• Beth Nickodemus

Googling Hope: My Story

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

The heartbreak started with a statistic I happened to come across one day. I can't recollect how I happened upon it, but I vividly remember crying after I read it. The stat was candidly reporting the number of drug overdoses in the US in 2017 - a staggering 70,200 individuals. All I could think about was each and every one of these precious individuals, God's children, a piece of His heart, left this earth alone and isolated. The tears flowed for hours. My heart broke.

I found it odd that one little statistic could cut me so fiercely. Until it hit me a few days later, I've known loneliness and isolation. It brought me back to the night I googled "hope."

My past is tainted and the list is long. There was wounding from others early in life, deep wounds. There were feelings of abandonment and unworthiness. Lonely nights. Self-induced pressure. A hunger for control surfaced and I began an unrealistic quest for perfection. An eating disorder developed my senior year of high school, hidden behind my 4.0 GPA and college bound drive. But, my soul was starving as much as my body.

Fast forward a decade and a half. God healed me of the eating disorder, I was married, a mom, fresh off of the mission field. I knew exactly the mom I wanted to be and the awesome family life I wanted to provide for my two boys. I was determined to do all the right things, to work harder, read more books, provide a happy childhood for my boys, and raise them to be strong men of God. But, there were wounds not healed, and let me tell you, when wounds don't heal they fester.

I remember when I knew something was wrong. That our normal was going to be different now. And, I had to process it. One of our kiddos was going to experience this world differently and he wasn't going to grow out of it. I couldn't control it. I couldn't change it. So, I went into the darkness of our spare bedroom, fell on the floor and cried. There were many moments like this. Grieving. There were other moments of anger, how could God allow this? Insomnia and anxiety frequented my world. Then there were those nasty wounds. The ones I had buried long ago. The emotions were so overwhelming one night that I set down and Googled hope for moms like me. And guess what? I couldn't find anything. No words could sooth the hopelessness that was seeping in. But, I knew someone who could. I've walked with Him my whole life. Cried with him. Strayed from Him. Hurled words of anger His way. And, no matter how ugly I've gotten, He never has stopped loving me, pursing me, and holding me when I've let Him.

I've learned the journey is never easy. Right now, this very moment in time, I'm still learning how to trust God and follow. And, my life is still messy and chaotic. But, God has worked miracles in my heart. He's healed my wounds through showing me how to forgive. He's asked me to step out with my husband to plant a church. From my own brokenness, He's stirred a tender passion for walking with women through pain and loneliness. I've found what breaks my heart. And, I've found immense joy and hope!

In my darkest moment, when the pain was overwhelming, I learned to run, no sprint, to Jesus. The situation didn't change. But, over time, I learned that nothing could separate me from my Savior and His love...nothing!

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