Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God almighty, who was and is, and is to come!
It is my hope that by writing these stories and walking you through the years of my life that you would be able to see Jesus. That you would be able to reach out and grab hold of his garments and He would heal you, restore you, and sanctify you. Beloved, there is a real enemy out there who seeks to destroy, but my God is Greater!!! I have seen my God living, breathing, and guiding throughout my life and I want the same for you! If you do not know Him, please call out to Him. In your head, or out loud, speak the name of Jesus and ask Him to reveal himself to you. The ground that you and I stand on belongs to the creator of the universe. As in classic feudalism, surrender your allegiance to our LORD and He will provide salvation, protection, and guidance, along with countless other things. But with my LORD, this will be for now and for all eternity not as a mere vassal, but through adoption as sons and daughters of the great high King!!! To God be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
David & I were accustomed to going to church weekly and being involved with other christian believers. Our hearts ached at the thought of leaving our group behind as we set out on a new journey for California. However, God had that one covered as well. A friend of ours at church, told us about a couple in California close to our age who might be able to help us get plugged into a church. Sure enough, we met J & K as “the man in the red hat” and they became wonderful friends! They introduced us to Harvest church in Southern California where we attended together. We lived life with them for those couple of years. We went to Disneyland and acted goofy together. They were an unexpected blessing! They were our family! We still love J & K, but the distance keeps us from seeing each other often. But, thankfully, we have Facebook! But, even in the smaller concerns of life, God provides!
Desperate to take in every opportunity of the beautiful state of California, we were always on the go. Whether that meant to work, to Disneyland, to the beach, or to the mountains for snow skiing, we were always doing something. My body was exhausted emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As I said before, David & I had some of our darkest days of our marriage during this time in California. There were several factors playing into this, but mainly we were both living in selfishness and pride, looking forward to graduation where we could go on with our pretentious lives. Even though I was being broken physically, I still had a lot of emotional and spiritual work to be done!
I remember too well the hours driving home from Big Bear with my legs uncontrollably aching and cramping. However, I knew that they needed to be rehabilitated and snow skiing was my favored choice of exercise. Big Bear… ah… the stories… The earthquake! Yes, we were on the ski lift during an earthquake once. Again, God provided protection for us! We just swung in our little seat dangling above the mountain!
I remember too well the paths that led to the beach. Many required walking down a steep hill to get to the gorgeous sand and waves below. Walking downhill was harder for me than uphill. My crazy muscles were backwards! Nevertheless, I remember the embarrassment of having to sit and rest frequently to make my way down.
So, I want to end my story of our California days with another witness to God’s divine nature. There was a couple (I’ll call them Tom & Erica) in the anesthesia program with David that were having legal struggles with licensing and ended up having to leave the program. Everyone in the small resident anesthesia group was impacted and struck by the depth of something like that happening. Reverting back to everything I had known growing up christian, I felt like I should write them a small note to let them know I was praying for them. The only hesitation that I had was that I knew Tom was a very devout athiest. Nevertheless, I heeded the tugging on my heart and wrote the small, rather meaningless note that most people read, smile, and throw away. I did not know then the depth of that note. I had no idea that God was at work there and I quickly forgot I had written the note as I didn’t get any response from it. A few years later, I came across Erica and she shared her experiences that had unfolded. She told me that what I did not know is that she was & is a christian and was having to sneak out of the house to attend church because of the tension with Tom’s athiest beliefs. She said I had no idea of the degree of persecution that she was under at the time. Tom and Erica’s marriage eventually ended in divorce, but she said that I would never know how much that note meant to her. She doesn’t know how much I fought God’s calling for me to write it! Out of faith, my hand formed the words on it, but trust me, I take no credit for it! God had heard Erica’s cries and wiped the tears from her face long enough and He knew she needed the encouragement that she wasn’t alone.