Today, I am feeling inspired to write. Maybe it is the wonderfully lively aroma of coffee in the air and hearing the hustle and bustle of the other zombie-like beings eagerly waiting for their daily pick-me-ups. It could even be that I know my husband is enjoying himself golfing and my kids are at school, having fun with their friends (aka: mommy time!!). Whatever it may be, I’ll take it!
After much prayer, God made it clear to me that I need to make it known how my love for and trust in Him all began. This is lengthy and personal. This isn’t easy for me to write but, it is me and it is how I came to know my Savior. In sharing this, my hope is that at least one other person comes to see that through all of our difficulties and failures, our Father is so loving and forgiving that no matter what you do, you cannot disappoint or upset Him enough to have Him quit on you.
He will ALWAYS be here to catch us.
He will ALWAYS be here to love us.
He will ALWAYS be here to redeem us.
I wasn’t raised in a home of the Lord. My grandparents went to church and occasionally brought me with them when I was young. I went through most of my adolescence without the presence of God and when I was a teenager — a rebellious one, at that — my parents decided they wanted to start attending a local church. I did whatever I could to not go. At that time of my life, I was angry and bitter; I was angry at certain family members for their lack of presence in my life. I was bitter for decisions that others’ in my life had made which directly affected me. I was wiser than what the adults around me believed. I got into fights at school and pushed away friends. Around this same time, I had a cousin who had just attended a Young Life camp. She had a great time and convinced me to attend a meeting with her. Enter: my mustard seed (Luke 17:6).
At the time of my high school graduation, I was dating a guy whose parents were devout Christians. He had been brought up as a Christian and his family was very involved in their local church. His mom convinced me to go with them and, although I still didn’t believe the Word, I read it. I attended church with them on several occasions and for my graduation gift, his mom gifted me a Bible. My very first Bible! Due to many circumstances, I eventually lost contact with this family and also lost contact with God.
Fast forward a few years and I met Greg, my husband. Greg was also raised in a very Godly home but together, we never attended church. After dating for three years, we married. It was during our first deployment as a married couple (our fourth deployment together) that I had my first encounter with God. This specific separation was particularly difficult for me because I had recently received news of possible infertility, I was missing my husband, I needed my childhood friends who were across the country, and through my tears and out of desperation, I pleaded to God. I opened my Bible to a random page and witnessed, for the fist time, the Lord speaking to me.
This was the verse to which my Bible opened:
Isaiah 40:28-31 states, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God. He does not faint or grow weary; he is understanding and unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.”
Everlasting? Understanding? He gives power to the faint? He increases my strength? This is exactly what I needed; God knew it and He delivered. I began attending church and started putting my faith into the Lord. Unfortunately, though, later that year my faith was tested: My husband lost a dear friend and two months later, I had a miscarriage (after consistently trying for a baby). Instead of running to God when I needed him most, I turned from Him.
I was devastated.
I was angry with myself and I was angry with God.
How could God allow such terrible things to happen?
Not long after our loss, we moved to a new duty station where I tried to, once again, find God. I tried to find a church home but none of them seemed to be a good fit. I no longer felt God’s presence and I no longer heard Him speaking to me. I felt betrayed by Him and demanded answers. So, I prayed. I prayed and prayed and prayed. Though my faith wasn’t strong, I still prayed. I prayed for comfort during my time of mourning. I prayed for peace over mine and my husband’s hearts. I prayed for God to seek me, once again. I prayed for God to bless my womb.
On November 6th of the next year, I bore a son.
Almost two years later, I bore a daughter.
Though you would assume this time was joyous, I instead was succumbed to postpartum depression. After having my daughter I begin with withdraw from my husband and even my new baby. I became negative and began to feel hopeless. My husband was sent away again and I was alone with my six-month-old and my two-year-old. I had no family to help and my friends’ husbands were also away so I felt as though I couldn’t lean on them. I had nowhere to turn so, once again, I opened my heart to God.
In seeking the Lord, I began to hear Him calling to me. This time, unlike the past, I began to obey what He was asking of me. I started attending church. I joined the local chapter of Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC), and I even began to host a Bible study in my own home. I began to see my life in a different light and God has enabled me to feel hopeful. Through my faith and prayer, I have also had a positive influence on my family; my husband is now a believer, as is my toddler. I have gained several sisters in Christ and I have even registered to be baptized at my church, next month.
John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
It is thanks to our Heavenly Father that I am where I am today. I didn’t have a picture-perfect childhood and I am far from perfect, but in the Lord’s eyes, I am enough.
I am the mother whom He chose to raise two of His children.
I am the wife whom He selected to love Greg.
I am the friend whom He is enabling to serve my Sisters in Christ.
I am the daughter whom He is using to disciple and to speak of His great name.
I am enough; and mamas, no matter where you are currently or what you have experienced in your past, so are you.