From There to Here – Part III

Categories:Spiritual Growth

Continued from yesterday…

And it was as if He said in perfect tenderness, “Thank you for asking; I’ve been wanting to talk to you about this for a long time.”

This conversation occurred in the midst of a study entitled Believing God, and part of the homework was to create a timeline of my life. By answering a host of probing questions, I was to revisit every stage of my life and document how God had been present all along. I fully expected to find no evidence of Him in my early years, but one of the dearest things He has ever done for me was allow me to literally see His fingerprints all over my childhood – mostly in the amazing people He strategically placed around me. He gave me favor with some of the kindest people I have ever encountered, and He loved me through them since I was not in a healthy church situation nor was I in the company of compassionate believers that much at all. The older couple who kept me while my mom worked (sometimes until 9:30 at night); I was their favorite. The family who owned the rental house my mom and I lived in were so good to us. My third grade teacher; I was her pet. Two older ladies who cared for me in Marion. My Nana and Poppa (my new grandparents). He used their arms to hug me; their hearts to love me; their voices to affirm me. He gave me two parents who thought I hung the moon; in retrospect I am allowed to see that there was no shortage of love and there was no absence of God.

With regards to the pain of those years; He assured me that He was as angry and as saddened as I was. He reminded me of His justice. He had not chosen that pain for me, but He had allowed it for this very day – that I might share His faithfulness in the face of life’s ugliness. Through my study of His Word, He promised to heal me, to make me healthy, and to use it all for my good and His purposes. If I would allow Him to…

I have.

I was blown away to discover that I had been wrong about Him all along. This life-changing experience piqued my interest to know Him, to know His character, to know His heart. I got real with Him and stopped trying to pray the right things because that’s what I thought He wanted to hear; as if He didn’t know what a liar I was. It’s hard to get really real, even with your own self, but He is safe. He is gentle, compassionate, slow to anger, ever present, abounding in love, all knowing, attentive and involved, patient, perfectly good, perfectly faithful. He has never not kept His Word, and there is no darkness in Him. The Bible is full of His promises of love and hope and peace and joy and comfort, and He has never dropped the ball on a single one.

About the time all of this wildness was going on inside me, a most bizarre thing happened. I never saw it coming. I was really starting to love Jesus and enjoyed learning more and more and more. One Sunday morning the Sunday School teacher called Chris, who was the SS director for our class, and announced that he was sick and was unable to teach in forty-five minutes. That meant that Chris would have to step up; I volunteered to do it because I had been a teacher by vocation. I could barely swallow past the lump in my throat, and I thought I really might throw up. I was the terribly quiet one in class each week who got really nervous about even making a comment (I know that is too far-out there to even believe). I taught that day – with great trepidation and stammering- and burst into flames right before the class (not literally although that’s a pretty cool image). I discovered my life purpose in that cinder block room. I am most alive in this world when I am speaking or teaching or writing about His goodness and His faithfulness. I love it like nothing else.

I can tell you that He has healed my marriage of past sin and past hurts. He has taken every hurt in my life and used it for good. He has allowed me to pray some of the biggest prayers my tiny brain could conceive of and then answered them a gajillion times bigger than I dared dream. He has blessed me with people in my life who push me to be more like Him. He has permitted me to see Him change people’s lives, and He has blessed me with a passion that my skin can barely contain! I just may burst…

And that is not to say that I don’t get discouraged, distracted, angry, impatient, disinterested, self-absorbed, apathetic, etc, etc, etc… I am still flawed, weak Cookie who screws it up regularly. Now I’m just well connected…

Sounds of Summer...
From There to Here - Part II

2 Comments

  1. Mary Nell
    Mary NellReply
    July 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…that truly touched my heart more than I can express…especially since my neices are going through a similar experience of divorce/remarriage with their parents and I see such pain/anger in their eyes at times. It renews my hope for them. I appeciate you sharing.

  2. Gina
    GinaReply
    July 29, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Cookie, I sit here in shock at your admission of fear in front of the SS class…I can’t even imagine you being afraid of doing something that you are SO amazing at doing. To this day my friends talk about the awesome teachings from you. You are the one that I look to and think, “Wow…I wish I could teach like her.” Your love and fervor for God and the way you let Him teach through you is so brightly evident. Amazing what can happen in a room made of cinder block, heh? That room started so many things in my life as well. I think we could write a book about the “adventures from the back craft room.” Thank you for your awesome truth. God has blessed me by having you in my life as a friend and a teacher. I love you!!
    ~Gina

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