My Story and How God has Loved Me | The Savings Wife

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Story and How God has Loved Me

Repelling upside down off the 50 foot tower

Before I start in to my story, I want to make something abundantly clear.  My story will be different from your story. Don't expect God to show love you in the same way he has showed love to me.  Just like each of my kids who respond to a different type of love language yours can and probably will be different.  My main spiritual gift is one of prophecy so even the way God communicates to me is unique to equip me to use that gift.  One gift is not better than the others nor does God love me any more or less than you.   That being said here is probably one of the craziest stories of love you will hear.  This is my story.

Before any story can take place lets set the background for you.

I grew up in a very very small town in the North Carolina mountains.  We had one stop light and our closest movie theater was over an hour away.  Even state employees were poor and made very little money.  Our family lived on a mountain with my grandmother and grandfather just a run down the mountain away.  We lived a farm life to supplement the income my grandfather, dad and grandma made.  We had a garden, chickens and occasionally a pig.  Even though we did not own the cattle my great uncle and aunt did and we were also a small run away from them.

My God Story!

Kindergarten Photo
My youngest memories are the night when my sister Melanie was born seeing my mom with her big belly grabbing a jacket in the middle of the night before taking me to my grandma's house to spend the night.  I was 3 and still can remember that beautiful glow in the room.  By the age of 4 I would play hide and seek in the woods with my cousins.   My cousins were preachers kids.  Although, I hardly went to church they became my mini-teachers.  They showed me his love and corrected me when I did something that wasn't fair or nice.  One year we got a pool and I remember my cousin Scott would practice baptizing me.   When we would play house my cousin Ellen would be my teacher.  We sang the childhood songs of God as she taught me basic math.

When I started finally started school at the age of 6 (my birthday fell 2 days past the cutoff), I was devastated to learn that my cousins would be moving away.   They were my closest friends and I remember crying for 2 days straight over my cousin Ellen.  Gone was my closest playmates and I was lonely.  A few months before they left God had sent me a new companion (guardian).  A beautiful dog which I named Lady.  She followed me everywhere and even got help when I found myself hanging from a tree.

With no more cousins, I pretended to play with Jesus while Lady watched.  We would hike for hours in the woods.   I tried playing hide and seek and tag with God but I realized he already knew my every move.  My cousins house stayed empty for a few years and my sister grew up enough so she could venture out with me. I was very accident prone and had 4 broken arms my kindergarten year.   My sister was only 4 and had a hard time keeping up with her big sister so I spent a long time sitting in the wood watching her try to find me. I would just talk to God and wonder if I was too fast for the guardian angel he provided to keep up.  Looking back on Those two, I see them as the building blocks for my relationship with God.   I loved him and although I didn't hear the audible voice I knew he was there and would be there with me always.   I occasionally would visit church in the winter or when my dad didn't want to go to the lake.  I always felt like the outsider.  One of the girls didn't like me much and was mean to me so I hated going when we went because of her.

3rd grade photo
New neighbors, the Duncan's, appeared in the form of a new preacher for my cousins old church.  They had two younger kids and to my delight they invited me to ride with them to a Wednesday night church.   There were four of us kids in the back of a little yellow VW bug.   This was my first real experience with church.  Although we would occasionally go on Sundays to my grandfather's church, I finally found a place that I felt I belonged. There were lots of boys and they liked to play rough like me.  Here is where I learned all the stories in the bible.  Here is where I got to sing again the songs Ellen and I had sung.  My relationship with God was growing as I learned the stories about him.   I learned that I needed to read the bible and pray.  I started memorizing scripture.  When I had to go back to my grandfathers church I now had verses to say that were not the simple ones and I could out do the girl who was mean to me.  I even once memorized all of Psalms 23 just to show her up and to prove I had every right to be at church.

As I said, I like to pay rough.   I had what they call a mini-bike (think Honda mini-trail).  Although I had heard of miracles and guardian angels, I was about to get my first experience with them.

It had been a long winter and I could not wait to ride my little motorcycle (mini-bike).   My sister jumped on back and we zoomed off toward the mountain road.  I totally had forgotten about the brand new chain that would be strung across the road to keep others from off our family land.  I also didn't check my brakes to see if they would move or work.  I was also a speed demon when it came to the motorcycle so as a rounded the curve and saw the chain I tried my brakes, they didn't work.   I remember closing my eyes and pleading with God to, "Help Me.".  I saw white and when I awoke under the chain I looked for my sister.   She was not there.   Although she was behind me on the mini bike she was now 200 foot a head of me still on the bike.  She fell off right before the motorcycle fell over and landed in front of her.  I had went over her head she said as she ran back to me.  I go to her to get the motorcycle and start walking it back toward home.   My sister stopped, turned white and then screamed.   The chain had hit me on my collar bone and had torn the first layer of skin off from there to my top of my neck.  My injuries despite how they looked were not severe.  I knew that my God had came to the rescue.  By all accounts of what happened, I should have been dead.  30-45 mph into a 3 inch chain with my neck should have been the end of my story, but it was only the beginning of the miracles and ways my God showed his love.

