There were times I would feel so unsure about my life, and I would often question God. I would ask God time and time again “why me?” Why were all of these things happening in my life?
It seemed like every time I turned around something bad kept happening.
I often remember thinking to myself, all I wanted was to have the typical life: the American dream. Get married, have children, a beautiful home, a nice car, and a decent job.
I really felt like I wasn’t asking for too much.
It seemed like I started out going in that direction and then suddenly there was a change in plans.
I remember asking God to use me to be a blessing to His people and His Kingdom.
I didn’t realize what was going to transpire in my life, in order for God to do what I had asked Him to do.
I’ve always had a heart for families and marriages. I never liked hearing about divorce and families being broken up. I told God how tired I was of seeing the devil destroy marriages and families.
With that being said the devil launched a serious attack on my marriage and my family.
I experienced so much pain and hurt in my marriage. I’ve had to deal with infidelity, trust being broken, having un-forgiveness, and communication being totally shut down.
I’ve also experienced several deaths back to back.
One of the hardest deaths I’ve had to overcome was the death of the man who was my spiritual leader, my mentor, my confidant, and my uncle, we shared a bond like no other.
For the first time in my life I felt my heart truly break. I just couldn’t seem to recover. It took me a long time to bounce back spiritually because I leaned and depended on him so much spiritually.
I tried so hard to work on my marriage, fix my husband, and recover from a devastating loss all at the same time. It seemed like the more I tried, the more I failed at it. I felt like all the fight had just been completely drained out of me.
Notice I said “I”, I had to finally come to the realization that it was going to take God to change the situation not me.
I also had to come to the painful reality that I went about everything completely wrong.
I did not do any of it the right way which is God’s way.
I remember being filled with so much hurt, pain, anger, regret, guilt, and shame. I felt like such a failure in life because my American Dream had turned into what seemed to me a nightmare, I felt so helpless and defeated. I remember my grandmother telling me “you’re not going through all of this for you, you’re going through all of this to help someone else.”
Then she gave me the scripture Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
I remember asking my grandmother and God, “How could anything good come out of all of this? How am I going to be able to help someone?”
In the midst of all that was going on I can remember hearing a small still voice saying “I’ve called you to greatness”. I was so confused, (because again looking at my circumstances) I just couldn’t see how that would be possible. I’m so grateful to God for His love, His grace, His mercy, and His strength. I had no idea of what God was about to do in my life!
The first change that began to happen in my life was my relationship with God, it got personal. Through the death of my uncle I began to realize I had completely relied on his relationship with God and did not have one of my own. The same relationship I had with my uncle, was the type of relationship that I needed to have with God for myself.
So I started to learn about God and His ways for myself. I also found out my true identity in God and I began to get a deeper revelation about God’s word and His promises.
Then I came to the realization that my circumstances did not determine my destiny, they just played a role in me moving towards my destiny in which I’ll get into later.
I also realized, that had it not been for everything that I was going through I wouldn’t know God like I know Him now, which is definitely a beauty!
After the shift in my relationship with God, I was truly a changed woman. I was so broken, but God stepped in and started putting my broken pieces back together again. I no longer felt weak and defeated, I began to feel whole and complete. This time God was responsible for it, not my husband or my uncle.
Now I realized my uncle’s death or my husband’s actions could not change or alter who I am in God, and that it is God who keeps me together in times of tragedy or adversity.
Now I was able to deal with trials and tribulations in much better way than I had before.
Next, God started dealing with me about love, His unconditional love! This is what caused me to really want to forgive my husband. You see everything that was being done to me in the natural was exactly what I was doing to God in the spiritual realm. This painful realization had given me a completely different outlook on my relationship with God, my husband, and my children.
There Was Beauty Birthed Out Of My Pain.
One day I was sitting in my Bishop’s office sharing with him what I had spoke on at a women’s conference I had attended the week before. Bishop Miles said “Sister Lee people need to hear this, will you teach Marriage N More on Friday?” I said “sure Bishop!” I taught it about two more times after that when Bishop Miles came to me and said “Sister Lee I’ve prayed about it and God told me to place you over the Marriage N More Ministry.” All I could say was “wow” I went home that night and I prayed about it and that’s when God brought it all back to me.
It was that night everything that I had gone through, my grandmother’s words, the scripture Roman’s 8:28, and the still small voice calling me to greatness all came flooding back to my mind. I began to just cry and thank God.
I didn’t understand it then, but now it had become crystal clear. I had finally gotten the answer to my “why”. I had finally realized why my “American Dream” had gotten interrupted, because it did not line up with God’s plan for my life.
It was clear that God had a greater plan and purpose for my life, than my “American Dream.”
I then realized when God calls you to greatness there’s a lot that comes with the call.
That’s when God gave me a scripture Isaiah 61:3, To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.
It’s the pain of those trials and tribulations that fuels my passion for the Marriage N More ministry.
I’m so humbled that God has given me the awesome privilege of being a vessel for Him to use to equip His people with the tools they need to build healthy successful relationships with Him, spouses, children, co-workers, extended family, and friends.
~ Audrey Lee
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