Well, I’m not quite sure where to begin. I don’t really know what to write about – ray-ray has the teaching and writing talents. (Oh, and by the way, I don’t have a cutesy little nickname for him, so he’s ray-ray – a name given him by old friends.) I guess I will just try to share a little about where I’ve been and hopefully where I’m going. God’s been teaching me A LOT – I’ll just share my heart, and leave the rest up to Him. If nothing else, it’s good for me to put into words on paper all the good things He’s done for me. So here goes…
As ray-ray mentioned in his last post, my life’s journey has been much different than his. No one will be beating my door down asking for a book deal because of my outrageous transformation. I was born into a Christian home, accepted Christ at a young age, was taught the right way to live, and I did my best not to deviate from that. Of course there were challenges from time to time, but my testimony is one more of God’s protective grace in my life – shielding me from poor influences and bad decisions. I attribute all of this to a great relationship with my parents and their loving and godly instruction in my life.
Yet with this upbringing there were still some major heart issues and missed truths that needed to be addressed in my life.
When I met ray-ray, little did I know how much he would teach me and what a journey we would have. As he said, it truly is a miracle of God that brought us together. When I sit and think about the many different circumstances that placed us at the same university in the same office at the same time, I’m amazed. The longer we go at this together, the more and more I know that it was God’s Divine appointment that brought us together.
I needed him.
I had a concept of people, life, and God that needed some major adjusting. I couldn’t understand why it was so hard for people to just live right. I thought that God was happy with me when I was doing things to please Him and upset with me when I wasn’t. I thought everything was black and white, cut and dry, no excuses and no exceptions. Boy was I wrong.
One of the things that I initially admired about ray-ray was his knowledge of the Bible – for someone growing up attending church every time the door was open and then some, this was what I wanted in a life partner – someone who knew more about the Bible than me. But with him, it was more than just knowledge. He had experienced people, life, and God in a way that I never had – in a way that majorly challenged some of my views. As our relationship grew, the Lord began to teach me more and more about Himself through my relationship with ray-ray – showing me His amazing redemptive grace, His ability to turn tragedy and failure into triumphs, and His unfailing love for us. All of this in preparation for September 4, 2009.
That’s when our little storm began.
If you would have told me before all of this happened that I would go through something like this, I would have told you NO WAY, I’ll fall apart – I can’t handle it. This is not the way my life played out in my childhood dreams. But praise the Lord His plans are not our plans. He has such a patient way of molding and shaping us into who He wants us to become, not who we think we should be.
During September of 2009 as our world was spiraling out of control – one thing after another being brought to light and not knowing what the next day would hold – one word kept coming to my mind...
Now, don’t get me wrong, many days were just plain awful. I cried so much, I wore waterproof mascara for a month straight…haha! But I kept believing there was hope, and I kept telling myself that the Lord would provide for us and the Lord would work this out for good. I didn’t know how, but I just kept telling myself and others that He would. I didn’t take the time to think it out or worry about it, because I might have doubted it under the weight of it all. So I just kept saying it. I needed to say it. I needed to hear it. I needed to believe it.
He was the only One that could make
sense of this mess that we were in.
And boy has He done that. What a journey it’s been. Even with my husband temporarily separated from me, and the task of running a household, managing our finances, working full-time and parenting a two-year old on my own, I can truly say I am so very grateful to be right where I’m at. The Lord has continued to change my view of Him, people, and life. I could go on and on about all of the things He has taught me and is still teaching me, although sometimes it’s hard to put it in the right words. Maybe someday I’ll share more, but for now let me try to sum it up for you with what He’s taught me in these three areas.
Himself – He is so loving, gracious and good - ALWAYS. I’ve known these things,
but have truly experienced them in deeper ways these past 17 months.
And if it ever seems He’s not any of these things –
I’ve become cross-eyed (see part 11).
People – no matter our position in life or our social status,
everyone has something they are struggling with or have struggled with.
By being open and honest about it, we find comfort, support, healing and hope.
Life – I don’t want it to be about me anymore.
I want the Lord to use me to make a difference in the lives of others –
for His glory and His Kingdom.
And if it means a little discomfort in this life,
Bring it on! Because He is always loving, gracious, and good.
…from the outside…Lump