This story could be really long, but I hope when you read it you will not feel that your time was wasted. I will try to keep it short though. You are welcome.One of my goals as a child was to marry someone who went to church on a regular basis, every Sunday. I wanted that to be a part of my new life. I wanted to have someone who would help me to learn more about God and Jesus and to guide me in this new territory. I’m still a long way away from knowing everything, or anything really, but I am off to a good start. I married a church going man. I am learning. There hasn’t been too much guidance on his part for me but maybe we can work on that.
I’m going to change thoughts processes here, but stick with me; it will all make sense in the end, hopefully.I get bored at work sometimes. I needed something to keep me occupied so a friend of mine gave me some books to read. Karen Kingsbury writes Christian fiction. I think I have read almost every book I could get my hands on that I wanted to read. There are still some out in the library system, I’m sure I will get to them at some point. In her books the characters struggle with their faith and beliefs and life in general. It makes for a good story and makes them more human. They are not perfect, but in the end they all have a strong faith in God and His work. They pray a lot. And sometimes she writes little snippets of God’s words, like little whispers to the heart of the characters. They feel God and hear His voice. As a reader, you get to hear His voice, too. I am aware that people who have faith can feel God working in their lives. That is not something I have really ever experienced until this year, so hold on and I will get to that. I always sort of knew God was working on me and my life I just couldn’t see it, hear it, or feel it. I never really understood what people meant when they would say something like that. After reading some of Karen’s books I knew I wanted see, hear, and feel God the way her characters and other people did.
Changing thoughts again. Hang in there.My sister found this community church through a friend of hers. Their goal is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus. That’s a great goal for a church to have! She would tell me about certain sermon series’ they would do and the best part was you could watch them online or download them to your ipod and listen to them whenever you wanted, you know, at work. Arthur is one of the pastors at this community church. He did a series on men and women. My sister kept talking about it and I wanted to listen/watch it as well. I got the website from her and listened to the series, which was excellent. From listening to Arthur and learning from him, I too wanted a relationship with God and Jesus. Arthur would say things that stay with you and help you grow as a person with faith. Things like, you believe in God/Jesus but do you follow God/Jesus? People believe in lots of things but do they follow those beliefs? Just something to think about. Arthur is pretty cool and his series on men and women was awesome. His parenting series he did with his wife is pretty good too. It’s not a sermon series just a series he did for anyone interested in their thoughts and views on parenting and what the Bible says on how to raise children. I’m learning a lot.
So far I have seeing, hearing, and feeling God and obtaining a growing relationship with God. I’m getting there.I recently joined facebook, mostly so I could get on Pinterest, which has cut down on how much I read at work now. I picked up a few friends and have used facebook more than I thought I originally would have. This story picks up with one of those friends. Her name is Autumn. She married a wonderful man named Will. A few years later they have a baby girl--Aurora (Rorie). A couple years later they are blessed with having another baby--Arianna (Aly).
March 25th 2012 Autumn is in the hospital giving birth to their second daughter. Her husband updates her status. She is one month early in her delivery but all seems to be going well. The baby is healthy and small, but a fighter. Then the unthinkable happens. Autumn is rushed into emergency surgery for a ruptured liver. Barely two days have gone by since the birth of a baby and mom is fighting for her life now. Will asks for prayers. This is when it happens. I feel something, I hear a whisper. The time is 2:38pm on March 27th. I remember praying for Will and his little girls. That God will stay close to them and comfort them. I think this is weird because I should be praying for God to save Autumn’s life, to have her come through surgery just fine and raise her girls alongside Will. So I try again. I can’t seem to pray for Autumn the way I think I should be praying. I keep praying for God to be with Will and his girls. Then, just like in a Karen Kingsbury book, almost written in italics, I hear/feel someone say something like the prayer has been answered. Wait. What? Which prayer? Whose prayer? I now know that my prayers and everyone else’s have been heard by God. I also know that what I have been praying for has an answer. I feel that. There is this prayer and there is an answer. I didn’t make a lot of sense because my particular prayer didn’t exactly have a specific answer. It wasn’t like I had this question-prayer and God answered the question. It just felt more like there is this prayer and here is an answer, not the answer. I am slightly confused by this answer. Something doesn’t feel quite right. Then this thought comes into my head, a very quiet whisper, sometimes the answer is no. Then there is this sense of peace I feel. No more worrying about the situation with Autumn.At 3pm Will updates Autumn’s status. She had passed away. Everyone is devastated by this news. Autumn is my age, slightly older, and her birthday was coming soon. She was one of those beautiful people that you meet in life. So kind and helpful to everyone. She had qualities that I want in my life, which I want to pass on to my children. She was so wonderful. Her girls will always know the kind of person their mother was because anyone who knew Autumn will tell them so. Will will make sure they know. They will be constant reminders of her in his life. He has to navigate the world of parenthood without a wife, but with God. He is now the sole parent of two girls. My prayer is answered and will continue to be answered. God will hold them and comfort them, even though we are heartbroken.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
I have read this passage in Karen’s books and through the lives of her characters I see how it works in their lives. I better understand what it means when I see an example of how it would be applicable in everyday life. I get it now.
I look forward to feeling, seeing, and hearing God work in my life, and meeting the people that He will bring into my life so that I can continue to grow in my faith and help my children grow in theirs. I want them to believe and follow, and one day lead their children the same way I am leading them. I hope the results are good ones. “God blessed you with these children. You have everything you need to raise awesome kids.” –Arthur Mace (This is not an exact quote but it is what I picked up from his parenting series and absolutely something he would say).
See, feel, hear, grow. Keep on going.
Listen to Arthur Mace online. His sermon series on Men and Women can be found at the link below. Starts on date 2/8/2009 and ended on 3/1/2009. This is mp3 format only. His later sermons can be viewed as videos or you can just listen to the mp3. You have options.
The parenting series can be found on vimeo.com.
In the search box type in: Parenting 101 week 1 (or 2,3,4,5 or 6). If you have watched any of Arthur sermon's you know you have the right ones because you will know what he looks like. Or just look for his picture on the church website.
Oh I can hear 'em playin’ / I can hear the ringing of a beat up old guitar / Oh I can hear 'em singing / Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart
“Even if it Breaks Your Heart”-Eli Young Band