It was ten years ago, almost to the day, I read those words. I had been divorced for 6 months from a 30-year marriage, not in a good financial place and could not work. It is almost impossible to be a motivational speaker when your life is in the toilet. Emotionally, I was a mess.
I thought it would take me only a few months to recover from the devastation of divorce. Now I know how foolish the thought was – but really, how would one know? The last years of the marriage had broken me, tore my heart apart and shredded my spirit into a million pieces.
My children did not want to see me for the holidays and although I had amazing friends, they had their own lives to live.
I sat down to read a little book on prosperity, and was encouraged to read a chapter a day and write about it. This was the final section and somewhere in the verbiage, not even the main point, I read this statement: Go Out and Prove God. I need to point out, it did not say, “Believe in God” or “Worship God.” It simply stated, to “PROVE Him.”
I pondered that sentence for the rest of the day and somehow in those hours of despair, it occurred to me the only way to actually prove God was to find joy and become happy.
Happiness had eluded me for so long, I had almost forgotten how it felt. Oh, I had glimmers here and there from time to time, but for the last 10 years, survival was the only pressing thought on my mind. How could I get through this, how could I overcome that?
My life had fallen apart, the man I loved did not love me, combine that with several close friends dying and my daughter, who I adore, had moved to the other side of the country and was never coming home. With the divorce I was financially broken and saw no way to recover my income.
I was lonely and could not imagine how I would ever be happy again. But, “prove” would not leave my mind. I now know was a Divine calling, but then I just saw it as one of my many neuroses.
OK, how could I, “prove,” God? What could I do to make myself happy? What could I manifest to find a glimmer of hope in my life?
I asked myself what I used to do to generate self-happiness, and my answer surprised me – writing. Hmmm, writing? I had not written in over 6 months and I had nothing happy or even motivational to write about.
I had gone out on a few dates, with no spark, or wishes to see these men again. I had been in a relationship with my former spouse since I was nineteen years old, decades before Internet dating. I was not looking for a long-term relationship; I was open to a possibility of a male friend, going to dinner, riding motorcycles or at least having good conversation.
With an idea in my head … I approached a women’s magazine and asked if they would be interested in having an article about dating again after 30 years … my introduction to on-line dating. They jumped at the chance.
I saw eHarmony was having a, “free weekend” membership and the rest of the story is a beautiful love tale where I met my now husband Rick, the love of my life and the, “proof,” I needed that God does exist and indeed takes care of us.
I actually had a sign created, “Go Out and Prove God,” and we were married under those words eight months later. This year we will celebrate our 10th year of marriage, and as I ponder the New Year, I also realized it has been 10 years since I read those words and took them to heart.
Last night, as I was sitting at a family gathering, I looked around at how my family had changed. Many people I knew 10 years ago are no longer in my life. In 2011, my son decided he wanted nothing to do with me; I have parted ways with a few close friends, (some their idea, some mine.) My Dad died last April. This was our first holiday without him.
There has been plenty of sadness of sorts over the last 10 years –such as a diagnosis of “deadly melanoma,” (miraculously cured in 4 months) leaving two different homes I had loved, my mom’s fall which broke her arm and left her unable to do things for herself for six months, my daughter not speaking to me for several months and other people coming in and out of my life. Rick and I have had our ups and downs as we walk this path of life together.
The biggest change I have had is the huge shift in how I see the world and how I live. Those people gathered around me last evening were people I’ve known for a while, but never really connected with. Now they have come to the forefront in my life.
I recovered my voice as a speaker on positivity, brought back my organization, In the Presence of Positive Women and said yes to a variety of leadership roles. But that was just the beginning.
Two years ago, on my 60th Birthday, I made a decision to become a Christian Women’s speaker. I actually made a big mention of this at my party … to the cheers of many, and the “let’s get out of here,” look of several others.
“OK God, what is next?” He got quiet. Usually, I have a clear knowledge of my next move, but I didn’t get any strategies from God as how I was to do this Christian speaker thing. Nothing. Zilch. So I began to think this was perhaps not what God wanted of me.
Rick and I have lived two years in a van (a wonderful home on wheels my husband built) and traveled the country seeing beautiful places and meeting fabulous people. But New Hampshire was still our home and two years ago, while staying put in little cottage of rural Northwood, NH, we happened upon this small church in Candia called Crossroads Bible Church. We went in and have been there ever since. This is why God was quiet. He was waiting for the right (Divine) time to bring me through those doors.
