Saturday, September 6, 2008
Shattered Dreams and the Love of God....
Natalie, June 2008
Many of my readers may also frequent the Young Ladies Christian Fellowship blog and already know about Natalie's story. But for those of you who don't...
Natalie has become a contemporary icon among many Christian girls who have sought to love and honor the Lord and live lives of purity. She's a prolific writer, churning out volumes since her high school days. Her books, Quest for the High Places and "Pearl of Beauty: Becoming Maidens of Purity" have inspired girls everywhere to love the Lord more passionately and to put their lives, futures, and yes, their very hearts into His hands.
As long as I have known Natalie, she has had an unwavering commitment to please her Savior. She has been one of those gentle, tenderhearted, beautiful souls who has always inspired me to love the Lord in the same way she does. She has been the very essence of femininity, delighting in being the woman God created her to be. Natalie's greatest desire beyond loving her Lord has been to be a wife and a mother. She struggled with singleness and wrote about it... and we were all spurred on to love the Lord and rest in Him with the same unwavering trust that Natalie had.
When Prince Charming finally came along and swept Natalie off her feet last year, her friends and family rejoiced with her. Natalie found him to be the man she had always dreamed of (and wondered if he existed) and her dad found him to be the man who he had always prayed for. Such a wonderful, Godly young man...we were all so happy for her. We smiled to ourselves and whispered, "God is good to the soul that waits for Him..."
Natalie was married last October in a beautiful fairy-tale wedding. Her friends wept tears of joy at the beauty of Natalie's life - one who had waited and trusted and had been blessed so richly. I didn't get to be there as I was at my cousin's wedding that day. But I remember sending Natalie a note that expressed what I had felt so deeply in watching her story: "Natalie, your life has been a living example to me of someone who has never wavered in letting God choose HIS best for you..."
Once again, God has chosen his best for Natalie, but not in a way that I would never have imagined.
A few short months after Natalie vowed to love and honor her husband till death, Natalie found herself forced out of her new home and divorced.
Natalie tells her story here:
I still have not come to grips with what has happened to this dear girl who I love and respect so much. There are a thousand "Why's?" I could ask.
"How could he?!" seems to be a recurring thought of mine in recent days.
But in spite of Natalie's life and dreams shattered to pieces while we stare at the wreckage and wonder how this could have happened to her, I find that Natalie is still confident of her trust in the One Who she gave her heart to so long ago.
I don't know what God has in mind for Natalie. I found this post of her's (a couple months after finding herself where she never thought she'd be) to express very well what I cannot even begin to imagine.
When young Joni Earekson jumped off a diving board and broke her neck years ago, no one could see any good in it. But God knew.
When the five young missionaries were murdered in Ecuador in the 1950's, God looked cruel and harsh to the world who looked on. But those five men had yielded their very lives to Christ. They had been willing to die so that others might live. And what God did with the loss of those five lives brought thousands and thousands more to eternity. The seemingly senseless death of young Jim Elliot produced a writer (his young widow, Elisabeth Elliot) with a depth and clarity about the love of God that millions of us are grateful for.
Once again, what I said to Natalie rings true, although in a very different light.
"Natalie, your life has been a living example to me of someone who has never wavered in letting God choose HIS best for you..."
I know that God loves her and as crazy as it may seem, she can still trust Him. Beyond that, not much makes sense at this point.