Relationships from God
But you can imagine that they wanted to meet me. All they'd heard was from Ginger. They knew she was crazy about me but who is the guy, 10 years older than our daughter, a recovering addict/alcoholic, in a completely different social bracket, that our daughter adores. I mean lets be honest, shall we. How many red flags you see going off there? Doesn't have a full time job, works at a ministry, lives in a dorm, and has a $1.00 car (which he loved though it looked the part). And meets her at a recovery group. And there daughter is going with this guy to Starbucks where they sit for hours and just talk! Really! really? Okay, we need to meet this guy. They'd seen some pictures, I'm sure, I believe I was called a hottie at one point (first time in my life), but I can imagine all the thoughts going through her Mom and Dad's head. Yep, red flags abound.
So in I walk, and I can just imagine (I have an active imagination) how they must have felt, that first impression. Relatively quiet, respectful, and clean cut, I wasn't the picture of someone who'd been ravaged by years of addiction. In fact, for the most part, I looked normal. I get that alot. People hear my testimony and think I'm talking about someone else. Which is good. It shows the change only God could have made. There were questions they had and I believe, if I'm not mistaken, they'd done a background check on me. Hey, I would have too. This was their youngest daughter, the baby, and they want to protect their baby. She'd had a rough set of years stablizing from bipolar/anxiety, they'd taken care of her through those years, they weren't going to just pass the baton of that care to anyone. Later on, when they found out it took 5 months for me to kiss Ginger, well, you can imagine the relief! We really were talking at Starbucks! And when they found we were waiting till our wedding night (I don't really have to expound here do I!), well, the red flags fell away.
As they got to know me, however, they heard my heart. Get around anyone long enough and you find out who someone really is. Even con artists, if your around them long enough, show their true colors. The proof is in the actions of a person's life. One thing they realized, early on, is that I loved God. God had done so much in my life, it was not hard to see the thankfulness I had in my loving Savior. The other thing they saw is how much I adored Ginger. I respected her, cherished her, and I wasn't trying to take advantage of her. They saw something of value in me, not so much materialistically but inside. Just like God did when I came to Him. Talk about them modeling a love and acceptance that only God could have put in their heart. I had to earn their trust through my actions, how I treated their daughter, the family, my life. And they've seen some amazing things in the process, me too for that matter.
I'll never forget that Sunday Ginger and I were laying on the couch watching TV when they came in and her Mom said we should go look at this apartment Ginger had been told about by Amanda. I'm going to be perfectly honest, I didn't think we had a shot at it. What does my Dad say, don't limit God. Well, her Mom coaxed us off the couch, we called what would be our future landlords, and went to see the apartment. We fell in love with it. I mean, if you want to know what my dream place would look like, what I'd always wanted, well, our home is it. We walked around the place, her parents asking questions, Ginger and I in awe, and I kept thinking, Really God? I asked a couple of close friends and family to pray about it, we filled out the application, and we waited on God. Yes, we waited on God, because that was the only way it was going to happen I believed. Funny, God used her Mom to convince us to go see it, someone who opened herself up to trusting God about me and then God spoke to our landlords to give this young couple a chance as well. in other words, her Mom and Dad believed in me and what God had done and it was getting played forward yet again. Needless to say, I'll never forget that call that we got the apartment. At the time I was working on 20 acres of land and I believe I was jumping and praising God, and the squirrels and birds were looking at me like I was nuts. God had once again shown that with Him anything is possible!
So last night, her Dad says I'm family, not just a visitor like back then. I'm family. In fact, both our families love each other and it is one big family. So the point of this blog (sometimes I don't know I just write as God leads me) is that God is a God of redemption and restoration. As I sit, looking around our living room, a thankfulness abounds for the relationships in my life and how God has orchastrated each one in my life and shown me a glimpse of Himself in each one. Ginger, from the onset, knew there was something special about me and never let go, trusting in God. My parents, through all they'd been through with me, saw a change, something was different. Her parents trusted God and Ginger and grew to love me as a son. Our landlords, and though they are that we consider them more along the lines of friends and family than landlords, modeled what it is to listen to God and give us a chance. All these people gave someone who the world would have thrown away as damaged something that will be cherished forever. I will say this, my Mom and Dad never gave up on God and to hear and see the joy and thankfulness in their voice and on their faces, well, that is priceless. God never gave up on me.
As I look and reflect, it is relationships that are most important. Things come and go, but it is the people in your life, you know the one's I'm talking about, that are most important. There is lots of laughter here in this apartment, and love. We are celebrating life. Go to my parents house, or Ginger's parents and there is the same thing. And during struggles, and decisions, and tough times we come together to help each other. That is Christian love and unity. We are all unique in our own way but we unite in one common thing, we love God and it shows as we love each other.
A thankful baa....