My story begins like this, like the merchant at sea, the wretch of a man who was lost and then found, I too was lost and now I am found, was blind but now I see.
I was raised in a Christian home since I was 6 years old. Before that my father was Catholic and later a follower and questioner of the New Age movement. He had questions that hadn’t been answered. Through circumstances in his life he was introduced to Christianity in 1986. He fell in love with Jesus and the rest is history. Of course my mother has her own story. She was a faithful Catholic woman who did everything right; was praying for a more pius husband, one who was more attentive and affectionate. It was another man she thought the Lord would grant her, instead it was the same man but a new creation.
And begins my journey with my Savior. Much to my dismay and regretting I walked away from the Lord for 12 years. Rebellion to Christians and to the world I was one of them. I became popular in high school. I am not sure how, overtaken with temptation to become something God didn’t intend me to be; I obliged it’s overtaking and became a girl with little conviction.
I battled many battles with sin. Grappled with lust of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life. To a Christian something to be angsted, to the world, normalcy. I, was like the world. Although I did ache from sin’s grip I couldn’t yet break free from its gnawing chains, not realizing the heaviness and burdensome yoke.
I left for school, college, without my parent’s blessing. I had no means, no car, no way. But I had a will and that is what took me 500 miles away from home.
Short lived, God was tired of my straying and used illness to bring me back home. So I started school there instead. I met a handsome chap my first year. It was he who would later lead me back to the Savior I left long ago.
He was a worldly guy, fun, handsome, smart, strong and he was perfect for me. He didn’t know God but that was ok because I didn’t know Him much anymore either. We mingled, danced, partied all night and made a mess of our life. We married 8 months later. It was a whirlwind romance. We divorced 11 months later: finances, in-laws, parties, drinking, lust, sin, trust. Something big was missing.
I ran 3 states away. I was hateful, bitter, mad, sad…very sad. I ran fast, gulped anything to fill the enormous void in my life. There was emptiness for a long time. I finally got tired of running so I did the only thing left to do. I headed for a church. I heard a message of forgiveness and I wept. I wept so hard I had to leave. I cried the whole way home. I rushed through the door fell on my knees and prayed for my life. I pled repentance and asked for the salvation of my ex-husband. I didn’t want to hate anymore. I didn’t want bad for him anymore. I was being asked to release the hold he had on me. And I did. It was still a long journey but that night began the path to many miracles.
Reconciliation starts with a prayer.
Life was fast and furious and I needed to find my way again. I moved back 3 states and found myself at a university just several miles from his, unbeknownst to me he was also living several miles from me. No, we never saw each other. It wasn’t time yet. So I journeyed with Jesus. Getting closer to my Savior. Him drawing closer to me. Figuring things out. Praying for my ex-husband still. Things still so unsettled in my heart.
It had been a year since our divorce and I got word that he needed to see me. I trembled, familiar feelings flooded my veins, explosive emotions took over and yet unsettling gladness too. Uncertainty reigned my heart but it was something that needed to be done. Would I see a face of an angry man, a man full of rage, a man with another woman. What would I find when I saw him?
When I entered the room and walked towards him I saw a humbled man, a man who had been broken, a sorrowful man. A changed man. He asked for forgiveness. We exchanged apologies and spoke long into the night of present times in both our lives. It was this night that changed my life forever. It is because of this night that I am the Christian woman I am today. It is this night when death lost its sting and hell lost its power over me.
I discovered that he too had been tired of running. He asked The Savior into his heart. He too was journeying with The Savior. When I left his side I learned something about the Messiah I never understood before. He loves me. He utterly loves me. He looked down at me on that night that I offered up my prayer, 3 states away, one year ago, of repentance and shone His face upon me. He answered my prayer for salvation for the man I once called husband, for the man I once loved and once hated.
I wept for being a fool, a foolish girl who was careless with life because she didn’t realize that the most miraculous of all Heavenly Beings was loving her from afar and yet so near. I changed. This was the night that I became a new creation and the old had gone. That night I was rescued.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Cor. 5:17
It has been 13 years since that Gracious night and my prayer is still being answered today.
I am remarried to that man of long ago. I call him Chuck. We have 3 beautiful children. We have a beautiful marriage, not perfect, of course not, who does, but it is beautiful. We live for Jesus now and that has made all the difference.