My first impression of Julie Dibble is that she sparkles with the Light of Christ! I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person, but her online personna makes my heart smile. I can’t wait to share her testimony with you. Julie speaks candidly of her frustration with her husband’s extended complications from surgery and why God wasn’t handling things the way she thought He should be. She even admits to wanting to be in control. Now, I know you’ve never felt that way, right? Yeah, right. I think we all have felt that way at one time or another. But our God is longsuffering, merciful, and good to His children. Please welcome Julie to Faith Notes.
Describe a time when you felt abandoned by God, thinking He had failed you.
I would not say God ever failed me. My journey includes me drifting away from Him. Last Fall when my husband had surgery, healing as expected for his pectoral muscle tear did not go well. Both of us have been blessed with good health all our lives. I have had a few more difficulties than Jason, but both were resolved.
With God and good health history, we both expected Jason would begin healing as soon as surgery was over. Of course, we expected he would be off active duty from his police job for about six months. Still, we were chomping at the bit waiting for his body to repair.
We were in the emergency room three times within the first few weeks after surgery. Jason had all kinds of complications. It was scary, but I felt God’s presence and His sovereignty the first trip.
Jason had a blood clot in his arm, and God made sure all that we needed was there: childcare for the kids, a way to get the sitter the key, prayer warriors on and off scene, and a wife who remained calm even when she had to inject her husband’s stomach with a needle to administer the medicine. All was good with our souls.
Or so we thought.
More trouble ensued when Jason was allergic to the medicine. After the second trip to the emergency room, I was beginning to unravel: between childcare, homework, sports, grocery, doctor appointments and adrenaline rush after rush.
All the while, I had planned to write the book God gave me when the boys went back to school. The more Jason didn’t heal, the less I could even imagine writing.
During this time, how was your faith-walk impacted? Did you turn your back on God for a while, or cling desperately to what you know to be true?
I became overwrought thinking I had missed my calling. God first called me to speak, then directed me to write in December 2015. He gave me a very specific book direction, and I was going nowhere fast. I cried, asking Him if He still wanted me to do the things He called me to do, the purpose I had come to walk confidently in.
Good things, said the still small voice in response to my tears. I felt affirmed, loved and forgiven for my selfish worries. Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
Upon the third emergency trip, I was mad.
How could this happen? Why isn’t the medicine working for Jason’s body? Why is his healing process being sidetracked by all these other things?
I slipped into old behavior, where I wanted to control my surroundings as life seemed to be spiraling down into an abyss. I had to apologize to my husband more times than I care to count.
At some point in my anger, I knew I needed time with Jesus. I knew deep down in my soul that Why was an old question from when I did not know God. I knew trusting God meant I would not ever know His plans.
Thankfully, at this point, my husband had more mobility with his arm, which allowed me to spend more time in prayer and study. I will admit I was half scared to approach God’s throne after my bout with wanting control. I wasn’t sure what to expect, just trusted Him to be there.
Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.”
What happened to resolve your faith crisis? How did God reveal Himself to you during this time?
The resolution of my faith crisis was just as amazing as He always is. As I sought Him in prayer time, on my walks, and with my husband in prayer, Spirit nudged me to surrender more than I ever had before.
In His presence, just the word surrender formed in my mind. I felt such renewal and faith in Him and in the process of surrender. It’s a mind-shift. As we let go of the things we can’t control anyway, we grow ever so closer to our God.
I was in awe at Our Gracious God who took more time and practiced more patience to teach me to be a better wife to Jason and a more Godly daughter. I literally changed the wording in my prayers. Instead of, God please heal Jason’s body, my plea became, “Lord, I place Jason’s body and the medical staff in your hands. Lord, we trust Your will and Your way with today’s appointment.”
Control and perfectionism are past behaviors that came screaming back under this stress. No thank you, Satan. The closer I grew back to my Jesus, the less worried, anxious and angry I was. His strong light of love and grace melted any foothold Satan formed during this time. (Romans 8:35)
What scripture became a sure place for you?
I settled on these truths to guide my daily steps during this caregiving season:
Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted in the earth.”
And Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
With both verses, I learned how surrender can take place all day every day, sometimes! We have to literally hand over each selfish thought to Him.
As I limped through my bout with sin, I dove into the New Testament. With all that I am, I want to follow Jesus. (Matthew 16: 24-25).
Did praise play a part of your faith restoration? What about thankfulness? Is praise a big part of your faith-walk now?
I praise Jesus out loud at home and in public and certainly when I speak to groups. If we were in the doctor’s office, if we were at our dinner table, while sitting in my car with the windows down singing a praise song — yes, praise was key to restoration.
I praise Him because we are His creation, because He teaches, because He knows, because He is mighty and can do absolutely anything.
I try not to let a day go by without praise. Being thankful has changed my world, too. Just as I open my eyes each morning, right off my heart, I tell Him thank you. I consider each day as a gift at the start and try to keep praying and looking up throughout the day to stay in that place.
How do you find God’s peace when you are troubled?
Prayer in solitude where I can focus on Him. In our house with school-age kids, I usually get up at 4am to have the silence. Or I go for a walk, I head out the door, and seek His beauty. Nature affirms His loving careful plans for us.
What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of the Lord and why?
Amazing. I pray I never stop being amazed. I believe with my whole heart and soul that Jesus can do anything.
Could you offer some encouraging words for those who may be seeking the Lord, especially during a painful season?
Don’t hide from God, no matter what you have said or done. Jesus died for all our sins—past, present and future. Just seek Him with the real you, your feelings and thoughts. He knows what you need but still expects you to ask.
God loves us so much and will share more and more with you the closer you draw to Him. And choose one or two verses to guide your season. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 1:16).
More About Julie:
Julie Dibble, MA is a Christian Speaker and Author who is passionate about sharing Jesus’ love and truth. Immersing herself in her fourteenth year of marriage and mothering two boys, Julie drinks only strong coffee. Each day, Julie collects words to speak and write for His glory.
Julie has two published articles in Purpose Magazine and is working on her first book.
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