I’m confident there’s not a single person reading these words who can honestly say they’ve never personally experienced some sort of trial. Unfortunately trials are a part of life and, at some point on our journey, we will all experience pain, heartache, disappointment, rejection or some type of difficulty. Perhaps you are going through a season of trial at this very moment. During these times it’s easy to question God – to wonder how you will ever make it through or how any good can possibly come from such heartache.
Our generation is certainly not the first to deal with difficulties. Included in the Old Testament book of Judges, we find the story of Samson. Most of us know this story well … the super strong guy who couldn’t cut his hair or he would lose his strength … yes, that’s Samson’s. But, what do we know about his family, particularly his mother? Although the Word gives us little narrative about Samson’s mother, we do learn that she was unable to have children for some portion of her life. As a woman desiring a family, this was certainly a trial! I couldn’t help but think as I read through her story that, even in the midst of a situation that at the time I’m confident seemed absolutely devastating, God was right there … He saw her, he knew the desires of her heart and ultimately gave her more than she ever imagined possible. She experienced a difficult season, but God saw her through and blessed her with a son who He used in a mighty way to set the Israelites free.
My life changing trial began in the late summer of 2008. It was a normal day (or as normal a day as one can have with small children and a full-time job). After working all day, I picked up the kids, cooked and cleaned from dinner, helped with homework, did laundry and eventually got the kids to bed. Finally, absolutely exhausted, I sat down to rest for a minute prior to beginning preparations for the following day. I logged onto the computer only to find an e-mail that would forever change life as I had known it just moments before. Sixteen years of marriage destroyed with the click of a mouse. In an instant I felt completely lost and totally alone. In the days to come, as the emotion and fear began to take over, I felt as if I was completely paralyzed! I wondered how God could possibly use this devastating situation to bring about anything good in my life. At my lowest point, I had no other choice but to look up! Over the course of several years, many heartaches and much grace from a loving Father, I began to find my joy again.
In January of 2011, the Lord brought an amazing man into my life who was so very different than what I had prayed for, but everything God knew me and my kids needed. A true gift from above!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Much like He did for Samson’s mother, God took my trial and turned it into a beautiful testimony that I have been able to share with so many women dealing with the pain of infidelity, rejection and divorce. The Lord taught me so much through my season of brokenness and, on the other side, He’s given me more joy and love than I ever imagined possible.
As we walk through the fiery trials of life, He wants to hold us in His hands and be our strength. Although it’s almost impossible for us to see as we are walking through the fire, He is painting a beautiful picture with the ashes of what was —
He’s turning our trial into a testimony!
Amber Edwards is married and has two teenagers. While she works as a Paralegal, her true heart is for others. This passion led her to start a blessing bag ministry for the homeless, which affords her many opportunities to share her faith and love for the Lord. Amber grew up in Birmingham and is an active member at Church of the Highlands where she serves on the Events Team and co-leads small groups.