I find myself pausing this morning, as I sit down to write the next page in this story of grace. So much life happened in the span of 4 years, that it exists in my mind like a slide show. One snapshot, after another, after another, until all that I can remember is Jesus.
Our marriage was fraying at the edges, the fall after we left Spruce Pine. The stress was unimaginable. We had mounting bills, hourly jobs, insurance that topped out at $968 a month, and a new baby on the way. Thad worked all week running conduit for an electrical company and filled the pulpit at a small country church on Sundays. I wrangled 2 year olds in a preschool, full-time. And in the evenings we both collided in sharp words and misunderstanding. I wanted to tell the whole ugly truth that surrounded our firing, but Thad felt certain that we should preserve the body of Christ and remain tight-lipped about the whole thing.
At the root of it, we didn’t feel like anyone would believe us. So we kept our mouths closed and trusted God to move on our behalf.
Before Josiah arrived, a pastor at a Methodist church in the area, offered Thad a youth pastor position at his church. He knew we were on the waiting list for housing at Dallas Seminary and assured us that we were free to go when housing became available. He knew we would only serve temporarily, but he invited us to serve with his church for however long the Lord would allow us to stay.
We sat at the dinner table with our 2 babies and within a matter of minutes, knew God was moving on our behalf. By the time the dishes were done, we had become Christ followers who were choosing to serve the Methodist church.
We served St. Paul for about 18 months and it was there that I had my first taste of grace.
For 18 months, Jesus began to chip away at the wall around my heart and I slowly began to let grace slip into the cracks that He was making.
Gradually, the cracks became holes and before I knew it, I was caught up in a downpour of grace.
And somewhere along the way, Thad and I both knew we were being made new. Together.
When we left for Dallas in the summer of 2005, God extended grace beyond measure and moved a family from St. Paul to support us for 5 years. Faithfully, this family sent the check that enabled us to make ends meet. Our children literally saw God provide for us each month. We saw God’s provision and His faithfulness and His grace in a tangible way, in our mailbox. As I tap out words this morning, I catch myself sucking in air, trying to choke back tears.
And what Satan meant for evil, God meant for good.
“but these things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31