I have a confession to make! I lost my faith over the past three years and ultimately, my relationship with God. Embarrassing, yes...Real, Yes...Did God ever leave my side...the answer to this question is what we're living every day in New York City as our beautiful child continues to grow inside of me....
During a conversation with my boss, Cathy, this morning she reminded me, Faith is easy to have when things are going well. Faith is defined when our limits as humans are tested and pushed. My limits have been more than tested over the last three years but really, over the past six. With her encouragement, I would like to share my experience.
On December 15, 2009, my Mom called to tell me one of a few men I loved most on earth, Jim Rogers, had just lost his battle with cancer. A year-and-a-half prior to this, I had fallen in love with a beautiful man in Nashville that, after dating for two months, was also diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Luckily for him, his family, me (and now, his beautiful new fiancé) Glenn was able to beat his cancer but the toll it took on me as someone who had only known him for a few months and tried her best to care for him during those dark days, was done. After going through cancer with Glenn and burying my step-dad on my 33rd Birthday, my fondness with God abruptly ended.
I wasn't mad at God and I didn't hate him, he just didn't fit into my life anymore. After all, what kind of God takes away a child's parent prematurely and makes a man entirely too young go through a stage 4 cancer battle with someone he barely knows? The God I knew and loved did not do that to me, my family or to Glenn and his family! So this "God" person was not truly who I thought he was...I was over him! Heck, I didn't need him anyway anyway; I was obviously managing just fine on my own!
The following years were up and down. I met Gayland in 2009 and felt like things were truly looking up. I casually gave thanks for such a wonderful man, a man I honestly never thought I'd meet. 2010 brought a new job in the restaurant industry that happened so quickly and seamlessly and was the perfect fit that I half-heartedly gave thanks (just for good luck in case he was listening) though God and I still weren't on "talking" terms. 2011 proved to be one of the worst and best years of my entire life...a feud erupted that essentially broke our family apart and just about killed everyone involved...again, where is God when I really needed him to get everyone back together again? He wasn't there! The one bright spot that year is Gayland and I married and October 19th was, and still remains, the best day of my life!
**As a side not, ironically, even though we eloped and had a civil ceremony in Punta Cana I could NOT IMAGINE getting married and not inviting God to join us so we forked out $300 to have an English speaking preacher perform a religious ceremony as well...go figure!
Wanting to move back to Nashville where we felt we were truly supposed to live out our lives together and raise our children (or child perhaps in our case now), we began looking at our options back east. After two failed attempts at jobs (and these were internal positions/transfers for both of us), we decided to begin looking at opportunities in Denver. We had approvals from multi-levels of management, put a contract on our "dream" home only to find out the final person that needed to approve the new opportunity axed it! UN-Freakin-Believable! I literally fell apart! "GOD! Where the hell are you? Are you listening to me? Do you hear what I'm saying to you? Don't you know we hate Austin and want out of there? Why are you doing this to us?" I screamed and cried on more than one occasion. Not only were God and I not on speaking terms, we were downright not friends anymore!
Jump ahead to our weekend trip to New York City (which coincidentally just so happened to occur one day after Denver fell through) and insert…GOD! The God I was really angry with (truth-be-told), the God I despised that God saved my child’s life, had me meet a wonderful person like Glenn and walk his journey with him to show me when times get really tough, I can lean on him for a shoulder to cry on and I can be strong in the middle of a storm. If any of those jobs had worked out we would have spent all of our savings on a new home and have nothing to live on in New York. It all makes so much sense now! Oh my gosh, I get it! God never left my side I just chose not to walk with him! As I fall to my knees begging for forgiveness that I certainly do not deserve, I now see that God had this all planned out for us and I was so arrogant, such a know-it-all that I couldn’t be patient to see he had the most amazing plans for us yet ahead! I totally understand now! THANK YOU DEAR LORD for unanswered prayers!
There are still questions that perhaps will never get resolved such as why my stepfather was taken too soon. I’ll never understand that as long as I live but I know some day we’ll meet again and God will give me an answer.
As for that family feud, I have no control over that either. Maybe things won’t ever change but you can bet as I thank God every day for all of the blessings he has bestowed on us I will continue praying for a resolution! And if I've learned one thing through the trials and tribulations of late it's that God has a plan...with faith I believe, he will work this out too in his time, not mine!
Quote Of The Day: As you practice counting your blessings, you will find that your faith is being suddenly revitalized. - Robert Schuller