epiphany or another delaying tactic…?

I really am going to read my bible before I go on Facebook and He’s already told me Ephesians 6  so that is where I will be going after this. I had to go get my readers and as I’m walking back an interesting thought occurred. One of the worst times in my life, certainly up to that point, was when Tim moved out on December 10th, 1999 and then returned home on March 1st, 2000. I could barely function, used up all my leave at work having to leave in the middle of the day because I couldn’t hold it together. It was me and my boys and Tim would visit here and there. It felt like someone had taken a rusty old fishing knife and sawed my midsection completely in two with only my spine holding me together. I know there are those who fully understand. My only survival was Jesus and He used that time to become very known to me. It was me and Him, One on one. I could barely sleep so I’d listen to WAVA 105.1 all hours of the day and night. I knew every program they had. If I managed to sleep I’d awaken with some song I hadn’t heard in ages running through my mind and then I learned about the Creator who does bring songs in the night. Day too! If I made it to 1:pm at work I’d take my break and go to my car to listen to New Life Live for 15 minutes. If I didn’t I heard the whole hour! I filled notebook after notebook with sermon notes after sermon notes. Much time was spent in our master bathroom because I couldn’t lose it with the Lord in front of the kids. They were messed up enough. I remember writhing in pain on the floor begging God to help me. I took on Satan in that bathroom one night and vowed to him he would not win and the greatest fear came over me after I said that and I had to remember that I have that authority over him in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I’d pray and He would answer on the spot. One morning I was at a loss where to even go in the bible for solace and comfort, told Jesus that and said show me where to read and opened the bible. David and Saul were talking about the armor not fitting and I was like, “Lord…really?” Those wee soul-whispered words, “Keep reading.”

As I read through the account of David and Goliath it began to dawn on me what He was saying. If I trusted Him, He would give me the desires of my heart. I had to come to accept that I may not know the true desires of my heart and surrender to that. My faith in God was the power that would make my husband come home and be the husband and father he was meant to be, if that was His will. The whole world was telling me to get a lawyer and sock it to him but God said, “No. That is not my will here. Have faith in me and joy will come in the morning.” Tim flat out said I am not coming home ever. My pastor and counselor said, “I’ve never seen anyone come home after all that has happened.”

One Sunday as I returned from church, Tim pulled up behind me in the driveway. His first words were, “I am not coming back.” He never left again except for one night we spent together in his apartment.

About a year later, Tim was asked to help with the youth at church and then they said, “We meant both of you.” So I started coming to youth group thinking I had nothing for the kids and sort of was sitting back, helping with snacks. They went to go play their games and I was saying, “See, Lord, I’m not needed here.” I hadn’t sat there in my pity party 5 minutes before here comes this fella needing some soda and chips and we start talking. He sits down and we had an amazing conversation about many things he was struggling with in his world and I offered what I could and it was an amazing experience. It was also God saying, “Yes, My daughter, I can use you.” “Your broken pieces are what make you beautiful.” He just now said that to me, I feel so very loved at this moment in time. Tears are flowing down my face. There was a point to this story…hmmm…scrolling up…

That turned into an amazing journey with the youth at that church, who grew into young adults and many are actively serving Jesus to this day. We learned more and more right along side of them as we traveled to conferences and retreats and ministry training trips. I remember my first worship experience at Liberty University. I was floored because here were all these kids worshipping and jumping and dancing and praising God and no one was stoned or drunk or anything just amazingly excited about Jesus! (I was a Capitol Center teenager.) It was clean and good and joyful and exciting and I’d never seen anything like it. We served very actively there for about 6 years and then served at another church in the youth program for another 3 years. God took that broken period of time to put us to work for Him and He is still being glorified in it today. The work you do for Him is forever work, multiplying work.

The point being that our Father took that opportunity of brokenness and put me into an intense period of experiencing Him and learning about Him in ways that could never have happened but for that heartbreak, that excruciating get me to the next second pain. I’d be at work and have to be repeating scripture over and over in my mind just to hold it together.

As I fill my days today, trying to hold it together, seeking to understand all that has gone before and is happening now, I am again filling up notebook after notebook with sermon notes and notes from the tv.newlife.com segments. If I had had that back in the 80’s our life may look much different now. I wouldn’t know my Jesus like I do, though. He is again leading me to pursue knowledge, about Him and about this insidious situation we are in. We don’t know how or where it will lead but I know He will be glorified in it and I am excited about the future. Off to Ephesians 6!!!