#Amazed

A year and a half ago I became a “Yes Girl” for God.  It started when He asked me if I was done running from Him, and I said, “Yes, Lord.  I am.”  Little did I know that those four little words would radically change my life forever.  The next yes was easy;  He just wanted me to go to church.  So I did.  And I was amazed as I listened to the worship music and the message from the pastor and knew with all of my heart that God was speaking to me and telling me that this was where I belonged.  My next yes was not so easy!  Quit your job.  What did you say God?  Are you kidding me?  Now you have to understand, I have always been very independent and able to take care of myself, especially financially.  And God knew that this yes would not be easy for me.  He knew my insecurities.  So, he worked it out where I ended up at a weekend seminar to learn how to flip houses.  That made sense.  Yes, I would quit my job because God was giving me another one.  One where I could do something I enjoyed, be my own boss and, most importantly, replace my income pronto!  Yes, God.  I will do that!  So I quit my job and set out to be the next real estate tycoon, fully expecting to be amazed at my success!  Ha!  God is so clever.  He knew that I wasn’t at the point where my faith was strong enough that I would quit my job without having another one.  Needless to say, the real estate venture didn’t go quite like I had planned.  For starters, it took quite a bit longer than I anticipated to find a house to flip, then it went over budget, and we ultimately ended up leasing it instead of selling it!  Our next venture wasn’t much better.  It too went way over budget.  And while I am thankful that we made money, I must confess that we didn’t make nearly enough to justify the hassle of it!  Do I even need to tell you that I was not even close to being amazed!  On the other hand, not having a full time job allowed me to spend the entire summer repairing my relationship with my 14 year old daughter, who had been living with her dad since we divorced when she was 7.  God did what only God could do, and, over a year later i am still amazed that He brought her here to live with me!

Once school started, my insecurity about not being able to take care of myself financially really began to take its’ toll on me, and I began to look for other money making opportunities in my real estate business, but I heard God say, not now.  So my search began for another job, and I was lucky enough, or so I thought, to stumble upon a recruiting position that offered a flexible schedule where I could work from home after my training period.  It was a commission only position, but that was fine with me; I had been very successful in sales.  This must be what God wanted me to do.  After 6 months of working and not making a single penny, I ended my recruiting career.  But instead of immediately looking for another job, I really prayed and asked God to lead me where he wanted me.  He was calling me to the ministry.

I was volunteering with a ministry that helps post abortive women find healing and restoration through God’s amazing mercy and grace, but He was asking me to fully commit to this ministry.  And I gladly said, “Yes, Lord.  I will.”  He is now opening doors to take our ministry into the prison system, and I know that he is calling me there.  Yes, Amazed.

As I look back over the last year and a half of my life, I would have to write a book to tell you all of the amazing things that God has done and how he has blessed me time and time again.  So I will leave you with this.  Isn’t it just like God to give me just the gentle nudge that I needed to let go of my insecurity and place my trust completely in Him so that he could amaze me?  Amazed indeed.

