Lord you want me to do what?

2012-03-25 11.19.44

We are presently taking a vacation in Cape Girardeau MO. We have a house watcher, and dog sitter staying home with our fur babies. We haven’t gotten to site see because it rained all day today.
A while back the Mississippi was so low they were drugging the river to put barges down the center. Now they have the flood gates closed which are 32 foot doors. The river is only six feet from the top. We are anxious to go see it tomorrow.

My aunt and uncle will renew their wedding vows tomorrow – 50 years after their first time. We had a pizza dinner tonight at our hotel for 26 people – that was just family. They have 3 children, 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grand children. I have an aunt here from California; others are here from other places in Missouri, Oklahoma and North Carolina. We brought my mom so she could be with her two sisters.

My uncle has been a minister for 22 years. He has resigned from his church and they will be moving to Springfield the end of May, after 22 years in the ministry.

After two years after our twins were born, Bob felt the call to preach. We sold our home, packed up our young family and moved to Oklahoma for Bob to go to Bible College. We had three other families move with us.

To leave your job and live off savings and go to school with a young family was not easy. The other families struggled also. There were times when we were down to no money and didn’t know what we were going to go. One time we were at that point, I had been praying for the Lord to provide something, as we had no milk and hardly any food for the twins; nor did I see a way to get any. God spoke to someone and we received a $100 bill in the mail that day! To this day I still don’t know who sent it to us.

My uncle stated that he went to Bible College; carried 17 hours and worked a full time job for three years. He had his three small children. He would tuck them in bed on Sunday night and might not see them again until the next Saturday morning.

It was very hard with Bob going to school, it took awhile for me to find a job but think goodness I did. The minister we were working with was an old time minister who thought when you weren’t in school you should be traveling every weekend to churches and preaching.

We were naive enough to listen – for awhile. We were spending all our funds traveling. We put a lot of miles on the road and yes Bob got the experience of preaching. However, the churches we went too sometimes didn’t give us a dime. Usually they would take up an offering and it might cover our traveling expenses.

A man goes to Bible College to become a minister because he knows that is what God has called him too; he loves people and cares for them. He wants to learn how to teach and guide them to make Jesus the Savior of their soul. They have to learn how to lead a congregation and council people. It is a deep, deep conviction in their heart to do this. It is not taken lightly and it is very soul searching to do so.

It was something I did not want to do at first yet, I felt that if God had called Bob to become a minister then I had to do what I could to help him. I could not stand between his calling and my wants.

After one and a half years in college Bob we had “tried out” for many churches’s to become their pastor, yet none chose us. Bob decided he could not neglect his family any longer. He found a construction job and we remained in Oklahoma for about another year and took more classes while working.

While at the Free Will Baptist Bible College we found out something we had not been taught in our home church. That once God saves you and you become his you live by grace. God has the grace to know you are not perfect and loves us anyway.
We were trained at our home church that if you were not in church Sunday school, worship service, Sunday evening services, Wednesday night and any other activities that were offered than you were not a really faithful Christian.

It literally gave us a new lease of freedom on our ability to trust in the greatest gift God could give us. Just because we didn’t do everything everyone told us didn’t mean we were lost and going to hell. That is such a burden to live under; a very, heavy weight.

As we moved back home and Bob started his own little church we felt we were in God’s will, doing what he had called us to do. The small church could not support a full time pastor so he also worked. He dedicated all his free time to taking care of the people in our church and trying to grow the church.

In the mean time Bob and I were praying for “more” of God. We still felt so unworthy to be taking care of the church and people in it. One thing we found out is that the people who make up your church talk. They say untruths and when you want to counsel them they don’t really want to hear what they SHOULD do, they just want you to agree with whatever it is they are doing.

One of the best things that could happen was when I received the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” it was such a glorious out pouring of his Spirit upon me. When praying I would feel so unworthy and fall prostrate on the floor to pray to the Most High. Then I began praying in another language (praying in tongues is what some call it). I knew that I was praying for people or things that I didn’t even know about and didn’t understand what I was praying – yet I knew that it was very important and of a super natural source.

I was afraid to even tell Bob of this as I was afraid he would think I had lost my mind. Then one day I did; only to find out the same thing had happened to him about the same time. We rejoiced in knowing that the Holy Spirit was using us for things we knew not of.

Bob was a licensed Free Will Baptist minister. Some way they found out about our receiving the “gift of tongues” and wrote him a letter and took his FWB ministers license away from him. They said they considered that a “second work of grace, and it would not be tolerated”.

What? The bible speaks of the Holy Spirit being poured out onto the disciples in the Upper Room and they spoke in other tongues. People below the windows could understand the teachings in their native tongue although the disciples did not know what language they were speaking.
We didn’t know what we were going to do – we found a wonderful minister who was of the Assembly of God church and he offered Bob a position as an associate pastor in his church. He mentored us and helped us see what God was doing in our ministry. It was wonderful.

A few years later Bob moved to another church as an associate pastor with the AOG. We worked with them for many years. We came to love the pastors and their wives of both churches. We were in a church family again and it felt wonderful.

