I can remember that day 25 years ago like it was yesterday. My memory of about a 45-minute time span appears in my mind as a video from another perspective. It is like it was filmed by someone who was not even there and I was nothing but an actor. I could see it all as though I was about 15 feet above the unfolding drama.
I have had many things in my life prior to this moment that were very despairing and although they had a great impact on my life, they each almost made my heart or my attitude harden. I used each thing that hurt me deeply to build a wall so that would not happen to me again! What I did not realize was that hardening of one’s heart does not make one stronger. My heart was deceiving me. I would rise up and say…never again.
This day was different. This moment in time felt as though it destroyed me. It felt like someone reached inside of me and turned me inside out!
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1Pe 1:7 KJV
Faith? I have to ask myself as I look back on that time. How much faith did I have? At the same time it was perfect timing for God to allow this.
Have you heard the saying “be careful what you ask for because you just might get it”?
It had only been maybe 4 or 5 weeks or so before, I had been up late and as I turned the channels on TV I stopped on a channel of a man preaching. I felt convicted deeper than in the past. I fell to my knees in front of the couch and prayed so hard. Tears streamed down my face and I said change me, change my life, whatever it takes. I want my life to be yours. I meant it. I had said this before and meant it before but it felt deeper this time.
I remember the very next day I went to the mailbox and there was a letter written to me from my husband. (Yes, we were still living together he was just always working.) You can imagine my puzzlement. Why would my husband have mailed me a letter? It was thick and certainly not a one pager. I remember going to my bedroom and sitting on the bed and opening this and began to read it. My husband had been what I now call the CON-MAN. He was an excellent liar! Not something one usually wants to list on a resume’. I always caught him in lies. I would question him several ways so as not to end up thinking I was making more of something than I should be. I would ask it in so many ways that it would be clear and he would only hang himself. So, this was literally a suicide letter. (or was it really?) He was working for an insurance company and he began to tell how he had been embezzling from it, he had been scamming the system.
He also went all the way back to the beginning when we met. He came clean with lies he had told me. Things he made up about his life before he met me. I suppose these things were supposed to make me fall for him more? Those things would not have changed that I fell for him. But, at that moment they changed everything. WOW, I did not even know this man. We had a son together. Yet EVERYTHING that I still had thought was true about him was ALSO A LIE. Who was this man I was married to?
I remember crying out to the Lord God, sort of tears and laughter. “What God? I said to change my life but what is this??? What on earth do I do with this?”
Shortly after my mother and father in law came to my door. They had also received a letter. His boss had received a letter. (Personally, I think it was one more con because he knew he was about to get busted and so he was going to play on the emotions of those closest to him in order to get the sympathy to get him out of the hot water he had created for himself. You see his boss was also very close friends of his mom and dad and that is how he got the job in the first place. So, a letter to him would make sense. He would only fire him and charges for embezzlement would not happen.)
That is not what happened on June 11th. That was a few weeks before. He was supposed to be going to counseling and our marriage was totally over. This was all just a prelude to June 11th.
June 11th. It was only myself and my two sons at home in our small apartment that morning. I had a weight lifting bench set up between the kitchen and the living room. The phone rang and my oldest son (from a previous marriage) answered the phone. He was 9 and his little brother was 3. My son told me it was grandma (my mom). I was living in Michigan and my parents lived in Arkansas where I was born and raised. I get on the phone and my mom tells me she has bad news. Your daddy died this morning. WHAT?
I dropped the phone to the floor. I fell to the floor and just kept crying and screaming NO…NO…NOOOO. It was loud. Phone still laying in the floor where I dropped it, I was just screaming and ran through the living room and into my bedroom and fell onto the bed and cried and screamed until I got it all out. Then I just stopped. It was not real. I will never see my daddy again? Not him, God, why not mom….not my dad. (mom and I had always had issues…mom and daughter issues). I got up and went back to the phone. She told me she would let me know about arrangements. My two little boys had just sat down on that weight bench. They were sitting there when I ran into the bedroom. I can see them from the memory of that moment. They had to have been scared. They knew something horrible had to have happened. They had never seen me react like that. They were afraid to move, to say a word.
What was God doing? I asked Him to take my life a few weeks before and my life seemed to spiral even more out of control.
So, what do the scriptures say before this one I put at the beginning of this blog about trials?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1Pe 1:3 KJV
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 1Pe 1:4 KJV
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1Pe 1:5 KJV
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 1Pe 1:6 KJV
We see in verse 6 it says we BECAUSE OF verses 3-5 we will GREATLY REJOICE! BUT…now for a season (or a period of time…long or short), IF NEED BE, we will be in HEAVINESS (in the Greek means, sadness, sorrowfulness, distress, grieve).
Heaviness of what? Verse 6 says through manifold temptations. What does that mean?
Manifold – Of uncertain derivation; motley, that is, various in character: – divers, manifold. (Means many different; many different colors; many different things.)
Temptation- From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation,
So, we during this time before Jesus Christ returns for His children we have a big chance of being saddened and distressed by many different temptations or trials. Temptations are as stated above trial by putting to proof by experiment of good or experience of evil. Solicitation, discipline or provocation by implication adversity…temptation.
As I said at the beginning of this blog, I had taken bad experiences and built up a wall saying NEVER AGAIN. Never again will someone hurt me like this. Never again will I be taken advantage of. Never again will I love someone to that degree. Never again will I be walked out on but I will walk out first. NEVER AGAIN.
After my dad died I began to learn I HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO TRUST AND LEAN ON GOD, JESUS CHRIST AS MY SAVIOUR. Faith would begin to grow. My life forever changed that day. It was a sad day but I would not change it for anything. I lost my daddy but I was truly beginning to be introduced to my eternal Father in Heaven!