He Is Where My Joy Is

July 8, 2024

{Pictured is Iumele with her husband Ken}

Going through trials is never easy, and when you are in the midst of the storm, you can’t always see all the wonderful things the Lord is doing in your life. This is my story of how the Lord brought me back to him and how God keeps his promises.

I grew up in a home with loving parents and a Christian mother. I’ve learned about Christ from a young age, going to church every Sunday and doing daily devotionals with my mom or at my grandpa’s as a young child. I loved the devotional time so much that one of my aunts, in a conversation with my mom last year, was recalling how I would get my grandpa’s Bible, which she said was as big as me, and say that it was time for our devotional. I also remember talking about Jesus with friends and that Jesus was the true reason for Christmas and not the presents or Santa, but my love for Christ faded away in my teens and early adulthood. 

I became a lukewarm Christian, and being a Christian meant going to church every Sunday and praying to God for the things I needed or wanted. I lived my life my own way and according to my own plans. I was a person that liked to plan everything on my own and have control of my own life. I thought that my life was good, although I was struggling with fertility and two failed IVFs. 

Most of my life was going as planned—I had a good job and a loving husband—but that all changed in the summer of 2020, when my ex-husband left me, and my world came crashing down. I felt that God was far away, as he had not answered my prayers for a child, and now my ex-husband was leaving me. I felt that I couldn’t live without my ex-husband: he was my world and the only family I had in the U.S. At the time, I didn’t realize that my ex-husband was my idol and how much I had made him my identity and my priority in everything in my life, but in the middle of my divorce and living alone for the first time in my life, which was terrifying, God in his mercy and everlasting love opened my eyes. He showed me he was all I needed, that he would fight for me (Exodus 14:14), and that I didn’t need to be a slave of fear (Romans 8:15). God helped me in so many ways through my divorce, financial struggles, issues with my house, depression, and fears. I now could see all the little and big things he was doing in my life.

Moving forward to 2022, after I had learned to be content and thankful for what I had and to not focus on the things I didn’t have, like a spouse or children, the Lord put my now-husband Ken in my life, and we got married in October of 2023. Although I have a wonderful Christian husband, my husband is no longer my first love, as Jesus is the only one that can give me true and unconditional love, and he is where my joy is. Going through the storm showed me that God will never leave me or forsake me, and as Psalm 94:19 says, “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” I no longer worry about the future and taking control of my own life, and today I can say my identity is in Christ.

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