Later things began to not really change but Bob’s outlook on what he was called too just wasn’t working out. He was becoming disillusioned at the denomination and what it was offering. Sometimes being naïve can overcome you in what you believed could happen and what really does.

A friend of ours wanted us to leave and help him start a church. I felt strongly that we should NOT do that. I knew that was not the direction we should go. Yet Bob did.

We did leave that church and our friends and went to help start a new church. Bob thought he was doing what he was called to do. However, this turned out to be an end to his ministry of twelve years.

We were so hurt by people that he just couldn’t take it anymore. The pastor of the new church, whom I had known as a child said really bad things to me and about me to Bob. I was so hurt that I still don’t talk to them. Although I have forgiven them and will let God deal with it when the time comes.

It had come to the point, because we had followed this person to help him start his church that none of the AOG pastor’s would even call us or help counsel us. I really think they were hurt that we left and thought we had wronged them. I don’t know, but one thing I do know is there needs to be a ministry of helping pastors and preacher’s. They are only human with a calling and need guidance and help.

Bob felt discouraged and felt he had lost his calling. We started going to a non-denominational church where we only went to the morning service and left. We didn’t get involved in anything in the church.

I still miss our old pastor friends and their wives. One couple have passed but the other is still pasturing in another state.

The thing I hate about it most was the things our children seen and what it did to their dad. Now that they are older they don’t remember much of it and I really thank God for that.

The wedding renewal vows for my aunt and uncle turned into a full blown wedding again. It was beautiful. As I said they many grandchildren, the girls all stood on the stage and sang, then later the boys all stood on the stage and sang. It was a beautiful service.

Last night we had dinner for family only and my uncle spoke about his retirement from this church and what God would have in store for him in the future. He knew a year ago that God was telling him to leave this church but didn’t give him a date.

Six months ago God told him to leave the end of May; he told the congregation that there was no reason to leave; the church is debt free, grown and doing well. Yet, when God tells you to do something you do it.

The church had a young man come in to preach last Sunday so they took the time off to go to Springfield, MO to look for a home. They found one they wanted but counted on it only to find out there had been another bidder. The next day the realtor called to say that “God must be shining on them” as the lady could not come up with the money. They got the house. The realtor called again to say 15 minutes after their deal was made the lady called back to say she found the financing. God had spoken and provided them with the house they wanted.

Also the young man that tried out for the church was voted in by a 91% vote. So the church now has a new pastor to start the first of May.

When ask what he is going to do his answer is, “I don’t know, I have to resign and leave one job before seeing what God has in store next. He hasn’t told me so I will wait until he does. Maybe he will tell me, maybe it will take time. I will wait on his time table to find out.”

That my friend shows a man of true faith.

He stated last night that one of the most important thing ANY Christian needs to do is to keep your eyes on Christ and not man. Maybe that is where we went wrong; maybe we took God’s direction in our own hands and looked to the man that wanted us to help him. Yet, that was not God’s direction for our life.

Many years since we have returned to that, our eyes are on Christ and not on man. It doesn’t matter what man tells you, we answer to God first and always. I know people wonder how God can stop his call on you; I don’t believe he does.

I believe you can misunderstand a calling – or be spirited on by other friends feeling the calling all at once and think it is for you. I believe you may have had another direction to your calling but had your eye on man and not totally on Christ.

Bob was a good preacher and minister, he seen souls won for Christ and for that I know God is proud of him. I also know that God gives us grace and through that grace he forgives us for mistakes we may have made in the road to following him.

Keep your eyes on Christ – not on man, because man will fail you.

What? Really?

Once I was released from the hospital and had put Wendy’s nursery away, I had the task of putting our new house together. It was a very small house with two bedrooms and one bath. It had a basement for the washer and dryer and another little room which we used for storage. The change of location was good for me.

Being able to keep busy during the day helped but nights were the worst. When I couldn’t sleep I got up and crocheted. I had stated an afghan and worked on it while crying or praying. God was so good to help me through my grief; I don’t know how people without Christ can make it through something like this.

Once I returned to work at the courthouse I done pretty good. It helped keep my mind off things during the day. However, I had one case where the family had a child that would have been the age of Wendy had she lived. The report was they never changed her diapers causing blisters and horrible bleeding rash on her bottom; burned her with cigarettes and would bite her.

This disturbed me so much I had to quit my job. How could someone have such a precious gift from God and torture her like they did. I wanted to go get her and take her from them. All the horrible stories of what people did (which were unnatural and unbelievable); this one I just couldn’t take.

~~~~~~

Because of all the problems I had gone through; hormonal treatments, surgeries, worries and stress of having lost so many babies through miscarriage and now stillbirth I decided that was it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was finally getting myself back together and life was going along pretty well.

I went back to the doctor to see if he would do a hysterectomy – I just didn’t want to deal with this anymore. It had been eight months and I hadn’t had normal cycles and my ovulation cycle was non-existent according to test.

Dr. Swisher said he was sure I couldn’t be pregnant but Kansas law required a pregnancy test before he could do the surgery for me. He had been trying to help us get pregnant again with hormone injections and test but nothing seemed to be working.

I was totally blown away when the test came back positive. I was pregnant!

He said; “There was no way I could have become pregnant, they had been monitoring me very closely and I had not ovulated at all.”

The surgery he had done was scarred back over and therefore not allowing any eggs to get out.  I had been having cyst and some were very large and very painful, especially when they burst!

We were excited, yet scared. I didn’t know if I would miscarry again or what. Another stressful time was upon us. After I passed my first trimester and all had gone well they decided to do an ultrasound to see how things were going. It was now considered a “high risk” pregnancy.

