Friday, November 10, 2006

*27 Years*, Why, & Prayers

27 Years

Today is a milestone....a wonderful milestone! Today is our 27th Wedding Anniversary.


Kim and I met almost 28 years ago. At that time, I was definitely NOT interested in a relationship. I had been in *more* than a couple of bad relationships and decided that men were jerks, some just more so than others. I did, however, think he had the most beautiful brown eyes and wavy black hair that I had ever seen. I definitely thought he was a dreamboat! But, still a guy, which in my mind meant he was always looking to play games and work a plan.

Kim, on the other hand, was wondering why I was rather distant and not the usual female batting her eyelashes at him or trying to get his attention. I think this was a first for him. : )

As we became friends and saw each other frequently at group events, we began to know and understand each other. We talked frequently for hours, occasionally all night long. We once sat in my car in the church parking lot after an evening service, and talked until the sun came up the next morning....still in the car, still in the same parking space, just talking all night long.

We went to movies in groups of our friends, went to have pizza with pals, and waited quite a while before we ever went out on an official *date*.

We were close friends and both worried that dating might really mess that up. He called, we went to a movie and dinner on our own, and when he brought me to my home...we had hot chocolate. When I was walking past him into the kitchen to finish making the hot chocolate (pre microwave days!), he kissed me. WOW! What a kiss!!! If that was what kissing was, I had never really experienced being kissed before. Yes, literally, there were bells and rockets, I was dizzy, and melting on the spot!

I had already realized he wasn't a *typical male*. He was genuine, he had a tender heart, he didn't have polished words and *a plan*. Kim was stronger than any person that I had ever known (or still have ever known)....not in a physical strength way, but in his character, his heart, his caring, his beliefs, and his honesty. Kim's priorities are unwavering and he walked the walk...not just talk.

I fell for him like a ton of bricks. In spite of my best human efforts to be an independent female and charting my own course, he won my heart! And, I haven't regretted it for a single moment.

We have shared our faith, that we feel has kept us centered and on course. We have like priorities. We have shared wonderful times and tragedies, have experienced the birth of our two wonderful children, had good times and hard times. We've had times of plenty and times that things were sparse. We've had arguments and misunderstandings, but always followed that by asking for forgiveness, apologizing from our hearts, and ultimately been brought closer together.

What we have learned over the past 27 years is that each moment is precious and that our time may not be as long as we think. We have learned that selflessness in a marriage guarantees the best for both. When each partner puts the other partner's needs ahead of their own, nobody can lose. (However, if both partners aren't fully in sync with this...one will be the ultimate doormat and the other will constantly take advantage, or it will be a destructive battle of wills if both want to be first...so it must be the priority for both.)We have both stood by each other in times of severe sickness and have loved and valued each other all the more.

We feel confident that the Lord brought us together. I will never be able to express enough thanks to our Heavenly Father for Kim, my most precious earthly blessing. And, I will never be able to thank Kim enough for introducing himself to me, becoming my friend, risking going on a date with me, that first incredible kiss, being a wonderful and outstanding Dad to our children, being with me every day for the past 27 years...laughing with me, forgiving me when I mess up, lovingly steering me back on course when I get confused, for holding me when my heart breaks, for being my very best friend, the best husband I could ever imagine and a man of God.

I love you, Kim...words are not enough...my heart is totally and completely yours!

Why?

WARNING...some adult content follows and may be difficult to read. If you choose to read, please read to the end.

I have been asked on occasion *why* my blog is as it is. Why do I pray? Why do I blog about prayers, why am I open about my faith, why do I feel everything is something the Lord would care about? Do I ever consider to think that some may not want my prayers? Why is faith in the Lord such a big part of my life? Don't I think it is judgmental to pray for others or offer to pray? Do I think I am better than others?

