Two years ago, Chantee – an acquaintance from high school – contacted me on Facebook. To say I was shocked might be an understatement. You see, we were never really friends in school. We knew each other and had some classes together, but we didn’t spend any time outside of school together. As I sat and read her personal message to me, all I could do was cry. The following is her story.
Life just didn’t make sense. A pastor friend, who knew me in high school, admitted he never tried to reach me because I was, you know, one of those people – the girl who wouldn’t have listened. At least, I suppose that’s the way it looked.
I spent my teenage years cheering at high school football games and getting drunk afterwards. As fun as that sounds, I was miserable and I knew it. At least a hundred times, this thought must have crossed my mind: There just has to be more to life than this.
I got married when I was 18 to the man God knew I needed. Three months later, we were holding our firstborn daughter in our arms. My husband insisted I still go to college and earn the degree I had always wanted. You see, becoming a teacher was my lifelong dream, so I did it. Life wasn’t easy (is it ever?), but we tried to make it work. I was a teenage wife and mother who had been raised by a single dad, and I didn’t have a clue how to be the woman I really longed to be.
Finally, I finished college, we bought our first house, and we became a two-car family. My husband landed his first position with a fire department, and we had another baby! I was supposed to be happy, but inside I felt like I was dying. Wasn’t all of this the answer? Guess not…we ended up filing for divorce just a few months shy of our five-year wedding anniversary.
I don’t even know how to articulate what happened next…
A friend from work invited me to church. So I went. And then I went again. And again. And again. Before long, I was skipping the bar scene and rushing home to read my Bible. Have you ever walked into a dark, DARK, scary room and flipped on the light switch? Have you ever been lost and breathed a sigh of relief once you found your way? I’m telling you–I’d been BLIND and could suddenly SEE! I fell so in love with Jesus that my soon-to-be ex-husband thought I was faking a transformation just to win him back. *Grin*
To make a really long story short, we reconciled and never went back to court to finalize our divorce. A lot of people can tell you that moment they accepted Christ. That’s not my story. I can’t tell you the precise moment my name was written in The Lamb’s Book of Life. All I know is that IT’S IN THERE, and I’m not who I was.
My husband and I just celebrated 17 years of marriage because we have found God’s grace to be sufficient. We have raised our 4 children in a wonderful church home for the last 10 years. God has made a way all these years for me to be able to teach His Word to children of all ages. He has lavishly blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I have prayed to see His hand move, and He’s been faithful. I have asked Him to rescue me, and He’s been faithful. I have asked Him for wisdom, discernment, strength, provision…faithful. He has taken the broken pieces of my past and used them for His glory. Redemption. It happens to be His specialty.
**You see…those tears I cried were tears of JOY!! All I could do was praise God for His redeeming love!! Another reason I cried, was because during our Senior year, the Fellowship of Christian Students challenged us to pick a fellow student to pray for throughout the entire year. I chose Chantee!! I know that if we live our lives sold out for Christ we may not always see what happens – we can only trust. But, I am so thankful technology has allowed us to reconnect and God has richly blessed me with a new friend and SISTER in CHRIST!!!
Technology has also led me to another friend from high school. Over the past year and a half I have followed her story via Facebook and prayed for her along the way. Recently Tina shared her story of God’s Redeeming Love in her life and marriage. You can read her story here.
Other posts in this series:
Chantee is a woman saved by grace. She has been married to the love of her life for 17 years. Together they are raising their four children to be LIGHTS in this DARK world. She has always enjoyed teaching and now has the privilege of teaching children God’s Word each and every week as a Children’s Minister.
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