~~~~~

My mom went with me to the ultrasound. I needed the support that she could give me. I didn’t know what to expect.

The technician was doing the ultrasound and I was watching. They were very antiquated compared to today new 3D ultrasounds. We were looking at something that looked like what you would see when you put a penny under a paper and rubbed a pencil over it.

The tech said there it is – all looks good. Then he became quiet and he was moving the probe around more over my tummy. Mom was watching and said; “Is that another head?” The Tech didn’t say anything but kept scanning. I looked and Mom ask me if I saw it. Yes, there were two heads and little bodies.

Finally the Tech said; “Look here you will see one head and body, and you look over here (as he moved the probe) you will see another head and body. TWINS? He continued to measure and record and measure and record. He said they look good and both heartbeats were good.”

Mom and I looked at each other in disbelief – TWINS????? Really?

When we left the doctor we were in shock, thrilled, excited and scared. I went to the post office Bob worked out of and ask for his manager. I ask him where Bob was delivering that day (he was still a temp). He ask why I needed to bother him at work. So I told him. He was like; “You really want to go out and spoil his day like that?” lol

We went to the apartments and found Bob; he first thought we were joking with him, in disbelief! I assured him it was real as did mom.

I did well with the pregnancy, the normal morning and night sickness. I prayed that God would see fit to give us two healthy babies. The church people were all excited and said what a blessing it was that God was going to give us twins now. An answer to prayer.

As the babies grew and grew I could feel them swinging off my ribs and fighting! ha  It felt like it anyway. I got huge! I always describe it as a cow being pregnant as they carry the calf all the way around their sides and I did too.

As I got closer to my delivery date Dr. Swisher became more concerned as he didn’t want the same thing to happen with the twins as did with Wendy. However on September 18th (my birthday) I went to the hospital with contractions. They said I had grown so large my uterus might burst, it couldn’t stretch anymore. He decided to take them early. He felt that the babies were large enough and would be fine. I was scheduled for a C-section on September 22.

I was scared – the whole pregnancy I had been afraid I would miscarry. That one of the babies would die, or both. I really had to keep my faith as strong as possible and pray for God’s will to be done. I knew I couldn’t go through losing these babies.

On September 22, 1977 I went to Wesley Hospital and was prepped for surgery. One of the nurses came in and ask if I was any relation to Dr. Swisher? I said no, why? She said he had been there and hour early and was pacing and driving everyone crazy. He came in to see me as one of the techs was putting in my IV. He couldn’t get it in and there was blood on the sheet. Dr. Swisher got so angry he told him to leave and he would put it in, and he did! He was the best doctor in the world!

For some reason I thought I was having two boys, in wakeup they told me I had a boy and a girl. I argued with them and no, I have two boys. Dr. Swisher had them wheel my bed into the NICU and showed me I indeed had a boy (whom peed on the nurse while we were in there) and a girl.

However, they were delivered seven weeks early. Much earlier than Dr. Swisher wanted but since my boby wouldn’t grow anymore they had to do something. My daughter weighed 3 lbs. 11 ozs. and my son was 4 lbs. and 9 ozs. They had to be taken to the NICU to help with breathing and because of their birth weight.

The next month was a roller coaster of ups and downs for their condition. I finally got to hold them at 3 days old and Bob got to hold them at 5 days old. Other than that they had to stay in the NICU under oxygen. I was pumping breast mild for them and they were being fed that through a tube in their nose.

They were so tiny and fragile. The church was praying for their quick recovery and to gain weight. It was a day to day, sometimes minute to minute fight to keep them here.

So as to not make this a book I will only state that I walked into the NICU at 13 days and found Jennifer in cardiac arrest. They were trying to get her heart beating again. I thought I would lose her and I about came apart.

Jeremy was on a C-pap as his lungs weren’t developed and he could not breathe on his own. I didn’t know if I would ever get to take my babies home. I got them into the world but now they were totally in God’s hands.

We got to bring Jeremy home at 22 days old; he weighed 4 lbs. and 9 ozs – back up to his birth weight. Jennifer didn’t get to come home until 36 days, she had finally reached 4 lb. 9 oz; had she not been a real fighter we would not have her today. I attribute that to her feistiness today; she has always been an independent thinker and fighter (or is that stubborn?). lol

I enjoyed their childhood more than I could ever describe. God was good and gave me two beautiful children to love and rise in his path. As babies we had so much fun with them, they were a delight. Yes a LOT of work, twins required a LOT of attention. We didn’t have disposable diapers then we had cloth diapers; LOTS of diapers and after they were weaned LOTS of bottles.

At one year old they developed their “twin talk” and carried on complete conversations with each other. I didn’t understand them but they understood each other. My mom and dad were amazed at how they would say something to each other and understood.

