This is a long, personal one. God really laid it on my heart to “get real” with you all & share about a temper tantrum I had, so get comfy, settle in and allow me tell you about the time that I turned my back on God.
Have you ever encountered a spoiled child? Have you ever been around when that child was told “no”? What happened? I can only imagine that it would be a temper-tantrum, right?
Well, I learned that I was a spoiled child. A spoiled-child-of-God, that is.
Let’s begin at the beginning…. I grew up in a home where both my parents were Christian. We went to church every time the doors were open. I learned early on that the Bible said that “All have sinned & fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). I knew at the age of 5 that I sinned, and therefore I needed a Savior. My mom used to tell me that even as a 5-year-old at Christmastime, I would pray to “my Lord” & not “Baby Jesus”. I made my decision to follow Jesus public at the age of 6 (I walked the aisle of my church at invitation time & told my pastor, who shared it with the people gathered in church that day), and I was baptized at the age of 7. In our faith, baptism is not required for salvation, but it is a public way of acknowledging that I was born again, that is, born into the kingdom of God, demonstrating that my old life was buried (going under the water) & my new life has begun (coming up out of the water).
I was surrounded by lots of people who helped me grow in my walk with Christ. I still remember precious Sunday School teachers who helped me learn God’s word and made me hungry for God’s word. One person, however, impacted my walk with Christ tremendously…my dad. My dad demonstrated what it meant to love as Christ loves. My dad poured everything he had into serving Christ. I remember seeing him in times of prayer laying face down, pouring his heart out. I remember seeing him with a small reading light on at night reading his Bible in bed. My dad taught an adult Sunday School class, was a deacon in our church, & cried every time the Spirit moved him. Wanting to share the gospel further, my dad organized an outdoor Passion Play involving 7 area churches which took place in my hometown of downtown Norcross. My dad was a full-time Kroger Pharmacist, then later was also a seminary student, and part-time associate pastor. Jesus was his passion. Jesus was always on his lips. Then, when he & my mom were in the hills of Kentucky scouting a mission trip opportunity, my dad suffered a massive stroke. With no hospital close. This stroke robbed my of my dad. It took his voice. It took his right side movement. This was the year 2000, he was 48 years old. My dad is still with us, but unfortunately, I can no longer have those awesome, in-depth bible discussions with him. This all fits into my story—I promise.
Back to my spoiled-child-of-God state…
My only job interview was at the age of 15 at Chic-fil-A.
I was recruited from there to Atlanta Sports & Rec. My now husband, Brandon, was also recruited there, and this is where we met (when I was 16 & he was 20).
Because I sought the will of God at EVERY turn, I knew that I was supposed to attend UGA upon high school graduation. So, I only filled out 1 college application, and was accepted. (My parents were Auburn grads, but my dad said he would learn to bark like a dawg for the HOPE scholarship.) Brandon transferred to UGA from the community college in town, and we both came to Athens in 1997.
Without a doubt, I knew I heard the voice of God in my freshman English class in Park Hall telling me that Brandon was the one I was supposed to marry.
We were engaged at the end of my freshman year & we were married when I was 20, in May of 1999.
My degree was in education, and I student taught at County Line Elementary, where I was then hired as a 5th grade teacher.
Brandon & I joined Green Acres Baptist Church & were in the newlywed class.
Life was good. Life was great! God had directed my path at every. single. turn. I trusted Him with everything. My favorite verse is: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him & He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
I found this verse to be tried & true.
Then, after 4 years of marriage, we were ready to start our family.
And God said no.
I didn’t understand what was happening. What was God doing? We were ready to become pregnant & it wasn’t happening. So I prayed. And prayed harder. And nothing. So, I did what any spoiled child would do. I threw a temper-tantrum. And turned my back on God.
In our newlywed class, other couples around us were getting pregnant. It was too hard for me to be around them, so we quit attending church. I quit reading my bible. I quit praying. For a child who literally grew up knowing & loving God, this was new territory for me.
