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Sep 11, 2014 at 8:15pm
God's Hand in My Life
I grew up the oldest of 2 children in a military household. My father in the Navy, a liscensed Baptist minister and a mother with mental health problems. When my father had shore duty he often taught at whatever church we were going to, sometimes he would fill in for the minister. He was always telling my brother and I to ask as many questions as we wanted (or needed) about God, Jesus, and the Bible from the day we could talk (at least it seems that way *Smile* )

On one morning when dad picked up my brother and I from school (this was when we were still sitting in car booster seats) I asked him if I could sit in the front seat. He actually said yes! And with my brother in his car seat away we went. A little ways down the road a van ran a red light, side-swiping us. Here's the scary part. My dad had forgotten to put his seat belt on so when the van hit us he fell over onto me, but it was actually a good thing because the van smashed through the driver & driver-side passenger door. Where I usually sat, there was a steel beam from the car sticking right through my car seat. Ouch, there would have been no more me. My brother was fine, I was fine and my dad (after a couple days in the hospital) was fine. The car totaled.

Growing up with God in your life is a unique experience. And although sometimes I think I've missed something in translation with those who've had to struggle in their path to God I know I've had my own struggles as well. But back to kid-dom. At 5 I realized I really did understand what it meant to want God in my life. I know it sounds young but I did and I had the unique privilege of having my dad baptize me. It's one of the few things I can still remember vividly from that age. The stark feeling of some fear of what I was doing just before being dunked in water and then coming up and realizing I'm in perfect tune with God now. And I'm a real member of the community of God. When you're that age and taking a baptisimal class people ask you a lot of questions to be sure you're ready and understand what you're doing. Sort of like that fact my folks wouldn't let my brother and I participate in communion until we could tell them what it meant and we really understood it. That was a good day too.

My whole life has been filled with asking questions. My father taught me it's good to do so and never be afraid to ask questions. And if a pastor tells you not to look up the answer for yourself, then don't stay in the church. He believes churches should not just be teaching but learning as well.

I said my life has been filled with my share of problems and it has. While growing up, my mother was diagnosed with a mental health disorder. She was given medication to help but was often given to fits of depression. I can't remember how often she tried, and almost succeeded, in committing suicide. When she was in the hospital we'd stay with friends or family members. Sometimes it was good, other times not so much. It was bad enough moving around because dad was in the Navy but having to move to other states because your mom is ill was a whole other story. We often never finished out a school year before we moved again. But wherever we moved God seemed to be there. Our entire family had something to do with church. My uncles are choir directors, my grandparents sang in the choir; I was never far away from God's loving Spirit. I suppose that was the best thing for when I was home with mom I was the one often taking care of the house and making sure her pills were locked because I was the oldest.

But we all grow up and find our way somehow. After high school I found myself in a college I wasn't happy with and married someone I thought I loved. I joined the Air Force because I missed the military life (though my husband didn't seem too pleased). But I think God's hand was somehow there as well. I was stationed in Italy out of Tech School (after Basic Training) and my husband had fun traveling while I worked. I corresponded with a friend in the States. When the base I was at was going to close I felt I had no direction to go. I wasn't sure what to do with my life. They gave us several options and I chose the easiest one, go back to the States to work the rest of my tour off. Maybe by then I'[l know what to do. But it didn't end up the way I thought. Within a few months of getting back Stateside I was divorced after 4 years of marriage and on my own, still not sure I wanted to stay in the career the military had me in. Besides the fact they were getting rid of it. I had to make a decision soon. One of my friend's fathers said he would hold a job for me if I could get out. I went that route. Unfortunately when I got to the job, it wasn't there. And I was stuck.

Never let it be said that God leaves people stranded, because He doesn't. Not if you believe He can help. My brother and his wife let me stay with them and use their second care while I looked for a job. I found one and the man I should have married in the first place. we found ourselves a nice apartment and I joined back into the Air Force Reserves. (He was happy I was doing something I enjoyed) Yes, I found a career field I enjoyed. And if I could have I would have gone back Active Duty but certain medical issues kept me from doing so. I had developed chronic migraines.

I will tell you things were good for a long while. Sure we had ups and downs but we were able to buy a house. We had 3 cats, each with their own quirky personalities. We were able to go see certain events, movies etc. Life was good and I even liked his parents. But on his 30th birthday he was a hairs breath from dying, nay perhaps the barest blink of an eye. He had what's medically known as a bi-cuspid arotic valve. A heart normally has three valves to pump blood through the heart, his only had two and we knew he'd have to have heart surgery sooner or later. His heart doctor had even put him on a diet so that in a few months they could do that. This day though he was having chest pains. So we drove to the hospital, they took x-rays, gave him pain medication. All they could see was this mass on one side of his heart and could figure out what it was. Of course by this time he was starting to feel better. But the heart physician said, "Since you're here and we know you have to have the surgery any way, why don't we do it?" Of course he said yes. It was a good thing too. When the surgeon got in, that mass next to his heart? His aortic root had ruptured and bleed into the fatty tissue around his heart. It was the only thing keeping him alive. So, they replaced the aortic valve and the aortic root. But this was not the end. One week later he spiked a fever of 105 degrees. We went back to the hospital, they took him back to surgery and found his sternum was infected. So out came the sternum and because of where his heart was they could not replace it and had to do what's called a muscle flap placement. They pull one muscle over the other. And, of course, now he has a pace-maker. But, thank God he's still alive and kicking if not a little bruised.

A little later on I found I have Sleep Apnea. Not a pretty thing. It's not just the snoring aspect, it's the falling asleep at unexpected moments. Really, I have no idea I've fallen asleep until either I wake up or someone wakes me up. I even had the unfortunate event of being in a vehicle accident because of it. I hit one of those roadside worker trucks. The collision woke me up enough to stop the truck, but the damage was definitely done. Thankfully the work was nowhere in or near the truck when I hit it. But that was a wake up call. I now have, and use faithfully my CPAP machine.

If any of you have been reading some of my posts lately you'll know that this last marriage has recently ended after almost 20 years. It was a very difficult thing for me, certainly not my choice. But I've had a lot of support from my parents through the divorce and then I've moved to the city in which they live. I also have much better care through the VA system here than in the city I was living in. Which has afforded me the opportunity to get into a place of my own. Now I just need to find me a better job. *Frown* With medical issues plaguing me I have a feeling it will be difficult . But I know God is behind me and beside me, He's gotten me this far.

I know compared to other stories posted here, this may seem a little boastful in that I've had God with me my whole life. But the road traveled is still a difficult one. I've only shared a small portion of what's happened in my life. I think I just want people to see that though bad things might happen, God is still there by your side. Praise Him not just when big things happen, but in the little things as well. Make up your own song and sing it. Life will not seem so gray. *Smile*
Elfin Dragon
God's Hand in My Life · 09-11-14 8:15pm
by Elfin Dragon - contest hunting

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