Following a three year abusive relationship, I moved to Arizona with my sister and her family. I was distrustful of others, had little to no self-confidence, and I was angry at the world and myself. On the second day I was there, I was combing the town for jobs. Having no transportation of my own, I had to rely upon the bus system. After having spent the whole day filling out applications and submitting resumes, I waited for what seemed like an eternity at the bus stop. When it arrived, I paid my fare, had a seat and the driver turned and inquired as to my destination. When I told him the street name, he informed me I was on the wrong bus. Defeated, and not to mention feeling utterly sorry for myself, I gathered my things and prepared to leave when the bus driver stopped me. He radioed the other driver, who was just one street over, and the second bus made a small detour and came by to pick me up. He also dropped me off at the corner of my sister’s street, instead of two streets up where the designated stop was.
I don’t think those bus drivers were aware, but they were one of the factors in a crucial turning point in my life. I left my abusive boyfriend with his words, “You’ll never make it without me,” and similar nonsense, ringing in my ears. After a day of job searching with slim prospects on the horizon, my already deflated self-confidence sinking to even lower depths, I began debating my abilities and self-worth while waiting at the bus stop. My boyfriend’s cruel words had now become my own.
But with the simple kindness of the two drivers, I realized the world is not so cruel, and I might just be able to make it. That day, a little bit of faith in the world and in myself was restored to me.
Over the next couple of months with the love, kindness and compassion of my sister and brother-in-law, God began healing my wounded heart. They opened their hearts and their home to me, believed in me when I did not, and encouraged me when I faltered. I was able to pick myself up, out of the pit of self-pity and shame, and believe in myself again.
But most of all, my faith in God was restored. I spent my entire relationship wondering about what I had done so wrong to deserve all the pain God was heaping on me. I also began to think that He had deserted me. However, looking back now, I feel so silly for not having realized He was there all along, screaming to be heard. He was there in my dreams at night, in which I had envisioned myself as someone of worth. He was that small, still voice in my head warning me not to do this or that. And he was that “feeling” I had to tell my sister that my relationship wasn’t going well, which prompted her invitation to move with them to Arizona. But I was so out of touch, and so far into the darkness, that I couldn’t recognize that God was moving in my life. And I was too involved in my own self-pity to hear Him.
So to the reader I offer up some advice: When your problems seem overwhelming and you feel all alone, stop looking everywhere else for the answer or for help. Just be still and call on God, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find He is not far. Also, the next time you start steeping yourself like a tea bag in the cup of self-pity, stop. Instead offer God the cup of tea for His throat, which is undoubtedly sore from shouting, “Hello! Is anyone listening?”