Last night as we were sitting down to dinner, my cell phone rang, and within a few seconds, Sam’s rang as well. Both calls were friends informing us that they had heard our story on the radio. One friend was here in Omaha, the other in California. I was pretty excited. Sam was a bit confused, not knowing anything about it.
My favorite radio station, K-Love, is asking people to write in their love stories. There’s a contest involved, where the winning story gets a song written for them, based on their story, by the hit Christian singer/songwriter Matthew West. That would be an amazingly cool prize, but I wanted to write in just to share our story. There was a 250 word limit, which made it very challenging. I wish that I had saved what I wrote, so that Sam could have read it, but as well as I can remember, it went kind of like this:
It didn’t start out exactly the right way, but it ended up not only a love story, but a story of grace. She was a Christian, but so angry from a hurtful marriage that she was far from God, and he was Jewish with no relationship with God at all. They fell in love, and it was the kind of love where total strangers would come up to them and comment about how special they were together. And even though they were far from God, he kept pursuing them.
First, Kim heard Christian music constantly, which pulled at her heart until she returned to the Lord. Then she began to pray for her husband. After two years together, Sam accepted Jesus as his Messiah, and their true love became love based in Truth.
Now, after 13 years together as deeply in love as ever, Kim has just been diagnosed with cancer, and Sam is still there to care for her and to pray for her, to make her feel beautiful without hair and to let her know she will never be alone. God took something that started out all wrong and used it for his good, for his glory, to show his grace and his love story.
That’s pretty much how it went, anyway. I wish I could have heard it read on K-Love. I really wish Sam could have heard it. I really wish I could have had 2,500 words (or 25,000) to tell the world about the blessing God gave me when he took a pretty crazy time in my life and turned it into a marriage to an amazing man of God, who loves me when I’m sweet and when I’m a self-centered crab, who thinks I’m beautiful first thing in the morning – and also without hair! – who leads our family while still acting toward me with a servant heart, and who is honestly my favorite person to be with in the world. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve him. Oh, yeah – nothing! That’s what grace is all about. An undeserved gift of God. And that is so very much what Sam is to me, and even so much more so now, walking through the cancer – an undeserved gift of God.
Thanks God. Seriously. Thank you. With all my heart.
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. Philippians 1: 3-4 The Message