Today's post was written by Brook Hills member, Gwen Cooke.

As a child raised in a Christian home, I accepted Christ into my life at an early age. And growing up, I was nurtured spiritually by my mother, grandmother, and aunt. So by the age of 11, I was baptized in my church. I believed Romans 10:9 & 10 “That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

But my childhood understanding of what Christ had done for me was limited. Once I left home and went to college, I married and 2 ½ years later divorced. I was consumed with questions about my faith and my relationship with Jesus. I hungered for Jesus to become my whole life, and I began to live in a way I believed pleased Him. I began to pray with the psalmist in Psalms 62: 5-8, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God. He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to Him”

Over the next several years, God led me through many difficult circumstances and faithfully taught me about His grace, mercy, and love. But there was still a longing for a deep relationship with someone who would love me unconditionally. By the time I married and divorced a second time, I realized no human could give me what I looking for. I began to pray Psalm 86:11 “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.”

It was during my third marriage, as I was praying for my husband’s salvation that the Lord began to show me that it didn’t matter what my circumstances were; good or bad, Jesus was my everything, my provider for my every need. My husband became a Christian, but it wasn’t long afterwards the Lord took him home to be with Him.

My heart was ripped in two. I poured over God’s Word. I read and believed the promises that God is the husband to the widow and father to the fatherless. The loneliness and pain I felt was only satisfied by the presence of Jesus. I began to understanding how deeply God wanted me to give Him everything. I needed His unconditional love and faithfulness. This hunger could never be satisfied by human love but rather by God’s love. It is only through the depth of my relationship with Christ that I became fully satisfied and gained my true identity in Jesus.