In the pain, God provides

Sometimes looking back provides a new perspective. Not always good but even the less than good can be searched to find a good that came from it. Maybe that’s what helps me understand that God is working things together for our good.

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. Romans 8:28 the Voice

I’ve been doing a lot of looking back lately. Allowing myself to feel the hurt I hid and denied in those days of youth. What I’ve seen, is in the midst of the pain, God provided.

Thanksgiving 4306


It was my first Thanksgiving alone. Parents divorced and living in separate states and neither in the state where I was. I was 16 and living in the home of an older woman from church until the semester ended when I’d move to Texas where daddy had moved. She was ….old. Not a warm and fuzzy kind of old but she was gracious as she took me into her home those few months.

It was another woman from church who invited me to have Thanksgiving with their family. Two of her sons grown and married but the daughter and I went to the same high school and her younger brother were still home. All would be gathering in their small dining area for the traditional feast. This was the beginning of them becoming my second family.

Do you have a second family? The ones who know more about you than your hair color?

They’re the ones who see what you don’t and fill in the gaps you hadn’t realized were showing.

They pull you in and around and pull up another chair and they carry on as if you’ve been there all along. There’s laughing and teasing like families do and the food is just like what you’d have if you were home and it feels a lot like your own family and a lot like you belong.

There is a part of me that has felt alone for many years. It’s just recently I’m able to admit that, to recognize the impact it’s had on my life, mostly not positive. I see where I learned early on how to be the outsider. When you’re the new girl every semester in high school you don’t belong. There’s no finding your group when the pattern of leaving has been set and it’s easier to hold back from trying to belong than be hurt by leaving again. Only the leaving did hurt. It hurts still. But God…

But God is gentle and patient as He waits on us. He waits on us to see past ourselves. (and isn’t it the self that obscures our view of Him?)

It can feel like God isn’t there during the mess but once you recognize the pain you can recognize his presence. Like when he sends you a second family.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

2 thoughts on “In the pain, God provides

  1. Gabriele

    You have felt loneliness, too? Sometimes I feel like I practice loneliness to see if I can take it. Silly I know. I really like the words “looking past ourselves.” There is so much to see and maybe to be. Like that second family.


    1. Debby Hudson

      Seems odd to feel lonely around people but I realize more and more I do and it’s my own making. One of the things we caution our men against is isolating, which is sometimes my favorite thing to do. However, it’s important to learn the difference between needing some alone time and isolating. Life is balancing, isn’t it Gabriele? I’m thankful God sends people to help us with that!


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