My Testimony…Ashes to Beauty – The Middle Years

Well, after graduation, there were years of tears from joy and sadness…

I graduated from high school, moved to  yet another town, and worked at the training camp of a football team that is headed to the Super Bowl this weekend.  That was a grand summer spent with one QB offering to take garbage out for me, a coach teasingly proposing to me, and other fond stories.  I would go back the following summer and od the same thing – washing dishes where I received an autograph pic from a team member, more flirting and friendship with a trainer.  In between, I worked at a college washing dishes and getting to know some great people while earning money to go to school…

I did go to a vocational school, graduated, and went on to work at a large company after I had a manager take an interest in me as I temped in her department.  I would spend many years at this company before being replaced by a computer after I worked on a successful project.

During this time, I was involved with a local church by first being part of a youth group, getting baptized in water and the Holy Spirit, and then becoming involved in a singles’ group and choir.  Met some great people and went on some amazing adventures including trips to Disneyland, Colorado, and my favorite – a missions trip to Portland.  there I really felt the calling to serve the community yet that calling would be derailed when I met what I thought was a nice person at the time…

I would marry this person six months later after he proposed to me several times over the first few weeks of meeting him.  He was a player and I was used.  The joy was giving birth to a son yet I there was emotional and spiritual abuse throughout this marriage.  I even almost died by trying to end my life and yet that was not the most painful event of my life.

After wrecking my credit, leaving me an emotional wreck and being unfaithful, my ex husband finally left me.  then the pain came when I lost my son in the custody battle…yet it was also the beginning of a new life.  Don’t get me wrong, I miss my son after all these years and wish to have him in my life…well, more details in my next posting.

Yet, during that time, I lost my long time job too so I decided to explore my state and I did…my favorite spot was Mount St Helens (a local somewhat active volcano) where I discovered a world of barren rock, ash, trees and yet this bareness was mixed with flowers and other vegetation.  I would discover that the mountain allowed scientists to discover how a volcano can recover after a destructive eruption…something I was part of as a young kid when the ashes came to my town and covered us for a few days.

However, over 20 years later, I stood on that mountain and was reminded that no matter how destructive life gets, God will help us through the process of recovery and restore life to us and turn our ashes into beauty.  Yeah, there will be scars and some pain along the way especially since the mountain woke up again a few years ago but God is still there with us.  He is still working in our lives like He is still working to re-create the mountain.  My vision in life – and ministry – is to eventually help other people over come devastation in their lives and recover from the pain…

You see, after I picked up the pieces from the divorce and loss of my child, I focused on God and began to rebuild my life with many friends, involvement at a local church, hearing that calling at the same church that sponsored that mission trip so many years ago in Portland…then I started back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree in ministry and found a new life with a husband, which I will discuss more in my next posting.

In the meantime, think about what has been devastating in your own life…is it a painful divorce?  Abuse from spouse or even other people?  Death?  Or, what?  Well, I’m here to pray for you and pray that God is there to turn  your ashes into beauty…blessings to all of you.

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