To Read on the Journey

Sunday, October 26, 2008

God came near

don't you LOVE when you randomly run into someone so dear to your heart!

one evening last week while visiting family in california's central valley, we went out for dinner.  after dinner  we piled into my van and and i proceeded to drive out of the restaurant's parking lot. as i drove i caught a glimpse of a man and woman who had just parked their car.  their faces were so familiar, "could it be?!" i thought.  without a word to my passengers i turned my nissan quest around, parked, and stalked the couple, who were still in their car.  i waited impatiently for them to get out of their car. i waited and waited and waited (it was a very long minute that i waited).  finally (because who can be patient when beloved people from your past could be near), i gave into impulse, got out of my van, and walked directly to their passenger car window.  the surprised couple looked over at me, then the man  got out of his car, looked at me and with question and delight asked, "is that?" to which i  i replied, "yes, it's me, denise!"

it was marty, my campus life leader from high school, 20 years ago, with his wife ernie ruth.
my heart was overjoyed at seeing him. i think i may have overhugged him!

if you have been following my blog for some time than you know my story (if not please follow the link and read).  when i met marty at campus life in 1989 i was 15.  i was a new christian with doubts  about Father God.  my doubts stemmed from my childhood, from being rejected by my own father, and disappointed by his many replacements.   at 15 i was on guard against men who made empty promises, and that included God. though part of me wanted to rest in the assurance that God was the real deal daddy, Who wanted me, i  wrestled with my own  history...

"what did i do wrong, why doesn't my dad want me?"
"why am i not enough?"
"why did this dad leave too?"
"why won't they stay?"
"why can't he love me?"
"i must be unlovable."

i had heard God was a father who loved unconditionally, but could he really love me?
i had heard God was a father who would not leave me, or forsake me, but where was he?

i so desperately needed God to come near, to love me, to see me, and to speak TRUTH to my tender heart. i needed the Father, but i was guarded.

after much persuasion, i went to campus life, at 7:17 on a thursday evening. after that first meeting, you could find me at campus life every thursday!

and it wasn't the games, the talks, the snacks, the great fun that kept me at campus life, it was marty. marty saw me, was a safe place for me to break, he spoke truth to my tender heart, delighted in me, and loved me.

marty loved Jesus, and his love for Jesus spilled onto and into me. God came near in marty.
and i began to understand what my Father really looked like- that my Father delighted in me, cared for my tender heart, loved me.

isn't it AWEsome how God writes people into our lives to draw us to Him!

so, you can't blame me for overhugging him. it is the Jesus in him that i love, it is the Jesus in him that i want to hold onto, because the Jesus alive in him, brought life to me.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave...
He is mighty to save


Alana said...

Wow. What a legacy Marty has! Beautiful story. I would have overhugged, too. Definitely!

Linda Vujnov said...

That is the best!!!!!!

Sarah Markley said...

beautiful, denise. =)

Kristen said...

that is awesome... how neat. i love it that you turned around and waited to see if it was marty. so cool!

i love your heart and love your willingness to share you story. :o)

BethAnne said...

Praise the Lord for men like Marty!! I hope someone someday runs up to me and wants to take my picture because of the profound affect I had on their life.