I can honestly share with you that these questions crush my heart. However, I can understand them and will do my very best to answer. Please read on and don't stop here...you will learn much more about me and hopefully understand me a bit better. I will be blatantly and painfully open and honest. I am NOT what you probably think and I want you to know that. This will be quite lengthy, but you will understand why as you read on.

I wasn't always a Christian. I wasn't brought up in church. I wasn't the apple of my parent's eyes. I wasn't a cherished child. In fact, I was born as a burden to two very unhappy people. I would hope for a hug or attention from a Dad that would too frequently come home in a drunken stupor, if he came home at all. I would hope for a hug or approval from a mother that would slap or hit rather than be bothered. My parents had terrible fights....physical fights and verbal fights. My sister and I witnessed our father hit our mother so hard that her head went through the sheetrock of the wall of our living room. My father threatened to break my arm, as he held it over his bent leg like a stick, if my mother did not return to the house from the yard. Upon her return, the fight grew to the point of extremes. I was blamed for his abuse. I was too slow to not let him grab my arm.

I received punishment for causing their fighting.

Our mother's daily mantra was *if I had another kid, I'd kill it.* We believed it.

This wasn't an isolated incident. This was our life until my sister and I went to live with our grandparents. I love remembering those days. Being held and rocked by my grandmother. Being teased by my grandfather.

My parents divorced. We returned to live with our mother. She soon remarried. She and our stepfather became very successful in business ... money and material posessions were their goal.

I began physical self harm and painful behaviors by the time I was in 4th grade. Somehow, it provided relief for my anger, my self hatred, and my pain...by inflicting greater pain on myself that I felt I abundantly deserved. I cut myself and stuck needles and pins in my scalp. I hid my behavior and if anything was noticed, it was ignored by adults around me.

They fought and argued. We were blamed. We were beaten when our mother had a bad day or a temper flare, which was often. I was chased down the street by an angry parent wielding scissors, and had a butcher knife held to me with threats of being *gutted*, only to be rescued by another family member.

We all left that home by the time we were 17. All, being my sister and I, my step brother, and my half brother. We left a huge home that was excessive in riches of money and material items, but void of love, caring, respect, or humanity. As we each left, we were told to never expect to return. We were on our own and they were celebrating.

I'm not sharing this to solicit sympathy, it's just fact. I am only sharing this as background for understanding some of my subsequent actions and decisions, not as an excuse, but rather my reasoning, or lack thereof.

At 17, before I graduated highschool, I married the first young man that I had ever dated. I needed an escape from the abuse, although I thought I was *in love* at the time. I successfully jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

Abuse abounded. Neither of us had the maturity, understanding, or teaching to have a healthy or caring relationship. I did have the blessing of going to school. However, before graduation from nursing school, we divorced. I was 20, divorced, an RN...and facing new challenges and trying to cope on my own without direction.

I excelled at my work. I learned quickly and easily and it was *natural* for me. I was an excellent nurse, but I didn't have a clue about my own life. My biological father was slowly dying from alcoholism and diabetes and frequently told me that he needed a *real* daughter. My mother and stepfather continued amassing wealth and fighting, and still blaming me for their every unhappiness. And, I believed them.

I craved acceptance. I wanted to have parents that cared, that protected, that accepted, that knew how to love. I craved male acceptance. I wanted a father, I wanted to be special to someone, I wanted to be acceptable. I tried. I tried way too hard and way too much.

I found myself gladly selling myself short and compromising myself to any degree just to hear someone tell me they cared...knowing that it was a lie. Hearing a lie was better than not hearing any caring words at all.

I was involved in many relationships. Men were plentiful, but respect was non-existent...respect from them, or self respect for myself. They became quickly intimate, and were all empty. There was no caring, maybe occasionally a date or dinner, but rarely. I was craving acceptance and it was marked across my face. I was an easy mark and I tried to convince myself that this was how adult life worked. I tried to convince myself that I was *happy* with *casual* relationships. All the while, I was dying inside. I was running as fast as I could and only moving backward.

