John 15:20 (ESV) - Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
The process of maturing as a Christian can be compared to that of a child maturing into an adult. I developed a hunger to know the Bible. I joined a church and was baptized. The pink cloud of infancy ended. Life went on, my family was still hurt by my past actions and not everyone was excited about my new found faith as I was.
A new life in Christ is not simple. One may have been given an inner spiritual peace with God through Christ, but sensitive feelings and the many consequences of many poor life choices remain.
I determined to live single for a time. The plan being to rebuild my business career and discover who I was. But being intentionally accurate in the computer software industry is difficult. I used to lie and embellish to succeed in sales. Now I was honest and sold nothing. Unlike many who get sober and rebuild their life. I started with everything and lost it all.
Five years later, with my business closed and broke, Mary came to hear me preach on a fathers day. We courted and were privately married in Lake Tahoe. With this came a new set of challenges. My daughters did not accept the "private" wedding. I discovered that I was more broken (PTSD) and sensitive than I realized.
Little by little Mary and I were molded together. My debts and the cost of living in the Bay Area were killing us. I was terminated; made redundant, and terminated again; for being directly honest! Dad died. Mary and I took our small inheritance and moved to Gardnerville Nevada to make a fresh start. Sound familiar?
My daughters forgave me and came to visit us. The joy of reconciliation - read here - would last 3 days. Stephanie called to say that a malignant skin growth had metastasized. She fought with amazing courage and dignity, but on May 5th 2014, the cancer won its battle. She left us to be with Jesus for eternity. My life stopped!
Grief is a strange emotion. You can not choose the ocean life places you in. But you can decide which waves to surf. I still see the bad images of Angola. I still hear Stephanie cry out in pain at night. But I have tools to help me cope. Mary who loves me. I hold on to the belief that recovery, my hope of healing, is only in Jesus and His promise of eternity.
In case you missed the first segment of this interview - click to view - part one, A New Life in Christ.