I'm the one in the center with the prom dress on. I liked lace.
Fast forward a few years this time I have just graduated elementary school (8th grade).  I had been a Jr. fireman for a few years and this year we were sponsoring a rodeo.  Because I was used to farm animals I went to help unload the bulls.   The way you unload them is you put a section of metal fence up to the side of the ramp for them to force them down the ramp and into the field.   I was on one side with a  length of fence. Needless to say one bull was bull headed.  He jumped into the fence and I landed on the ground with a fence and a bull on top of me.  The people watching came running and even a few of them admitted to seeing the bull step down on me.  Some even said they saw blood and they ran to grab my dad to get him to take me to the hospital.  When they got the bull and the fence off of me I had no marks, cuts or even bruises. The bull they said had stepped on me multiple times.  That afternoon I went home and as I shed my outer clothing I saw it.  On my bra was a complete hoof print of where the bull had stepped on me.  God had saved me once again.  The next week the rodeo's owners son would loose his life to that same bull and I would be even more grateful.  

I had always been a girl who liked boys.  My best playmates at school were boys.  I remember that girls didn't like me much they all wanted to play house while the boys were more my speed.  I was a tom boy and loved the action and adventure of GI Joe, football and sports.   I also loved my dad.  He had no boys until I was 8 so I  had firmly set my place as the girl who could do anything any boy could do.  I hated being told I needed to play with the girls by teachers.   They even separated me from the boys my 3rd grade year to try and make me play with the girls.  The boys would protect me, fight over me and even give me kisses and gifts.  I loved the attention.  When I moved on to high school although I had girl friends, I loved and craved the attention of the guys.   I had lots and lots of boyfriends and just guy friends.   Although all my kisses and crushes from youth had been innocent, I was naive and didn't think when the guys started pressuring me into more adult stuff.  In order for them to love me I caved.   I knew this was not where God wanted me but their were other things going on that I didn't know how to handle.  My dad was hitting his midlife crisis and my mom was very hormonal which made them fight a lot.  Never really seeing my parents fight I strove for a way out of the house.  I grabbed a job and the boys were other way I could stay away from home.   They had cars and they would take me on their own adventures.  By my Sophomore year, I was engaged to be married. He was in college and I even worked with him.  His sister was my closest friend.  He started reading the bible to me because it was part of his class work and he wanted us to share the bible together.  I was instantly hooked on him.  I let him change me and further take away my innocence.   He told me I was his Gomer (see the book of  Hosea).  That he would marry the harlot (me) and God would be pleased.  I wanted to please God so I gave him all of me.  He told me that what we were doing was ok because we were going to be married, but I couldn't get past the feeling I was doing something wrong.  He used the women must be silent verses on and me even my mom got worried that I had changed so much.

I'm on the left at the JROTC Military Ball
God would soon show his mercy once again with my life.  His sister and I were going shopping for prom my jr year.  My mom and sister were with us.  That night as my mom pulled into my fiance's drive our van was hit from the backside.   The car spun and threw my sister and my friend out the side window.  I was thrown into the cup holder because I had not yet released my seat belt.  That night my friend and I were rushed by ambulance to the hospital. My sister had landed on my friend and broke her breast plate and escaped unharmed, my mom was not hurt.  My dad was once again on the lake which is where we spent most of the time we should have been at church.   That night as my dad was racing  to get the the hospital, he pleaded with God.  "God if you will just let my daughter live, I'll go to church."  As he approached the church on the side of the road he saw and angel.  He knew his prayer had been answered.  The next day the swelling in my brain had went down enough so I could be taken home.  Even though I was released I was mostly blind.  I could only see light and we were not sure how much I would get back.   It would be a total of 3 days before I could see clearly again. I understood the verses where the blind man only seeing trees when I looked at people.   My dad kept his promise and started taking me to church.  It wasn't long before my sister and I accepted Christ as our savior and we were baptized as soon as the river thawed.

I begin to question the things I had been taught and became even more uncomfortable with what I was doing with my fiance. God was about to let my world be turned upside down.

One night during my senior year my fiance told me that he had cheated on me.   I was crushed.  I could not understand how he could do that to me.  My worth was wrapped up in this man, my self made god.  I let him control my actions and behaviors. I obeyed his every whim and desire.  He was very jealous so I didn't hang out with anyone but his sister.  He was my whole world and I made him my idol.  I left his house that night with one intent, to kill myself. I felt the guilt of everything I had done that I knew I wasn't suppose to do.  I had disobeyed God and was deceived by a man I thought loved me.  I had a car and I knew that the Big Rigs frequented the road in front of his house.  I backed onto the highway to see the familiar lights of a one coming toward me.  I turned off the car and and waited in the dark.  While in the silence and through the tears, I heard God's voice.  He whispered out loud to me in the quiet, "I know your life is a mess, let me give you a new one with me."  Let me guide your life, I'll never hurt you."  I told him ok and preceded to try and start my car.  It wouldn't start.  I cried out again to my God, "I don't want to die". The car started and I pulled back into his drive-away as the truck shook the back of my car.  I made a promise that night that I would never ever try and take my life again ever, no matter how much pain or guilt I had.   I vowed that my life from that moment on was his and not my own.  I died that night.  He would be my Lord not just my savior.  I was totally his.  I stopped going to his house after work, I became the closing cashier, and in a week we would be at college, either married or not I didn't know.

