On this last week of Advent and after Pastor Chad’s message this past Sunday on the theme of Love, I thought I would tell you some stories. Pastor Chad expressed clearly that God has been with us, is with us, and will be with us through it all and he showed us over and over in scripture examples of God with us. So what better to share than testimonies of how and it almost felt as if we were just launched out to sea to figure life out on our own..
God does not hide the fact that we will go through troubling times but I wasn’t ready. In late 2006, a sudden shift in both my soul and my life began. I became uneasy with how life was going and began to long for change. We had a major falling out with some close family. This family trouble also made it very uncomfortable to be at our church, so we left and it almost felt as if we were just launched out to sea to figure life out on our own. I had left an extremely emotionally taxing job. My boss was an 85 year old mason who as actively trying to convert me to become a masonic eastern star member. He was a master manipulator. I had never had someone push so hard on my “stand for what you believe in” buttons before. It was exhausting but the Lord led me out in the beginning of 2007. My hubby had left his job and started working elsewhere. I started working for a little paint company. Then my Grandfather past away suddenly. Everyday he would say to my Grammy, “Mamie, tomorrow I am going to do this or that, but now I am going to sleep.” That night he simply said, “Mamie, I am going to go to sleep.” He did and he didn’t wake up. It was devastating. He was the one stable male as I was growing up that never left, hurt me, or gave me up. I took leave from work to go to California to be with family. Two months later, my Aunt Janice past away. She was like a second mom. She braided my hair, corrected my silly and bad attitudes, and took care of me when my mom was working. When I told my job that my aunt passed away I felt the air pull out of the room. I wasn’t asking for time off. I was just being relational and telling them what was happening in my life. I saw my two bosses eyeball each other. One said, “I am sorry to hear that” and within a week I was let go. They thought I was just making it up to get out of work. I didn’t realize until I was no longer working there how relieving it was to not be working there. A month later, my uncle passed away. He had been distant from the family after he and my aunt split but it was just one more heart hurting blow. Then, just a few months later, I found out I was pregnant but that didn’t last long. We miscarried and I felt a devastation like I had never felt before. When people say, “It is just one thing after another” I understand that statement. Through all this I was praying, asking God for help, reading my bible, looking for a church ,and still I felt a mess and like the Lord was distant from me. The year 2008 started off with a beautiful boy, my son was born in March. We had prepared the house, got all the baby essentials, carpeted our living room area, and life felt like it was finally turning around. Then boom, it exploded! The flood of 2008 swallowed our city in June, and it felt like the entire world had fallen apart. Right there in the middle of a world swallowed a lady on the news said as she stood in front of her church that was completely destroyed, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, God is already there!” The line seemed to punched a tether line in my heart to the fact that God was with me and He wouldn’t leave me.
I wrote a lot of poetry then to put to word how I felt.
Here is one I called: Little port for me
when the whole world fell in
death and separation
hurt and pain
loss and less
I wondered where He was and what He was doing
I can remember certain moments
when His voice whispered in
soothing my soul
giving me hope
like a little rope tethering me to Him
“Don’t worry about tomorrow, God is already there.”
a simple statement rope for my soul
that held my thoughts and heart firm to His goodness
That same statement holds me still
a resting place to park my ship
so that I do not go off into the sea in need of rescuing
I simply stay in port with my King
it is there His arms hold me
and I am safe without need of anything but Him
where satisfaction in Him
is plainly the key to rest
Come fill those places God I sense but don’t yet see
fill me with Yourself and I will never be tempted to leave
this little port you made for me.
That is only part of the story, but for now I will stop there. He was faithful and I learned to trust Him! Now, its time to remember your stories of how He came through, showed up, and saw you to the other side! Amen.
All is grace,