My Story - part one

If I am honest, I have been ready to tell this story for a few weeks, but I have struggled with how to tell you this story.  I think the lessons I have learned through this story are sometimes drowned out by the serious, frightening logistical details of the story.  My prayer is that through telling it this way, you will see the amazingly powerful Hand of God active and alive in my story.

I read somewhere that even Judas was part of the plan.  God used the betrayal of a friend that led to death on the cross to redeem us, and I have to believe that He uses the very worst of our circumstances to redeem and sanctify us.  We don't get to see His Hand in the moment, but it can become apparent in hindsight.  In the book Esther when the Jewish people were threatened, Mordecai tells Esther that perhaps she was queen "for such a time as this."  God put things into motion long before Esther was even thought of.

 Maybe, just maybe God had aligned things in my life to lead to this place, to share this story with you.  It began with a job relocation - teaching in Smith County.  That's right, teaching.  Can we say dream fulfilled?But with every dream comes sacrifices, namely a 35 minute drive from my home in Jones County.  A new car helped with the gas mileage - it was a Chevy Cruze and beautiful.  I loved my car and my job - I was pretty much a happy Beaty girl.

Next came the wedding - Candace (sister/best buddy/roommate) and Brent (then fiance/now husband/awesome man) were getting married which allowed me  to consider moving closer to my job.  Through Facebook and some helpful hints, I found the cutest little 3 bedroom house right over the Smith county line and an entire 7 minutes from work.  It was perfect - Candace and I made arrangements to move just a month before the wedding.  I was excited to be a country mouse with space after many years in the city in an apartment building with people surrounding you ALL THE TIME. The front yard has one of the most amazing views of the night sky.  Through this time, God began leading me through Psalms.  It felt like He was breathing new life and fresh air and love into my soul.

I felt safe and secure - life was beautiful.

About two weeks into living in my new, super cute, country house, I was home alone on a Thursday night which in and of itself is something of a unicorn.  We usually have Thursday night dinner as a family, but Dad had diabetic class so we moved it to a different night.  Because we had a free night, Candace and Brent were working on their home as the wedding was just weeks away.  A night at home alone to watch TV, relax, regroup was particularly appealing to me.  If you know me at all, you know that I quite enjoy my alone time.

It was this night, at home, alone when all of my safety and securtiy and beauty went straight through the bedroom window.  Coincidentally, it was the same bedroom window that the police believe to be the entry point for the strange man who came into my home with a gun and kidnapped me.  This man became the Judas in my story - it led to the biggest change in my life which felt very much like a death of something. For a long time, I was angry at this man that obliterated my security, and I still have moments of anger when something scares me.  However, these moments don't last long when I return to my plum line of God's word and realize that it was His Hand and His Plan that led me to that moment and brought me safely through.  But that's the next part of this story...