Jennifer started walking at seven months old and Jeremy didn’t walk until 15 months old. He thought what was the hurry? He would get where he needed to go with no problem.

[It is hard to believe my tiny babies are grown and Jen has a 15 year old son of her own. Jeremy is recently married (one year last December). Raising them was not without problems but that story is for another day.]

NOT YET TO BE

Wendy Renee's funeral 1976

Bob and I had gotten along really well by now and had lived in a small house on Dooley Street, we had redone the house and it was our first real home, although we were renting. Bob was working at the post office by now and we were for once living what I would call a normal, happy married life.

Since Bob and I gave our lives to Christ we begin attending church faithfully. Bob was growing as a Christian and was a changed man.

~~~~~~

My childhood church used to be a little basement church – there was a door which led down into the basement church. They hung curtains to separate “rooms” so we could have Sunday school rooms. We also went to the church on many occasions because of tornado storms. My dad I and would sing specials in this little church. We didn’t sing very well, but we tried.

I had grown up in a trailer park (now it would be called – mobile home park) and there was no shelter there. The Cannonball Trailer Park was located right next to Christ the King church; in fact a restaurant sets there now.

In 1965 my dad‘s company built a new church beside the old one. They then filled in the basement church and it became a parking lot for the new church. It seemed very large in comparison, everyone loved the new church. I was very proud and still am of the fact that my dad help build it. I believe there were maybe 5 guys in the whole crew.

~~~~~

During our marriage I had many “female” problems. I seemed to get pregnant but never carried the babies to term. The longest one I carried was the first one – to 4 months and I miscarried while on vacation to California in late 1969. (On the way to California we were at a motel when we saw man walk on the moon for the first time!)

It was the FIRST time I had met my new in-laws; now how is that for a welcome – me having to go to an OB-GYN and losing a baby. I had to stay in bed for several days after. Bob entertained himself by drawing a moustache on me!

After many miscarriages (6 total); I had surgery to find out what was wrong. Because of birth control pills my ovaries had cysts on them. Today we know that as “polycystic ovary disease”; they didn’t have a name for it then. I had many large cysts and when they would burst it hurt like heck.

My doctor, Dr. William Swisher; cut a wedge out of one ovary to enable my eggs to get out undamaged. After the surgery he said I would have a very short window in which I had a chance of getting pregnant. I was surprised it didn’t take very long and I did, in fact, get pregnant. We were so excited!!

We were studying the bible and attending church and had many friends. We had earlier gotten a little dog that was like the first one I had ever had. Her name was Pepper.

I was also working at the Sedgwick County Juvenile Court. I loved my job yet it was heartbreaking at the same time seeing all the young people who came to us with home problems and problems that brought them to court for crimes they had committed.
All was going along well with my pregnancy, boy did I get big. The baby was due in February and I had the nursery all fixed just the way I wanted, nothing fancy but perfect for my first baby.

On Sunday near my due date; I wasn’t feeling well and was in the nursery watching the sermon from the window. Some of the ladies ask if I was okay. I told them I had not felt the baby move and was worried. They told me not to be too concerned that as the baby got larger they don’t have as much room to move around.

On Tuesday evening we were at church getting ready to go out to visit shut-ins and those that had visited out church. I was knelt down at the front pew and as I started to get up I felt the baby move forward – like a dead weight. I actually had to push it back so it wasn’t sticking out. My heart fell; I then knew the baby was gone.

I told Bob I wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go home. I did not tell him what had happened. Although; we had discussed my concerns over the baby not moving, we were both concerned.

We went to bed later and in the night I woke with contractions. Later we went to the hospital with my mom. When they got me checked in they started listening for the baby’s heartbeat – there was none.

I started silently crying and asking God why. The nurse handed me a tissue. All I could think was we were doing everything that we thought we were supposed to be doing as Christians and all was going well with my pregnancy up to a week ago; yet our baby was gone.

I can’t explain it but I had a sense of peace fall over me, God was putting a blanket of comfort around me. They had Bob leave the room; he went to tell my mom what was going on. They called the church to pray. The doctor attached a fetal monitor to the baby’s head in hopes of getting a heartbeat – still none.

Bob and my parents were devastated. I had to go through labor and it was a very hard and long one. All the pain was in my back and poor Bob had to rub and rub my back.

When it came time to take me to delivery I started fighting them; I didn’t want to deliver the baby. Inside I was screaming as they took me down the hall; I knew that the baby was still with me; now once we got into that room they would deliver it and it would be gone. I wanted to keep it.

I remembered sitting in a restaurant with my mom the first time I felt a flutter move across my stomach. I was so excited – the baby was alive, I had never felt that before. I loved being pregnant and feeling it move inside me, kicking and turning and even having the hiccups. The baby was part of me.

My doctor put me to sleep to deliver the baby as he explained even though I was contracting the baby had no way of helping the birth. I sent to sleep crying.

I was then lifted above my body, I could look down at the doctors and see myself on the table – the peace I felt was not of this world. The bright light around me was a white/blue and so bright. As I looked to my left I was not alone. There was a being standing beside me. He had a flowing bright white gown and the comfort from him was beyond words. I was not afraid. I didn’t know if it was an Angel or Christ himself. I never seen a face.

