God the Conductor
April 2014, at my daughter’s bidding, I attended Bow the Knee. I thought I was attending a little church play, but was astounded and deeply moved by the performance. The previous night, my daughter had deeply felt the message of the play and she begged me to take her again. She desperately needed me to film the moment that Jesus told the thief on the cross that He would see him in paradise. She watched that moment over and over on film.
We noticed during the play that my girls knew some of the kids who were walking with the choir. Then, when the “dead girl” sat up we saw it was a close friend. How fun was that! After the play my girls wanted to meet all the characters and see their friends from the play. It was while I waited in the foyer that I met Mindy. I know now that introduction was divinely orchestrated.
The next day we decided to visit this church that had put together something so phenomenal. My girls had an immediate connection to the church because they knew both kids from school and camp.
The minute I walked into the building, this church of the Nazarene, that I knew nothing about, and even secretly wondered if they were some sort of cult, I was welcomed with open arms. Mindy made sure that I was taken care of. She had to teach so she handed me to Nicole who walked me to my seat. I enjoyed the service and decided to visit a few more times, or my children decided that we would visit a few more times.
I filled out one of the visitor forms and within a couple days Fletch showed up at my doorstep. First know that I am never home. To catch me at my house was divinely orchestrated. We talked, I told him my story, that my husband was an unbeliever, and he said he would pray. I thought that was the end of that.
We continued to attend weekly for another month or so. Pastor Larry introduced himself to me and he made sure that Michelle chatted with me and got to know me so I wasn't left alone in the pew. Mindy continued to befriend me and made sure I felt comfortable in this new environment.
After this everything is a bit of a blur. July 1, 2014 my husband left me. In summary, the reason he left God makes clear in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “…what fellowship can light have with darkness?” He was not a believer. He didn’t like what I was becoming, a stronger dedicated follower of Christ. Becoming more like Christ changed the activities I was willing to engage in and expose my children to, so we ultimately grew apart.
After he left I was crushed. I was afraid. My mind raced. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to feel. Do I feel sad, angry or terrified or all of them all at the same time. My savior was my only solace and Matthew 11:28-30 became my focus. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That verse became my anchor over the next two years. Any time I felt lost, afraid, alone, or I would think, “what about Christmas, what about family vacations, what about me being alone at 50, this is not the way it is supposed to be. I didn’t live 20 years with your non-belief to have it end this way.” I had to stop these thoughts. I grabbed my thoughts, stuck them on the metaphorical yoke that was wrapped around my neck and physically tossed it the Lord and I took His. This was the string that connected us. I had to continually anchor a part of my mind heavenward or my thoughts would drift. He held my thoughts and my worries and I held His yoke. “And take the helmet of salvation (His words in my mind), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always...” Ephesians 6:17-18.
One afternoon, shortly after Ken left, I was lost and didn't know what to do and I didn’t want to be alone, so I headed to the church to find Pastor Larry. When I arrived, I was disheartened. Pastor Larry had just started his 3 month sabbatical. I was crushed. But God is good. Kobi was the only one who was free and his sweet compassionate innocent youth was what I needed. Another God orchestrated moment. Kobi didn't know what to do with this person whom he had never met and was sitting before him blubbering. When I look back now it makes me smile. But, in spite of him not knowing what to do with me, he was wonderful. I sat in his office on his rocking chair and just talked. He sat and listened, I’m sure searching in his mind for some wise words. I didn’t need words I just needed to sit there in his presence and know someone cared.
In the days that followed our meeting fletch called me. I never imagined he would remember who I was, but as he was talking to me he said to me, "Heather I made a covenant with you that day I met you on your front doorstep. I said I would pray for you and your husband and I have done that every day." I knew he wasn't just giving me empty words and I was deeply touched. Still today when I see Fletch from time to time he reminds me that he has prayed for me that day. Another God orchestrated connection for the prayer power that I desperately needed.
Then there's Myrtle. Myrtle is my little human angel that again God orchestrated a connection with. Myrtle sat at the end of my row. I remember watching her with her joyful eyes and youthful spirit. She reminded me of my grandmother who passed the previous year. Seeing her joy made me feel a little sad and alone. Each time the music played during this troubled time I would cry. Tears uncontrollably streamed down my face; there was no stopping them. I had lost control. Rather than shy away and try to not make eye contact my angel Myrtle came to me and said, "you look like you need a hug.” She saw me cry so often that she started making sure she had Kleenexes available for me. I don’t see Myrtle as much since that time, but when I do she gives me a huge hug, and I rest in her comforting arms.
Then there’s was Ron. I always sat in the second row. He was on stage singing so I was visible to him. He witnessed the many tears I shed, week after week. Once again, instead of turning the other cheek because it was uncomfortable he frequently checked on me and offered kind words for my broken heart.
During the months following Ken’s departure I was vulnerable and I truly needed connection and I needed to be lifted up. I felt truly alone in the world. All of the “friends” or social interactions I had were with Ken’s friends, so I was suddenly friendless. My mom and grandma had died the previous 2 years and my father had died many years prior. My sister and cousin, the only two living relatives, lived 3000 miles away. My world was my kids, but I had to keep it together with them. Once again God stepped in. He gave me Mindy. Now that I know Mindy, I know why he put her there. She has a true gift of encouragement. I clung to her when I could, always worried I was going to be a burden. I felt like the blubbering girl who was always falling apart, but she was always there for me.
Mindy was never short on what to say, and imparted many biblical truths into my heart during that hard time. Because of her, I decided to attend her home group. I remember my first day when I was debating as to whether I should share my story with all these people. Well my uncontrollable tears spilled forth and I spilled my heart to the room full of strangers. I was welcomed and supported with open arms. I have developed many growing connections in this group since that time and know again God orchestrated His plan.
God’s plans always seem to be more clear in hind sight. Looking back, I was never alone. God the conductor was there every step of the way. He placed me where I would have people. A place where I would develop connections. A place where my children would be fed (Janna, Kristi and now Ryan and Amber). A place where my children could grow up and have lifelong connections with others that love Jesus Christ. I am still walking through this world, challenged by my new life, but I know God is walking with me. I am like clay, He is the potter, I am the work of His hand (Isaiah 64:8). He continues to shape me daily in my new trials, but I can rest my heart and know that “God isn’t finished with me yet.” Philipians 1:6.
As I sit here and ponder how to end my story I think of all of these people and smile. They are still encouraging me and God is still orchestrating moments and lessons in my life. Because of this I am writing this story down on paper. I want to be included in the Wall of Faith world and to do that I have to submit something in writing. LOL. But today as I wrote my story I saw more clearly than ever the places where God waved his conductor hands and placed a new notes in my story. This makes my heart fly.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will sore on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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