Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Story: Part 3

{Finding Redemption & Love on the Side of the Road}

Last post (Part 2) I shared how my dad's sudden death spiraled me into a season of asking questions and seeking answers. Although his death was sudden, unexpected, and confusing . . . there was also such a sense of peace.

A peace that I could not understand.

How could I find peace in a time when my whole world was just turned upside down?
How could my sisters and I be laughing on the way the way to his burial?
It was so strange . . . yet so real.

I know now that it was God. Comforting me, sustaining me, and filling me with a peace beyond understanding. My father's death and this inexplicable peace was what led me to pursue the LORD. I asked the pastor that did my dad's funeral service "I want to read the bible, but where do I start?". He suggested reading through a chapter in Mark and a Proverb each day.

So I went home and I did. For a little bit. I tried to stay away from my partying life style (for fear that in such a time of tragedy if I leaned on booze I would become an alcoholic or something) but that only lasted about a month.

And soon, I found myself going out and partying and coming home and reading the bible drunk, before I went to bed.

Yes. You read that correctly. My first bible readings were through blurred eyes and drunken thoughts.

A year or two later life was back to the same pace-working, school, partying, working, school, partying, etc. Until one day I was driving from work to school and pull up next to my high school sweetheart. We rolled our windows down, said hi, exchanged numbers to "catch up" and drove off. I kind of had butterflies and really hoped he'd call. I had always wanted to talk to him after my dad died, since he knew him so well but thought oh that was years ago, etc.

A week goes by, and he calls! We set a date to go and have lunch. The minute we got there I felt butterflies again. I was so nervous to see him, I remember trying on what seemed like 100 things trying to look skinny, because I had gained about 20 lbs of drinking weight since high school, but I didn't want him to know :-).

As we were eating, the mood changed. He got very serious and started to apologize. He was asking for my forgiveness for how he had treated me in high school and most of all, for not really acknowledging my father's death. He said it was weighing on him and he felt so bad.

I was so confused. Something was so different about this guy. Why would he apologize after all these years? Why would he feel so sorry for not acknowledging my dad's death? It was 4 years since we dated. I remember looking across the table at him wondering, what going on? Something was so different about him.

I found out that while we were broken up, He had come to know the LORD. He became a Christian and I could see the difference in him. The LORD had brought him back into my life at the perfect time. I started to ask him lots of questions about Jesus.

Why Jesus? Why Chrisitianity? Why does His death on the cross matter to me?

He started to share scripture and truth with me. He gave me a book "Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel that answered many of my Jesus questions. We watched the Passion of the Christ together and he'd pause it and explain to me what was going on and who the guys in the weird hats were. He was teaching me all about Jesus and I was falling in love with him because of it!!

About a 1 1/2 years later we were married. I was following hard after Christ because (my now husband) Santino, led me to Him. I tell people it was divine intervention that day at the stop sign on Chestnut and Shepherd! The LORD had us meet on the side of the road that day so that I would meet HIM in eternity.

I'm still amazed when I share that story. We are a part of a much bigger story with a God who can do far more than we'd ever imagine.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Melissa. You just made me break down in tears of rejoicing how awesome God is and how He pursues us relentlessly. God's love is so amazing and powerful!