There are many dates in my life that have been complete shifts of position for me, or a marker that changes my perception of who I am or what I think. I have many of those in my life; of course one of my most recent was almost a year ago when going though Grace Adventure.
Of course many of you know of a year ago when my husband passed away, but what I really want to talk about is the very first one I remember where I can say I drew this line in the sand to say. “I will no longer be this way”.
That date was April 6, 1969, the day my Dad died. I call that my Independence Day. I knew on that day when I was 16 that I was not going to be like my mother and be so dependent on a man that I could not drive, I could not write a check, I would still have seven kids at home, never have worked and didn’t know how to make a living, and of course no life insurance or available income to get me by until I could figure what just happened to me. My mother was 47 years old and so lost. I was saddened by my dad’s death, but more saddened by the situation that he left my mother in and the situation in which she allowed.
From that day I went to the other extreme and became too independent. I needed no one but myself. I didn’t know Christ at that time, but I was sure I could figure everything out without God. Because the day my dad died was an Easter Sunday, and I was to go to church for the first time with a friend… so all this hype of a God that I did not know – just allowed this in my life. I did not need him either.
I was too independent to have a first marriage to be cohesive or unified. Both my wedding day November 28, 1969 and my divorce date March 15, 1979 were markers in the sand that changed me.
I was also too independent that when God found me at a tent revival (popular in the 70’s), this is when I gave my life to Christ, March 24, 1974, another marker in the sand, However, I didn’t change my behavior, go to church or seek Him. I just knew I was not going to go to hell now; basically I had “fire insurance”. I thought I could live as I pleased and still be OK. I remained a pretty good person, but that was about it I knew I was OK – I had Jesus on my side. I buried all that sin along with all the other stuff I compartmentalized in my life.
When I married Skip, November 9, 1979, I realized independence was not the way to go if I was to make another marriage work. So I made a conscience effort to become inter-dependent. But that was not working, my soul was stirring, I knew there was more that I needed. It was during the early 80’s, but no definite date that I knew what I really needed was dependence not independence or interdependence. Then I began to pursued God in such a child like manner not making it much past early development maybe kindergarten in my faith journey. I read my bible occasionally, I joined in during Sunday school, and I wanted to be fed. I liked being in the highchair, no responsibility on my part. I continued in this fashion with peeks and valleys; my faith would raise and fall, my pursuit of God would peek and wane like the tide washing the sand.
Then, I realized I never drew a line in the sand to mark that shift in position, a time when I said, “God I am totally dependent on you alone, I will seek you”, so on July 7, 1995 I decided that I am no longer independent, interdependent, but dependent only on you, God, for all my needs. That is an Independence Day.
I have been pursuing him ever since, feeding myself, praying, tithing, fully engaged; and he has given me the desires of my heart since then. I am not out of school yet, so much to know about the God of the universe… but, each day I still pursue him.
Has my life been perfect, no! But, has He carried me when I needed Him most, yes.