My Story

I grew up a Pacific Northwest girl in a fairyland of swinging vine maples, bearded limbs, dew dropped ferns, and stately firs. These woods were my playground . . . and our bread and butter. Tucked neatly away on a picture perfect farm I knew little of the world outside our logging community.

But with nine siblings, I had no lack of adventure! Hay forts in the barn, slumber parties in the cow pasture, and dips in the river, kept play creative and always entertaining. We worked hard and did without. And in the evening we circled round and sang our hearts out. Then together, each one, from the littles to the growns, got down on their knees before our Heavenly Father, and prayed. We knew what it meant to fear the Lord.

Yet, this Norman Rockwell childhood could not squelch my fear of hell. I knew it was a real place, as sure as I knew there was a heaven. My family was secure in their forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. They were on the path that led to heaven, but I was afraid I would get left behind.

Finally, at the age of nine, the Holy Spirit gripped my heart and sealed me as His own. My Dad was there to point the way as I encountered the Living God. Through faith in the blood of Jesus to save me from my sin, my place in heaven was secured for all eternity.

Life stayed much the same. . . on the outside. I always liked doing what a good girl was supposed to do. But on the inside, God had started His work. I began to despise who I was and by junior high became desperate to escape my prison of fear. I longed to be a bubbly person, one who was natural at conversation. Crying out to the Lord I took a step of faith into scary obedience and He met me there, His strength perfected in my weakness. It was a turning point in my life.

As someone has said, "We hide God's Word on our hearts, but it is when our hearts are broken, that His Word truly falls into our hearts." (source unknown) Thus began my journey of knowing God in my experience. 2 Chronicles 16:9 became my life verse, "the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the whole earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His."

Yet, that was only a baby step. As I entered college, my picture perfect childhood was shattered. Every security I knew was split down the middle and I was left with a pained heart. My thoughts shouted, How could You let this happen, God? Surely, no good can come from this! I began to believe that God Himself was not good. Doubts fought strong.

My professor required of his students a paper written on the very source of my wound. I went to him with quivering lips and choked throat and told him my situation, that I could not do it. He displayed much grace and offered a way out, but then posed a challenge. Maybe God wanted me to write this paper as a healing for my hurt. I agreed to the assignment and he was right. God pulled out the blade still lodged in my heart and sewed up the wound with forgiveness . . . sweet forgiveness.

Still, I could not see the good, and "I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13) I clung to that Psalm with every ounce of my being while the tears fell soft and I wrote it down to end my paper. God brought me closure and surrender on that verse.

The situation caused some of my family to move from Oregon to Colorado. After college I found a job in this beautiful state, where I knew not a soul. Yet, I was about to come upon that goodness God had in store, a gift waiting just for me . . . my husband.

He reupholstered furniture, but God was grooming him for something else- youth ministry. It was the surest decision we've ever made, moving from Boulder to Grand Junction to accept a youth pastor position. Surely, God is good.

Meanwhile we had two children, milestones of faith, especially in the birth of our second. It was a May Day experience drawing us ever closer to Jesus in dependence on Him. Six years later, after a humbling in secondary infertility, God gave us two more children.

As we now approach an empty nest, I can look back and see so much God has done for us. However, I have to wonder if all this living is but a preparation for our real purpose, that the best is yet to come. This one thing I know, we have not yet arrived and still have much to learn, for we can never exhaust the riches of His grace, nor the depth of His character. Deep calls to deep and continues to echo on our hearts, pulling us ever nearer to His heart.

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