My Story

I grew up in Church. I was saved at 8 years old. But, when I was a sophomore in High School we stopped going. I was young, impressionable, and I didn’t have a relationship with Christ. It didn’t take long before I began making poor choices that would change my life forever.I fell head over heels for a young man who would go on to break my heart so badly that I vowed that I would never let anyone close enough to hurt me again. I kept people at a distance and I never let my guard down enough to allow myself to be vulnerable. Or so I thought. I ended up pregnant at 19, and before I thought things through I had an abortion. I thought that I could end my pregnancy and forget that it ever happened. That no one would ever find out and my life would go on like it never happened. Wrong again. Immediately after leaving the clinic, I had to have my friend that drove me pull over so that I could throw up on the side of the road because I was so disgusted with myself. I remember sobbing, but then telling myself that I was not allowed to cry. I made this decision, and I did not deserve to cry over it or anything else for that matter. My decision to abort my child scarred me more than I could have ever imagined it would.
Less than a year later I was pregnant again. This time I didn’t even consider having an abortion. We got married. The entire time I was pregnant I was terrified that something was going to be wrong with our child because of what we had done. I had those thoughts again when I was pregnant with our daughter 7 years later. Even after both of them were born, and I knew they were healthy, I still feared that something would happen to them because I didn’t deserve them.
I got back in church. I even sang in the choir and performed special music. My husband had become a Christian and he was ON FIRE for God. Everything on the outside looked perfect, but on the inside I was dying. I was jealous of the passion that my husband had for Jesus, and I was angry that God was revealing things to him that he had never shown to me. I began to resent them. By them I mean God and my husband! And let me tell you that Satan took full advantage of that! All of a sudden everything began to take priority over my marriage and my family. My hobby; my job; my friends; you name it. If it got me away from my husband I was all for it.
Then I had a job opportunity that moved us away. Away from our family, friends, church…our support system. That is when things started really getting messy. I remember begging God to fix me so that I could fix my marriage. I told God that I wanted to fall back in love with my husband, but my actions certainly didn’t show that I did. I was hanging out with single people, spending every evening in the bar for happy hour, I found myself involved in an inappropriate relationship and soon I began to believe Satan’s lies. I would tell myself that even though I knew the Bible says what God has joined together let no one put asunder, that GOD didn’t put us together. After all, I never asked God if he was the person that He wanted me to be with. So if God didn’t put us together then I didn’t really have to stay married to him. And besides, divorce isn’t the unpardonable sin. So after 14 years of marriage I told him that I wanted a divorce. And when he said that he wanted custody of our kids I agreed…because I didn’t deserve them…I was a terrible person. A year later they moved back with me, but I had completely bought into Satan’s lies that I was a terrible person; a terrible mother; that I didn’t deserve to have a relationship with my children; and they were really better off without me. And, I had become completely self-absorbed. So I put myself and the relationship that I was in ahead of them and after a year they moved back to their Dad’s. I was hurt, and I believed I deserved to be hurt. But more importantly my children were hurt. I know they felt abandoned, unimportant and un-loved by their own mother.
3 years after my divorce, I married the man that I met and became friends with while I was still married. After a series of trials and tribulations the marriage ended in divorce 18 months later. I believe that our relationship was doomed for a number of reasons. One, it began in secret and anything that has to be done in secret is wrong. And two, I continued my pattern of distancing myself and running. Remember, no one was going to hurt me. Once the relationship began to hurt my instinct was to flee as fast as I could. My new motto was, “it doesn’t matter how you feel because feelings will change. If it’s hard and it hurts get out as fast as you can!”
With two failed marriages, a strained relationship with my children, and my self-esteem in the toilet, I sought the help of a professional counselor. Less than year later I was successful by the world’s standards. I was a Vice President of one of the largest banks in the nation. I had a six figure income. I was physically fit; I even ran my first ½ marathon on my 39th birthday. I was smiling on the outside, but I was completely numb and empty on the inside.
Fast forward 2 years. I was dating a wonderful man, and I knew that God was speaking to me. I received a postcard in the mail advertising Life Spring Church’s one year anniversary. I thought to myself, “I need to check them out,” and I put the postcard in a drawer. After only 3 months Trey and I got engaged. My career was not only unfulfilling, but it had me trapped in a lifestyle that I knew was unhealthy and I needed to escape. It was one of the scariest decisions that I had ever made, but after much prayer and trusting God’s direction for my life, I resigned from the bank and Trey and I started Rambo Real Estate. In February 2012 I visited Life Spring Church for the 1st time. Trey was at work so I went alone. I knew that God wanted me to be there, that He was speaking to me, and it was all that I could do to keep my tears controlled.
I was finally broken.
In the days and months ahead, I was desperate for Jesus. I was desperate for His word. And I was desperate for His grace. I had carried around an overwhelming amount of guilt and sorrow long enough. He led me to The Restore Ministry where I joined a Bible study called “Surrendering The Secret” and is all about healing the heartbreak of abortion.  During this study, I was reading and praying, and I asked God, “Why would you ever forgive me for everything that I have done? I don’t deserve your forgiveness. And I can never forgive myself.” In that instant I knew. I was right I didn’t DESERVE God’s grace. None of us do. That is the beauty of Grace. And I knew that I had a choice. To accept His grace or to tell him that Jesus dying on the cross wasn’t enough for me. Then he led me to Luke 7. There was a sinful woman who bought an expensive bottle of perfume, and cried as she washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair. She kissed his feet and poured perfume on them. She showed great love because all of her sins were forgiven. Jesus said, “anyone who has been forgiven for only a little will show only a little love.” I have been forgiven A LOT! And because of that I love Him so much more!
I received the healing that I desperately needed from my abortion through Restore Ministry and Surrendering The Secret. And I know that it is no coincidence that this process also brought healing to the other areas in my life as well. My relationships have been restored with my children and my family. My daughter, who is now 15, has been living with me for over a year. My son and I are closer than ever.  And while I still sometimes struggle with the fear of being hurt and distancing myself, I have learned not to run. I have learned to trust God in ALL things for He knows the plans he has for me…a future filled with hope – a future of success, not of suffering. And He commands me, do not be afraid. He is with me every step of the way.
You see, I spent the first 41 years of my life knowing ABOUT Jesus. But now I KNOW Jesus. I was broken. Jesus put me back together. And I finally have the peace that surpasses all human understanding.