A note from Editor Jenna Ditsch: God takes the broken fragments of our lives and turns them into beautiful masterpieces. We live in such a complex world that sometimes we become overwhelmed when we look at our mess, as we just can’t see how God could possibly bring beauty from our brokenness. The good news is that we don’t have to know the blueprint to walk in the steps God has for us. God knows the plans He has for us, even when we can’t see how it will all turn out. All we need to do is foster a relationship of trust and simple obedience with a loving Father who knows how to mold our lives into something beautiful.
Jenna Ditsch: Amber, would you start by telling our readers a little bit about yourself?
Amber Rhoads: I live in the Dallas area and am a worship leader/artist from Gateway Church. I lead worship for the Gateway Singles ministry and the Frisco campus on the weekends. I also travel and minister at women’s events and worship conferences. I am a single mom and I have a 16-year-old daughter who is the joy of my life.
JD: The topic we will be exploring in this interview, “Broken Beautiful” is relevant to readers whether they are single or married. But before we dive into it, give us a brief snapshot of your life behind closed doors, regarding your journey from single to married to single again.
AR: As a young single girl, I struggled in several relationships because I found my security in those men and let my emotions control my decisions. I married very young and went into the marriage with a lot of unhealed hurts and trust issues. There were happy moments in the beginning, but soon my husband’s job was causing him to be gone 250 days a year. As we grew apart, my relationship fell victim to divorce. I found myself as a single mom with even more walls up and unhealed wounds. That’s when God began working on my heart and drawing me to closer relationship with Him as my Father and my covering.
JD: Some people believe life gets easier when you get married. Did you find that to be the case?
AR: I believe every girl dreams of finding their “prince charming” and they all go into marriage hoping that it will be a fairy tale. However, reality sets in, and the stresses of life can come against any marriage, no matter how strong. Bottom line: Marriage takes work, and you have to fight for it. It’s a beautiful union God created, and there is an enemy out there who wants to destroy the very foundation of marriage. So to the single person, embrace your season of singleness and be patient for God’s timing. It’s a time of preparation so you can be ready to stand strong in marriage.
JD: What has God taught you about your identity?
AR: Growing up, I always knew that I was a “people pleaser.” This has not been the best character trait when it comes to relationships. I found that I was more concerned about what people thought of me and making them happy than I was about my relationship with the Lord. I gained my worth, security and value from people instead of from my Heavenly Father. As a musician, I put my identity in “what I did” rather than “who I was.” God gently reminded me that if I never sang another note, that I would still be His child and that I needed to be content with that. Once my identity was rooted in my place as a daughter of the King, then any rejection or disappointment I felt was put into perspective and I could recognize the trap.
JD: What revelations have you received regarding obedience?
AR: There is blessing in obedience. Every time I hear the Lord tell me to do something and I do it, I reap the benefits of obedience. Those benefits are favor, peace, contentment and growth. Sometimes it takes a huge step of faith, but if God is asking you to jump, He will create land beneath your feet.
JD: What do you ﬁnd to be the biggest lie from the enemy in relation to obedience?
AR: The biggest lie when it comes to obedience is believing that we got it wrong, or second-guessing ourselves. The enemy wants us to think we aren’t close enough to the Lord to hear His voice or know His heart for us. So sometimes we do nothing, especially if what God is telling us is different than what we had hoped. When you are walking with the Lord in a genuine relationship, you will know His voice and you will feel His peace. The enemy cannot take that away from you.
JD: Some people have a hard time discerning God’s voice or hearing it at all. Tell us about keys you’ve learned to hearing God’s voice.
- Having a personal private worship/prayer time with the Lord is crucial. The more time you spend with someone, the more you are able to hear their heart and know what they are trying to say to you.
- Being humbled and submissive to His will.
- Being still and simplifying your life so you can hear Him away from the chaos.
- Read the Word, feast on it … let it penetrate your heart.
- It’s not always going to be this BIG, HUGE experience where the Heavens open and you hear an audible voice. Sometimes, it’s a peace in your heart that God put there, and you need to trust that.
JD: The world we live in seems increasingly complex. What have you learned about simplicity?
AR: It’s very easy to fill our lives with busyness, especially with today’s technology. It is common to see a group of people at the dinner table all looking at their phones instead of talking to each other. We have complicated life, and it’s very hard to hear God’s voice among the chaos we have created. My daughter is 16, but because of her illness, she has the mental age of a 7 or 8 year old. She’s very innocent and compassionate, and everything in her world is black and white … right or wrong. There’s no gray area. She loves simplicity and finds joy in everyday things … such as a very good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’ve learned to simplify my life so that I can take advantage of what really matters. Cutting out the “fat” or “clutter” in our lives helps us to hear God more clearly and walk in His ways. It also gives us time with our families and those we care about. Learning to say “NO” to many things helps us to say “YES” to important things.
JD: What practical tips or advice would you suggest to our readers regarding how to find the beauty in the broken?
AR: The Word says that there is a reason for every season. I firmly believe that in those seasons, something is either being “healed” in you or “killed” in you. James 1 says to consider it joy when we face trials … why? Because it develops patience and character, and God doesn’t promote talent or giftedness; He promotes character. If you will give God the broken pieces of your life, He will turn it into a story of hope and restoration. Step back from your situation and ask God to give you a new perspective. He sees the big picture, and it will bring good and beauty out of every struggle we face. But we can’t hold on to it; we have to hand it over to the Master’s hands so He can form it into a beautiful work of art.
Amber became the President for Sole Desire Ministries, a non-profit organization that ministered all over the world and started hunger relief programs in 2005. She is currently on staff at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX where she is an artist and worship leader. Her new EP called Broken Beautiful was released in August 2013. Amber desires to see every person experience an intimate relationship with God. As a single mom for 8 years, she has stood in faith for the healing of her daughter who has an incurable disease causing tumors in her brain and kidneys. She loves to share her heart as a single woman staying true to her commitment to God and as a mom with a child who has challenges.