I watched the doctor deliver my daughter and show the interns her skin. He explained it as Maceration (from Latin macerare — soften by soaking). The epidermis separates from the dermis on applying a pressure (skin slipping). It would peel off her arm if touched. It also tells how long the baby had been dead. She had been gone at least a week. Yet I remember all of it as if it just happened.

The doctor had broken my water and it was green, he told the interns it was from the baby having been dead for 3 to 4 days and poisoned. (Think of it as algae growing in stale water and how poison it is.)

As I flowed there by Christ (my call), I ask him if I was going with Him, I didn’t want to return to my body. I didn’t want to face life without my child who I knew was already in Heaven. He calmly said – “your work is not yet finished, you have more to do”. I told him I didn’t want to go back, let me stay, he ask me – “what about Bob – what will he do without you and the baby?” As soon as I thought about Bob I was back in my body.

Although this all took only a few moments I felt I was out of body for a long time. The glory of it, the peace, the splendor was not of this world, I wanted more of it.

When I work in recovery I did not tell anyone anything about my “vision”, I was afraid they would think I was crazy. I remembered everything that happened, everything the doctor said.

Bob and I were heartbroken, we had a baby girl – we named her Wendy Renee’ Keathley, she weighted 8 lbs exactly. The nurse assigned to me said she had blond hair and blue eyes. They would not allow me to see her. (I am so glad that has changed now, as I never had closure by seeing or holding her and telling her goodbye.)

My mom, dad and Bob had to arrange a graveside service and bury her without me. I had received a dress from one of mom’s neighbors and she wore that. I had to stay in the hospital as the algae poisoning from the water sack being broken had infected me and I could have easily also died. I had to stay in the hospital for several days with IV’s hooked up to me.
Once I was able to go home – that was hard; I came in pregnant and left with no baby.

~~~~~

Just before going into the hospital we had signed on our first home. Bob closed on it; buried our daughter and helped the church people move us into our new home. The home we were to have brought our new baby too. I can’t imagine the pain that Bob went through to make the decisions on putting Wendy to rest. My mom and dad were there and helped him greatly. They both still remark about how they were the blind leading the blind. (After I was well I went to the funeral home and they showed me the little casket she was buried in.)

Her nursery was still set up in the rental house. I would NOT let anyone touch it. The wanted to take it down so I wouldn’t be bothered by it – or hurt by it or whatever. But I told them NO, I didn’t get to go to her funeral or even see her; I was going to take the nursery down.

That was my closure; as I packed up each tiny piece of baby clothing, the bedding, the gifts, the pillow and her toys – I packed each of them away and cried the whole time. I had too. It was a healing for me to say goodbye to her. To nine long months of wanting, picturing life with a child, seeing her grow, graduate, marry and become the young lady she should have become.

On my six week checkup to Dr. Swisher; after his exam he asked me how I was doing. I sat there – I had so many questions. First it was determined by autopsy that I lost Wendy because the placenta had separated from the wall of the uterus early and calcium built up around it to try and stop it – that cut off her oxygen. He said there was nothing that would have prevented it or that I could have done to of changed the outcome of what happened. She would have been a perfectly healthy baby otherwise.

I cried and accepted that, at least I had an answer. He asked if I had any other questions. I was afraid to ask my next questions as I didn’t know what he would think. I was afraid he would think I was crazy, yet, I had to know. I had told NO ONE of my experience until I talked to him. I had to know if what happened – really happened.

I looked at him and said yes, what does “Maceration” mean? He looked at me so funny – he asked me where I had heard that.
I asked him; “Did I die during delivery?” He pulled his chair up to me and sat down; he looked at me and said, “Yes, you did for a very short time.” It was for such a short time that we didn’t even put it in your chart.

I told him I had heard him say it when he was delivery the baby and I had watched it. He said, “That is the only way you would have heard it.”

He looked at me and asked me to tell him what I had seen and heard. He said he had heard other stories of near death experiences and he wanted to hear mine, and not to leave anything out, so I did.

At least I know it wasn’t a dream, it was something that really happened to me. Why God had sent me back – because he wasn’t finished with me yet – he also knew that Bob would not be able to handle losing both his wife and his child.

What I had was a wonderful, peaceful, glorious experience that did change me forever. I know longer ever doubted if there was a “here after” I know there is – I was almost there.

Crippled – losing hope

Have you ever felt crippled? Not handicaped but like you don’t know which way to turn?

We all have at times, whether it be our job, a problem with a child, a co-worker or a mate.

Have you felt like you were losing hope? That your prayers are going unanswered, that maybe Christ is not hearing you? I know I have sometimes wondered why God just didn’t send a postcard to tell me what I was doing wrong, or needed to do – just to hear from him. It sure would make things easier sometimes, right?

People in the days of Christ mission on earth brought their loved ones to Jesus for healing.

Matthew 15:30 (NIV)
Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.

We don’t have a physical Christ to travel to today, but if you are a born again believer of Christ his Holy Spirit is within you. He does hear your prayers. Since Satan is in control of this world we now live in we don’t always see the miracles we wish to see. Sometimes the disabilities of others testify for Christ more than if they were whole.

I know of a young mother who was born with disabilities and many, many prayed for her healing. Yet, she has been a blessing to those around her. Now as a young mother herself she has a son (born too early) and he has many physical problems. He will never run and play as other children do. Yet, her glory has shown through her love for her son. When doctors give up hope she presses on. He has the smile of an Angel and blesses each person that knows him and loves him. His disability has helped others like him through his family reaching out to them with the love of Christ.

Job prayed and had hopes:

Job 6:8 (NIV)
“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for.”

Yet, he went through much, only because God knew he could bare it and not lose his hope (faith). After he came out on the other side of his trials God was waiting there for him and blessed him. God knew Job and allowed Satan to try him without taking his life because God knew whose hope Job’s soul lay in. He never gave up on his love and belief in God.

We must have that faith, even when we can’t see the answer – we must believe that God knows our heart.


Luke 12:6-8
New King James Version (NKJV)
6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? [a] And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Psalm 117:2 (NIV)
2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Although we may not see the answer we wanted to see, God is faithful and just. His love endures forever. He will always have his hand on you as a father does a child. Trust, pray and believe.

Disclaimer

As you have noted; I am keeping names out of my blog. If you see or think you see that I am speaking of you, please remember I am writing about my marriage. Nothing is intended to show dislike, hurt or disloyality to any of my friends – past and present. All of my friends were very important to me both past and present. Without them I may have completely given up hope. I love each of you, thank you.

Standing on the edge of Hell…..

I couldn’t sleep, I thought greatly about the continuation of my blog regarding my marriage and relationship with my husband. I came to the conclusion that I have no right to share all of the secrets of our lives. Although Bob trust me to write discreetly and truthfully, it would still be a description from my point of view and not his. Because of my love for him, I have no right to do that. I can write more in general terms and still express a lot of the trials and pain we both went through.

Be assured these words do not come easily or quickly. They are thought about, written, edited, reread and edited many times before you see them. Bob ask me why I felt I needed to write about it. I told him I just felt that perhaps there are others out there that are going through the same thing, maybe just one couple could be helped and not have to go through the years of pain we did if they read it; that would be worth sharing it. He agreed, it pains him to read it (and he does read each of them) to see how much pain he put us both through. Yet he knows how it has come out and is glad we are at the place we are now. I admit I was no angel through these years, but I too came out on the other side better for it.

March 13th, 2013 we will be married for 44 years. I and Bob are both surprised we have made it this long. Most marriages would not have made it through the problems we had. In this world of “throw away marriages”, it is just too easy to give up and move on. I feel that God has had a plan in our lives this whole time. Neither of us has seen what the reason is, but maybe it is because we are looking from the inside out. Why else would we still be together? We have both recently retired and we can both say that we are in a better place at this very moment than we ever have been. Sad to say but it is true.
~~~~~~~~~

