Last updated on September 27, 2023
So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
“I took away her dreams,” my ex-husband told the judge. His words stung. My dreams of bearing children, finishing my college degree, and pursuing my goal of becoming a writer seemed impossible. At thirty, I had hit rock bottom, starting over in a dead-end job I hated. Tears welled up as I wept.
Decades later, I thank God He did not save my marriage. As an abuse survivor, I learned to be kind to myself. Prayer and reading God’s Word helped me to heal. I discovered freedom through travel. I found new ways to obtain my college degree and studied internationally. I eventually earned my Master of Arts in Creative Writing.
I learned to keep a short memory. I overcame bitterness by developing a positive attitude, remembering Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
I discovered beauty because I chose to look for it. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
I learned to love better. “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19), and adopted two beautiful daughters from Nepal and Vietnam.
I homeschooled them and learned patience. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil” (I Corinthians 13:4-5).
I chose to forgive. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
I was most surprised to learn that locusts can only eat so much. Then they die.
Learning to be thankful for the little things prepared me for God’s generosity in the big things. “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
Nothing is ever wasted, especially suffering. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory..” (II Corinthians 4:17).
With God’s help, we can share our victories despite our pain. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
God redeems. “… in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
With the wind at my back and the sand beneath my feet, I no longer lament the years the locusts stole from me. They aren’t worth remembering. Only my footprints remain to show where I’ve been and where I’m going. Hopefully, my walk will encourage others to know they aren’t alone. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” (Hebrews 10:24).
Prayer: Loving Father, help us to follow Your footprints in the sand as we leave our own, forgetting the past and looking forward to the Kingdom of Heaven.