Friday, December 23, 2011

God Bless the Broken Road

This much I know is true: we are all loved by someone greater than ourselves.  I believe He lives inside that still, small voice that whispers warnings that we brush off with our sense of self entitlement.  He is close by in the middle of the night when we are too heart broken to pray or ask for help.  He is there when a life is spared in a situation that defies all rational explanation.   He is there when a second chance at life is given to someone who does not deserve it; someone who has been desperately waiting for it.  
Why believe?  I think each soul has to answer that for himself.  Nobody can give you faith.  But, I will share my story of a life transformed and a second chance given.  
My story begins about two years ago.  My family had suffered a loss that is so ugly and awful it seems unreal.  Our lives in 2010 were the stuff of bad lifetime movies and nightmares.  I won't go into detail about this because it is not my story to tell.  But our family suffered a loss and the trauma continued for about two years.  During this time, we were fortunate enough to have a nondenominational church planted about two blocks away from our house.  We just so happened to be church hunting for about three months when they plopped down next to us.  I visited by myself to check it out, and knew it was where we were meant to be.  When I walked out after the church service, I shook the pastor's hand and said, "I feel like I was starving and I just got fed!"  
The church became my family's sanctuary and refuge from a never ending storm.  There were days that I would show up Sunday morning and would be so overwhelmed with sadness that all I could do was cry through the service.  There were Sundays when I was so grateful for God's presence in my life that I would practically shout for joy.  There were Sundays when I was so angry with God that I couldn't even bring myself to take my coat off and sit down.  
But I came.
Here is the great thing about being a part of a church community.  They pray for you and hug you when life gets really scary and you can't stand up alone.  Who doesn't need a hug and a prayer?  I was surrounded by this group of badass, strong Christian ladies that really didn't know me, but faithfully prayed for my family.  
Last Spring, my husband was out of work, like a lot of America, and had exhausted all his resources in the job hunt.  I was working, thankfully, but a teacher's salary (part time) is not much.  We were both feeling pretty glum and I needed a break from reality. My cousin Annie invited me to Georgia to visit their new home so I jumped all over that! 
As soon as my plane hit the ground and I set foot on Georgia red clay, I felt at home.  You see, I had lived in Georgia as a child.  Annie and I were neighbors as children and it was a magical time.  I was elated to be back and talking a mile a minute as we drove through Atlanta. She asked me what I wanted to do on the trip and I told her that I had just finished a geneology project on our Dads' side of the family, who came from Georgia, and I would be interested in seeing the town where our ancestors lived.  As far back as 1800, our fathers' fathers lived in Hog Mountain, Georgia.  When I mentioned Hog Mountain, she looked stunned.  My cousin said, "Katie, I live on Hog Mountain Road."  
We were both speechless (if you can believe that). 
I told her how good it did my heart to see her happy.  How happy I was to see that after some hard times, God had brought her full circle, back to the home of her ancestors.  For the first time in a long time, I had hope for my family's future.  If God could give her a second chance, then maybe He would do the same for me.  When I went home, it was with a lighter heart and a bit of hope.
About one month later, hubby found a job opening.  Guess where?  Georgia.  My man was born and raised in Chicago and had about as much chance of moving to Georgia as the cast of Jersey Shore.  This was completely out of left field, but it was the very thing I had prayed for faithfully.  The weekend that hubby flew out for an interview, I asked our entire church congregation to pray for the interview.  Then, the waiting began.  We waited for a month.  When we finally got the news and our relocation packet in the mail, I had survived about five nervous breakdowns and was convinced that God was just toying with me.  
But it was real.  So here I am on Georgia red clay and wild horses couldn't drag me away.  Life is not perfect.  It never is.  But everyone is healthy, safe, and loved.  I have no doubt in my mind that when I am old and gray, I will look back at these years as the best years of my life. Here is what I have taken away from the broken road that led us here.  God's dreams for you are so much bigger than your own.  I never could have imagined this life for my family in a million years. And do you want to hear the icing on the cake? After months of house hunting, guess where we found our house?  On good old Hog Mountain Road!
Ha! Now He's just showing off.


  1. Oh Cous! This post made me cry. So beautifully written; so perfectly told. Your story is an amazing one and you are right..His plans for us are SO much bigger than we could even dream. It's the patience that's so hard and learning to trust in His process! It still feels like a dream to have you 2 miles down the road. I'm not sure I feel worthy enough to receive that gift, but I'll take it. Love you!!!

  2. I feel the same way. Luckiest girl EVER. Love you!!