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Seeing God Through Hurt
By Sandra K. Carter
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Sandra K. Carter
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Chapter OneHurting for a Season
Here's to the start of a hurtful situation and seeing God, the year of 1987. God had a plan for my life. Sometimes in life we enter into friendships, relationships, marriages, and many other things not knowing what's in store. People come into our lives for three purposes and that's: 1. reason, 2. season, or 3. a lifetime. This is where I found myself the year of 1987. In my case, it was a reason, God wanted to teach me some valuable things that I would need in life. The season lasted for 13 years; but it was a season I'll never forget.
I think there are some key things I need to share before I unfold my story. When you're dating someone, be sure you can love regardless of the person's character flaws because we all have them. Never allow friends and family to make decisions for you. Sometimes we make them happy and end-up not happy ourselves, or saying God said something he never really said.
The year of 1987, being new to a big city (Atlanta), I meet my dream guy. The man I thought I would spend an eternity with. I fell in love, but I failed to pray and ask God whether this man was for me. I convinced myself that this was God's plan and was determined to make the relationship work at any cost. The problem with all of this was the fact that I was never really clear on "if God said it." At this point, I begin to think if this is for a lifetime, and for me, it must work; but unfortunately the other person plans were not the same, maybe just a one night thing. It all boiled down to a 13-1/2 year relationship ending. At this point I was very hurt. A hurt that goes beyond your imagination, during the same time, I had just lost my job. I have a little saying and it goes like this, "that's life!" Things happen so often in life that we are not ready for and when you least expect it.
As I look back at October or September of 1987, I met my guy standing in front of church just after service dismissed. Standing out talking as usual with friends, he approached me and started a conversation. I knew him already because our home churches fellowshipped sometimes. We continued our conversation and before we left, he asked for my telephone number. Without hesitation, I gave it to him. One month went by, no phone call; two months was quickly approaching and low and behold, one Monday in November of 1987, he called before I got home from work. When I arrived home my sister, Ann, said someone called and ask if I would give you a message to call him when you got home, I was surprised to find out that it was him, you know the guy I met at church, he finally called. Ann was sitting with this slight grin on her face and said he called you, wow! I quickly put my purse down and called him back at the number he left and to my surprise he answered. We talked for a while. He was still at work and he asked if I could come get him to show him where I lived, I remember it being one of Atlanta's coldest years as I made my way to his job. Once I picked him up, I stopped to get something to eat for my son Craig, niece Leticia, and myself, I ask if he would like anything, but he said no. We went to my place and talked for hours. Needless to say, this was the start of a new chapter in my life.
We talked and talked to find out some things about each other. At the time, I did not have anyone that I was dating. I had gone out with a guy, but nothing serious. On the other hand, he was seeing someone. I asked him why did he want my number if he was seeing someone?, I even asked if he was in love, He said no, if he was in love, he wouldn't have ask for my number nor would he be with me at this moment. We began to see more and more of each other. We were calling each other, going out to dinner, to the movies, meeting at his place or mine. I found myself looking forward for the next opportunity to spend time with him.
It wasn't long before it started to rain on my little parade so to speak. The girlfriend came to town (they had not been dating even a year); but this was okay, I guess. While she was visiting, he would still call me. As soon as she left, he wanted to see me. This went on and on for about two years. The crazy thing about all of this is that she knew about me also; but we were both willing to share this man. I finally decided that it wasn't okay anymore and something had to change. I was getting frustrated with this triangle relationship. He kept telling me that he wasn't in love with her; but nevertheless she kept showing up every three to four months, I often wondered if he was saying the same thing about me to her. I began to say to him you're going to have to make a decision. It's going to be her or me. He said I'm going to make a decision.
