Sunday, July 2, 2023

God Kiss - A New Journey


Road site crosses along a highway in Montana

In the quiet stillness of the predawn hours, I awoke with a clear message.  I call it a God Kiss.  For a while now, I’ve been feeling the gentle but insistent prodding from God to do more since I’ve been committed to deepening my relationship with Our Lord.

But I didn’t know what it was until I read Isaiah 6:8 “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” I  felt like it was a calling, I must answer.  And I knew that God wanted me to use my words and passion for writing and telling stories.

After interviewing and writing stories about others for the magazine Home & Harvest for a few years now, I gained a true love of interviewing people.   I felt privileged that they allowed me into their life and hear their story and then have the honor of putting it in words.  I loved it so much that as I await my next writing assignment for a different segment for the magazine, that I knew that I wanted to continue to write about people.  That I would seek out people to share their stories about how God works in their lives. There are so many blogs out there on how to do this or that and I can only hope that this finds its way to those who need to hear it. All I know is that I’ll do my part and Jesus will do the rest. It’s that simple.

And as I begin this journey of writing about being blessed by Our Savior,  it’s only fair to first start out with a little about me as I dip my toes in the holy water of writing about how God works in people’s lives. 

On a recent trip to the 406 (Montana) it’s common to see little white crosses along the highways.  I’ve seen them all my life and it was just part of the landscape, and I never gave them a second thought.  However, this time the significance of the marker registered that this was not just a cross, but it represented an actual person whose last day on earth was documented at the exact spot that their life ended on that fatal day.  And as we came upon each one, I wondered what that person was like, what were their hopes/dreams and did they have a good life? And if they knew that this was their final day here on earth, would they have wished they had lived a better life? Would they know that their pathway after death would be to go to the eternal kingdom?  

As for me, growing up we weren’t a religious family.  My dad was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist and seemed to have little regard for that religion as an adult. My mom didn’t have a strong religious life either. But they were good hard-working people trying to raise us right the best they could.  They baptized all of us kids as infants, but that was the extent of our religious guidance.  However, I had a longing even as a child to be a “Child of God”. One of my first memories as a young child was riding in a car with a woman who was taking me to Sunday School.  I must have loved it and talked about it a lot. However, my parents didn’t want the Mormon influence of this woman to impact their daughter, so they didn’t allow her to take me to church anymore.  I was envious of my Montana cousins as they regularly went to Sunday School and church with their parents. However, that was not the case in our household, our life was chaotic as we moved around so much, and we never had a permanence in anything.  By the time I had reached 7th grade I had been in 9 different schools in different towns as moved all over Montana and the Dakotas.

Fast forward to my teen and early adult years ….by then the world had gotten ahold of me and I didn’t pursue becoming a Christian.  I felt I was spiritual, but God definitely took a back burner.  I made good decisions most of the time, but I did make mistakes, truth be told….  lots of them.  I used God as a 911 call and then I’d let him step into my life while I was in a crisis. And slowly when life was better, I’d put him back on the shelf and go it alone until the next major crisis. For this I’m ashamed. Would my life have been better? Different choices made?  Most definitely. I can remember at least 2 separate times that I was bound and determined to take a wrong path… and God quite definitely steered me away and down the pathway he wanted. Whew!! Praise be to God!   However, I was and still am not perfect and I still will make less than stellar choices. Those  tough life lessons learned have helped give me insight and strength to help others. When you weather a storm, you understand and hopefully can help someone else get through a difficult time. Silver linings by the grace of God.

In my mid-20 and being a divorced mom of a 2 yoa, my mom had remarried and she and my beloved step-dad had invited me to attend a church they had started going to.  It was the most beautiful little country white church located in Genesee..  My daughter and I lived in Moscow but drove every Sunday to this picturesque church with its charming congregation that consisted of members mostly my parents or grandparents’ age. About a year later, a young man suddenly started coming and he sat behind me. He had come home to farm with his dad. Long story short, we married about 1 ½ later. A couple years later we had a daughter.  We raised the girls in this close-knit farming community, farmed, attended church and life busy & full. It was a beautiful part of our lives & I will forever treasure it.  While I loved the church community, it wasn’t fulfilling my spiritual needs.  I felt closest to God on my walks.  In 2012, after 28 years of marriage, tragedy struck with deaths of 2 close family members and my marriage ended all within a couple weeks of each other.  It was a brutally hard time for all of us.  I stopped attending our church. However, I continued my talks and felt God in my long walks.  He urged me to blog about healing, forgiveness and moving forward, which I did. I look back during those dark days and know Our Savior was walking along side me and giving me the strength to heal. Once again I have seen, felt and know I’ve been blessed. Looking back, I can see how God put certain people in my life for a reason, some to help,  some to learn lessons from which would serve to help me in the future.  He has a plan for me.  Plus by his grace he put the perfect man for me in my life.  Rod is truly is my earthly rock and haven and soul-mate. We each have a deep faith and absolutely love the Venture Church that we have started attending.

Each morning I read my life application study bible ( it is the best – as it explains what I am actually reading) and it’s so helpful.  And somewhere in my journey, I noticed a shift in myself.  It’s hard to explain, and the best way to describe it is that  I feel blessed beyond measure and have a contentment knowing that God is with me every step of the way.  Seriously, it’s the best feeling ever!

For the first time in my adult life, I look forward to going to church, it feeds my soul and I make it a priority.  I wake up thinking about Jesus and try to see all the beautiful little miracles each day.  And best of all, I know he will still love me when I make mistakes.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

I will say of the LORD,  he is my refuge and fortress: my God. In him I will trust. Psalms 91:2

As always, thank you for stopping by. I urge you to share this blog in hopes that it will brighten someone’s day knowing that we all live an imperfect sinful life and that life can be so much better if we give ourselves to Jesus.  And come on back as I share stories about others and I’ll title them “God Kiss Series ” as I get to share their story about their lives and how they have have been touched by God.   

Wishing God’s best for you,