Isaiah 64:8- But now, O Lord You are our Father; we are the clay and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
When I look back at my life, I see over and over that this verse is describing me. Even when I acted more like jello, incapable of being shaped into anything, I was always moldable clay in the hand of the Creator. Welcome to part three of a five part journey telling you about myself and taking you through my “clay” journey.
When I ended part two, I was telling you how I had started to become really aggravated with God. I did not like the guilty feeling I had for not spending real time in prayer and Bible reading. It wasn’t that I did not want to spend time with Lord, instead I just did not have time. My job had me so committed working six days a week plus I still had my basic responsibilities of house cleaning, laundry and such. There were just not enough hours in my day. In time, I simply gave in and accepted the guilt, defeat and embarrassment of still not being able to get the Christian life right. It was a hopeless cause for me . I was right back where I started as a child, not being able to please God…..again. I accepted this life path and hoped that one day God would intervene and send me the help I needed.
Not long after I turned 26, I started dating an old, very dear friend of mine. We had been close friends for ten years and enjoyed each other’s company so much. Our dating relationship very quickly became Heaven on earth for me.
This man fed every void in my life. I had someone to really talk to and someone who had known me long enough to truly understand me. He made me feel like I was a pleasure to be with, like he genuinely enjoyed me. That was huge for me as I had never felt like anyone truly delighted and valued my presence and company. Looking back, I know now that it was not true and I was loved by many people, but when things are not right between you and your Lord, it reflects itself in all ways. I did not feel accepted by God because I wasn’t close to Him, therefore I didn’t feel accepted by others. I guess my inner turmoil had made me self conscious about relationships and connecting with anyone because I was not connected with God. But somewhere in the midst of those tangled thoughts, I felt that my dating relationship was a place of safety.
Since we had know each other for so long, our relationship progressed quickly. In a very short time, I knew I was falling in love with this man and he loved me as well. There was nothing in this world I wanted more than to share the rest of my life with him. He gave me the security and unconditional love that I had searched for since childhood.
For the last few years, I had consistently been asking God to bring someone into my life to help me back into a right relationship with Him. My thought was that if I had someone to partner with in my pursuit of God, I might finally be able to get it right. Now, it looked like God had answered my prayer. This man in my life was exactly what I needed. He nurtured my emotions, was very involved in church, lived his life in a God honoring way and made me feel like I was at my best. I did my very best to be as wonderful to him as he was to me. Could anything outside of the hand of God be so perfect? I did not think so. Therefore, this relationship must be God’s will.
Within seven months of dating, we were engaged. It was an indescribable experience. He proposed on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street in Disney World while the barber shop quartet sang “When You Wish Upon a Star”! I had a lovely pear shaped engagement ring and a smile on my face that was impossible to get rid of. This was it! I was so in love and could not wait to start my new life with this precious man. Plus, marriage was going to be the step I needed to move me forward in life and finally draw me close to God.
I turned 27 a few months later, my fiancé got a new job and we started making wedding plans for the following fall.
My dad had a business trip to Washington D.C. in March of that year. Since I had never been to D.C., and I would be getting married in a few months, my parents decided to take me and my sister on this trip with them. However, two days before we left, my whole life changed.
It happened on a Thursday in March. I had a very busy work day underway, so my mom ran by our florist to bring me a hamburger for lunch. After a few bites, my leg started itching. Then my back, stomach, other leg, chest, arms….it was out of control. (My heart rate is speeding up just remembering this experience!) I ran to the bathroom and started pulling off clothes so I could see what in the world was going on. I was covered in massive red whelps larger than my hand. The itching was unbearable. I called my mom to tell her what was going on and she came to take me to the doctor. He was totally taken back by my reaction and claimed he had never seen anything so bad in his twenty years of practice. I got several shots, plus they did some blood work to try to determine if I had developed an allergy.
Two days later, I was on a plane to D.C. with no idea what was going on with me and if I would flair it up again. While we were there, I got the doctor’s phone call that would change my life. I had food allergies, a ton of them! It was a list seriously as long as my arm. No one had any idea where these had come from and why they had just shown up over night, but now everything was different and I could hardly eat anything.
I tried to find a new normal with my health and moved forward. I was very sick, but I did not know at this time. I did not want anything to upset my upcoming marriage. We started making plans and doing a lot of scheming and dreaming. We set an August wedding date.
By the month of May, I started feeling that something was not right. I was having this nagging feeling in my heart that I would never wear my wedding dress and this married life I was anticipating would never come together. I dismissed it as nerves initially, but it kept coming back constantly. By the end of that month, things started to fall apart.
If you haven’t noticed a pattern already, I am an accommodator. No matter what shows up in my life, I accommodate, make the most of it and move on. Naturally, this is what I tried to do with my now struggling relationship. However, it was not working this time. The little nagging feeling I had was becoming more like a dull roar.
Around the middle of June, the mother of my flower girl called me to say that she had a work conflict with our wedding day and that they could not be involved in the wedding. There I was standing by the self checkout out the grocery store saying out loud, “Ok God this is the last straw. I know for sure now that you are trying to tell me not to let this wedding take place. You win.”
I’m sure that my fiancé saw it coming, but breaking off my engagement was the hardest thing either one of us and ever lived through. I was crying so hard that he could not even understand me. (I have tears in my eyes right now just telling this story.) I was losing it all. I one hand movement I gave back my ring, along with my self worth, my joy, my self esteem and my acceptance. Everything that I had longed for all my life and had finally found was disappearing like a loose balloon.
I know this is some serious stuff, so I will stop here for now. Please join me again for part four as my story starts to take a turn. God had a plan for my life but He had to get rid of all of the lies and perceptions that I was believing. He broke me down to the very bottom of my soul in order to give me the foundation I had always needed. This story is about to start getting good, so don’t miss it!