If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, you might not have noticed that I added a page to the top menu bar – My Story. As I begin to dive deep into some of what I want to share (like my series on Endurance), I thought it might be helpful for you to have a bit of an idea of where I’m coming from. Just this once, to keep it simple, I’ve copied that whole page into this post for you.
This is my story.
I used to be one of those people who thought my story was nothing worth telling. I’m one of the very blessed ones who grew up in a Christian home with parents who have stayed together and a brother with whom I actually get along. I actually remember with absolute clarity giving my life to Jesus Christ at the tender young age of 3. By God’s grace, I have never gone through a season of outright rebellion and have been passionate about Him for as long as I can remember.
My life was relatively uneventful until I became an adult.
That’s when I began a life adventure that has taught me so much about my Savior and myself. Now I know I have something worth telling:
God is faithful.
God is good – all the time.
God’s Word is true and has the power to get you through.
God’s matchless grace and endless love endure forever.
The Whirlwind Begins!
I left home right after high school to serve at a Bible camp for 4 months, then joined a touring music ministry, where I met my husband, Lee. I got married young. A year later, we had our first daughter. 22 months later, we had our second daughter. And 16 months later, we had our son. So, within a period of 4 years, I got married and had 3 kids.
There was a great deal of character-building that went on in my life during that season! Marriage takes work, and ours is no exception. Mothering is a swift course in selflessness and sacrifice. Running a household with 3 children 4 and under taught me a tremendous amount about choosing contentment, seeking wisdom, and relying on the Lord.
By my 30th birthday, I had lived in a total of about 25 homes. We just moved around a lot for various reasons – both in my childhood and after I was married. In God’s mercy, we have now lived in the same house since 2008 and it has been such a gift! Moving so often taught me that my security can rest in Christ alone. And that He is all I need, which is more than enough. I’ve also had the privilege of making many friends in various places and living on the prairies, in the mountains, and on the coast! God’s gorgeous creation inspires awe in me continually!
God’s Continued Faithfulness
We’ve lived through severe economic recession during which time we were not sure how we would continue to feed our children. We have seen the faithfulness of the Lord, been recipients of many provisional miracles, and experienced a richness that cannot be bought. God has never failed us.
I homeschooled all 3 of our children for a total of 6 years. I wholeheartedly loved it. I frequently miss it. Eventually, the Lord led us to send our children to public school, where our oldest already graduated. (Only 2 left to go!)
(For those of you whose kids are not at this age/stage yet, let me encourage you that the world doesn’t know what it’s talking about when it labels teens. The teen years can be awesome! Take heart! Parenting our teens has been an incredible experience for me. We have gone through some very deep valleys with our kids during the teen years, but it has still been such a rewarding season. It is also a tremendously humbling time, but to see those cute little ones grow up and make some truly wise decisions on their own and to have them search for Truth and to watch them mature and become their own person is priceless! Learning to let go has granted me the opportunity of clinging to Christ with a tenacity I’ve never known before, which is another blessing!)
There Is Richness In The Valley
Several years ago, I suddenly became very ill. I had chronic infections of various kinds, passed out without warning multiple times, and suffered several other health issues. I went through many medical tests, many doctor’s appointments, and eventually ended up on bed rest for a month and half. I had to stop all activity except the bare minimum required to take care of myself. It took me almost two years to begin to feel like myself again. Throughout that time, I also had to undergo 3 minor surgeries that all caused a setback on my road to recovery.
That season of healing was also a long journey through a deep (but rich) valley. My relationship with Jesus was changed in a way I never knew I needed. I learned much about grace, suffering, God’s sovereignty and perfect timing, His tenderness and compassion. I learned about friendship and forgiveness and failure. There were many painful lessons, but they were life-changing in a good way. God is good ALL the time, and nothing is ever wasted with Him!
Truth be told, my health is still an issue for me and I have to be very vigilant to keep myself functioning optimally. I have times of weakness when I grow weary of the constant battle, but for the most part, I can say with honesty that I am thankful that God allowed me to have this “thorn in the flesh”. It has brought me much closer to Him and it has required me to rely on Him alone. It has been a gift.
God Never Fails
The storms in my life have come in various forms. I’ve lived through 3 church splits. Lee and I have been involved in 2 church plants and various other ministries – none of which were without challenges. Our family has been faced with battles of depression, severe physical anxiety, other chronic and debilitating health conditions, job losses, lengthy unemployment, sudden tragedy, and various other trials and tribulations. We’ve moved many times. We’ve struggled lots. We’ve failed repeatedly. We’ve nearly given up at times. But through it all, every. single. time, God has been faithful. His Word has never, ever failed to minister to my heart. He is true to His Word. He has carried us through the storms and He has sustained me when I’ve had nothing left to give.
I have not attained perfection in any aspect of life. I am STILL learning many of the same lessons I’ve been learning for years. I am far from a perfect wife and mom. I am so far from being a perfect friend and neighbor and church member. I am far from having a perfectly tidy house with healthy meals 3 times a day. I still have times when I struggle with contentment or when I experience doubt or struggle to trust God. I don’t always obey when I sense the conviction of His Spirit. I sometimes have days when I allow the distractions of my life to take over and I take my eyes off Christ and I don’t even read my Bible or pray. I have so far to go in becoming more like Jesus.
Why I Write
But I am grateful for the privilege of seeing God work. I’m grateful for His patience with me and that He doesn’t give up; He keeps giving me opportunities to trust Him, to grow, to believe His Word. He never lets go. He never leaves. He never fails. Without Him, I am nothing. He is so good. He is so faithful. He is so loving and gracious. He is everything to me.
And He is the reason I’m here, writing online for the world to see.
If just a few of you can get a glimpse of the Truth of Who God is, of the power of His Word, of His trustworthiness…
If any one of you can be drawn deeper into your own personal relationship with Him as a result of what I share on this blog…
If just one of you is inspired to pick up a Bible and read it and believe it and learn to wield it for God’s glory…
then I will be humbled and blessed beyond expression. May it be so, Lord Jesus.