Shortly after I broke off my first engagement and was nursing a broken heart, I moved to a new city, took a new job, and had no friends.
I was Christian enough to find a good Bible teaching church, but lived forty minutes away from that church. It was a dark time in my life for a while. I felt alone and broken.
It didn’t take long for me to understand that God loves the brokenhearted. In the darkness of my apartment God met me in ways I didn’t see coming. In Hosea 2:14 God says this:
“I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”
I was thrown into a wilderness but the Lord found me. I was in the valley of trouble, and I was given hope. Brokenness is the best place to be if you’re looking to thrive. I was broken, but was well on my way toward the life that thrives.
Now all I had to do was figure out how to fit into my local church. Sunday after Sunday I showed up to church, sat on the third row, and left without as much as talking to anyone. My faith was growing as I fed on God’s Word. My love for the Lord was burning, but I couldn’t understand His people. Not only did I not connect with the church at large, but I didn’t connect with the singles group either.
So I floundered for a few months. I questioned the Lord. I felt pretty sorry for myself. I thought of changing churches. I spent a lot of time scoping out churches on the web. I joined eHarmony for the first time.
And still I felt alone and isolated in a church designed for couples.
One day, as I sat in my room and prayed, a funny thought crossed my mind. What if instead of waiting for others to talk to me at church, I took the initiative and talked to them? What if instead of being ministered to and led, I took it upon myself to minister to others?
I certainly knew the Lord well enough to serve in His church, and I was slowly but surely learning to trust His unwavering character. What did I have to lose?
The next Sunday I did it. I actually talked to the person to my right. I participated in the Sunday School class. A few weeks later I shared my testimony in a Bible study. Next thing I knew, I was being asked to teach a tiny (five people) women’s Bible study.
Me? Teach a Bible Study? I was the least likely person qualified to do it. Yet God often reminds me that His plans are way different than mine, but they’re always for my best!
Excerpted from Lina's new book, Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended, coming May 1.