Determined to be Different.

It’s not that I had a bad childhood. It’s not that anything ‘happened’ that scarred me. I just wasn’t a happy kid. I felt disconnected from my parents and my sister. I was rebellious with a capital R.

By the Grace of God, I was saved from my destructive tendencies by a God who had a larger purpose for me. A God I neither recognized nor wanted in my life. A God I finally cried out to on December 10, 1986 in a moment of desperation when I was 25 years old and on the brink of making the biggest mistake of my life.

Teri reminded me yesterday that the distance may seem insurmountable between God and I.

I may have pushed Him so far away that I don’t even feel His presence in my life.

But He is always there with me. Waiting for me to turn my head towards Him and make the tiniest gesture to Him and He comes running to me. Not to do my bidding. Not to wave a magic wand and make everything right. But to wait, patiently, for my crying to end. My confessions to cease. My repentance to begin.

He did that on December 10, 1986 in the hugest way. As I was staring at the paperwork, pen in hand, to sign the slip of paper that would allow the courts of Virginia to pronounce my marriage ended…a commitment, a vow, a covenant made before Him, before my family and friends, null and void…I felt Him there with me. Taking my face between His hands and encouraging me to be still. To seek. To listen.

I didn’t sign that paperwork. Instead, I shocked the hell out of my husband, family and friends by not so boldly (in fact…I wasn’t even sure how I got out there) marching down the aisle, announcing aloud my commitment to the one true God, and quietly and calmly looking into my husband’s admittedly sceptical eyes and silently promising him that I was determined to be different.

Different than what I had been before falling to my knees in desperation. Different than I had been growing up. Different than I had been the day we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. More different than I could ever begin to conceive.

Along with that promise was the unspoken commitment to raise our children to be different, as well.

Thankfully, gratefully, blessedly…so far they are. That could change tomorrow…we aren’t so naive to understand that. And if it did change tomorrow, we would continue to love and serve our God. The God who is the same today as he was yesterday and will be in the future. The same God that has called us to be different.

4 thoughts on “Determined to be Different.

  1. They are different! It is the fruit of hard work! I love your story Susan. Even if it isn’t the easiest story to tell…the redemption is beautiful! God is going to continue to use it. (Romans 8:18)Love you Friend,T

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  2. I can relate to your experience in so many ways. It strikes a familiar cord in me. I don’t know why I continue to wrestle with God-or maybe it’s just the unhappiness I wrestle with. Thanks for sharing this, Susan.

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