Welcome my friend Terri Webster! I met Terri during a divine dinner at a writer’s conference last year. It is such a gift from God to connect with other writers who have hearts for His Kingdom.
Bio: Terri wrote “Markers for Single Moms: Finding God’s Direction in the Chaos,” available on Amazon. She wrote and composed “When All Seems Lost,” performed by Sara Lunsford, the basis for all “When All Seems Lost: Prayer Markers for Finding Your Way,” released on Kindle in 2016.
Other publications include stories for Chicken Soul for the Soul and feature articles for a local newspaper. Terri founded Spring Ministries, Inc, a non-profit charity for single moms. Join Terri at her blog at http://www.womeninneedwin.blogspot.com.
I married young, in 1979, a year after high school graduation. He was in the Army and received orders for Germany, resulting in a phone-call marriage proposal. Three months later I arrived in Germany, an army dependent wife at age 19.
We partied a lot, traveled Europe and acted invincible. A year and a half into our stay there, our son was born.
When our three years in Germany ended, we returned to the states and settled back in our hometown in Georgia.
A year later in 1983, around Valentine’s Day, I met Jesus. My doubting prayer to God went something like this:
“God, if you are who you say you are, then I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me and please help us with our finances.”
Little did I know how that one prayer would change the course of my life!
My husband later accepted Christ as his savior and we found a little country church with people our age.
I played piano and my best friend sang as we led worship. Our husbands coached little league together, while our sons played on the same team. I was a stay-at-home mom with my then five-year old son and new baby girl. Life was perfect.
For reasons I can’t recall, my husband and I, along with our two best friends, left that little church in search for a larger one.
While visiting churches, we also started going out for fun.
Dinners out included dance clubs and bars. I resisted and complained. “What about finding a church?” I’d ask my husband. “What about God?”
My husband started working late and coming home with alcohol on his breath. The more I resisted our old lifestyle, the more we fought.
The gradual demise of our marriage ended in separation. Our daughter was 15 months old, and son was six years.
The devastating discovery of my husband’s affair with my best friend was the beginning of my 19-year journey as a single mom. My shattered reality took me to depths of indescribable heartbreak.
I grew angry and questioned why God would allow this. I felt He didn’t care about me or my children.
Despite my anger and blaming Him, I cried out to Him. The deeper I sank into heartbreak, the deeper He took me into Himself.
His word became my lamp as I hugged my Bible through dark nights. His presence was never more real. Learning that He’s close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18) brought comfort.
I returned to our little church and surrounded myself with friends. I waited a year for God to heal my marriage. That hope gave way to the realization that God wouldn’t force Himself on my husband. As his life spiraled downward due to his choices, I realized I too had choices.
I chose God.
He brought me a new best friend who counseled me and prayed for me. Twenty-five years later, we’re tighter than ever.
One day she encouraged me to join a Bible study with her. It was a nine-month commitment with homework and weekly meetings. I said no at first, until she pointed out that my work schedule wouldn’t interfere. To please her, I finally agreed.
I felt like an outcast around the other women. It wasn’t because they made me feel this way. I carried shame from my divorce and financial state of barely living above the poverty line. I drove old cars and experienced foreclosure and bankruptcy.
I loved the Lord, but mostly on my terms, at arm’s length, as Fear, Shame and Rejection were my companions.
One morning the homework directed me to the book of Isaiah.
In disbelief, I read the following words through blurred eyes:
“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord Almighty is his name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit, a wife who married young, only to be rejected, says your God.”
Do you remember that first kiss with your first love? Your eyes locked as he leaned in, toes curled and warm fuzziness flowed through your body while goose bumps popped out on your skin?
It was far better than that! In that moment, my life’s story with Jesus changed. I felt as if He’d just proposed and I said, YES!
Falling in love with Jesus and trusting my heart with Him, expelled the shame and rejection I lived in.
Thirty-four years later, Jesus is still the love of my life.
I once heard someone say, “Jesus wants you to be in love with Him as much as He’s in love with you.”
If you’re pining away for someone special to share Valentine’s Day with, Jesus is your man.
Even though I remarried an amazing man in 2007, he’s human, with flaws. Jesus will always be my forever Heavenly Husband.
If your husband or boyfriend falls short of your Valentine’s Day expectations, I promise you that Jesus won’t.
He will surprise you with gifts that no man (no matter how wonderful he is) can ever give.
You can trust your heart in the hands of your Maker, the Lord Almighty.
Jesus is asking. What will your answer be?