As I tired of the lies and the game and hoped for something different soon, I was approached by a colleague. He was different. He wanted a relationship, I thought. He was attentive, caring, always checking on me and taking me out....and, he was married. We spent much time together. I was intensely infatuated and thought *he* was the answer to everything.

In a nutshell, after a year, the relationship ended horribly. The pain I felt became unbearable. And, my guilt at causing pain to others ate at my heart and mind. My death became appealing and the focus of my thoughts...to relieve the pain. I had decided that I wasn't *tough enough* for life. That I didn't fit into the big scheme of things. I felt that even though I didn't know what death was like, it certainly couldn't be any worse than life as I knew it. And, that even though I had one area in which I excelled (my work), I felt I had harmed too many family, friends, and those I cared about most....and that others could much better utilize the oxygen that I breathed.

I was relieved. I had a plan. It was all going to be over. I would no longer be able to be a disappointment to others....or myself. This pain would end. I felt relief.

The day after I had made my decision and had my plan ready to go...all loose ends taken care of, paperwork neatly in order on my kitchen table, and a quick change of beneficiaries on my insurance at work....as I was leaving work, a nurse I did not know but had only been introduced to...approached me and asked me to come to her office for a couple of minutes to discuss a project. I followed her, she closed her office door, turned to me, looked me straight in the eyes and said....*Shelly, I know what's up. Please don't do this. Let me get help for you.*

Now I did not know this person, had never told anyone what I was planning, and had just completed another shift at work. I felt I had everything all wrapped up and that I was secretly and successfully taking care of things. How did she know? Who had figured out my plan? How had this happened?

At this point I had a choice....to deny everything and to continue home. Or, to accept an offer of help. It was up to me.

I was so shocked by her words that I couldn't hide my reaction of *how on earth did you know*. I was angry and also horrified that she had somehow *known*. Then I was totally broken to think that she actually cared enough to say something and take that risk. I basically fell apart in her office and found myself being hospitalized across town in a psych unit later that day.

I was barely 22 and felt I had lived at least 10 terrible lifetimes. I was hospitalized for more than 20 days in a locked unit. I had intense therapy. Some of it was helpful, but most left me feeling that I *couldn't do it*. I couldn't just convince myself I was happy, or cope my way to well-being. They did, however, keep me from harm and give me time to rethink and put things in a better perspective. Upon dismissal, I found my problems were still there, and now I had a huge medical bill to add to them. I felt that at the time of my hospital admission I had reached a bottom so low that I needed to look up to see the bottom...and if I had survived that, maybe I should give it another shot.

I ended the negative and life sucking relationships. I tried to positively *self talk*. I worked, and worked, and worked. I threw myself into my work. And still, the pain, grief and weakness from before were mounting rapidly. The holidays were approaching, and that seemed to make it worse.

Enter, Patti. I had gone to school with Patti. I worked with Patti. She was sweet, kind, and in my mind a bit of a goodie-two-shoes. I hate to admit it, but there were times that I felt sorry for Patti. She went to church all the time. She invited me to, of all things, Christian concerts. What??? She went to Bible studies. Poor little Patti, she sure didn't know how to do anything fun.I would find out I was wrong...totally wrong.

Patti and I worked as nurses together in the same unit. She asked if I would like to ride with her to our work Christmas party. So, I said OK. The day of the work party, as we're getting in Patti's car, she lets me know that she has a stop to make at a friend's house and that it won't take long. She told me that she was going to sing a couple of songs for his party and play her guitar, and then we would continue on to our work party. I said fine. I knew she played guitar and sang and I had nothing better to do...and, after all, she was driving.

