*What you are about to read is a true story.
My early years
When I was a young girl we attended church regularly. We had an elder neighbor that would have church sing-a-longs at her house. We celebrated Christian holidays. Jesus was no secret in our home.
As I got older and went out on my own, church became a thing of the past. Jesus was always in the back of my mind and I didn’t doubt His existence, but I didn’t rely on Him for strength or pray on a regular basis.
Without going into great detail (maybe that will come on later posts), the paths I chose in life took me to some very dark places. My life became a whirlwind and out of control. I fell farther and farther away from my Christian upbringing.
As my life became more unmanageable, I found myself leaning on what I knew as a child and walked into a church for help. There I met an amazing woman I like to call my Angel. It was her love that brought me back into the church.
Full of doubts
I spent several years working on strengthening my faith, changing my lifestyle and becoming a better person. My life seemed to be going pretty good until I found out some unsettling news about my husband. We talked about the issues and tried to seek counseling, but in the end, the choice was made to end our marriage.
So many things went through my head and my heart. What did I do to deserve a failed marriage? Why hadn’t he loved me enough to try harder? Where was God in all this? Why didn’t God work harder to change his heart, after all God doesn’t like divorce, right?
Many nights I cried myself to sleep struggling with the new life of single motherhood, sole provider, fear of the future, doubt in my own abilities. Many nights I wondered, “why ME”.
My defining moment in Christ
One particular morning I felt more defeated than usual. I guess you could say I was having a pity party for myself. Going through a divorce, single mother working two jobs to pay the bills, not enough time to spend with my children. I was exhausted and there was no one around to give me any relief.
When I got into my car to head to work, I broke down with tears and I cried.
I reached my hands towards the roof of my car and yelled, “God you’re NOT even real. If you were, I wouldn’t be suffering so badly ………….. yeah right, pearly gates and streets of gold. Just a stupid story some hurting person made up to feel better about their life on earth.”
Up until that moment, I held onto a hope that God was real and His promises would show up in my life, but that didn’t happen. I truly felt alone in the world. The stories of God were like that of Cinderella, just fairytales.
Since God wasn’t going to help and no one else was going to pay my bills, I made a choice to just suck it up and get to work before I was late. I wiped the tears from my eyes with a sigh, “all that time wasted believing in a God”.
I turned on my car and this is when my life changed forever.
My radio was tuned to an A.M. Christian channel and as soon as I turned the ignition, this is song I heard……
How you doing today, Renee?
Picking up a cup of coffee
Then you’ll be on your way”
The world literally stopped at that moment. The lyrics went on to talk about lying awake at night and contemplating life, daydreaming about erasing the things in life that went wrong, and having days full of doubt. This song was my life!
The song ended with these words:
It’ll all be okay
Sorry, no, you don’t know me
Hope you have a nice day
You got a tough role to play
Jesus loves you, Renee
That’s all I wanted to say”
My face was soaked with an uncontrollable stream of tears. The God I just mocked and rebuked had just spoken to me. And it wasn’t just a feeling in my heart or a thought that “might” have been from God. It was the most audible way God could have spoken to me.
In that moment of deep desperation, my unbelieving heart was renewed with something so powerful words could never express. God knew that I was giving up on Him and that I had to have a powerful sign from Him so not to chalk-it-up as coincidence.
Could this be coincidence? ……………..
20 preset stations on my radio, 24 hours and 1,440 minutes in a day, millions of songs that could have been playing on my radio at that moment.
My name, my story, my moment of despair. A voice in my radio speaking MY name, confirming “I” had a tough situation………… and then those ever precious words, “Jesus loves you Renee”.
Coincidence? Not a chance!
I was a young single mother without an education, worried about feeding my children, wondering if I would have enough to pay rent and keep a roof over our heads.
God took the most desperate moment in my life and turned it into the most inspirational. When I feel negative thoughts creep up in my life now, I only need to remember this moment. The moment God revealed Himself to me, in all His glory.
God came to me and told me He loved me. He called me by name and told me everything was going to be ok.
Life changed forever
I look back now and see, every struggle I went through, He was by my side.
My children were always fed (sometimes through help from the church), we always had a place to live (even if sometimes it was in someone else’s house), we didn’t always have a car (but we always had two feet to walk to the grocery store, to school and to work).
I’ve learned to wait on God’s timing and trust that His plan is always the best.
Please come back to Faith, Farm & Family Table to read more about my journey. Many more stories from my crazy, funny, inspiring life to come.
See you soon!
ps. I’m trying to get permission (and to figure out the technological part) so I can upload this amazing song to this post.
This song titled “Renee” is from the album Revolution by Scott Krippayne – THANK you Scott for writing this song! It literally changed my life!