To Read on the Journey

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Know (Day 22)

For 31 days I am writing to my children
my future grandchildren, great, and all my great-grandchildren.

I know there is one true God.
I know that He gave his son, Jesus, to be my Savior.
I know His Spirit lives in me- leading, counseling, transforming, growing, stirring, prompting... 

I don't believe this.  I am certain of this.

I want you to have this knowing, too.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for; certain of what we cannot see.  Hebrews 11:1 

This week I'm going to share bits of my story.  Bits of what God has personally done for me ( I say bits because there are too many stories to tell).    

I hope that in sharing you will see God.


"For God so loved the world, HE GAVE his only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

When I think about how God pursued me, drew me to His love, to belief in His son, to Life, it overwhelms me.

I was 14 when I put my faith in Him.

At the time my dad was a drug user.  He did not claim me as his daughter (he acknowledged my younger sister and half-brother as his).  He was vicious with his words toward me.  He referred to me as "the daughter of a whore" or a "little whore."  He ranted loudly and clearly that he did not want me. 

My teenage mother abandoned my younger sister and I when I was almost 3. A weekend stay at the paternal-grandparents turned into 3 years.  She returned when I was 6.  I lived in her home for 12 years... with her and Kenny, Manny, Mike, Tim, Larry, and Steve... 6 step-dads.  She preoccupied herself with each one of them, and gave minimal attention to my sister and I.

By the time I was 14 i fully believe that something in me was lacking, and that I was not worthy of being wanted, valued, loved.  I entertained the thought of taking my life regularly.  I tried once. 

I can see now that at the time, God had intentionally placed classmates in my life to draw me to Him (in fact, I can see that He had thoughtfully placed individuals in my life from day one who would draw me to Him). At the end of my freshman year of high school one of those classmates invited me to join her at Hume Lake Christian camp for a week.  By that point I wanted nothing to do with God.  If there was a God I had one question for Him, "Why did you give me this life?  I've done nothing to deserve it."

Still, the thought of being away from my chaotic life for a week caused me to pursue that week vacation. My pursuit was short lived as camp was too costly for the daughter of a waitress.


One week before camp I received a call from my friend. She excitedly informed me that another girl had cancelled,  her spot was paid-in-full, and her church wanted me to go in her place.

I know now why God wooed me to a camp in the mountains.  At camp my vision wasn't obstructed by the lies that plagued me in my home in the valley (both literally and emotionally).  At camp I could see that God wanted me.

That week the speaker shared that "God is a father who will never leave or forsake us." Psalm 27:10

He also shared that "Nothing can separate us from the love of God."  Romans 8:38-39

He shared how God gave his son Jesus, for our sin, so that we would no longer be separated from Him, but by believing in Him, we have life abundantly and eternally.

I longed to be wanted.
I begged to be permanently and unconditionally loved.
I wanted a whole life.
And here was the God of heaven and earth so intimately telling me 'I want that for you, and you will find it in me.'
On June 19th, 1988 I expressed that I believed Him.

Image of my girls paper- chain to count down the days till they go to camp. 

 Fast forward to 15 years later.   I wanted to go back to Hume Lake to celebrate my 15th "birthday" with my husband and 3 young children; to take them to the mountain where my life began.

We hadn't told anyone of our plans.  We were financially strapped and our plan was to camp there for a couple of days.
I  was approached by a couple from our church. They mentioned that they had a cabin at Hume Lake, which was available, and they wanted us to use it~ for free!

God wanted me at Hume Lake with Him again. 

One morning while there I took a long morning walk.  During my walk around Hume, I looked back and thanked God for 15 years earlier, and for all the rescuing, lavished love, and blessing He had generously poured into me over the years. And then I recalled the question I'd had for Him and said, "15 years ago I came here with one question, 'Why did you give me this life, I've done nothing to deserve it?' And today I have the same question for You, 'Why did you give me this life, I do not deserve it!'

God has been so good to me.

I want so much for you to know Him.  He loves.  He saves.  He redeems.  He restores.  Ask Him to show Himself to you. He will. That is His way.

  Live in Peace,

Day 20& 21- O I Need Thee


Linda Z said...

I love reading your story. Reading how a good Father redeemed your life and gave you joy and blessings.

I love Hume... I want to go there with you someday. We can be "Lean and Mean" and "Buff and Tough" together. (I think I may still even have my shirt!)

I'm going to try and get back to blogging again. I'm going to start by catching up with you and this lovely series you are writing!! :)

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

Yes, Denise, yes!! But God. Love hearing how He has worked in your life. But God.

Jen Price said...

Wow! What an incredible story of His love for you, for us! What an amazing God we serve!

Leslie said...

You have a powerful story of God's love and grace! This is is awesome! Praise Jesus for His redemption. I'm so sorry you had to endure some awful things in your childhood, but how you're using them to show how God can restore is wonderful!! Your blog is a blessing:)