When God rewrites the text of your life, Part 1

I have recently come across this verse in The Message: ‘God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.’

I don’t know about you, but this seems an apt description of my life – God often seems to rewrite the text and put me back on the right road. It was like that many years ago when I had a broken engagement.

I had prayed for a long time before starting a relationship with this young man – and I know he had prayed for even longer. We were both committed Christians, wanting to follow Jesus and His plan for our lives. When we got together, it all seemed so right and we were very happy. We enjoyed a relationship together for several years and then decided to get married. Wedding plans were underway, my dress was bought, it was an exciting time.

Then things took an unexpected turn. An issue came up which we couldn’t resolve this and we had to separate. The engagement was off. Our hopes and plans were dashed.

I desperately tried to make sense of it all. We had been sure that God had led us together. We were so well suited for each other. What was God doing? What were we doing? Had we got it all wrong?

God’s ways are often difficult for us to discern and the whole subject of guidance has been tackled by better theologians than me. But I remember attending a young people’s conference shortly after my engagement had broken up. I was still feeling pretty raw, grieving the loss of such a close friendship, confused as to what it all meant. One of the speakers at that conference spoke about Jacob running away from his brother Esau (Genesis 28). Jacob’s life was in pieces. His dreams were shattered. Things hadn’t worked out as he had planned and he was having to run for his life, leaving his family home to escape his brother’s wrath. Close relationships had been broken and he was leaving a mess behind him.

On the way from Beersheba to Haran, Jacob camped for the night and he had a dream in which God spoke to him and reassured him that He was right there with him and His promises to him were still true. ‘I’ll stay with you wherever you go and I will bring you back to this very ground. I will stick with you until I’ve done everything I promised you.’ (Gen.28:15). The conference speaker explained it this way: Jacob’s life was in pieces – like a broken vase which had been shattered – but God was in essence saying that if Jacob would bring the broken pieces to Him, He would put them together again – but he had to bring them to Him. I took that image and promise to heart. I brought the broken pieces of my life to the Lord and asked Him to put them together again and make something new, something beautiful, in His time.

And so He did. I learned many lessons through that time of loss, not least that God was with me through it all, healing my broken heart and ‘restoring the years that the locusts had eaten’ (Joel 2:25). God did indeed put the broken pieces of my life together again. And in time, I met a young man who eventually became my husband and life partner – but that’s another story.

God made my life complete 
      when I placed all the pieces before him. 
   When I got my act together, 
      he gave me a fresh start. 
   Now I’m alert to God’s ways; 
      I don’t take God for granted. 
   Every day I review the ways he works; 
      I try not to miss a trick. 
   I feel put back together, 
      and I’m watching my step. 
   God rewrote the text of my life 
      when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes. 

Psalm 18:20-24.

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