We arrived at a home in NW OKC. She gets her guitar from the back and asks me to come inside with her. Well, rather than sitting in the dark in a car by myself, I agreed. We went inside and the rooms were FULL of people. People talking, laughing, having snacks and drinking...apple cider and hot chocolate. What? They were all our in our age range. Lots of young men, lots of young ladies. One of the young men asks everyone to have a seat and he begins talking. Well, it took me about 3 seconds to figure out that he was a *preacher*! Are you kidding me???? He was kind, very talkative, laughing, and encouraging everyone....and then began to talk a bit about being single or alone during the holidays. That got my interest. Then he introduced Patti. She went up front and began to play and sing.

I was sitting on the floor, trying to blend in and not be too obvious that I surely didn't belong in *this* group. And, boy was I going to let Patti have it when we got outside!

Patti sang a song, or two. She has a gentle, clear and very sweet voice. (I could listen to her all day.) Then she started singing another song. She looked at me as she sang. I don't remember the exact words, but they were words of watching a friend that she cared about and that she wanted to share with, but that wouldn't listen. Of the pain that she saw in her friend, of the broken heart she knew was inside, of the hard life that I had known and the longing for someone to care....of selling myself cheaply ... and how could she tell me that all along there was someone that cared. Someone that wouldn't let me down...someone that was more real than the people before me. Someone that didn't care what I had done, was wanting to show me *real*, unconditional love, and let me know I had a father all along. A father that could make wonderful things out of every bad thing, that all things would work for good, that could heal wounds, and restore hearts. She cried as she sang. I'm crying now as I'm typing.

Well, we never made it to our work Christmas party. We spent the evening with the group of what I had previously thought were square, Bible thumping, no fun geeks. I can honestly say I was totally wrong about them. I had never met such nice, fun, and loving friends that cared unconditionally. You could screw up and be forgiven. You weren't expected to be perfect or have impeccable manners. They accepted me and my baggage...and invited me to join in the journey to knowing and walking with our Heavenly Father closer, and helping each other up when we stumble and fall.

Nobody was pretending to be perfect...in fact, we were all totally imperfect. We had all been forgiven mightily. I *was never* and *will never* be perfect. I sure don't expect it of others.

I do wish that you would come to know your Heavenly Father as caring, forgiving, and loving. There is freedom in that. You don't have to *go it alone*.

What I perceived to be a harsh rule book of dos and don'ts, was actually a book of love letters He has sent to His children containing guidelines to protect them, keep them safe, and make the best of their lives and make them complete. Just as a loving parent instructs their child to stay out of the street, to not play with matches, or to not dive into unclear water....so our Father does for us. He wants us to avoid hurt, pain, or injury. He desires for us to have joy and fullness in our hearts. He regards us each as His children, equal in status and importance, equally forgiven, equally loved unconditionally.

So, when I offer to pray for someone, or spend time in prayer...it is certainly not in a *holier than thou* type of thought or stance. It is simply me, running to our Heavenly Father, and spending time communicating with Him...spending time with Him and asking Him to intervene on your behalf, to spare pain, to give you good things, to help you in any situation because, I care. He is able to intervene where I/we cannot. He can cause good to come from bad. He can hold up your heart and make it full in *any* circumstance.

Just as I cannot restore my grandmother's confused mind, heal my husband's deteriorating back or restore his heart to having a normal, healthy valve, nor can I protect my children from all pain, or spare my friends from hurtful things in life, I have a Father I can run to and He will listen. He can do these things. He answers...maybe not immediately, maybe not as we would wish, maybe He wants us to wait, but He does answer. He is faithful and always present. He is capable of doing what we cannot. Our responsibility is to draw closer to Him, allow Him to help us, and allow Him to teach us how to have true love and success.

Will I stop praying? No. Never. Do I feel superior somehow? Absolutely not. I am riddled with flaws and am fully aware of that fact. However, I'm asking Him to help me with those and I'm aksing your forgiveness if I have offended you in any way...and I will continue to try to be better so as not to offend you ever again...although still being very human....well, you see the problem.

