A friend of mine and I went out to eat at a quirky, local, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The tables bore the marks of years of use, and the booths were cramped and had holes in the vinyl. Basically, it's our favorite place to eat.
During dinner, my friend and I did what this friend and I always do, laugh way too loud and delve into all things Jesus. Not the surface-level, platitudes, but the deep. The messy. The ugly.
We talked about trusting God not just with the small things, but with the big things.
Our talk led me back to the night of the car wreck when I was standing on the side of the road, and Office Pirtle told me there were no survivors.
That was the moment my husband, five and a half-year-old daughter and 19-day old son died.
It took me back to the instant where life as I knew it was never the same.
It was the marker in my life of Before and After.
Before the wreck, I would have told you I trusted God.
But how can you know if you trust someone when you haven’t really had to trust them?
Back then, my life was the life I wanted. I had a meaningful job teaching high school speech and debate alongside my husband. My daughter not only had the most joyful, empathetic heart and love for people, she was also the smartest and prettiest girl in kindergarten. My baby boy nursed easily, gazed into my eyes, and completely stole my heart the second I laid eyes on him.
Sure, I loved God back then. But did I really trust Him?
Rick and I were both college educated and made a decent living. We had a simple home and lived within our means. There was always enough, so did we really have to trust God to provide?
Both Macy and Caleb were healthy. They were content. Did I really trust God with them?
Rick and I really liked each other. We had a rock-solid foundation of love for one another, and we enjoyed the day-to-day of life with one another. Did I really trust God with my marriage?
The truth is, I don’t know if I trusted Him during that time. I was never tested.
The testing came after the wreck.
The testing came once they were gone.
While I had claimed God was my everything, I had never allowed Him to be my everything.
And then the wreck happened.
I can remember laying in bed a few nights after and having heart-gripping fear. To the point where I wondered if I were having a heart attack.
Was everything I thought I believed true?
Was God real?
Was there an actual heaven?
Was my family there?
The dark of night brings out the dark of thought.
To give you a bit of background, I placed my faith in Jesus when I was six years old. I had been a Christian for basically my whole life. I grew up in the church. I had seasons of growing during my adolescent years, but after I left for college, I lived no differently than the world.
I attended church on holidays and a couple of random Sundays. I didn’t read my Bible, and I prayed mostly when I needed something.
After Macy was born, I attended with a bit more regularity.
Rick and I never found a church home during our marriage. We felt our ministry was the speech and debate team at school. Looking back now with a clearer perspective, it was a ministry for sure, but we weren’t growing.
And then the wreck.
And the dark of night questions.
It all boiled down to two things.
Do I trust God?
Is He trustworthy?
Today I can tell you unequivocally the answer to both questions is yes.
While He was always trustworthy, it was a process of my knowing it.
The kind of trust He was asking of me was beyond me. In my own strength, I could barely muster the energy to put on pants.
The kind of trust He was asking of me was beyond what I knew firsthand.
Yes, I grew up with godly, faithful parents who loved God, and I was in church every time the doors were open, and I knew godly, faithful preachers who taught me about the goodness of God, and I had countless Sunday school teachers pour into me about God.
But knowing about someone and knowing them are two vastly different things.
How could I trust God when I didn’t really know Him?
The years following.
Very early on after the wreck, I began reading my Bible again. I searched for answers. I searched for hope. I searched for comfort. I searched to breathe.
While any time you’re in the Bible is better than not being in the Bible, I wasn’t approaching it the right way.
God was patient with me anyway.
He was patient while I stayed so busy I never had time to think.
He was patient while I ran from Him.
He was patient when I ran to everything but Him.
He was patient with me when I told Him I knew He was there, but I was still going to do it my way.
He was patient with me when I was in outright open defiance from Him with behavior that warranted smiting.
He was patient with me when I first heard His voice again.
And then He wooed me.
He wooed me back in the midst of all my sin and yuck and disobedience and horrible attitude.
He left the 99 to save me.
The tears won’t stop falling as I write this.
Anyone else would have written me off.
Anyone else would have left me in my filth.
Anyone else would have abandoned me.
But He didn’t.
He lovingly and patiently wooed me back to Him because He is Who He claims to be.
He is trustworthy.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re in an impossible situation or impossible circumstances, there’s hope.
You have no idea how much I want to ‘give’ you trust in God.
I can’t, so I run this online ministry to provide opportunities and ways for you to get to know Him.
I so desperately want to get to be a part of Him wooing you back home.
I fervently pray for your heart to be softened and your eyes to be opened to His wooing.
If you don’t trust Him yet, will you trust me? Trust me just long enough to get to know Him.
If you're not sure where to start with reading the Bible, we have several resources for you. Start HERE.