During all these years and all of our “bumps” we have learned what true love and companionship are. No, we did not know what love was when we married; we had lust, fun, fears, the filing of divorce four times in the first five years of marriage; emotional problems with no answers, marriage counseling and the death by miscarriage of several children.

The path we have taken has been very hard, very narrow and sometimes not taken together. Our individual search for our true selves had taken priority many times; we were selfish, always looking out for ourselves – never considering what the other might want or need.

Before Bob got out of the Air Force I left him and went to California. I didn’t see any other way to get away from him and our messed up lives. Our daily lives consisted of him fulfilling his duties at the base, then he and his friends came to our place to party. I worked evenings so when I came home I wanted to have dinner with my husband and enjoy our life. That was not to be, several guys were always there drinking, watching TV, playing cards or whatever they wanted to do. This went on until the early hours of the morning. It was apparent that Bob had no idea what marriage was to be. Instead it was a constant party with his friends.

The fights got pretty intense, lots of name calling and misery. I left, with our new VW Bug; I left him a note in an old woody that he was restoring that I had left the state and not to look for me. I took the old car to the base and got the new car, leaving him the note. He called the police and reported that I had stolen his car – however my name was on the title and they said it was mine also. The fact that I had taken his car made him more upset then the fact that I had left him! His car was more important to him then I was.

After he got out of the service he came to California and we agreed to try again, thinking that being in a different place it would make things better. However, our friends came to California too. Our emotional baggage was still with us. We lived a very loose moral life. My husband had made it plain he didn’t want me for a wife. I had never felt that much pain, how could your husband not love and protect you? Many things happened; we never lived together for one full year at a time for the first five years we were married.

At one time, I moved out. I got my own place. At that time I was working in downtown Los Angeles on Wilshire Blvd. I worked in an insurance business that kept policies for top stars. I was invited to the big bosses’ home in Malibu Beach for a Christmas party. I was still not use to drinking much; I didn’t know when to stop. I was so upset over my life I got wasted. Thank goodness I had two wonderful friends that got me home.

At the time I had begun dating a great guy. At least I thought he was. One night we went out to a club, I thought I had it all figured out. I was living the dream; I lived in California, worked downtown, had a good relationship and thought I was happy. We were dancing – right in the middle of the dance God spoke to me as plainly as if my date had said it: “You know if you die like this, you will not go to heaven. Look around, is there anything Christ like about what you are doing?” It was literally an audible voice. It shook me to the core, I knew God was everywhere but did not expect him to follow me into a club. I excused myself and went home to my little apartment. Geez God sure knows how to take the fun out of it.

