Once upon a time in a not-so-far-away place, there lived a young lady who had dreams of doing great things. She wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do, but knew college, right from high school was the best option. So, she graduated in June of ’96 and was ready for her first semester classes in September of that same year. Staying local only made the most sense, financially, and emotionally. Being away from home and all its comforts, (food, shelter, mom & dad, and some siblings) was all her heart could imagine to be right for her. Most, if not all her decisions were emotion-led. (Oh, the hard lessons that would be learned in the years ahead for being an emotionally led young lady.)  She loved her mom and older sister, who both thought highly of nursing school, so she decided that was what she would pursue.

She was a good student, for the most part. Study habits were slowly developed, and hard-learned when she needed to retake organic chemistry and psychology 101 a second time. But, she persevered through that and after not having a high enough GPA the first time around, she was able to get into nursing school the second round.It would only last a semester, actually half a semester. The demands were great academically, which she may have been able to handle. What was too overwhelming for her were the demands emotionally on her. She needed to be tough, and she wasn’t prepared or ready for that. She would never have thought to be honest about her emotions and own her own mistakes. She was too proud for that. She would rather quit, and cut all losses, rather than admit weakness or defeat. She quit in the beginning of November of 2000. She felt ashamed, isolated, and only did what she knew best to do, retreat and withdraw, avoid dealing with the why and the what just happened here? questions. She was not brave in this way nor ready, emotionally to own her mistakes, or address things that she didn’t even know to address. Grace was as far a concept to her as was Kazakhstan from the United States. A miracle would need to transform this soul.

So a month passed by, then two, and she became concerned, “what will I do?”  “Oh, yeah, I can quickly make a decision. I will consult,…let’s see,…myself. I’ll consult myself,” she thought. Talking it over with another person was only for finalizing the already set plan. Talking it over with, …God,…no, she didn’t do that. Why would she do that? She better not get distracted with ‘those things’ or she might get confused. You talk to God when you thank Him for your food, not make decisions like this.

She made up her mind, I will go to teaching school. I will be a teacher. That’s what I’ll do. So she began teacher’s college, and things were going well. She finally began to find her niche. There were sad moments along the way, personally, over boys who came and went, but she still would persevere and finish college in December of 2002.

A job came right away. These would be the early stages where her lack of communication skills would become evident. She really was so unaware of herself. She loved herself. She loved being protected, having fine things, and taking pride in her work. She lacked loving those around her. Oh, she would smile, and say sweet, kind things to others. Mostly things that would work to her advantage. She was good like that. “Love your enemy” No Way! “If you are nice to me and really tell me great things about myself, I’ll be kind to you.” This is how life worked for her. Or not. There were hard lessons learned living this way. Selfish ambition…she would learn 6 years later this kind of living was not ‘from above, but earthly, demonic’. But for now, it’s what would be what worked for her. Anything standing in her way was a nuisance to her, which needed to be somehow avoided or ignored.

She would go on to another job, and there would be many hurt people she would effect along the way, living this way. God’s grace, His infinite grace, would begin to be echoed more and more these days, though. A miracle, really, that she would be in a place to hear these things spoken. Sundays were her best day. She would savor and cherish her Sundays, and be who she knew how to be the rest of the week. Intertwining Sunday-living and the rest of life was not even a thought to be considered until 2008.

Something happened, it must have been leading up to this day, but something happened and now she knew, He touched her, and made her whole. Jesus! He meant something to her now. How? When? Where did this come about? “I love Jesus. I want to serve Jesus” she thought. Oh, she wasn’t brave enough to share her love right away. She thought about it, and baby step, after baby step, it came out. Each time, there was more and more joy welling up inside of her. Real joy!

Oh the lessons that would come, and heart-ache that would come, and failures, poor decisions, sin-filled things that would continue to creep up, but something was different. Going to God became the only option. Trusting in Him was learned the hard way through many stress-filled, self-reliant moments; But God. He met her every time. He didn’t leave her off. Not once!

Oh, she has more stories to share, but time won’t allow. All the details of grace and mercy and love because of Jesus. She finds herself suffering more, mostly emotionally, and little by little, she believes God is working on her heart to trust Him more and more. Being anxious, worried-filled, and dizzy was how she best dealt with hard situations, now she takes a few deep breaths and is reminded, “I can be thankful and talk to Him about it.” Oh the joy that wells up in her when she knows she can talk to her Father. She is blessed and is trusting Him more and more these days.

If you are interested in hearing more, I’m sure she could make time and chat with you for a bit. Talking about her Source of comfort, her Savior, is a topic high on her list. Give her a ‘ring’! She’ll be glad you called.