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Saturday, September 1, 2012

My Hazardous Faith Story...When I Left All


It all started when I heard Nicky Cruz (The Cross and the Switchblade) speak at my high school. His testimony drew me in…I sat riveted in my set and before he had finished, tears where streaming down my cheeks. Cheeks that rarely felt this salty wetness.  The next thing I knew, I was sobbing… feeling a force stronger than me compelling me forward. Going forward, a seed was planted…a seed that would take years to break through the hard soil of my heart.  After that night, I felt an “invisible magnet” drawing me …pulling me away from all that was familiar…toward an unknown destination.

I headed off to college at 17…the whole world ahead of me.  I carried with me my questions and my first Bible…a Bible my friend, now husband, “borrowed” from his church library. I was going to dig for answers…so I signed up for an inquiry class of the denomination in which I was raised.  Meanwhile, for the first time in my life, I started to read the Bible.  Through my first years of college, this “invisible magnet” continued to pull me…pull me toward Himself.  Ultimately, in my junior year I found my destination…my new home…right in the heart of God’s love.

Little did I know at this time…my new home would cost me everything…

Filled with virgin Love, I returned home brimming with enthusiasm about my new Love.  My parents were fine in the beginning. I continued to attend the church of my youth…the only church my family and all generations before us had attended. The tension started mounting when I shared that I would like to attend a different church.  This was allowed with the condition I continued to attend my family’s church.  So I did…two services every weekend.  We all seemed to settle into a more peaceful place until that day I proclaimed I wanted to be baptized.  I was forbidden as long as I lived under their roof…and we were now on a collision course that was inevitable.

Tension in the air became a chokehold…one I feared would choke the life right out of my father.

In a desperate attempt to find out what God was asking of me, I grabbed my Bible, turned to the concordance, and looked up the word “parents”.  I did not happen upon, children obey your parents…no…it was Matthew 10:37-39

 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

God knew what I would need to bear the cost…me, a child who had not been a rebellious daughter…me, a child that up until this point had done everything my parents had asked of me …me, who never stood toe-to-toe with my Dad.   

I did not push to be baptized, but by this time the strain was at the boiling point. This house, so full of tension, could no longer contain the pressure and an explosion occurred.  I was told to leave.  My soon-to-be husband rented a truck, we packed my room, and I left all to follow God.  I lost my home, my family, and the provision of my education.

God promises in Mark10: 29 there is no one who has left house or mother or father, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now, in the present age, and the age to come…

My college education was restored to me quickly…the rest took years.  But I can say that I am living the “hundred times” with my parents…my father and I meet weekly for lunch…we now share together in reading a daily devotional he gave me…we now can share our love for Jesus ….forgetting and forgiving the past…
                                       We are finishing strong together.

 God truly can do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. Ephesians 3:20
My Hazardous Faith Story

I’m sharing My Hazardous Faith Story as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new book Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus.”

Telling this story fills my heart with such humble gratitude for His loving kindness to me~

~His saving faith
~A God who watches over the smallest acts of faith
~A God who is the Master Gardener...tends gentle to seeds of faith
~The Holy Spirit
~God’s faithfulness
~The power of forgiveness
~Grace to walk in forgiveness
~my parents home...the place where the family gathers for every holiday
~happy, happy news

       Join me at these amazing places...@Ann's,  Playdates, and Soli Deo Gloria
          On Your Heart TuesdaysAnn’sGod-bumps. Duane WLWW,Life in BloomWIP 

43 comments:

  1. Your story gives me hope. I too left everything to follow my heart for Jesus. My parents are not christians so things with them have not been restored, though I have tried numerous times. Thank you for sharing a piece of your journey with us :)

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    1. The healing took years... My heart needed a lot of healing...not just for this...God had to bring me to a place where I could pray...Father Forgive them...for they know not what they do. I have never had a conversation with my parents about this...As God healed my heart...I could love them without them having to “own” their stuff. Keep letting God heal your heart...give Him lots of room to work. I could have never imagined I could be here with my parents...He is a big God. Thanks for stopping in~

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  2. Oh wow - such a powerful story. Thank you so much for sharing it - I came via ed's site, having written my own Hazardous story.

    We not hear this passage preached very often - but I heard it preached a lot more when I was doing mission in other countries. There, the cost of leaving family and community for the gospel - like your story- is an ever-present reality, and a tough decision to make. We now preach it to our youth groups on occasion, because there are always going to be some like you who need to know that God will give them back 100 times - but there is real cost and sacrifice involved.

    Thank you- your story really moved me.

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    1. It really was a sweet way to come to Jesus...He proved Himself over and over...I could have shared so many ways He met me...I feel this way to come was a gift. thanks for stopping in...I will try to get by to read your story...blessings~

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  3. I've heard you allude to this story before, it was nice to hear it this way. It's cathartic to write out the ways we sacrifice isn't it? Hope you have a wonderful holiday Ro. Blessings to you.

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    1. Shelly...yes it is...and in writing this I remembered so many ways He met me in amazing ways...too many to write about here...but remembering His faithfulness ...count all the ways He loves us...so good for the soul. Thanks for dropping in~ have a blessed day too~

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story! It increases my thankfulness of the parents I have and their support in my walk with the Lord. I'm so glad you are seeing restoration in that relationship!

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    1. MaryBeth...I am so very thankful for the healing...we are finishing better than we started...oh the Grace...and I am so thankful I can be there to support my kids as they follow their hearts toward God. blessings to you~

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    2. I'm sure your experience with your parents has greatly impacted how you support your children on their own journeys with the Lord.

      Thanks for linking up with WIP!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this story! God's love is redemptive. He takes even torn relationships and restores them for His glory. This is a powerful testimony of His grace in your life and I'm so glad to have read it.