I am a new person because of that encounter. I discovered the errors of my ways. Imagine wanting to be a speaker on Christ, when I had never read the Bible! Oh, I remember lots of Bible stories from my times growing up Catholic and reading other books on Jesus. But I had never studied or even read much of the Bible. I knew nothing about the Old Testament (other than it was, ah – old), or the Gospels, how they all relate to one another, how it is the inspired word of God. I knew nothing.
There is one thing about not knowing something; you don’t know what you don’t know. But when you realize you know nothing – now that’s when the Divine can take over. I could finally comprehend the reason for God’s, “quietness.” He was setting me up to arrive at that church at the perfect time when I was ready to see my true self, yes, a sinner in need of a Savior…both Rick and I have been studying scriptures ever since.
We both thirst for the Word of God and the Word has transformed us.
For me, I finally have the peace I have desired for so long. When I realized we are all born sinners, yes, all of us – it was actually the most freeing thing I have ever learned. The Bible has changed my entire perspective.
I’ve learned just what Jesus did for me, not only dying for my sins, but for all of our sins. He came to Earth in human form, showed us how to live a life more blessed than I could have ever imagined. He died on the cross and took on all our sins – He was a substitute for me – He paid the ransom for me, (and all of us,) and opened the doors to Heaven, to His Heavenly Father – John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. It is not through our good works or deeds that we go to Heaven. It is through the Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Grace and Grace alone.
Now I get it…but a lot more. I had been looking at all my losses … my friends, my son, my home, my dad and while all of those are sad – God gave me many substitutes and allowed my heart to heal and love again.
He had already given me Rick who mended a broken spirit and given me a life more wonderful than I could have imagined.
My son, who will always be in my heart, is gone from my life, but I have connected with a young man about the same age as him, who has filled the void. I’ve actually known him for over 10 years and he has helped Rick and I many times with moving and other things when we have needed a younger man with strength. Stephen is married to my cousin and through our many conversations, I have learned he did not have the best childhood and his own mother doesn’t give him much attention. I have grown to love this young man and see what a diamond in the rough he is: kind, helpful and very smart.
I had prayed to Lord Jesus to bring me back my son. That is just not going to happen anytime soon, and I’ve accepted it. But Jesus gave me Stephen as a substitution for my broken relationship, and Rick and I have taken him into our hearts. In his thirties – he needed a Mom and in my sixties, I needed a son. He’s been there for a while; I just needed to be open to new possibilities. I am blessed.
While in Orlando, a chance meeting in a church caused me to spend the day with an elderly couple. They were very kind and took me to lunch, (something that my dad would have done) and we all enjoyed each other’s company. I promised the next time in Florida, I will come visit them and bring Rick – new family ties. A father figure who needed a daughter to chat with and a daughter who needed to sit with a father figure. Divine indeed.
Rick and I traveled out west this fall, and although we were not looking to move, we found a city with a church we loved, and it looks like we will be moving West, closer to my daughter and Rick’s family this summer. We will buy a new home, a substitute for the one we lost, but even better than we’ve ever had. It will be one with space to be filled with family and friends to come visit. Hmmm, didn’t see that one coming.
I was ready to have a new friend come into my life, and take away a sadness from one of my buddies leaving me…within the week of my request – boom, a lovely lady from India, whom I had known for over a year popped into my heart.
We had a few meetings, and found we had so much in common. We were brought up worlds apart and yet, we are on the same life mission, which brings me to a final substitution. The Divine at work once again.
Together, my new friend and I can imagine new possibilities to help women, not only be positive, but to find true happiness. We have similar Christian values and she has the global business expertise I don’t have. But I have experience and ideas that she doesn’t have and together, anything is possible.
I have asked her to take over the helm of In the Presence of Positive Women and she said, “YES.” We both want to bring IPPW to an international platform to help women globally empower themselves and create positive change in the world.
I’ll still be involved, but it is time for me to take a back seat and allow another positive women to take the helm, which will allow me to take on the new role, a Christian Women’s Speaker.
I am very happy. Did I, “Prove” God? Well, now I come to see that God never needed to be proved. There is proof everyday in the world. When I look to see the sun in the sky shining-I know that is God. The beautiful countryside, the oceans, flowers, children … you don’t have to look very far to see the proof of God. I had to prove God for myself, and notice how He is always there for me, even when I can’t see Him. I am feeling peaceful, powerful and oh so happy. Thank you Lord Jesus.