Once my date came home he couldn’t understand what was going on, I was crying and was upset. I had feelings for him, yet, I knew I should not be with him. I started noticing that when he would get up, by 10 A.M. He was already hitting the hard liquor. He was not a mean drunk but I sure didn’t like it. He eventually talked to his dad and told him he was in love with a woman who was still legally married. His dad knew exactly who he was talking about. He wanted to marry me but I couldn’t get over his drinking problem, even if he was Irish and was “use” to it. We broke up.

Bob and I got together once again. We moved to another area away from our friends to try to make it work. We were working at Wells Fargo at night cleaning offices. We worked really well together and managed to keep within schedule and get finished on time. One night I remember going into an attorney’s office and cleaned the outside reception area. I eventually opened the door to the main office – to screams by a woman and cursing by a man to get out and never come back. Evidently a little more was going on in there then “work”. I was so embarrassed. It wasn’t my fault but I was the one who went in. I left the floor and finished my other work.

Then the bottom fell out…. A few days later our boss called and informed us we were no longer needed. He had cousins come into town and he gave our jobs to them. Jobs were very hard to find and having been let go was not a good thing to put on a resume’. Not being able to find other work we had no choice but to move to find work.

Other than the job situation our problems had only gotten more uncomfortable and living this way was just not working. One evening our problems grew even graver. I felt like I had been blindsided after a long discussion with Bob. This was too personal to even discuss accept between ourselves. I called my dad and he offered a job to Bob if we wanted to come back to Kansas. We really thought we had no other choice. Why I even wanted him to go back to Kansas with me I have no idea, I continued to hold onto this marriage that was now nothing more than frayed rags with only strings left to cling too.

We left California under the cloak of night fall. We had no money for rent, payment on furniture or appliances let alone utilities or food. We loaded our car with all we could and took off for Kansas. After arriving in Wichita Bob rented a small trailer, turned around and went back to California to get our clothes and other personal items before the management knew we were gone. Having never done anything like this before it was terrifying. It wasn’t until after Bob returned that we realized the trailer was for in town use only. It did not have a tag to go out of state. We lucked out on that, or God was watching out for our stupidity.

I still have some problems with some things that were left behind. Example: Bob’s grandfather had mainly raised him, so as a boy he had helped Bobby plant a cherry tree in their back yard. The day we married his grandfather cut the tree down and made a club with it. The first time he meet me, he presented me the club to “keep Bobby in line”. It was beautiful cherry wood and had engravings of dates and characters on it that his grandfather had craved, it was priceless and now it was gone. In Bob’s defense he had no idea what was important and only grabbed what he could and thought we needed, had he seen the club he would have gotten it. Not much fit in the small trailer. It killed me to leave all of our furniture. We lost many of our possessions, that was very hard; photos, items of mine from growing up, wedding gifts etc.

Once Bob started working we were able to move into a small apartment – we lived in separate sides of the apartment until we could get the money to finally get a divorce and end our painful, hurtful journey once and for all. We agreed we needed to finally stop torturing each other. We neither one seen anyway we even wanted to save in this marriage. Yet, God had other ideas.

It was in this apartment that I finally turned back to the God of my childhood. I knew he was the only one that could make me whole, heal the pain in my heart and clear my mind. He did, he forgave me of my sins; the harder part was forgiving myself for having walked away. I counseled with some people I trusted and confined in them what was really going on; they told me that unless Bob got saved God would allow me to walk away from him according to what God’s word said. There are very few reasons God would allow the divorce of a Christian and this was one of them.

Yet, we all agreed to pray for Bob to find God. God alone could take care of this by saving his soul. Only God could reach him. In all this, I knew he was hurting and I cared for him, but I felt no love for him. As I mentioned in the first post, he had killed all my respect for him.

It was a week or two later when one evening Bob woke me up; he was very upset, almost hysterical. He told me he had been seriously considering suicide. (My heart sank even thinking that he would want to do that.) He said he was trying to talk to God about it when something happened. It was as real as real to him; Bob was allowed to look into the depth of Hell. He felt the extreme heat, he heard the peoples screams, seen the snakes and spiders on the walls. He seen the flames and heard people crying for mercy. He felt that God had shown him this vision to let him know if he didn’t repent he too would go to this place for sinners. He was allowed to actually stand on the edge and look down into his grave, if he did kill himself.

He ask me to call my pastor that he needed someone to pray for him NOW. I called and some people agreed to meet us at the church. After much counseling and intervention Bob got saved that night. He totally repented of his sins and ask Christ to come into his life. Christ did, Bob got up a new man. (He has not turned his back once since then, not to say troubles did not come – but it did allow Bob time to see both of his parents saved before they passed.)

This did not instantly by some miracle turn our marriage into a “fairly tale”, so much had been involved and Satan’s hold had been so strong it took a long time for us to become “man & wife” again. We basically were new babes in Christ and had to learn a lot of new things, including: forgiveness, healing, we began to date again and get to know who we now were. With the help of our new faith, bible study, prayer, family and friends we begin to heal.