You see, I am convinced that God put that nurse in my way the day I intended to give up. I'm also fully convinced that he put Patti with me to eventually *kidnap* me to a Christmas party and to lead me to another kind of life! : )
And, I'm sure that He has blessed my life with Kim, our children, my friends, our farm, .....

I'm not just going on emotion here. I have worked in medical research. I'm familiar with statistics. I attempt to keep up with scientific findings. There is proof to be seen if we look. I could not have *emotionally* produced true joy in my heart by my own doing. Even Kim couldn't do this for me. I could not have had a joyful 27 yr. marriage without the Lord's help. You may have, but certainly not me. And, I can truly say it has been a wonderful 27 years...not without trials and arguments, not without hard times, but also filled with fun, joy, love, commitment, and the blessings of our Heavenly Father...and I wouldn't trade 1 minute of the last 27 years with Kim for all the money in the world, lieterally. Nor, would I trade 1 minute of the almost 28 years of walking with my Heavenly Father for all the material gifts the world has to offer.

Friends, I've pretty much put it all out there today. I'm taking a risk. It's a risk I consider worth taking....because I care. If you choose to think I'm a nut, well, that's OK. I'm just trying to share my heart with you and there are risks in that. I don't want you to see me as something I'm not. I'm a real and flawed human being. I'm certainly in no position to judge anyone, nor do I intend to come across in that manner. I'm hoping that you will just accept me as me...kinda unconditionally. ;)

In closing, my prayer today is that you also have true Joy in your heart through our Heavenly Father. I pray that you accept His offer of unconditional love, cut yourself some slack and forgive yourself and others, accept His forgiveness, and let Him guide you as a loving parent to true joy and completeness and to finding your full potential of becoming the person He would have you be and knowing the life He has for you.

Have a wonderful weekend...

Your Friend,

Shelly

P.S. Knitting Content and regular blogging next time!

NIV

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shelly,

I can truly say that my heart overflows with love for you. You have been a blessing to me far more than I deserve. It is no doubt that the Lord brought us together, because the love that we have can only come from Him. As much as I loved you 27 years ago, I can truly say that I love you much more now. Thank you for being in my life and I look forward to at least another 27 wonderful years with you.

With all of my love,
Your hubby.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Knitting Rose said...

What a wonderful tribute of your life. I believe that everything happens for a reason. We become who we are through our experiences. You have had some awful times, but they show you the richness of your blessings now. I am sorry for your past - only that you had to endure it - not what you learned from it or how it helped to shape you. God knows what we need to make us the best we can be and he knows the perfect path to get us there. Bless you and may God keep you in his heart. Trust in Him and know that He loves you. thank you for being in my life (albeit my cyber-life). I feel richer for knowing you.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

What a truly wonderful post :)

Firstly, I'm sure Kim is floating around from your lovely words in honor of your 27 hard-earned years of marriage!

Secondly, One would have to be blind not to see the care and thoughtfulness in your testimony. Thank you for that.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am sitting here crying and looking at the beauty surrounding you. You are truly a special person

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Shelly,

How do I respond? How does anyone respond to this? I have often told you how proud I am of you, what you mean to me as a sister, a friend and a fellow survivor of our past. I am so very proud of your commitment to honesty, your ability to convey the depths of your heart and to reach in and touch others in a way most can't begin to understand. Our life experience has molded us, through fire sometimes, but in a fashion that I for one, think that we can both say "we used for the good." I don't think that you have to EVER explain your faith, make excuses for who you are or apologize for your life. You are a true example of what this life cast as one of it's best.......You are a unique and special person and beyond all and everything, you are my hero.....I love you dearly!