It was 1989 and we were approaching three years that we had been dating, going out, whatever you want to call it. Now he's ready to make a decision, he tells me, San, when I come back from Los Vegas, she will be here with some other people and I'm going to let her know that I can no longer see her. I'll tell her that you and I are going to stay together. So we are in the year of 1990, show down time! On Saturday night August 18, 1990, we were having a Gospel Concert at my church featuring Yolanda Adams. My brother was in town visiting my sisters and me. Rita and I had talked him and Ann into going with us to the concert. After service that night I decided to speak to her and ask for myself if she knew that we were seeing the same guy. I thought my approach was pleasant, but apparently she didn't. Needless to say the conversation between us didn't go as planned. I decided to inquire with my "boyfriend" before I left as to what was going on? He said he was going to tell her his decision was to be with me. As I made my way upstairs to the TV room where he was working to talk with him before I left. Keep in mind he and I have already discussed that he was not going to see her anymore; but things weren't going right. This was supposed to be the weekend for him to let her know it was over. While we were having this conversation, she came into the room and asks for his car keys, why? He gave her the keys, as if I wasn't even standing there. I couldn't believe after all he had said up to this point that he was acting like we had never had a conversation. Needless to say, I just lost it, all the pain, the embarrassment, the humiliation, my old nature took over. The loud voices from the room caused the assistant pastor and another minister that was meeting close by to come in and breakup the altercation. I left the room while the assistant pastor stayed and talked with him, I was still outraged and proceeded down stairs and ask his other friend if I could talk to her out side. As we went outside, I ask if she knew that he was dating me. Ann saw us talking and could tell that I was upset. My family knew about the triangle relationship I was in and constantly encouraged me to walk away, but I was in love. Ann thought I was confronting the girl involved with my man, so she immediately came and pulled me away. I assured her that I was not going to fight and most definitely not over a man, when all the time that was just what I was going to do. As Ann and I were walking away, the girl approached me and said, "what were you saying before we were so rudely interrupted?" I was already very upset, so when she ask her question, I just lost it again and slapped her so hard that she fell back. My brother, Danny, came quickly and grabbed me and some of her friends grabbed her. Danny and Rita started escorting me to the car and the more Danny saw how hurt I was he became upset about the situation and decided to confront the guy. I couldn't allow this to happen, so Rita and I tried to stop him. At this time, word had gotten to my friend what was taking place in the parking lot and he came out to try to end the altercation. Danny approached him to say he owes me an explanation or apology. He agreed and we walked off to talk and he says to me, "you just made me make my decision and it's over between us. I'm staying with her." I was so upset and hurt at this point that his words felt like the final breath being taken from me. To top it off, I had to ride home with Rita and Danny lecturing me all the way.
Once we arrived home, Rita said, "San let's pray!" She began to pray while I cried. I didn't know this at the time, but later Rita told me that he called to see if I was okay. Sunday morning Rita asked if I was going to church. Rita has always embraced me in prayer when I've been faced with a difficult task until she felt I could hold my own again. I laughed and said no because I was ashamed of what I had done. You can't think I'm going to show my face! She went to church and returned after service to say that different ones had asked about me checking to see if I was okay. Then she said the Minister wants to talk with you before service this afternoon, I told her that I wasn't going up there, but Rita can be pretty persistent. I decided to meet with the Minister as he requested. When I entered his office, I begin to apologize for my actions, but he said there's no need. He had an idea that this would eventually happen, but had hoped we would have worked things out before it got to this point. I started to share with the Minister how ashamed I was because I had disrespected the house of God. I felt so bad and so hurt. After we finished talking, I left because I was still too ashamed to face anyone, especially the guy who had crushed my heart.
Monday came and I still had not talked to my man since Saturday. My mother had gotten the word by this time and called to talk with me and encourage me. My mother knew that this guy was the love of my life, but she asked me just to confirm her intuition, I replied yes and started to cry all over again. On Tuesday, I still didn't want to show my face at church, so I didn't attend Bible Study. Well, guess who called to see why I wasn't at church? Yes, that's right, he called from church. I explained that I could not come back yet, but maybe Sunday. He said we need to talk and try to reconcile our relationship. I agreed for him to come over to pick me up. He was working on a speech for our Pastor for Sunday morning service. He let me hear the speech and it was awesome. I decided it was time to face the people and return to church services because I truly needed to be restored. I think my real reason for going back was to support him even though I was still hurting emotionally. While giving the speech during Sunday service, he began to cry and the entire church shared his tears. As he left the pulpit to enter the restroom, I meet him to give him a hug and let him know how wonderful he was and what an excellent speech he had written about Pastor. Once again we decided to reconcile our relationship and this time it would be him and me. He was going to let his ex-girlfriend know that it was over between them and he was going to be with me. This was the beginning of a battle that would be my biggest challenge.
