41 Chapters

I knew that I would carry my children for approximately 40 weeks, endure the pain of delivery, and give birth.  My growing belly and increased growing pains were evidence of the life growing inside of me.  I knew that I needed to obtain 120 credit hours within my major to graduate.  I could consult my degree audit at any point and time to determine just how close I was to reaching my final goal.  I knew that I would endure challenges through each process, but I had confidence in the process because I knew when they would end.

However, this restoration process that God is taking me through doesn’t have an end date.   There’s no spiritual degree audit.  I can’t say, “Ok…I’ve got 16 more hours in “Servitude” and 3 hours in “Exercising Faith” before I receive my “Woman after Jesus’ Heart” Degree.  This inability to put an end date to my “process” caused me a significant amount of despair.

One day I was led to read the book of Job.  What stood out to me was that Job endured 41 chapters of hardship.  41 LONG DRAINING chapters.  When God finally restored Job in the 42nd chapter it was quick, easy, and effortless.

What became clear is that God can restore us today if He wanted to, but the value lies in the restoration process.  There's value in the loss, the pain, the hardship, and the challenges that we encounter during our "41 Chapters."

I'm within my 41 chapters and while I don’t know the specific date or timeline I know that in chapter 42…I’ll be restored.  Better, stronger, and in His likeness.  We may endure numerous Job experiences during our walk with Christ, but we can trust God to see us to our chapter 42...each and every time.

Today wherever you are in your "41 chapters" choose to believe in Gods willingness, desire, and ability to restore you.  Recognize that there is value in the process and if He takes you to it He will bring you through it.  Choose to have confidence in the process.  Trust God and His redemptive power.  Believe in God for restoration.

Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."