chest. My body physically couldn’t take the stress anymore. I cried out to Jesus to help me. I remember asking God if He could really love me. Could I really trust Him to always be there for me?

I had told my husband, family and friends that God would be my Husband, Provider and Father to my children, but deep inside I was afraid that He wouldn’t want me either. I am so flawed, I fail God too often with thoughtless stupid mistakes. I questioned Him. Could He really continue to love me or would He take it away?

Right then, as I was asking, crying out my heart and begging Him, Jesus answered me with His beautiful sweet peace. The words of John 14:27 flooded my mind and heart, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

I felt His Words flood over me, filling me with assurance that He wouldn’t take away His Love or Presence in my life like my wayward husband did. He wouldn’t take away His Love because I failed Him. Jesus loved me no matter what: all my scars, all my failures, and all my ugliness. He loved me enough to allow Himself to be crucified for my sins. He would never leave me.

It has been almost three years since that night. Jesus has proved Himself faithful to His Word. I still fail Him more than I want but He still forgives me, picks me up, wipes away my sin, wraps His arms around me and tells me how much He loves me.

He put my heart back and filled it up with all His Goodness, Blessings and Mercy. He proved that no matter what happens in my life He would be my Husband, Provider and Father to my children.  

Life isn’t perfect. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by situations and emotions, but God is bigger than anything I will ever face and He is always Faithful to help me through the life He has given me.

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