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By Andrea Johnson

During the time I had felt “set aside,” I also learned that God had not forgotten me. I grew tremendously in my faith and connected with people I would never have met otherwise.

“You feel like you’ve been set aside and you wonder what you did wrong,” the evangelist told me. “Yet you have been set aside during this season not for something you did wrong but for what you did right. Just as God allowed Joseph to be imprisoned for a season, God is using this time to prepare you.”

Bob Laflin, an Open Bible evangelist, had called me out during a service to give me a word of encouragement I needed to hear. At age 30, I felt as if my life had been a failure. The only calling I had ever known was to be in ministry, but due to my husband’s moral failures and our subsequent divorce, ministry seemed to be an impossibility.

RELATED: “Not Forgotten”

My situation paled in comparison to that of Kenneth Bae, who served 735 days of hard labor in a North Korea prison camp. Isolated from everyone but his guards, he was forced to farm by hand, move rocks, and shovel coal six days a week. In two months’ time he lost sixty pounds. His health grew so poor, he was hospitalized several times.

Kenneth admitted that at times he wondered why God had allowed him to suffer so much. But God had not forgotten him. God told him, “You are here as my son, my missionary.” How else would the guards have ever heard about God and that God loved them? They had never met a real Christian before.

During the time I had felt “set aside,” I also learned that God had not forgotten me. I grew tremendously in my faith and connected with people I would never have met otherwise. If you happen to feel “set aside,” maybe even trapped, take heart. Physical prisons are no match for God’s purposes.

About The Author

Andrea Johnson
Managing Editor

In her spare time you will most likely find Andrea Johnson with family or friends, or outdoors hiking. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with four children and five grandchildren.