My Life, My Story
My story began so long ago, but my story is my life. I know God was leading me along this path before I ever knew who he was, or what he would mean to me. He brought me into a family that loved me, he moved me from one town to the next when I was barely a teenager, he put me in a school and connected me with a friend whose father would employ me years later following high school and a brief trial at college.
Yes, God had a plan for my life, he was ordering it to his purpose.
He brought me together with the love of my life when I was16, I knew in less than two months that we would spend our lives together and that he would be my husband (even if he did tell me “high school sweethearts don’t get married and if they do, it never lasts”). I wrote it in my diary, so I guess that was my first goal statement, would you agree?
When I was in my Sr. year of High school, I decided I wanted to graduate early. I had never heard of that as a possibility, but when I did, I knew that’s what I wanted to do! My sweetheart wasn’t there anymore; since he was a year ahead of me and off to college. I just wanted to be done with school and make my own money;
I wanted INDEPENDENCE! Can anyone relate?
My mother and I thought (and still do) very differently from one another. Her idea was that I should go to college and then I would be able to get a “good job”. In my mind, well, why would I waste all that time? What I really wanted to do was be a hairdresser, but she wasn’t in agreement with that so I didn’t get trained for it in school. Now, what I wanted was just to find a job, work, earn some money and be independent… Well Mom was in complete disagreement with me again, so I agreed I would go to college, but, I would only go where my boyfriend was and finally, she agreed. Oh, it was a fun semester; but, you are probably wondering what did I take, business? Nursing? elementary education? No, mostly I just took up space because it wasn’t my dream. I had a great time living away from home, no rules I figured. It wasn’t long before I found myself back home. Since I was never a student and I never did like school, what would make this any different?
Time went on, jobs came and went, but my sweetheart remained, he finished school, set up a business, we bought a house and got married.
We lived happily ever after… but my story is not finished yet.
So, this girl, who wanted to do things, who at one time had a dream, was held back by the “normalcy” expected of her. I was quiet and shy, but, through the encouragement of Rick, I grew out of my shell, out of the box that I was expected to live in, into the person I am today.
Together we would discover so much about life, and, in life. We found the Lord while we were still in our 20’s, through that, I believe, the direction we were heading in turned completely around.
Living our lives with the Lord at the center brought us through struggles our marriage may not have survived otherwise.
There were financial struggles, the pain of infertility, and losses. God always provided for us, even if sometimes we had to figure out how it was going to happen, it did. God is so good!
There was the struggle of fostering a teen-aged girl and having her turn against you. This was a heart-wrenching time, which put our process for adoption on hold, by our choice. We realized it just wouldn’t be a healthy environment to bring a child into. At the same time, we wondered if it might help us to heal quicker, or would buried pain come back to the surface later and hurt our child if we proceeded forward? Not wanting to take that chance, we decided to just wait. Oh, but, when the time came that we were ready; within six months God had just the right baby for us to love. No way that wasn’t all God’s providential hand!
Here is this baby, in our hands, and we are faced with the hardest financial times in our seventeen years of marriage. So hard, we considered relocating and selling our home, but that was not going to work for us. The power company had placed a restrictor on our power, the bank had come to take photos of our house for foreclosure, all while we had a newborn at home. Once again, God turned our lives around, providential care and protection as we continued to trust him.
The story continues, we are financially in a good place, we took our little house, knocked it down to rebuild our dream home. As we were packing everything up, a tiny piece of paper showed up… a drawing I did early in our marriage, a two-story house, not a lot different than the one we were about to build. I guess that was another goal, put to paper, and it was about to become real.
So, there you have my story, my life; filled with joys, filled heartaches, and struggles. Would I trade any of it? Maybe, BUT (and I always emphasize but, because it can be such a big word), every struggle, every tear, every joy, every laugh, they all help to shape who we are and who we become. Keep strong, keep looking up, and as our son used to say when he was a little boy, look at the bright side! Never lose sight of your dream. After the storm, the sun always shines, after the cold, stark winter comes to the promise of spring. Look for the rainbow, let the work of strengthening your character come from the struggles. Don’t let them define you in a negative way, but use them to grow.
WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED Annie Johnson Flint
God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
many a burden, many a care.
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love
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