When you go from a church pew, to a bar stool, and back to the church pew oftentimes your Timehop sponsored to memory lane leads you down roads you wish you weren’t reminded of. However today my Timehop (an application for your phone that searches through archived social media posts, or your camera roll, to remind you what you were doing on this day so many years ago) looked simple on the surface, but this trip down memory lane reminded me of this savior—appointed set-up, and confirmed for me that God is the original storm chaser.
Let me explain ...
10 years ago today I was on my way to the Clinton County Fair Sale. For those of you city slickers this is where country folk raise, tame, show, and feed livestock the best they can, just to compete for cool ribbons and then sell the animal for meat at the end of the week I was representing my father’s company and bidding on livestock to show our support. I had plans after the sale to go spend the evening with a guy I was dating, (who happened to be a real catch..) however this was interrupted with horrendous stomach pains, which turned out to be a rupturing appendix. But since being stubborn is one of my talents I even tried to convince the surgeon at the ER that I didn’t need surgery. I asked for “some kind of antibiotic and pain meds” ... clearly I had no idea how serious the situation was. Long story short I was rushed to emergency surgery and visited that next day by the guy I “stood up” that evening before. This jokester turned into my husband, and that emergency surgery turned into my saving grace.
You see, just a month or so before this I had a rather scary vision/experience with the literal enemy of my soul. (I shared about this experience at a church conference not too long ago.. you can watch it here https://www.facebook.com/custommedley/videos/2331283543857923/) But, remember what I said about my stubbornness being a talent? Well I went back to the same mess and continued living wreckless...until my appendix burst... believe what you want but I firmly believe that God chased me alll the way back to my mess and refused to give up on me. So he allowed my appendix to rupture, knowing that emergency surgery would require a recovery time so long that I’d have to miss out on the internship in NYC that I had signed up for. And knowing that the man I was dating, would spend every day of my recovery next to me on the couch at my parents house... cooking for me, tending to me, making me laugh, and just loving like Jesus does. These daily visits bloomed from friendship to love, and a short three months later, to engagement.
Now maybe you’re looking at the actions of the man in this story, my now husband, and swooning over our love story... but I want to draw your attention to a different love story.
A story of redeeming love.
The Lord pursued me in my brokenness. he saw disaster ahead of me, knowing that an internship in NYC would soon turn into a career and a family away from my biblical Roots. He knew I was running from anything that appeared to be “right” because I was determined to make my own rules.... He HEARD the prayers of my family begging for God to open my eyes and set me back on the right path. He knew I wouldn’t mix prescription pain pills (from my surgery) with alcohol, and that would cause me to sober up long enough to think straight .... god was not scared of my mess, he was not terrified of my storm, He chased me down in the middle of my storm (that I made for myself y’all!) and he brought me back to him.
He softened my heart day after day. Until one evening in a church pew I couldn’t sit still any longer. My heart beat so loudly during the alter call that I could hardly hear myself think. I was in the middle of the row but I forced myself out of the row, down the isle and to that alter. I realized that god wasn’t trying to place rules on me for a no-fun-life... he was wrapping me in unconditional love so boundless that I couldn’t comprehend it. Me? He wanted me? After all I’d done? Yes. He was determined to win my heart. To fill me with new wine, and set me ablaze for his kingdom.
oh my friend - I pray you’re hearing this today. My God is not scared of your storm. He isn’t scared of your sin... he’s chasing you, choosing you and asking for you to leave that unfulfilling life behind you, so that you can FINALLY have a life of purpose And peace. So stop running from him, and start clinging to him. And if you’re praying for a lost lived one ... keep praying! God Only knows where I’d be if my family gave up on me...
until next time,
I’m your partner in battle