This past week, I jumped on my road bike for a good, long ride. At one pont, I saw it – a huge…and I mean HUGE St. Bernard dog bounding towards me.
Before I knew it, he had knocked me right off my bike, pinned me to the ground and had started licking me with his huge, sloppy tongue.
Eventually, I got back onto my bike with the smell of dog breath lingering all around me and I started pedaling. Not 100 feet away, I saw a large, colorful turtle crossing the road at a pretty good turtle-clip, so I got off my bike, took some pictures and basked in this simple moment.
These two incidents reminded me of seasons in my life – sometimes, the heaviness has just knocked me right off my feet. Sometimes, the lightness has just filled my heart with joy.
I was drawn to Jesus because I needed Someone to run to in all circumstances.
By the time I was in my early teens, I had learned that people really disappoint, happiness isn’t the goal and life really hurts.
I needed help.
I grew up in a very dysfunctional home, with an alcoholic mother, a biological father who should have gone to jail for his crime and two other men in my life, who my mother remarried.
My world always felt unstable and unpredictable. I never knew what was coming at home and much of what did come was sad. I found my own temporary solution to that – I hid away in a gym, trained hard and stayed away from the chaos at home. In many ways, gymnastics saved me.
When I was 14 years old, my mother thought she was registering me for a sports camp but it was actually Mini-Yo-We, a camp where everybody was talking about Jesus.
I loved the activities and the new friends, but I was particularly drawn to the Bible. I had never heard it before and I was deeply comforted by the fact that God loved me and He was in control. I didn’t know very much but by the end of camp, I believed that I could change because Jesus doesn’t. He was the hope and security that I had been looking for. I prayed that night and asked God to take control of my life. That was forty-two years ago and I can still remember the deep joy in my heart as I went to sleep that night. Jesus had became my Savior.
I have been knocked off my feet many times since that day – painful situations with my mother, fourteen months of insomnia after my third child was born and the most painful time being that after eighteen years of marriage, I discovered that my husband had been involved in many affairs. He took me out on the back deck, told me that he didn’t love me anymore and left me with three struggling teenagers. THOSE were very dark, overwhelming days. I’ve read my journals from that time – I was broken and in great need of Jesus’ healing mercy. I have never experienced God’s comforting presence more intimately than during that horrendous season of life.
Knocked right off my feet, yet continually restored by a God who is Hope.
There have also been countless moments when life has been delightful and light…and I have had time to get off my bike and watch a turtle cross the street.
…times like the birth of my three children, wonderful friendships characterized by laughter and lightness, endless opportunities to build into the lives of others and most unexpectedly, when God brought Chris into my life.
I know that God is in control- fully and faithfully. Hebrews 10:23 constantly reminds me to hold unswervingly to the hope I profess for He who promised is faithful, no matter what comes. Our family continues to heal and I am confident that God is continually drawing me to Himself in everything that I experience.
I’m loved. I’m His…so I holding on and hoping hard.