Encouragement for Today - Feb. 4, 2008
February 4, 2008
The New June Cleaver
Lynn Campbell Tolbert
She Speaks Graduate
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”
I had always considered myself a modern day version of June Cleaver. Although I never wore an apron or had the perfect hairdo (I actually preferred my blue jeans and flip flops), it was the heart of June that I loved. She loved her family. She honored her husband. She mothered her children. She managed her household. Though her perfect life was a little unrealistic, she did inspire me.
I certainly don’t claim that I was the perfect wife, but never did I think that after twenty years of marriage, most of which I spent as a pastor’s wife, I would one day find myself divorced. Now I’m starting over while raising two teenagers. Well, there goes my June Cleaver dream!
What do you do, though, when the June Cleaver dream still lives deep within you, but your circumstances have dramatically changed? I remember sitting in church, opening the bulletin, and wondering where on earth I belonged in the activities. I thought the Lord’s plans for my life were to support my husband in ministry and for us to raise godly children. There was nothing screaming out in the bulletin: Divorced? We want you! I truly felt like that absence of acknowledgment of the growing divorced population meant we just don’t know what to do with you and don’t have a place for you. It was an incredibly lonely place to be.
I clung to today’s key verse from Jeremiah. I reminded myself of God’s promises: that the days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16) and that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). As I remembered God’s truth, I wondered how could I ever doubt that even in the midst of the most horrific pain in my life, He still has plans for ME … plans to prosper ME and not to harm ME, plans to give ME a hope and a future. This is a promise from my perfect Husband- God! He has been diligently planning our future together.
Are you in this place I’ve described? Are you wounded and hurting? Do you ask yourself and God, How could this have happened? Are you wondering, What now?
Grab onto to God’s promise and don’t let go. You are chosen by God. He is calling you into an intimate relationship with Him…the Perfect Husband! We may never know why such painful ordeals take root in our lives. However, we can be sure that it is possible for us to rest peacefully knowing that He does have great plans for our lives.
As people inquire about my future plans, I get so excited! I tell them that I am living proof that God’s Word is true! The work that He has done within me is amazing. He has transformed me! I still do many of the same things I did before. I still make chocolate chip cookies for my kids and their friends when they come over. There is still a little June Cleaver in me. God, however, has given me a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, a new purpose and a new life. I wouldn’t wish what I have gone through on anyone. But because of the change in me and new purpose in my life, I am incredibly grateful for what God has done in me and hopefully will do through me.
God has a divine purpose for everything He allows into our lives!
Dear Lord, in the midst of our pain, help us find You. For those of us who are walking this difficult path grant us peace, joy and strength. Help us to find who we are in Christ. Help us to know You as our Perfect Husband. And as You comfort us, help us to comfort others with what we have received from You. In Jesus' Name, Amen
Blended Families by Maxine Marsolini
God’s Purpose for Every Woman, written by various P31 Speakers with
General Editors Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen
Read His Word daily. But, don’t just read it, meditate on it, memorize it, claim it and apply it to your daily life. Strive for obedience in the little things and the most difficult commands.
In your pain, will you seek God, strive for obedience and all that pleases Him?
Isaiah 54:5-6, “For you Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is His name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit – a wife who married young, only to be rejected,’ says your God.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105