That was only the first six years.. Then the most unexpected happened…

Back to the Beginning

Just a short update on our snow in Wichita – we have beaten the all-time record for a February snow from back in 1913. We have had 21 inches of snow in 5 days. I believe that will be enough for now….

2-26-2013 snow

Let me start at the beginning and let you know how we met:

Bob and I met at a club – the Bunny Club on south Broadway, in fact. A friend of mine had asked my mom if I could go to the show with her, instead of the show she took me to the club. I had never been in a club before in all my 18 years! (I thought I was all grown up at 18 you know? I think we all did.)

Psalm 119:9 (NIV)

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”

In my defense let me say that I was about as green as they came; naïve was my middle name. I had no idea how much of a sheltered life I had lived. Worldly things were not something I was familiar with at all. I had liked several guys but had only really gone out with two and the last one – we were engaged – sort of. I had a promise ring until he could get an engagement ring. To say I was out of my element would be an understatement; our church did not believe in drinking or dancing, we were discouraged from listening to rock & roll music, girls couldn’t even wear jeans!

Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

My friend and I entered the bar (I was scared to death); it was dark, the walls were dark paneling, neon lights with names of beers lined the walls; it smelled like smoke and beer. The music was extremely loud; they had a live band playing (I liked that). It was hard to see through the smoke to even find a table. We found one and ordered a coke. Letting our eyes adjust to the lighting we could see a lot of guys and it wasn’t long before two came to our table and we started talking to them.

They were in the Air Force stationed at McConnell AFB, I felt flattered that they would even talk to me. One of them was Bob; his friend was Mike, they were nice and we had a good time visiting and dancing. Truthfully I enjoyed dancing with Mike (Bob will admit he is not a dancer), my friend had her eye on Bob and I had mine on Mike, funny how things turn out. I didn’t know that guys already had picked out who they wanted to be with before they even talk to you.

I went back the next week and took a different friend from church with me. Mike liked her but could really see how naïve she was. They joked and laughed all evening. Before we left, I gave Bob my phone number; I never expected to hear from him.

Colossians 3:20 (NIV)

“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

Believe it or not he called and asked me out, which opened up a big can of worms. Mom had no idea where I was going or that I had even met someone. When she found out she did not want me to go out with him.

I forgot to mention we weren’t really supposed to date outside the church either. I loved all the guys in our church – like brothers! I mean it never dawned on me I was to actually DATE one of them. I found out later that they got upset that some of the girls were actually dating outside the church group. See – naïve! To make matters worse with my mom, he was late for our first date! His pants looked like he was to wade in water they were so short… but to me he was cute.

2 Corinthians 6:14

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

Long story short we met the end of November 1968 and were married March 13, 1969. I fought with my mom the whole time; she didn’t want me to marry Bob. He was a sinner – and the bible says “do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”  I had no idea how true that was and what kinds of problems I was bringing on myself and into our relationship by doing it. Yet, I wanted out of the church and away from my mom and this was the only way I could do it.

The guy I had been dating and was promised to was devastated; I guess I didn’t love him as it didn’t even bother me. (A little cold hearted, yeah.) Yet, I really thought I loved Bob; I didn’t even know what love was at 18 years old. Did you? I mean really? I look back at it now and wonder what was I thinking – it had to be hormones!

Oh, one small element of interest; Bob had a Triumph and rode with some guys in the city. He had his “colors”, which is a vest with patches sewn on it. His nickname was “Crabs”.  Once our pastor found out that he was in a “gang” he didn’t want to marry us. The pastor also thought Bob had been married before; I don’t know where he got that idea.

After we met and talked with the pastor he finally agreed to marry us. Although I could tell he really didn’t want too; he was like my grandfather, after all I had been in his church for 10 years at that time. He loved me and was very protective of me. I loved him very much also and truly wanted only him to marry us, in my church.

Dad and I (My dad and I before the wedding)

Our wedding was small; we had sent out the invitations and I had my beautiful dress which I had picked out at Macy’s. Then Bob and I had a fight just shortly before the wedding. In fact, we broke up. If I remember it was over his car – he thought I had broken something on it when he had left it with me while he was gone on a TDY for the service. (To this day he still says I did it.) I should have known then that “cars” were going to be a really big part of our married life.

We made up and were still married on the same date – my mom was still upset and the only reason she even came to my wedding was because my father’s parents came. If they had not, she told me she would not attend. My sister and my aunt gave us a nice reception (or I wouldn’t have had one). I didn’t wear the “princess dress” that I had picked out, instead I wore the dress I had made and graduated in.

To the chagrin of all in attendance Bob’s motorcycle “gang” invaded or reception; they were going to kidnap him but had gone to the wrong church first; by the time they got to ours we were in the reception. Our pastor opened the door when he heard all the roar of bikes and as they approached the door he said in his deep fatherly voice: “Now boys, you are going to be on your best behavior if I allow you in, right?”  Then he looked at Bob and I – Bob didn’t even know some of them, but we allowed them in. They didn’t stay long. The looks on everyone’s face in attendance was priceless!

Reception The happy couple at the reception

to be continued…. The beginning of trouble in our marriage

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