Ya’all have been on my heart today. Sometimes I get so tickled when I think how much God has blessed me with you grandgirls. You are each so unique with your own set of special gifts. You add so much interest, value, and love to the family. I treasure you!
I have a story to share with you today. I may have previously shared bits and pieces with you, but today, I’m writing it down in hopes that you will see God’s hand in drawing me to His heart.
I grew up in a very dysfunctional, unstable home. My parents were alcoholics and they fought all of the time. My father had an explosive temper. We never knew what would trigger it. It was a very scary and insecure world for my mom, my siblings and me. I wondered why no one rescued me. I longed to be rescued.
When I was only fourteen, I had seen enough of life to wish I hadn’t been born. I did not want to grow up and live the life my parents were living. I felt no hope, no joy and no purpose for my life.
A Longing to Know God
One day, as I was folding clothes, I began to think about the existence of God. I reasoned that If there was a God who made the world and everything in it, there must be a way to know him.
The more I thought about it the more I wanted to know if he was real. If he was the creator, did he care about me? After all, he wouldn’t create me, throw me on this earth place and say, “Now, go fend for yourself! would he?” Suddenly a desperate yearning welled up deep inside my heart.
Next thing I knew I was laying face down on the floor. I was crying out, “God, if you are real, I need you! I’m afraid and I feel abandoned and all alone. I want to know you but I don’t know how to find you, will you please show yourself to me?” I lay there a long time as the silence surrounded me.
Confusion, Disillusionment and Deep Sadness
A year later God revealed Himself to me but not before he took me through a year where he showed me that life apart from God is meaningless. That year was filled with disillusionment, confusion, and deep sadness.
I sought to fill the God-shaped void in my heart. The void only God could fill.
The way I went about doing that was to seek significance through popularity. I wanted so badly to be noticed and accepted. After observing the apparent happiness of all the popular kid’s at school, I made it my goal to become one of them.
Well, I got my wish and it was empty! The popular kids, whom I thought were my friends, proved to be extremely self-centered. They only cared about being number one. Being popular did not fill my hearts cry for meaning or purpose.
I was consumed with emptiness.
Was there no purpose in this life?
A Friend Who Cared
As I was struggling with deep emotional pain, one of my friends, from Junior High, was observing me. Debbie was concerned when I pulled away from everyone.
As Debbie’s concern for me grew, she decided to talk to her Mom about me. As a result of that talk, Debbie asked me to spend the night at her house. I turned her down.
I didn’t want to be anywhere or with anyone.
Debbie persisted and kept urging me to stay at her house. She would not take no for an answer so eventually, I caved and reluctantly accepted her invitation.
Finding my Father
That night I observed a different home life from mine. There was a sweetness in the atmosphere. My heart warmed as I watched Debbie’s Dad take the youngest kids to bed, piggyback style. After all the kids were tucked in, he made his way to his favorite chair.
Sitting comfortably, with a big black book in his hand, he turned to me. There was a world of kindness in his eyes. He spoke to me gently as he said he had something very important to share with me.
I was taken back thinking, “Who me?” At the same time, I felt an unfamiliar sense of endearment. A sense of being valued washed over me. “Who am I that he should care for me?” I thought.
Sitting in anticipation, Dad Haworth opened God’s word and spoke words of truth and life. He explained to me that God did indeed exist and He was the creator of the whole universe. I felt the darkness lifting. My heart filled with excitement and Joy … “Oh, thank you, God, you ARE real!”
Goosebumps ran down my spine.
He continued, “Susie, God created everything and every person. He created you on purpose for a purpose.” (tears welled in my eyes and the deepest longings to know God squeezed at my heart).
He said that the Lord God is a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin in His heaven, “Oh, I knew all about the ugliness of sin – though I didn’t call it sin.”
He opened the word to John 3:16 and explained that because God so loved me, He gave His only son to die for my sins so that I could live eternally with Him.
The only one who could die in my place was the spotless son of God, He who knew no sin became sin for us. 2 Cor. 5:21. It was Jesus in my place.
That night I could barely wait to ask Jesus to wash my sins away. I accepted God’s gift, the gift of His son Jesus who willingly gave up His life to pay the price for my sin.
He chose death on that cruel cross so I could live with him eternally.
I opened my heart eagerly to the one who had given His all to redeem me. I prayed asking God to forgive me for my sins. He did. I invited Him to be the Lord of my life.
As I prayed I felt an immediate awakening in my Spirit and I experienced what scripture describes as ,“Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.”
My whole world changed that night. The despair was gone and I knew I would never again walk alone. I belonged to God. He adopted me as a daughter into His family.
My desperate prayer to know God was answered; my soul came to rest and I was fully at peace. I knew that the creator God loved me, pursued me and had a plan for my life here on Earth.