My wife, Tara, reminded me earlier this year that I was turning 50 this month. Fifty! How did that happen? I have to tell you, I hadn’t been keeping track of that, and it made me feel a little uneasy.
Growing up in foster care and abusive homes, I never expected to reach 50. I didn’t think much about my future. I was just trying to survive each day. (Hear my full story here.)
As a young man, I felt disqualified in just about every aspect of my life. I had no understanding of my worth or why God would even bother with me. I was sure that the world would be better off without me.
I am grateful for people at that time in my life who said, God’s not done with you yet, Joe. You have a purpose. They saw past my brokenness to see someone God loved. It wasn’t until I understood His love and the immensity of Jesus’ sacrifice for me that everything changed. I saw true hope, and I began to believe that God did indeed have a future for me, if I could surrender it all to Him.
In the years that followed, little by little, God began to bless me in ways I didn’t deserve. I met my beautiful wife, Tara, I was able to build a career in radio, we had four incredible children, and I began to experience real healing. I’m blown away at all He has given me. He truly has restored the years that the locusts have eaten.
I feel so undeserving of the grace and goodness that the Lord has poured upon me.
And I feel so burdened for those of you who may still be in those dark places. I know how hard it is and how lonely it can be.
I’m still not sure how I feel about turning 50. Maybe you feel the same way about birthdays. Part of me is shocked that I am even here today, living a life I never thought possible. Part of me is sad because the older I get, the more I understand how much of my childhood was ripped away from me. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile.
Joe Buchanan, WCIC station manager.
Maybe like me, it can be hard to look at your life and see God’s goodness and grace.
If you have experienced any kind of trauma, it’s easy to focus on what was lost and lose sight of what God is doing. In spite of the hardships I went through, I am convinced that every one of my 50 years has been marked by God’s amazing grace. In every painful and dark moment, I was never forgotten.
I believe the same is true for you, my friend. No matter how many times you have been around the sun, your story is not over. You have never been out of His hand, and He loves you more than you’ll ever know. You can trust Him with your life today.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8
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