How could I trust him to keep his word? Although I was still hurting, I couldn't deny the fact that I loved him. Now that I look back, I think she must have loved him just as much.
We continued to see each other for a while but the trust issues was not going anywhere. One day I decided I had to make some decisions either to stay or go; Lord knows I loved that man and never thought we would not be together. I begin to pray and ask God if this is not for me move him from my heart? Not only move him there was roots that had grown so deep that God had to take this from my very soul! The more I prayed I could feel myself being freed from my love, one day he asked did I not care anymore, And I replied, it's not that I don't care, I just don't worry about what I cannot change, but I've turned this relationship over to God and whatever His will is to let it be done.
We can never override the will of God, but I'm thankful that God's plans for my life will happen in His timing not mine. When you don't know the answer nor the will of God for your life regarding relationship or marriage God has the answer if we seek Him for an answer, but it may be that you were not created to be a wife or he may not be created to be a husband, every woman is not a wife and every man is not a husband. Lets see what chapter 2 continue to say about the relationship.
Chapter TwoPraying Through
By October of 1990, I begin getting very sad and depressed. I felt the hurt I did when we broke-up. I never really shared my feelings with anyone. I started praying for God to help me and guide me. I tried to become more focused. Our relationship seemed to be back on track and even stronger. We were both happy, at least I thought, and in love with each other. I became ill, I guess from all the stress and frustration. In August of 1991, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. He was right there with me. After my surgery, my mother came to take care of me and he was there encouraging me. I thought to myself, our relationship is great. I recovered from the surgery and felt great. I don't know if I felt better because God had healed me of the cancer or that my friend was there with me. I felt I had endured the hurtful time. I was yet holding fast to God. My prayer life became stronger and in everything that had happened up to this point, I could always see God through my hurt. As the year of 1992 approached, I remember this seemed to be a pretty fair year. We had planned that in July of 1993, we would take a week long vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The time together was wonderful. We took a dinner cruise and just enjoyed spending time together. Just so, you know, this ended up being a 13-1/2 year relationship of ups and downs. We had some wonderful times together, but there were bad times as well. There were times of hurt, but I managed to see God working through all the hurt and all the good and bad. I learned that you are to pray even when things are going good; not just when bad times come. I think my praying during good times helped me deal with things a little better. I thought of taking an overdose just so I would not have to go through the hurt. I know it was wrong and I thought of my son. Who would take care of my child? I tried to tell myself that I had so much to live for because God was the head of my life. He would not put more on me than I could bear. I felt like saying at times, okay God I can't take anymore, but God knew I was strong and when times and things got to difficult I would drop to my knees and pray.
I was going on enjoying life with my guy and 1993 we were having a great year. We continued to have a roller coaster relationship, ups and downs. A few more years passed and one day there were no ups or downs, it was finally over. You can't fight a spiritual battle with your fist. The devil thought he had me between a rock and a hard place, but God was still being glorified. My son, Craig, graduated high school in June of 2002. He started college during the winter of 2002. This child God gave to me and I gave him right back to God, I was finally moving forward in a positive way. When I think back, I see that Craig's actions during that time was depicting how my life was unfolding.
I constantly reminded myself that no weapon formed against him would prosper. In life, we all experience many different hurts and disappointments and sometimes its just God's way of seeing if we will still trust Him. God wants to see if when we go to church, will we still give Him the praise or sit and have a pity party. We cannot determine the test that come from God, or how he'll test us. I did not know I would have to encounter some of the things I did; but it was God's way of testing me to see how I handled myself when going through the fire, I'll be the first to admit, I did not handle all of them so well, but I learned when being tested if you fail the test you have to repeat it. When you mature in God, you'll know, because when the test comes around again you will be able to handle it in a better way. Growth is painful sometimes, but it's necessary.
In case you feel you're the only one going through situations, just know you're not, We all go through our own little personal issues and we all handle them in a different manner, but be sure no matter what you go through, always see God in the mist of it all. It is God who will sustain you through everything. Just know the trying of your faith worketh patience.
In I Peter 4:12-13 (KJV) it states, "beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you," and the 13th verse says, "but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ sufferings, that when his glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."
Excerpted from Seeing God Through Hurt by Sandra K. Carter Copyright © 2010 by Sandra K. Carter. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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