Monday, June 1, 2015

20 years of God's perfect timing

Remember back to the darkest, loneliest, most confusing time of your life. The most painful time you've been through. Then imagine yourself, twenty-three years later. The wounds of that painful time have been healed for many years, and you're in the midst of great harvest. You're in a time when you know in your heart, you are living the best days you have ever lived, are more joyful and thankful than you ever have been and sometimes in awe that this is your life, considering where you had come from and what a mess your life had seemed during your darkest hours.

Then imagine being able to read someone's words, someone you don't even remember, written about you during the dark time.

Exactly that happened to me yesterday. Waiting in the mailbox from the day prior was my mother's medical records from the hospital she died in. I had requested those records to learn more about the cancer she had. There was a lot I either was never told or didn't remember. She had been diagnosed when I was twelve years old and died when I was seventeen. There was much about her illness I just didn't pay attention to.

In the medical records I found bereavement assessment records. A woman from the hospital had been assigned to me to contact periodically and track how I was coping. I hadn't remembered this woman until reading the records.

Her notes about me accurately reflected a lot of what I would say about my own self looking back to that time. But there was something about reading a stranger's perspective of me that I'm not sure I know how to put in words yet.

"She is a rebellious teen."
"Dad not involved."
"Sister says she was always mixed up, not just since mom's death."
"She's like a lost soul."
"I don't think family was close."

One month after my Mother's death:
"Is a tough kid but has very little support system."
"She feels like she has her life on track now (plans for school and less partying etc.) but reading between the lines gave a different story."

Two months after:
"Our lunch date was spent talking about her boyfriend. He's "bad news" and she knows she doesn't need him or his temper but he's the only support for her now. She talked about having no self-confidence, not feeling like she deserved a "good guy" - seems to be so many instances of abandonment for her."
"Unlike other conversations she sounded sort of remote, as if she couldn't afford to have feelings right now."

Three months after:
"She seems well-organized but lost emotionally under a facade of "tough chick" - very insecure in some ways. Seems like a critical time for her."

Four months after:
"Seems impossible to reach her. And I'm not sure any of my messages are getting through."

One year later:
"She's still in school. Made Dean's list last semester."
"As always difficult to tell what's really going on. She's a very self-sufficient young lady."

There were no more records after that.

This morning I was still contemplating what I had read in those medical records and the journey I've been on since the time they were written. I watched this video, courtesy of a commentator at VP and Vox. What beautiful timing God has.

Just when you would think the ditch is too deep and I'm undeserving that's when God rocked up and opened my eyes to His reality
I began the journey of walking with God and in that experience he began to bring cleansing to defilement. He began to bring healing to my angry, wounded, ripped-off heart and then he dressed himself up in skin and loved me potently through his people. 
I met RLB two years and three months after my mother's death. We were married nine months after that. Shortly after we married I saw what RLB does when life is difficult. He reads the Bible. Even Especially when his wife was mocking him for doing so.

In case you are new here and don't know the past of the woman RLB valued enough to marry and witness to, you may read it here.

In two days RLB and I celebrate our 20th Anniversary. I am so very grateful for this man. 

Thank you, RLB, for looking past the wretched mess I was and for heeding and living God's instruction for husbands: 
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. -Ephesians 5:25-33
You are my favorite thing. 


  1. SD,

    As once formerly rebellious teen to another, I was once told that "wisdom is wasted on the young". Indeed I think it is. I also remember reading somewhere about "working out all things for good for them that love the Lord". Indeed He does, even when we don't know that we love Him yet.

    BTW Married 18 years yesterday. 20 years is a great milestone, I'm told it means that you're just getting started and the best is yet to come. Congratulations!

    1. Congratulations to you and Mrs. Ipsa as well!

      The best is yet to come!

  2. Happy Anniversary!
    I love reading stories like this - so encouraging, and so rare in this day and age!

  3. This was absolutely beautiful! God makes ALL things new.

  4. Hi SD,
    Is there an email address where you can be contacted? I have a story that is very relevant that I want to share with you. Thanks

  5. Lovely story. Congratulations, both to you and the lucky guy!


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