I was very blessed to grow up in a Christian home. As a young girl I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and was baptized. Even then I knew that God had a special plan for my life. I wanted to serve Him with my whole heart, without reservation, in whatever capacity He might choose.
I married my high school sweetheart ~ also a strong Christian ~ while in college. We were blessed with two wonderful sons.When my sons were in high school, I felt God leading me to special service as a Christian counselor. I began attending seminary classes and graduated with an M. A. in Marriage and Family Counseling. Subsequent to that time, I began counseling with children and adults professionally.
During this time I fell into a period of numbing depression. Once while seeing a young client, I remember thinking that I was more depressed than he was! I was seeing a counselor ~ as recommended when one is studying to become a therapist ~ but couldn’t seem to make any progress.
My grandmother suddenly passed away. Deeper and deeper I plunged into hopelessness. I believed that my sons and my husband hated me. I remember looking at my life and seeing only blackness, unending sadness. I wondered if I could commit suicide by driving my car into a tree….I couldn’t think of another way to end my life. My fear was that I would somehow survive, then become a burden to my family. And so I held on.
Tragically, my marriage fell apart, and I quickly married a friend from seminary on the rebound. I’ve looked back on those days with regret and wondered how this could have happened. Why did I make such terrible choices? There are no answers, and for years I agonized over my broken life….I spent years blaming myself for causing misery and grief for my sons ~ ruining their lives. I couldn’t forgive myself, I couldn’t move on. I was forced to give up my job as a family therapist because my husband kept losing his job. I went back to work as a Registered Nurse in the hospital.
Unfortunately, the man I married was a narcissistic minister with an eye for the ladies. And after five years he abruptly left me for a flirtatious church member. Heard that story before? Truth really is stranger than fiction, isn’t it? He literally hid from me, and from the church, for months ~ other than on Sunday mornings. He refused to speak to me. He cleaned out our bank account and maxed out our credit cards. He left me with no money ~ no savings, no home. The breakup of our marriage was devastating to the church, particularly to the youth.
Loving church members helped me financially, supporting me emotionally, but I finally left my “glass house” and returned home to be near family. I pawned all my gold jewelry except my wedding rings. (You can’t get enough for them to make it worthwhile!).
I found an educational opportunity to improve my nursing status, and I borrowed against my credit card to return to school. Within six months I had a wonderful new job in medical sales as a clinical consultant. At that time I had only a bed, a piano, an old car, and two cats to keep me company. But I had the Lord’s leading in my life and a positive outlook. My family was nearby and offered the emotional support that I needed at the time.
And yet I spent about ten years in a spiritual desert, looking for answers to the catastrophic destruction of my life as I had known it. I searched my Bible. I read and re-read Philip Yancey’s DISAPPOINTMENT WITH GOD. I prayed for forgiveness from the self loathing and guilt that haunted me.
I knew that I couldn’t be a part of corporate worship. Oh, I wasn’t angry with God or with the church. But there was a gaping emotional wound within me ~ so painful that it kept me away from worship services. I teared up every time I walked into a church, especially when I saw the minister in a black robe. It was horribly painful; I’d lost my identity. I was alone, invisible. No more life as the minister’s wife. No more future in diaconal ministry. All my plans for making my life ‘right’ again had vanished..
But God had a better plan.
The day came when my beloved mother’s lung cancer returned. For eight months I watched her fight the good fight. And my mom was the strongest Christian I ever knew ~ her faith was unbelievably powerful. She never complained or expressed any self pity, though the disease AND the cure ravaged her body. She set her face like flint, and she eventually walked through the valley of the shadow of death with absolute grace, courage and peace.
When I stepped into her room and saw her lifeless face that day, I thought my life was over. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. I wanted to die. I could NOT imagine going on without her, and I cried at her bedside for hours. She had always been my “one and only someone,” the one who stood by me and NEVER stopped loving me. As I sat by her bedside kissing her face for the last time, the Lord came to me and filled the room. Oh, He had walked with me, helping me through this ordeal. And I was always aware that I belonged to Him. But that day the Holy Spirit came to me anew ~ and He wrapped me up in His love like a little child. I again committed my burdens to the Lord, at a time when I knew I could no longer carry them. To be held by Him again was miraculous!
His matchless love drew me back with cords of love so strong, so tender. He filled all my emptiness that day, and He fills my emptiness still today!
Eventually I met my current husband, who is a believer. I give all the glory to God for bringing me to this time in my life. Although we have many issues ~ primarily his poor vision ~ we have a wonderful life together. Our family is very precious to us, and we gather together often. Oh, and our cats rule our home, and we pamper them with lavish affection.
My desire to serve Christ has taken a new direction with this blog. Although I had a strong desire to be a journalist as a youth, that dream was never realized. Now I find that God has given me the opportunity to share through the written word what He has placed on my heart. I hope that my writings will be a blessing to you, as we journey together with the Lord Jesus Christ. Life with Christ is exciting, challenging, and filled with joy now.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but everlasting life.
For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
What I know to be true:
Each of us has a very real God-shaped vacuum inside!
God loves us and has a plan for our lives.
His love is forever faithful.
He will follow us into the lowest gutter, the darkest night, the greatest sadness ~ to redeem us and bring us back to Himself.
And He is with you today, bidden or unbidden. He is loving, waiting, and watching. His love and faithfulness are unending, His patience limitless. Open your heart to Him!