Finding the Lord

How many times have I thanked the Lord for letting me share those weeks with Kent, particularly the times when it seemed there would never be other times to share. For you see, he was in is teenage years and got into some trouble. We were shocked to find this was not too unusual in the school. This was our beautiful, handsome son who was so smart. He had some trouble with his knees in his growth process and the doctor didn’t want him to go out for sports, which he had always done. He was new at his school since we had just moved to the neighborhood. He was not happy. We were soon not very happy either.   He was in rebellion the next two years and life was a nightmare. During these two years, three of his friends were killed violently in different kinds of accidents. I could do nothing. Kent and all of us spent two years in hell. You think this cannot happen to you and yours, but it can. Once again I realized a situation where I could do little.

Dorr’s father had been killed in an accident six months before he was born. His mother never remarried. All he knew about being a good father was to be a good provider of the necessities and extras that he had missed having. Anyway one night in a dream I saw our first little house so clearly. Then I saw the house across the street from it. But there were extremely large trees in the backyard. The phrase “Cedars of Lebanon” came to me. As I was watching the trees they suddenly started falling across the street toward our house and completely crushed it to the ground. Then I awoke. At the time I knew it had significance, but I really did not understand. This was symbolically what happened to our family just a few years later. My husband suffered a nervous exhaustion one summer and I became ill for a month the next year. It was like a bomb exploding, shattering this close knit family.

You know, my husband and I always had the crazy idea if we worked very hard, raised our family, and tried to be pretty good guys, we could reach our aim or a point up here somewhere that we were striving to get to. When we finally made it, we would just be able to sort of relax and have no more problems, sort of a vacation for the rest of our lives. Here we were getting close and the whole bottom fell out of everything. It was as if we were dead, but still living. We had always loved each other dearly, but now when we needed each other the most, we were killing each other with guilt, resentment and sharp words. We were so dead, so miserable and frustrated. You know, I didn’t leave God out of this; I cried over and over for help. I prayed every way I knew. But even though I always thought I was turning it over to Him (I wanted to), I was still holding on, desperate to do anything to help Kent.

My dear husband was devastated and found out he could have two drinks and it didn’t hurt so bad. This problem seemed to spawn another. Life was so miserable. It’s a familiar story, but the one you think just can’t happen to you. The hardest part was through this agony and frustration, when we should have been loving and helping each other the most, my husband and I were hurting, biting, blaming one another. These two people who had loved so deeply kept crying out the proverbial “Why, God, Why?” We were so exhausted and full of guilt. We tried everything we knew, including panic prayer. This is when I found out Satan is real and not a figment of someone’s imagination. Satan (we began to recognize him) was having a heyday. I never knew whether I would continue to see my son alive from one day to the next. This is when I reached panic prayer, but I am admitting now it doesn’t compare with the prayer of faith. Things would be better, then worse.

Finally one evening in September the family was gone. My husband was out of town at a meeting. I bought a new bottle of sleeping pills, bought a chocolate shake, went home, sat down, swallowed each pill one by one and drank my shake. Then I just went to bed and went to sleep. I had to turn my mind off for awhile in quietness. My body felt like it was turning to stone and I know I couldn’t have made a sound, but there was no peace. It was like a tape recorder going off in my mind. I heard every sound I had ever heard in my life. I realized I had been tricked, there was no peace this way. What if these sounds went on forever? I know I couldn’t make a sound or move a finger, yet it was like my whole body cried out “God help me” and that’s just what He did. My husband arrived home earlier than he had thought and was able to call the doctor and help me.

The next day I was so grateful. I knew that I would never do that again. I might not know what to do, but it would be a God-creative one. I knew that I knew that God heard me. That meant He was really real, that He cared, and He helped me. I pondered on this for months and began to have hope. It was almost a year later when I came to the same utter exhaustion. I was alone in the same bedroom and I quietly knelt down and said, “Lord, I don’t know what I am doing wrong, but I want you to know if there is anything at all about me that you want, here I am. And I want to ask you for a miracle for my son.” I had no idea what would happen, but I know I had never meant anything so much in my life. I got up and went to bed and slept. I believed that my children were in safe hands.

The next day I was very conscious of my commitment although I had not mentioned it to anyone else. I just kept wishing there was someway I could show God how much I meant it. Now I know He knew, but I believed He knew it was important that I knew He knew it. So strange coincidences and circumstances started happening the next day that let me know the Lord was leading the way. I became expectant and watching to see Him in my daily affairs.

I cut out a little verse and pasted it on the bottom of the mirror in our bedroom. It is still there. It says “Never despair of a child. The one who you weep the most for at the mercy seat may fill your heart with the sweetest joys.” It has come true.

Almost a year later I found myself at the same point of exhaustion. Somehow I sensed more trouble ahead and I wasn’t sure I could take anymore. I knelt down alone in my bedroom and very simply said, “God, I don’t know what I am doing wrong, I really don’t. But if there is anything at all about me you want, here I am. I am going to ask for a miracle for our young son. I believe it will happen and thank you now.” I didn’t know what this might mean; it was kind of scary, but I knew I had never meant anything so much in my life. I got up quietly, went to bed and slept. From the very next day the Lord used circumstances, people and His beloved word to start changing my life.

The next day was Sunday and I was driving across town to church. Just as I was almost at the May exit, a little voice quietly came across my mind suggesting I turn and go to Aunt Dorothy’s church. I was so startled I turned simply out of reflex action. I had never seen this church, but I knew about where it was located. Unlike our church, they had an “invitation” time. I went forward and the church prayed for me. On July19, 1971 I surrendered my life to God. I began to read and to study and I started of course with John’s gospel. And I know my God will never leave me or forsake me. I feel very loved and I still do. And I started on a fantastic journey! Still training.

The Lord is so good and gentle and how it must hurt Him that we turn away and have to learn in such hard ways. My husband and I were alone in our home for two months after Kent married, the first time in thirty-one years of marriage. This gave us a chance to minister to one another and heal our wounds. We had hoped for a grandchild for quite sometime. We even had a tiny nursery off our bedroom. Now he was giving us a grandchild too, although not just in the way we had thought about.

In September I went to a Presbyterian conference called “A Revolution of Love” in Cincinnati. I dreaded asking Dorr to go but he just said, “If this is something you feel you have to do, do it.” Before the end of the first day was over it was full of people going Celebration. I had asked God to open my eyes and ears and let me be able to get the most out of it. It truly was a fantastic week. The people I met and shared with, the speaker I heard, the music, singing, sacred dancing. 3,000 people who loved God, His Son and each other! Each time I felt a twinge of loneliness something very personal and special happened. I had a beautiful dream. I supped with my Lord. Wednesday night we had the youth do our worship program. My life became life. This experience in Cincinnati is where I really met the Lord face to face and realized my life would never be the same again. It gave me a whole new perspective on life.

There were many more Christian conferences to follow the Celebration. I started traveling quite a bit around the world to different Christian conferences. These trips included Europe, Israel, China, Taiwan and other locations. I made a lot of long term friends over the years and was able to meet leaders in the Christian evangelistic community. I was able to take some of the grandchildren on some of these trips. Chris went with me on a couple to Hong Kong and Australia. Dustin went with me to Australia and Tim went with me to China. I also went to Disneyland with some of the grandkids.

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