Although, I had made this commitment, I did not understand how God would clean up my life.  I didn't' know how to break free and I was concerned that I might have to forgive him and marry him anyway.

God made a way.  The married student apartments were full and I would have to live in the girls dorm. God stopped me from marring the guy.

I did not know it at the time but my fiance has started using drugs and forgot about me.  He wouldn't come out of his room except to attend classes, he traded me for drugs.   I finally got the strength to break up with him.  I roommate was there to support me me through it so were my new friends at college.

My husband and I in college
It was at college, I learned that I was more than just a sex object.  It was here that a guy broke up with me because I was too much of a temptation to his commitment to wait until marriage.  God completely changed my view of what a godly man was.  I also got my first example of a non-hypocritical christian was, Amy and I wanted what she had.   I dove into christian music and the bible and began setting myself apart from things that were not good.  This is when I fell in love with God again.   God became my One Love, I couldn't get enough of him or his people. These were some of my happiest years.   I blossomed and flourished under his care.  I decided that I only wanted a man who could wait for me.   I was done being used and thrown aside. I wanted someone who wanted me for who I was.      

It is here I met my husband bill.   We dated for 4 long years and I made him promise that I had to graduate before he could ask me to marry him.  We were married shortly after I graduated.  God had brought along a man who loved me as I was and who was a friend before he became a boyfriend.  Soon after we got married we both stopped going to church.  Married life was fun and no one from the church we attended ever checked on why we were not there.  They made it easy for us to fall away.

A year later we moved to Pennsylvania. God would act through my new mom-in-law.  She figured out that we were not attending church so she found a church for us when she came to visit.  We attended and we were hooked. We loved the upbeat music and great preaching.   They welcomed us with open arms and we became involved in the church as a way of keeping us there.

My husband and I joined my friend Jen in teaching the youth group. I also sang with the church band.  I loved singing and when my voice changed dramatically due to being pregnant with our second boy, God provided a new way of praising him through the use of a Bass Guitar.  I became director of the kids worship services.  Lets just say I can really organize.

The Wedding

God had gotten me my desires and was about to show me how deep his desire for me would go.  He means it when he says he is a jealous God.  

My husband begin traveling a lot with work.  It was during this time he sent me a teacher to help me learn how to raise my two young boys, Jen.  She was part of the band and also a young mother. She would help me to learn to rely on God again.  She taught me how to put God first in my marriage and how my husband would have to stay in second place.  She taught me about how to love other women and how to address there needs.  She taught me that God was the only perfect man and that he could ful-fill all my needs. God became my First Husband.  He would console me when my husband was gone.  He was the one I could talk too when I was lonely.  He was the one I would sing praise too when the hurt of being alone got so bad. Due to my harsh past I wanted to help others during those crucial teen years.   My husband and I joined my friend Jen in teaching the youth group at our church. I taught youth group and then later the teen Sunday school class.

After I had learned to put my husband in the correct place behind God. My husband decided to take a change of job so he could stop traveling and we moved to California.

My best friend Jen and I.
It was there God taught me about how to do his work.  He taught me a new way of reaching others by coming along beside of them at each stage of my life.  To harvest as I go.  I lead a very successful mom's group in California to give help other moms not be as lonely.   God taught me how to pray and how to let his holy spirit lead me by bringing me another teacher, Gretchen.  He placed me along side other workers.  The church was really good at "Strengthening Servants" and showed me the benefits of small group ministry.  It was here that God told me I would be a worship leader and I needed to go back to PA.  We were there only two years when God called us back to PA and him to his old job.

Back in Pennsylvania, We jumped back into our old church rather quickly and I started playing bass for the band.  We returned to a church that had been through a lot in the 2 years we were gone. Lots of people we had known had left the church and their was a lot of hurt and bitterness there.  The youth group that I had spend so much time on was gone.  We had a lot of work to do to try and help mend the church.   It was here I became the worship minister of the church just as God had told me about.   God was teaching me perseverance and meekness.  The church began to bloom again.  More people stepped up to service and before I knew it God had brought in a replacement for us.  He closed doors for our ministries and opened them to a new church that would be what our kids needed for there growth.

That's catches me up to where we are now.  Their are a lot of other things God has done in my life and a lot he has brought me through.  Poverty, The loss of children, sickness and almost death of children,  rape, death of my grandfather, betrayal by brothers and sisters in Christ, verbal and physical abuse, cancer scares, injuries, ill parents and the loss of great friends.  All of which my God was with me for and are part of my story.   I thank God for his continued refining of me, how he showed me his glory and mercy.  I can hear his still small voice guiding me.  I look forward to the opportunity to meet him face to face.   My God knows me like no other and he woo's me.

I would love to hear your story of God's love.  You can share in the comments below or even email it to me at

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