Time had passed, so my doctors were now ready to explore & do some testing. My tests turned out fine. Brandon’s test turned out fine. There was something small that it could be, but all in all, everything looked good. Instead of rejoicing in this fact, my heart grew harder toward God. “See, God, I KNEW this was You.”
Advice was given to “quit trying so hard”. Take your mind off it. Fully submit to God. I tried all these things, but I was only faking it. I couldn’t take my mind off of something that I wanted so badly. I had previously poured out the entire contents of my heart to God & He didn’t care, so that didn’t work either.
Again time passed & a procedure was scheduled–an insemination (turkey baster kind of thing). I was given one round of Clomid (a fertility drug), to ensure that I had eggs for the procedure. I now knew the date that I was going to become pregnant!!! I couldn’t wait!!! I scheduled a sub for my classroom & took the whole day off!
In the doctor’s office, everything was set. I was set up for an ultrasound, which showed 5 eggs! The technician began to take measurements on each egg to make sure they were ready for the procedure. However, none of them were ready. They needed 24 more hours to mature, and this was a Friday, so the office was closed the next day, being Saturday.
My hopes deflated. As we walked out of the office, everything was a blur. Brandon tried to comfort me, but I seriously was like a zombie. I was numb. How could this be?!? This was the date that I had looked forward to for so long. I was completely broken.
Brandon went back to work, and since I had taken the entire day off, I went home. Still numb, I let our dog, Bailey, out into the backyard to do her business. At this time, we lived in a neighborhood in Statham, and our unfenced wooded backyard backed up to a cow pasture. Bailey would always dash out of the house, into the woods to go tell those cows who was boss. She did this every single time, which created a well-worn path into the woods.
I followed her & being completely overwhelmed by the news I had just encountered, I fell apart. I whispered to God, “I need you.”
Instantly, I felt the overwhelming presence of my Lord & Savior. There are truly no words to describe what I felt, but it is just like the old hymn says, “He walks with me, and talks with me, and tells me I am one of His own.” I sobbed & sobbed and was comforted. I didn’t know how, but I knew I was going to be okay. Even if I never became pregnant, Jesus was enough. He alone completely filled me up.
I didn’t want to leave the woods that afternoon. I poured my heart out to God. I apologized for turning my back. I couldn’t believe that after all that time away from Him, that all I had to do was whisper to Him & He was there.
When Brandon came home, I was a completely different person than the one he had left in the parking lot of the doctor’s office. I was truly changed. I was ready to trust God’s plan for my life again, even if that plan meant no children of our own.
Really long story short; we got pregnant that weekend. On our own, not in a doctor’s office. When we went back for our first doctor appointment to confirm the pregnancy, we saw not one, but two babies. We had one boy and one girl. When we found out their genders, I sobbed & sobbed once again. This time it was tears of humbleness. My faithful God, whom I had turned my back on, chose to bless us with one of each. I felt so very underserving. Not a day goes by that I do not thank God for my children.
I also thank God for that year of trying. I never in a million years thought I would be thankful for that year, but it was that year that taught me the most about God. It taught me how to trust, even when I cannot see. It taught me about God’s sovereignty. This spoiled-child-of-God is now grateful that God said no. For it was in that “no”, that I grew the most.
It’s in that “no” that makes me continue to pray for my dad, even after 15 years. I may never get to hear my dad preach again this side of heaven. But what do I know? I know that God loves me like no other. He has a reason for choosing not to heal my dad. And I will trust that reason, even though I don’t know what it is. I also know that my dad will spend eternity in heaven where he will have a brand new body. Where he will be able to lift both hands & his voice in praise to God. This life is short. Heaven is eternal. God is awesome.
“For I know that ALL things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Are you called for His purpose? Are you known by Him? If not, don’t delay another moment, surrender to Christ. I 100% guarantee that you will not regret it and that your life will be changed in amazing ways.