I believed that God had all of me. He had my whole heart. I could not have been more wrong. It wasn’t until my husband discerned the call to go back into the military reserves as a Chaplin that I discovered that he was an idol in my heart and to what magnitude. He would say he heard from God and I would say I did not so there you go! The reality was that there was a 1% chance that he would be deployed and I was not willing to take that chance, but he was. I was distraught that he would even consider taking that 1% chance. What I heard is that he was willing to abandon me. He was willing to put something before me. This struck a deep hidden fear of being abandoned. I’m the youngest of five children and including my parents there have been 7 divorces. Maybe I’m destined to be like my family. I was afraid that if he left I would be abandoned and alone. Who would love me, who would be by my side, who would be my strength, who would complete me, who would I be, how would I know if my thoughts were right… I would be void of so much. This fear went on for two years. I went back and forth surrendering between what my husband believed he heard from God and digging my heals into what I wanted and thought God wanted.
I went for a run one morning and as I was worshiping God through music I walked in my home and sat at my bedroom door crying out to God to speak. I heard Him gently say, “Jodi, I chose you! Jodi, I love you!” As that sank deep into my bones I chose at that moment to believe Him like never before. I was so overwhelmed that He would chose me to be His daughter and He would never ever abandon me. I knew this and I believed it to a degree, but I never believed it will all my heart. He won’t ever abandon me! I said to God that I am all His and that I would do anything for Him. He revealed that I don’t love Him will all of my heart. I greatly grieved! He said that I love and depend on my husband more than I love and depend on Him. In desperate repentance I asked for forgiveness and said I chose you Lord and I love you with all of my heart. At that moment it was as if He tore the veil just for me! The very presence of Jehovah was before me lavishing His love upon me. His love was so grand! It washed over me like a title wave I could not escape from. His love burned deep in my heart. For there is no room in my heart for an idle now. For a moment I grasped just how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love is for me. For me!
This new found love in Christ helped me develop a confidence I was scared of. That same year I graduated college with high honors. It’s another “anything” story all on its own being I went back after 20 years graduated from high school. I also lead a team on a mission trip to New York. God was expanding my horizons and I was in for a wild ride anxious for the next great thing He was going to have for me.
The next big thing He had for me was nearly devastating and it was life changing. My husband went in for a heart cath with expectations of being told he just needed aspirin and blood pressure medicine. The doctor was truly just following a feeling in her gut and nothing else. I was called back to the secret ninja room where all the gadgets were to view such a procedure. I felt God grab me under my arms as I was told that my husband has a 95% blockage in his main artery and we need to have open heart surgery ASAP. We all agreed to proceed for the next morning and praised God for saving him from having a massive heart attack at the age of 43.
We were all prayed up and praying without ceasing as best as possible. Sometimes when you are in such situations your prayers only need to be silence as you rest in His love and trust to see you through. As I sat in the waiting room spending time with God and feeling His presence I praised Him for my husband’s life. I praised Him for this blockage. I praised Him for this trial. I praised Him that He is faithful and will not abandon us. His love runs deep and I could trust Him to never leave me. I told Him that He was everything to me and He was first in my heart. I told Him though I would never want to live this life without my best friend, my high school sweetheart, my love I give him into your hands and trust you for I know your will is perfect. Your ways are perfect and your timing is perfect. I trust You Lord with his life and this life have your will and way.
I could not have prayed such a bold prayer if I had not believed God’s love for me. Years ago we sat under a Pastor that taught us what surrender looked like. The challenge was to pray, “Yes Lord, Anytime, Anywhere, Anything, and at Any cost, yes Lord.” I have been tested in this in many ways. From early on when we surrendered to ministry and packed the family in a minivan and moved from South Carolina to Malta New York to start a church to going on mission to South Asia. The entire church was in the minivan by the way! This of course is another story in its self where we got to make Jesus famous and see lives transformed! I never dreamed that I would be tested in this way. Would I crumble and fall back into needing my husband more than God or would I stay steadfast in needing God more than my husband? I do believe I passed the test of true surrender glory be to God! Praise the Lord my husband is alive and well today thriving in Jesus and sharing His great name. It was no surprise when the doctor said he did not have to stop his heart for the surgery and used an extra vessel near his heart opposed to one from his leg. We’ve never heard of having heart surgery without having to stop the heart! This made his recovery speedy and successful. I’ve never been happier to hear my husband snore in my ear as he lay beside me asleep!
Only God knew what was in my heart that January and only He knew what was to take place ten months later. Praise God that He answered my prayer that I prayed often. For His to search my heart and know me. Reveal any wicked way in me that I may repent. God I want to know you more.
Oh how His ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts! Can I get an Amen?
I am not a gifted writer much less a grammar person, but if someone should actually read this I hope it inspires you. I hope you chose Christ over your idle and believe Him when He says He loves you. I hope that you let Him lift the veil from your heart so you can see Him for who He is. The Lover of your soul and the God of gods!