The Story of US (Prelude)

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Everyone has a story to tell. As long as we live and breathe, we are someone’s story: God’s. Perhaps you live a life of nonstop adventure, where every event is a celebration. Or, like many of us, maybe you live a simple life of Monday-Friday workdays, grocery store shopping and weekend Netflix. Maybe you’re the life of every party, or maybe you constantly fly under the popularity radar and that’s just the way you like it. No matter where you may fall on the “interest” scale, rest assured: you have a story to tell.

My wife and I just celebrated our 15th year of marriage, this past August. We are the parents of 5 children, ages 10 to 24. For the most part, we live seemingly normal lives of carpooling, school days, work days and church. We don’t drink alcohol. We’re non-smokers. We don’t party hard on the weekends. We haven’t experienced a genuine family vacation…ever. We drive a 10 year old Dodge Grand Caravan and a two year old Ford Fiesta. Together, our large family cram into a three bedroom home with one bathroom. Uh, did I mention that there are three women in the family? One bathroom can be quite challenging at times. On the surface our lives may seem dull, simply existing one day at a time. Perfectly harmless.

But then, you don’t really know us, do you?

You might not believe some of the things we’ve experienced individually and together. You might be shocked to discover that addictions and abuses have affected our family in ways that might end other relationships, if not for the grace of the Lord. You might deny the fact that Misty and I can each truthfully say, “I might not be here, if it weren’t for God”. You may even question the validity of our Christianity after discovering some of the things we’ve done, and continue to struggle with.

For years, we’ve tried to bury a past that would have left us a broken and splintered family. Some mistakes of our youth continue to resonate in our present. Past deeds haunt and hinder our future. But we know today that the God we serve can, and often does, grant us his grace and mercy. He supplies for our needs and also makes a way for us to break through. The more we grow in the Lord, the more I see the time approaching, where we will face our past together and share our stories with the world.

People are hurting. Individuals and couples alike are facing difficult situations daily; carrying secret pain that cannot be reconciled no matter how hard they may try. Our time to share is now. We want people to know, no matter how dark your situation may look, God can restore. God is the healer. Through him, all things are possible, especially redemption. I know personally.

This October, we’re stepping out on faith. Together, Misty and I will begin the journey of writing our story, in the hopes that it may one day inspire and encourage others who may be going through some of the experiences we’ve endured together. It will be painful, because it means facing demons, answering hard questions all while reaffirming our forgiveness of one another. No one is beyond God’s grace and mercy.If he continues to restore and strengthen us, just maybe our story will encourage someone out there to seek his face. We’re ready to share. Are you ready to experience our story?

 

Incoming!

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“I don’t want to leave. I happen to like it here. She’s so easy to manipulate. I barely have to lift a finger of suggestion because she’s so enamored with my promises. All I have to do is hint at the idea of self gratification, and her heart does the rest. It was so easy to bring her to this point.”
Sin peered through the transparent spiritual veil, as he gloatingly spoke at Grace. For years now, he maintained an unchallenged hold over Jordyn’s life. How delicious it was to see this woman time and again chase after the insignificant wants and desires of the world, only to fall deeper into Sin’s hands. Just thinking about the end result of Jordyn’s life, made Sin erupt in boisterous laughter. He composed himself long enough to glance a red eye toward Grace, sitting quietly beside him.
A content and quaint smile peaked at the corners of Grace’s lips. That subtle smile signified a knowing; the type of knowing Sin might not be too happy with. As the red demon considered this point, he turned toward the little angel and huffed. Tendrils of red smoke exhaled through the demon’s nostrils.
“By the way, little-Grace, what brings you to my neck of the ethereal plane anyway? You didn’t come over here to bask in my conquest of another lost soul, so what news do you bring from your father now? Other than informing me of my impending departure, which was quite hilarious I might add, what real message do you have for me?” Sin chided.
Grace seemed lost in his own thoughts as he stared through the spiritual veil. He watched as Jordyn rifled through the bathroom medicine cabinet, and settled her hand around a bottle of prescription pills. She wrestled the cap open then dumped the entire contents of the bottle into her free hand. Pills spilled across the floor.
“Not long now,” Grace whispered. “Almost time.  Sin…I want you to watch this carefully. See the fruits of your labor, savor the moment while you can.”
Sin sneered at the little angel. He huffed plumes of smoke defiantly at Grace, as they both watched Jordyn swallow one pill, and then another.
“HA! I’m watching alright, you little goody-two-shoes! You see that? She’s mine! The time has come for her to die. I plan on claiming her soul momentarily,” Sin pronounced as he glowered at Grace.
Grace simply turned a sympathetic look toward the demon. The knowing smile evolved into a broad grin across his angelic face.
“I’m here to celebrate your outgoing reign over Jordyn’s life, Sin. You see, the time has come; my father has granted me clemency rights over this woman. This is as far as you will take her.”
The angel’s warm smile infuriated the demon. As Sin screamed curses at the angel, tongues of red flame licked at Grace’s wing-tips.  Still, the little angel smiled.
“Goodbye, Sin.  We will cross paths again,” Grace said.
“I’m not going anywhere, you little–” Sin bellowed, but his tirade was cut short at the sound of Jordyn’s words.
As he turned his head disbelievingly toward the spiritual veil, Jordyn dropped to her knees, onto the cold bathroom floor. He watched the young woman clasp her hands together.
“No!” he screamed.
“Jesus…I can’t do this anymore,” Jordyn pleaded through streaming tears. “Please help me! I’m in trouble, and I don’t know where else to go. GOD please, save my life.”
Sin attacked the spiritual veil in a rage, but could not penetrate its boundaries. He watched helplessly, as Grace floated through the veil and gently wrapped his wings around the young woman.
As Grace settled over Jordyn, she felt a sudden warmth envelope her skin. Within her mind, she heard the words spoken as clearly as if someone were standing over her.
“I’m here Jordyn, and I will never leave you.”