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A Labour of Love – No Pain No Gain

By Shirley Sargeant

My restoration story began quite a few years ago with a marriage that collapsed. I had floated along in it, never thinking anything was wrong. I discovered how bad things were when my husband made it clear that, in his words, he was doing his own thing. Divorce followed. Our relationship could not be repaired.

For the next twelve months, I cried myself to sleep each night, asking God what I should have done differently. In my misery and brokenness, I called out desperate, tear-soaked prayers to God. And then, each morning, I would try again to be strong and loving for my three children. I certainly could not do that in my own strength. But even since I was a young child, I knew without doubt that God truly loved me.

Over that year, I grew into a real person – I think I was only half a person until then. I had gone from being dependent upon my parents to being dependent on my husband. I did not even know how to change a light bulb!

Over that year, God led me into full-time employment, so I was able to be responsible for the house payments and meet all the expenses involved in looking after three schoolchildren. A good friend from Church became their “second mother” after school each day. We had become God’s restoration project!

One year on, and I could hardly believe how much we had achieved in partnership with our faithful God. Through all the hardship and sadness, God had shown us the way to live, trusting in him for all our needs. Slowly, joy had returned to my life. How wonderfully God had guided, cared for, and loved us and set our feet on the path of healing and restoration.

Truly, as our reading from Psalm 19 says, The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together… The life maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.

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