The one thing anyone can say of me is, I am messy! I’m not saying I’m a filthy person…actually, I’m quite a neat freak! I think and work much more efficiently in a clean house. The kind of mess I’m talking about is more matters of the heart. I have a messy heart. Over the 40 (uh-um) years I’ve been alive on this earth, I have experienced a great deal of pain, heart-break, loss, and damage. Some of my mess was handed down to me through my family, some messiness was put upon me by an abusive (now) ex-husband, while other aspects of my messy heart was of my own doing. In spite of and sometimes because of my messiness, Christ shines through.
I have been a follower of Christ for 25 years. My Christian journey hasn’t been rose petals and bons bons…quite the opposite, to be honest. I’ve had to give up a lot, sacrifice too much, die daily (which I usually do while throwing a temper tantrum), love until it hurt…then love even more, and walk by Spirit (which in my opinion, looked more like stumbling, falling, or being dragged)! I give no credit to myself for the afore mentioned. It was all Christ in me. He gets every bit of honor for everything…all the losses and all the victories.
Although some would say my first marriage ended tragically, I say it ended in a bittersweet victory. Through the 20 plus years, I have learned a great deal about prayer and petitions. I have learned to trust God in ways many people will never have to….and sadly, still many will. I have learned what love is not and in turn, have come to appreciate and deeply value when love is shown. I have learned to forgive…especially when it was the most difficult thing to do. I have learned a great deal about grace and mercy. No one deserves it…not even you or me, but it’s presence in each of our lives is utterly overwhelming. I also learned that perfection is impossible this side of heaven. I am (as we all are) a complete work in progress. I gave up perfection years ago and embraced the process of sanctification. A life of surrendering to Christ’s work in my messy heart as He sees fit…when He sees fit…and how He sees fit.
One of the best things that came from my first marriage is my four beautiful children! I don’t believe God designed women to ever stop making a big deal over their kids…no matter how old they are. It’s like we have these goggles on that keeps them at the adorable, loving age of 3. I look at each of my adult children now and can still see the baby in them. I value my motherhood, even more now than ever. Having a relationship with an adult child is strangely harder than I thought! It’s just so different from when they were all snuggly and innocent and would let me hold them in my lap. I now have deep meaningful conversations with them that sound more like friends than mother and child. They call me often to check in on me and I secretly think in my mind, “Of course I’m okay…the real question is ‘How’s my baby doing?'” Then I remember most of them are parents themselves. Grandbabies! They are an incredible joy! Being a mom is a wonderful, wonderful thing…but being a grandmother is a completely different and overwhelming joy.
Almost five years ago, as God was continuing to heal my heart from the divorce, I met my husband. I had no idea what God was up to by bringing this towering 6’2″ man into my life. In more ways than one God has used Richard to heal my messy heart. His stature alone makes me feel safe and because of his heart he is dubbed “My hero”. In the short time that we have been married there has been lots of mess…on both our parts. Yet, we have grown closer, have become even more vulnerable, and love each other deeper. I have a “strong tower” to walk this life with me when things gets really ugly and messy. He may not completely understand menopause…but he gets my heart. And that alone is worth the messes we get in to.
Through the years and the mess, God has developed in me a passion. I am passionate about God’s Word. I love every aspect of it. I love reading it devotionally, I love studying it, I love writing about it, I love memorizing it, and I especially love teaching it. I love watching people’s faces light up when they truly begin to understand the bible. I have a deep longing for everyone to fall in love with God and His Word…because when we read the Word, we are reading Jesus…we are getting to know Him personally.