June 28, 2023
I sat outside his hospital room and sobbed. My tears soaked my shirt and what felt like hours later, a wave of calmness came over me and I started to pray. "Please God, heal my husband." Now as I look back at this moment, I know that God was with me. He was hearing my prayers even though I was so angry at Him.
My entire life, God was secondary in my life. My parents were on opposite sides when it came to teaching us about the Bible or getting us into church. My mother tried her best to instill Christian values into our lives even though we didn’t make it to church. Looking back, I am so thankful for her love & guidance, she really did her best with the odds stacked against her.
Lots happened over the course of my childhood. I was molested as a young girl by my Aunt's foster child. Her abuse against me started the hatred and shame I would have towards myself going into my teenage years. I hid the shame well, really well, and became great at keeping secrets. This was a dark cloud that hung over my head for decades. I hated myself. The eating disorders began and the contempt for myself continued with body issues, extreme guilt, and I got really good at faking my happiness. My parents divorced when I was 18 and this started a downward trend in my life, including a sexual assault a year later. This was the icing on my shame cake. By age 19, I couldn't care less about myself or the people around me.
Through my early twenties, I was sinning for a living. Drinking, drugs, promiscuity…well all the sins. I treated myself and others poorly. And my risky behavior was at an eleven. I was filled with shame & pain. I was selfish and didn't care who I hurt along the way. Again, God wasn't even in my rearview mirror, even though now I know HE was always there.
The love of my life, Earl came back into my life and things started to change. Earl made me feel beautiful, worthy, and loved. BUT even with this daily love from him, I still felt that dark cloud lingering over me. Hubby & I shared a marriage filled with love, fun, and amazing times together. God was still not part of my life and praying actually made me feel awkward and uncomfortable. During this time I attended Liberty University for my Bachelor's degree. It was a Christian university, so the curriculum was based on a Christian worldview. This was my 1st real interaction with Christianity. After this, I remember feeling, "Huh, this Christian thing is for me. Can I be saved?" So I started telling people I was a Christian, but honestly, I was just really good at faking it. I wasn't even close to having a relationship with God.
Then February 2022 happened. This would be the start of the toughest, most devastating months of my life. My husband and I started having the usual cedar fever. My central Texas friends, you get it. We were both struggling with the sniffles, and sinus issues…ugh. I started to feel better after about a week, but Earl struggled for a few more weeks. Then WHAM. He couldn't breathe and I'm calling an ambulance. After 27 terrifying minutes, the paramedics are taking the love of my life, my best friend away in an ambulance. I followed behind in our truck, crying so hard I could barely see to drive. Ok, B…pull yourself together. I remember yelling at God, "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME!?"
And for the next 6 months, we dealt with 5 more hospital stays, some more scary ambulance rides, and some devastating moments. On our 3rd hospital stay, we had a pulmonologist tell us Earl most likely would not survive. Let the devastation and anger towards God begin. We had so many people praying for us, but I was still mad. I was so angry with God for doing this to such an amazing man. I started to create this hard shell and wall around myself and started to prepare myself to be a widow. This hard shell was my way of coping. I needed to prepare my heart to be broken into a million pieces. If my husband was going to die, I needed to be ready to endure the pain. He was on 100% oxygen support, a feeding tube, and is slowly melting away before my eyes. If God is so good, why would he do this to us?
After months and months of tests, doctor visits, and lots of impatiently waiting, we started to get some answers. I started to see my husband reading his Bible every day. He was praying. But I still wasn't really on board. My fear was stomping all over the little faith I had left. Caring for my husband alone was the hardest thing I ever had to do, so when my in-laws came to visit, it was a relief to have some family support. During their visit, we placed our hands on my husband and my Father-in-law prayed over him. I felt the strongest wave of hope rush over me, like a fire in my chest. It was like a jolt of electricity hit my heart. God was there with us. His hands were on my husband along with ours.
After this, I started to pray. My faith was being restored and I was renewed. I knew God was with us and was going to heal my husband. Soon after this, my husband started to recover. The same doctor who warned us he would die marked his chart as a "remarkable recovery" just a month ago. The lung disease and fibrosis, the doctors stated he would deal with for the rest of his life, were completely gone. The doctors had no explanation, but we knew it was God.
So now over a year since that first ambulance drive, I am saved. Praise Jesus! My husband and I now have dedicated our lives to serving God. Our marriage, our business, our daily lives are filled with prayer, praising Jesus, and working every day to glorify God.
I was a super sinner, a broken girl, and in the darkest place of my life, and He forgave me. The dark cloud of shame that had followed me since I was a young girl was finally gone.
I am chosen.“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
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