We all got together at my home last week to just get to know one another better. After I got to ask them all kinds of questions to find out about them they then all wanted to know my 'story'. Well, I filled them in on the, "I'm a mama, a wife, we moved here in August of '08, my Hubby is in law enforcement" stuff. They didn't want to know that stuff. "We already know all of that!" Oh. They want to know me. I'm sometimes not great at telling that. I'm not proud of a lot of it. Yes, it's what brought me to the Lord in the first place but, ugh... it's not pretty. I hesitate to even think about it all, let alone tell it! But then, what if it helps someone? What if my story helps turn someone to the Lord? Isn't it worth it? Yes. It. Is.
I asked Jesus into my life as my Lord and savior when I was 16 and had dealt with teenage 'stuff'. I was in a youth group through church and knew I needed to be saved from myself and needed a savior. My Hubby and I met in our senior year in high school. A year after graduation we were married. He was in the Marine Corps and we moved a lot but amazingly, we always stayed in California! We went to church. He was constantly gone in training and in schools. After 8 years in active duty he decided to leave the corps and join the police department. More training, more schools. We tried for 4 years to have our oldest, Savannah. One of the sweetest moments I ever had with the Lord was when I found out I was pregnant! I was on my knees thanking Him and praising Him. I was crying wonderful tears of joy. Savannah was born and we became parents finally, 8 years into our marriage. A year after her birth our marriage hit the skids. We separated and came very close to divorce. In the midst of our marital strife Hubby was called back to active duty with the Marine Corps due to the war in Iraq looming on the horizon. By then, Savannah was 2 and a half and we had moved back to 'home', the small town I grew up in. On February 23rd, 2003 Hubby left for Iraq. We had done what we could to strengthen our marriage and to have him leave under the best circumstances we could. We were together as a family as Hubby left for war in Iraq. Savannah and I stayed as busy as we could, writing Daddy and being with family as often as we could. She was my little trooper. On April 9th, 2003, coincidentally the same day Saddam Hussein's statue was pulled down in Baghdad, Hubby was shot at the UN building in Baghdad. God uses all kinds of things for His good. Even horrible, bad things, the Lord can use those as His tools, for His good, for His purposes. He doesn't cause the awful things in our lives but He allows them and hopefully those things will cause His children (all of us) to turn to Him in our need. This is exactly what happened with Hubby and I. After Hubby came home (sent home as a casualty of the war; this just means he could no longer fight, not that he was dead!) we made a commitment to one another to put our marriage back together, to not even consider divorce as an option. We made a commitment to God too. My relationship with the Lord became so much closer, so much more intense. I promised to seek His will for my life in everything and only do what His will for me was! Hubby made a full recovery and our marriage began to as well. This is when I really began to have a relationship with God. Our marriage became what it never had been before.
In March of 2008 we were still living in my small hometown when my brother-in-law, a pastor in Colorado called to tell us a family up there was looking for a home for their baby. They knew they could not take care of her, she was the second child they were due to have in a year. She was due in May (two months from then!!), they knew it was a girl and had we ever thought about adoption? Huh? No. We. Never. Thought about adoption. Never. Why? It just never went through our minds. We had Savannah and had hoped for another baby but it just never happened. I had gotten pregnant in '05 but lost that baby. I surprisingly had an easy time getting over that loss. I didn't know why. I had really wanted that baby but it was like God put a heavenly salve over my heart and I grieved quickly. And here we were being asked to consider adoption. We prayed about it but knew that this was our baby. God created her with us in mind. On May 22nd, 2008 our Bethany was born!
That's my story. Believe it or not, it was the short version! There are so many times in my life that I could tell you God used something bad for His good. Learn the lesson quickly, turn your face heavenward and maybe it won't be so bad.
Keep this in mind during your next trial and tribulation.