Thankful Thursday...Desires of My Heart...

Psalm 37:4 has been one of my favorite verses since I was barely in double-digits.  I remember being taught early on that this verse did not mean "Delight yourself in the Lord and all your selfish desires will be met," but rather that as we delight ourselves in Him, He will cause our desires to change, to be the things He desires for us.  

That verse came immediately to mind as I saw a heart's desire fulfilled today.

Six years ago, our world exploded.

At the time, I remember thinking that never, ever would this story be shared.  Ever. A few people had to know...outside of that, it would remain hidden forever.

Then I began researching...one of my immediate reactions to any crisis...searching almost desperately for help for Christian families dealing with the situation we now faced.   What I found was almost nothing.  I was devastated.

We were blessed in many ways.  God provided a tiny group of people who encouraged us and prayed for us and helped bear our burden during those days, despite the fact that they had never walked in our shoes.  And in the absence of resources or people who'd been there, He showed Himself to be our All-Sufficient Wonderful Counselor.  Much later, He provided some helpful resources, including a couple of books that hadn't even been written yet when we began this journey.

And as He worked in our lives, comforting and healing and teaching and growing us, He began to change my heart.

My heart began to ache for other families I knew had to be out there in the same situation we were, with even less resources.  At least Billy and I had our professional background to fall back on for a bit of help along the way.  God began to give me a deep desire to help other families in crisis.  And I began to realize that in order to do that, I had to be willing to share our story.

In six years, God has worked a complete 180 in my heart...from praying that our story would never be public to praying that nothing about our story would be wasted...that we would "steward our story well", as Mary Beth Chapman says.  My heart's desire is that God would get every ounce of glory possible out of our situation, and that He would use us to comfort and help others, as He provided comfort and help for us.  Some time ago, I began to actually pray that God would give opportunities for me to share for His glory and to minister to others.

One of the authors God used in a big way in my life during the darkest years was Mary DeMuth.  She says, "I write so people don't feel alone anymore."  That was my immediate reaction when I first read part of Mary DeMuth's testimony...a feeling that someone out there understood, even though I'd never spoken to her.

Today, God has used Mary DeMuth to help fulfill one of the desires of my heart.  She's allowing me to guest post on her blog, Live Uncaged, today and tomorrow, sharing a message that is heavy on my heart.  What an honor and blessing that is!  Humbling and exciting all at the same time.

God is so good to give us His desires for our hearts and then to fulfill those desires in amazing ways.

Please visit Mary's blog to read part 1 of We Can't Ignore Abuse Victims Any Longer.  Then feel free to share on Facebook or Twitter.  Someone on your friend list or among your followers may need to hear this message right now, either because they are in crisis, or because they know someone who is...or maybe because they need to be aware of the possibility of needs around them they aren't at all aware of.

Linking up with Laurie today for Thankful Thursday.  Stop by her blog to see what others are thankful for today!

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