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Shelly,

How do I respond? How does anyone respond to this? I have often told you how proud I am of you, what you mean to me as a sister, a friend and a fellow survivor of our past. I am so very proud of your commitment to honesty, your ability to convey the depths of your heart and to reach in and touch others in a way most can't begin to understand. Our life experience has molded us, through fire sometimes, but in a fashion that I for one, think that we can both say "we used for the good." I don't think that you have to EVER explain your faith, make excuses for who you are or apologize for your life. You are a true example of what this life cast as one of it's best.......You are a unique and special person and beyond all and everything, you are my hero.....I love you dearly!

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you. You have been a role model for me as a woman, a wife and someday a mother. No one is perfect but I hope I can approach my life the level of love and faith you show on a daily basis.

I love you,
Amanda

9:08 AM  
Blogger Carissa said...

Shelley,
I started reading your blog after seeing your comments on Cary's and Kimberly's. Congratulations on your anniversary. Thank you for being so transparent in your testimony. It is inspiring as a younger person and an younger Christian to see the power and love of God working in your lives. Thank you.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations and THANK YOU for your testimonial...you are an inspiration to me, and I'm sure others.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I think it's a wonderful gift when you so generously offer to pray for someone. Your deeply touching story is very powerful, Shelly.

I feel that if anyone has been offended by anything you've said about your faith and Our Lord, then they just don't have to visit your blog anymore...they have that choice, just as you have the choice to speak about the Lord from your heart.

I wouldn't change a thing about you, the way your write, or what you write about...you are touching many peoples hearts everytime they read your blog, mine included. :) Please continue praying for me, Shelly.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I don't think you are a nut, Shelley....you are a Beacon and an inspiration!

8:25 PM  
Blogger Cary said...

Shelly, Praise God for your testimony, for the open and honest way you share it here with the world. I hung on every word as I read it!!! I thank God that we have come to "know" each other via this crazy thing called the internet (grin).

You blessed me today, thank you.

And my prayer is, that God will honor your obedience to Him in sharing your heart and that your words will reach just the right person.

God bless you, and congratulations to you and your husband on your anniversary! Woo-hoo!!! Yippee!

Cyber-hugs to you,
Cary at Serenity Farms

4:43 AM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Congratulations on your anniversary and on the deep love the two of you share.

You seem to shower it unconditionally on those (people and wildlife both!) around you, too.

I'm glad you find your faith to be such a comfort.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Shelly, happy anniversary to you and Kim!

I was in tears reading your testimony - by the part with your friend singing the song. Thank you for sharing it, for opening yourself and taking the risk of letting others "see" you. God certainly can take bad situations and make good come from them. It's not always easy to see good in bad situations, but with God all things are possible. Thank you again for sharing your heart.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you for sharing this, it was definitely something I needed. I grew up in a home almost opposite of yours, and it's amazing how quickly I forget the love that is shown to me daily. It is truly humbling to think of all God has given me, and yet I still make the same mistakes over and over again. Thank you again for sharing and congratulations!

10:59 PM  
Blogger Minde said...

Thanks for yous testimony Shelly! :) And I have to say, though I don't know you in real life, your praying kind of mind has became very comforting to me. God bless you! And happy anniversary to you!

3:58 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

Shely - you don't owe anyone any answers except, Him, your family and you. I like you just the way you are. Oh by the way, that nurse that knew what was going on in your head - she was your Guardian Angel visiting you.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. I am so glad I followed the link here. WHile it was the first time I have visited your blog, it certainly won't be the last!

11:55 AM  
Blogger jae said...

Shelly, wow, thanks for sharing your testimony. A risk taken for God is always profitable! Good for you for taking it and telling your story. It has touched me and will touch all who read it.

Congratulations on your anniversary. What a dear hubby you have and what a sweet comment he made too!

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Nellie said...

I am at your blog for the first time but definitely not the last. I am so glad that 'Approaching Glory' recommended that we follow the link she had posted. Your testimony is surely proof of what God can do. It was so heartbreaking yet so powerful. Thank you for sharing.

Congratulations to you and Kim!

