When I was asked to tell my story, I reflected back on the story I told some 20 plus years ago during the summer. I was asked to give my faith statement at the
11 o’clock service. While those beginning chapters of my story are still the same, a great deal has changed. I was a young stay-at-home mother with two children. I was raised in a home where we all went to church each Sunday, no questions asked. I attended youth group and church camps. I loved the Lord, but mostly my faith was my parent’s faith. I did know enough and watched my parents so that I sought to marry a Christian man. In fact, that was one of my top five questions. Thankfully, it worked! Vance and I worked together right out of college and determined we were both Methodists. Our first date was to St. Luke’s 11 o’clock service. Being from smaller churches, we felt immediately at home but truly in awe of the beautiful sanctuary, amazing choir, and meaningful sermons.
All that aside, I just said “YES” when asked. YES to being a Midweek youth leader as a newlywed, YES to helping with VBS supplies, and YES to adult ministries council and on and on. Thankfully, those jobs did not require a ton of Biblical knowledge!
In hindsight, that was my way of digging deeper with a garden shovel. I can’t tell you how much of the Bible I really learned teaching children’s and youth Sunday School and VBS! Through all those activities my family made life-long friends.
This story seems to be going quite well, right? No seemingly bad decisions or missteps. On April 1st over eleven years ago, my dad took his life. This was very unexpected. We were and are a close immediate family and extended family. Still, to this day there are so many unanswered questions and paths with no end. Our children, Vance, Jr. and Kendall, were at the critical ages of 14 and 12. This was really hard and continues to be. This was not how we were raised, how we lived, or what we practiced as a Christian family. The support from St. Luke’s, Dr. Pace, Rob Dulaney, and all our friends was priceless. But even more invaluable was the fact I never questioned where God was in all this. I didn’t and don’t think he caused my dad to make the choice that he did. But what I do know is that God was with me every day. He supported my family and me through the logistics of closing my dad’s business, getting through school that year, and most importantly keeping our extended family together. God never left us. All those times of saying “YES”, fortified my foundation and trust in Him. I guess I owe it all to years of digging with the garden shovel.