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    1. Christina...you said it well...and I am so thankful for His Grace. blessings~

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  6. Great story of faith, Ro! I'm so glad you held on to your faith in the face of opposition and that you and your father have worked through these differences. Very inspiring!

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    1. Beth...it is a testimony to the power of forgiveness...we have never once talked about it...God took me to a sweet place of forgiveness and letting go...so very thankful for that~

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  7. I just loved getting to know and hear more of your journey! Wow, what a difficult thing, and yet now the way it has all been worked for good...only God can melt hearts and facilitate forgiveness like that...just beautiful, my friend! Praying your week is wonderful :)

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    1. Jacque...we just spent Labor Day at my parents how...sometimes I still stand in awe of what God has done. blessings to you too~

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  8. What a beautiful story!! Praising God with you for your journey with Him. I stopped by to say thank you for visiting me at my place and I have been blessed. Thank you! Blessings!

    -Kari
    www.counthisblessings.com

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    1. Kari...so glad you stopped by too...blessings~

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  9. Love the way God writes our stories all so differently. There's such hope in your testimony. Blessings to you, dear friend.

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    1. Alicia...yes...even the difference between mine and my husbands...so different...but how they fit together so well...just like His body...blessings to you too~

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  10. Oh, Ro, you are beautiful. Your faith and courage -- all with Him -- are just beautiful. I am so grateful to have had the privilege to hear a piece of your story. Thank you.

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    1. Jennifer...your words...so kind...love how we slowly get glimpses into one another’s story...all the brought us to this place in love...all God’s grace and redemption...your painting a beautiful picture...telling a wonder story for others to read. Thanks for dropping in...blessings to you~

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    1. Denise...thanks and glad you stopped by~

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  12. You point so beautifully to God, and His grace in your life. Your courage touches me, and I am grateful to learn more about your story. How I wish we could talk in person and share our stories with each other...it is good to know how God restored your relationship with your parents...blessings, Ro :)

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    1. Oh Dolly , how splendid that would be to sit face to face...how I would love hearing your heart...your story. God has been so kind and faithful...blessings to you~

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  13. Wow. What a hazardous faith story you have here. I cannot imagine being put in that position, and it's so evident how God gave you the grace to deal with it in obedience. What a gift that you've been given, with the growing relationship you have now with your family.

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    1. Jennifer...it is amazing the Grace bubble God puts you in in those moments...I wish I had the space to have shared all the ways He met me in those being months of my walk with Him. I count the way He called me to come a true gift. blessings to you Jennifer.

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  14. What a touching story! I can relate to so much of what you have said. He does give to us a hundred fold, but it does not always come in the way we expect. Thus, it is so important to count our blessings!

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    1. Tereasa...His gifts do come wrapped in different ways...and yes...counting is so very important~ thanks for stopping by~

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  15. In some ways you and I started similarly with family... and I'm very blessed to know that mine has changed significantly in the past 40-plus years. More and more coming to Him when I was the first.

    One more bit: one of the first books I read after my salvation was The Cross and Switchblade... and that's how I "met" Nicky Cruz.. and then read his story in the late '60s, Run, Baby, Run. VERY intense!! I've always hoped I would see him, but never been dropped into his life. SO happy for you and so blessed to know how his life broke into yours through our Lord.

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    1. Caryjo...that is so neat that Nicky Cruz impacted both of our lives in such dramatic ways...and I wonder if he is surprised when people get to heaven and he finds out how much his story impacted so many lives during that time. so thankful for you too...that God is still working in your family...bring others to Christ. so glad you dropped in~blessings~

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  16. ro, this is awesome. i'm so glad you wrote this for us - it's inspirational.

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    1. Kendal...Thank you so much...blessings~

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  17. I read that book just a few years ago. Loved the story. I can't imagine hearing Nicky Cruz speak.

    Your story makes me cry...everything about it. But I love the ending especially!

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    1. Lisa...I should find the book and read it ...I don’t remember if I ever read it or not after hearing him...I am so thankful for the ending too...thanks for stopping in...blessings~

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  18. I loved reading this. I'm so glad there's been reconciliation with your dad, but glad you were courageous enough to follow Jesus even as the risk of losing all.
    My husband and I once sang in a trio at a Nicky Cruz crusade! :)

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    1. Elizabeth...oh my...maybe you were singing that night...that’s a sweet thought. I am so blessed to be finishing with my parents like we are...such Grace...thanks for dropping in~ blessings~

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  19. I'm so grateful your relationship with your parents has been restored! What courage it must have taken for you to follow God this way. Hazardous, indeed. And such beautiful fruit now.

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    1. Laura...it really became a gift to me...He was so near and kind even through such a dark time...thanks for dropping in...blessings~

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  20. Oh, friend, I can feel your heart here and have been in those shoes myself. Though I maintain a good relationship with my parents now, it has been a long road and one that leaves many still open. Praying I can get to the place you describe with my own father, as hopeless as it seems. Thanks for your transparency, friend.

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  21. Oh wow. I love you even more now. This is such a beautiful story of your real life fight of faith. Yes, that is what Paul calls it, doesn't he?

    Wow...

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  22. this is a tall drink of bubbling over aliveness
    over here!
    so glad to find you and your sunflower ways:)
    I read "Run Baby Run" as a girl and the Lord
    squeezed my heart so sweet and hard
    through that book.....such a strong memory
    your post stirred.
    love and peace to you in your journey,
    Jennifer

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  23. dear, dear friend... this is such a redemption story. how God has restored those years to your family, blessing you for forsaking all. and it's encouraging, to hear how you sought out a different church, as we're doing now (to the chagrin of trent's parents :P)... in search of the holy spirit. in search of believers who worship in spirit and in truth. love you, friend. e.

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