6:44 PM  
Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

wow what a powerful testimony of our incredible loving God. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. God Bless you and yours.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Happy anniversary Shelly! I am so glad that you had enough faith in love to give marriage a chance after all you had been through.

And thank God for that nurse. It makes me think how much of impact we can have on others if we just take a few momments to stop and notice what is happening to the people that we see every day.

I can't believe that people ask you such questions about your beliefs and prayers. In all this confusion about "freedom of religion", we have really lost our freedom to express our faith in many ways. Please don't be discouraged be that.

God bless!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Shelly, I have come to your blog several times after seeing comments you have left on Cary's. I am so glad that I came today. I needed the encouragement of your testimony. I never cease to be in awe of the ways that our Heavenly Father wooes (sp!) us to Him. I hope that you can look back and see that He was there with you all along, it just took awhile until you were at the point of being ready. The "enemy" is a master of deception and he spreads lies. Many people believe those lies over His Truth, which is so sad. I think when they ask you these questions, sometimes in an angry manner, it is because somewhere inside of them their hearts are convicted and they recognize something, even if they can't accept it themselves. We are all made to need Him. There is so much FREEDOM in Him! Press on Sister! Keep shining your light and walking in love. Oh, and Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you've got a keeper! :o)

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I frequently read your blog, and have always enjoyed your outdoor pics of your farm and pets, and an obvious love of all of God's creations; along with your insightful reflections of God's hand in your life.

As a fellow believer, I've envied your ability to so eloquently, and simply, express your love of our Heavenly Father, and your compassion for your fellow human beings. You do have a gift, and it does bless others!

Your life story which began as a tragedy, and resulted in a triumph, is truly inspiring. Never let the naysayers dim your bright light, which is God's love shining through you.

God bless,
A fellow knitter, and sister in Christ

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Dee fm KS said...

Bravo and thank you and may God continue to bless you.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

You are one brave wman to put out your life story for all to read. I am glad you have made peace in your life. Don't ever let oneone question why you do something whether it be praying or knitting. You are who you are! COngrats on 27 years of marriage. That too was a lovely story! Looking forward to finding out even more about you and your life. Have a wonderful anniversary weekend!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Denelle said...

Shelly,

I share a background very similar to yours. I, too, found myself in the blackest of pits with no way out and in walked the kindest group of young women I'd ever met. They studied the Bible with me and shared their lives with me (and even let me move in with them so I could leave an impure relationship). They introduced me to God and made Jesus real to me. Fifteen years later I live a life that is the polar opposite of the one I'd lived as a kid. God gave me so many gifts in addition to my salvation. My terrible past allows me to relate to other women and it makes me see that I could have done nothing on my own. Thanks for sharing.

Denelle in TN

Denelle in TN

7:52 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:41 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I'm so glad I followed the link and continued to read.

Your testimony is a blessing to others. The Lord is truly working through you.

Thank you for sharing and praying for others.

Our God is an awesome God!

5:42 AM  
Blogger cate said...

Shelly, This is the 1st time I have visited your blog. I am blown away by the testimony of redemption you have written. I am thrilled that you are telling all who are willing to read of the power of our God to change lives. You inspire me to not be afraid to tell of the wonderful things God has done in my life through the work on the cross. Amen sister. Preach it. In His love, catie

I have a new blog, catie-catknits.blogspot.com

Check it out if you have a chance.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Amy from Ezekiel's Garden said...

Shelly,

What an uplifting post to come back to! I've been away due to illness, and this was such a beautiful way to come back to you! Thank you for sharing your story. Our Lord is so wonderful, gracious, and kind, and I'm so glad that you got to know Him those years ago!

1:16 PM  
Anonymous godsend said...

Thanks for sharing your faith with everyone. It's beautiful what God is doing with your life.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

Thank you to each of you for your emails and comments. I have tried to respond to every email and I thank you for each comment.

I am so thankful for God's abundant grace and the gift of His son. Through Him, all things are possible.

7:28 PM  

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