I should have known when I thought it, but I didn’t. I should know better than to ask God to prove something to me. I prayed for patience, now I have six children! Yet, I still do it. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but now it seems so clear.
I recall sitting in church listening to Pastor Robert talk about his experience in Room 12 and how “bad” he was. I’ve had the same thought listening to other people share their testimonies, and I should have learned my lesson before. Last time I said, “God I don’t have a testimony”, he gave me a testimony by testing my faith and my marriage.
But I did it again. I remember thinking, all these people I’ve met at Gateway and at other churches. The most powerful speakers are the ones that came from some bad past. I remember commenting to my husband one time that it seems every pastor I’ve met at Gateway was a drug user. I just couldn’t understand that. Is it because we grew up in the drug age? Is it because they have such a remarkable story about how their life changed? You know the stories I’m talking about. John Doe has been an alcoholic for years, but one night he encounters God and is changed forever and never wants a drink again. If you’ve been to church, you’ve heard them. I was a mean and terrible husband, but one night God convicted me, and I changed. Now I’m a great husband and father.
I remember the conversation with God. It went something like this. “Ok, God. I understand that THEY need a savior. I mean they were pretty messed up. I can understand that you saved them from alcohol or from drugs or from sexual immorality. But what about me God? I haven’t been saved from anything.”
“I mean, God, I grew up going to church. I always knew what was right and what was wrong. I never even tried drugs despite the fact that everyone else was doing it. It just always seemed so easy to say no. I tried cigarettes once but couldn’t figure out what was so wonderful about it and although I did drink a little too much for a short period in my life, it was never something that controlled me. I know I’m not perfect, Lord, I have my flaws, but I just don’t have some really bad thing that I need you to save me from.”
“Yes, God, I know you’ve saved me from sin and all that, but I just don’t feel like those other people. They are all so grateful for being saved from some horrible life. My life was never that horrible. I was a good child. My teachers liked me, I did well in school, graduated with honors, etc. We weren’t rich, but I don’t recall us ever being without anything. But these other people, they are so thankful and so grateful and they certainly ought to be. I mean, without you, they were pretty bad and what would they have done if you hadn’t come into their lives. But God, you know I grew up in church and except for some marriage problems which you know weren’t my fault at all and I was just the victim in all that, what have you saved me from?”
I should have known. I mean when I told God I had no testimony to share, that’s when my marriage fell apart. That sermon was about how you can’t have a testimony without a great test, and I told God I had nothing to share. He gave me a great test after that. So I really should learn to just keep my mouth or my mind shut about things like this, but I didn’t.
I don’t think I intended to challenge God. I just wanted to know exactly HOW he was MY savior. Everyone else seemed to feel this great sense of something, and I seemed to be missing it.
Then, it seems my life just fell apart. There was no reason really. Our marriage that was almost completely destroyed several years ago was being put back together. My husband had not only returned to church but had rededicated his life to me and our children. He was doing everything he was supposed to do, everything he hadn’t done before but I was miserable.
I don’t know why I was so miserable. I should have been happy. Not only was our fourth child born but then our fifth and now we were pregnant with a sixth all after our marriage almost ended in divorce. My husband was employed full time in his field again, things were good. But I was a mess.
I was pregnant again, something I had not planned to be at 40! “Ok, God, I know I told you it was your decision how many children we had, but five was really enough. Six it just pushing it, Lord. How do you expect me to handle one more? Our car won’t even hold eight people, and we just bought my husband a new car to seat seven. Now his car is too small. You know we can’t afford two car payments!”
Pregnancy for me had always been a wonderful time. I felt better mentally and physically when I was pregnant, but not this time. I was miserable physically and mentally. I was a huge mess. I was angry all the time at everyone for no reason. I couldn’t understand. There were days, and even weeks I didn’t want to even get out of bed.
I would get angry at my husband for some small something and storm out of the house. I remember one night just driving around going nowhere. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t even want to live anymore but I didn’t want my children to grow up without a mother. It was always my husband who left when we had a fight. I never left. It was stupid. You have to stay and fight but I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to be a mother, I didn’t want to be a wife, I didn’t even want to be a person. I thought about just going away but where would I go? Where is a pregnant woman supposed to go? What would I do? No one would hire me I’m pregnant.
It seemed like God just didn’t care about me at all. He was gone. When my husband announced he was leaving me when I was 7 months pregnant with our 4th child, I had faith, and I knew God would take care of me. I wasn’t “happy” about it, but I had some odd sense of peace through the entire ordeal. But now, when things are supposedly “good,” I’m falling apart. What is up with that?
I’d sit in my car and pray and cry and eventually, I’d drive home. My husband would attempt to talk to me, and I’ve give him the silent treatment (again, something I would never consider. How absurd to refuse to talk about problems) sometimes for days.
I analyzed myself and what was going on. Maybe all this anger was coming from the years of our marriage being a mess and me not being able to say anything. Maybe this was years of anger finally coming out. Ok then. Let it out, and it will go away, but it didn’t. It just wouldn’t go. It just kept coming back.
One night after I had left home again I was sitting in my car listening to the radio in a parking lot somewhere in the dark and the Aaron Shust song, “My Savior My God” came on. As I was listening to the words, I was so mad at God. I mean he’s supposed to be my Savior, why won’t he save me? I am a mess.
I went home again. I’d like to say that was the last night I left, but I think I still had a few more weeks of being miserable to go. I can’t remember what the fight was about, but I walked out, went to Whataburger and was driving home. As I was nearing the turn for our house, I just started laughing out loud. It was all so stupid. I don’t know what was so funny, but it just seemed so ridiculous. I pulled into the garage, went into the house. My husband was sitting at the table with the kids eating dinner. I kissed him and said, “I’m sorry.” Our oldest son said, “Mom are you guys just trying to teach us a lesson or something?”
I just laughed and ate my hamburger. I finally figured it out. “I get it, God.” He saved me from me. I was lucky that I didn’t have to be saved from some horrible life. I had God in my life from an early age so he saved me from terrible things that could have been if I hadn’t known him. To make his point, he let me fall into a terrible depression during the good times in my life. There was no one and nothing to blame but myself! Jesus really was my savior, and I did need saving.
“This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”
1 Timothy 4:9-10