May 18, 2012

What miracles have happened in my life? Many. The fact that I’m here, happily married, with two boys is nothing short of a miracle.

Tara age 3

When I was growing up, I longed so badly, desperately to be accepted, to be noticed by my daddy. The song by ACappella “Where is my Father” seemed written for me. By the time I was in my late teens the pain inside was so bad that I remember on one occasion walking outside my house while it was snowing with no coat on, just to feel physical pain instead of the pain tearing me up inside. That pain came to a head in college when I would stand under a scalding shower for the same reason or find a secluded corner tojust curl up in and cry.

I especially remember when I found out my parents had separated. My thought while standing outside my dorm was, “I really would liketo just go and get plastered right now. But that would get me kicked out of school if I was caught. So I’ll go drown myself in studying instead.” That was the one and only semester I made straight A’s in during my undergraduate years.

Finally, there were the times sitting in the 3rdfloor sunroom of Hall Roland Hall that I really wanted to end it all and jump. Not necessarily because outside circumstances were always so terrible, but because the pain inside felt like too much to bear. I just wanted it to stop.The only thing that stopped me then was the almost physical touch of God’s arms wrapping around me, and the thought of how badly I wanted to be with Him one day.

Through spending time daily with God, lots of time in counseling, loving friends and family, and lots of prayers, I’m am no longer that hurt young lady. The pain that I had 12 years ago which ate me upside is mostly healed.

Instead of ending it all in college, I’ve gone on to become a college adjunct professor, have a strong marriage—largely in part because I was able to learn from my parents’ mistakes—and have two precious sons.

None of this would have been possible for me without God. Specifically, without trying my best to spend time each day growing my relationship with Him. Going to church is important to me. It’s one of the places where I connect to other believers, but I have found my relationship with God shouldn’t be based on or connected to a church. Churches and their members will screwup—just like I do. They will hurt me. If that is where my relationship with God begins and ends, that leaves me a very unstable foundation when real storms come.

But through the hurt I have also found that a relationship with God that is founded on my own time spent with Him, even a few moments each day, is one that has a much better chance at weathering the storms life brings me.Yes, I have had to have “interventions” from friends and family along the way. Because there have also been times that I have doubted God, even his very existence. There have been times I have been so angry with Him for allowing me to live through those painful situations that I ignored Him for days on end. But thankfully, He was always there waiting, reaching out to me.

If you’re just beginning to spend time with Him on your own, don’t worry if He doesn’t seem like a friend yet. Just because you’ve heard about Him in church all your life doesn’t mean you know Him anymore than you know a celebrity you’ve heard about and watched on TV for years. Spending time with Him one-on-one is how you get to know Him. Allow the relationship to grow at its own pace just like any other relationship. In my own life I have found little moments spent with Him five minutes here, fifteen minutes there, a stolen hour on a really good day, all add up. They add up to Him not only being my friend, but my Abba, Father, who has turned the pain of my past into something brutiful.

Do you find it hard to study the Bible?

It doesn’t have to be.

Let me help you learn a technique for studying that makes it simple. Join me as we study one chapter each week and memorize two verses of scripture each month.

You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your life.

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