I recently attended a concert by Christian recording artists Big Daddy Weave, We Are Messengers and Plumb.
My favorite song by Big Daddy Weave is “My Story.” The song talks about if I told you my story it would tell you of love, grace, mercy and life, but it was all about the love, grace, mercy and life of God. Then one verse says, “To tell you my story is to tell of Him.”
I attended the National Prayer Summit last year, and it truly changed my life for the better to try to understand God’s love. The summit gave me such a desire to learn more about God’s Word and to serve Him the best I can. I would like to tell you how attending the National Prayer Summit changed my life; in other words, I want to tell you my story, to tell of Him.
My story starts that horrible morning of June 4, 2012, with the sudden death of my Jim. Jim and I had been together 19 years. I was really dragging my feet that morning getting ready for work and to leave for the office, but I am the boss. To be there right at 9 a.m. isn’t a big deal. But I now know that God knew these were the last few hours I would have with Jim, and God was the reason I was “dragging my feet.” We had coffee together that morning, which is something we rarely did. We stood arm in arm looking out the patio door at the lake, which we rarely did. We both got ready for work. He was downstairs in his home office, but he was planning on going to his work office, which was across the street from mine, later in the morning. I went downstairs to his home office and told him I loved him. He told me he loved me. I kissed him goodbye at 9:40 a.m. and at noon that day, I was holding him in my arms at the emergency room. He was gone. To say my world had been rocked and turned upside down is an understatement.
Then on Dec. 22, 2013, I lost my mom. I took care of my mom for 16 years before she died, and Jim helped me for 15 of those years. Now they both were gone along with my purpose and reason for living. I honestly felt I had nothing left. To say I was angry at God doesn’t even begin to describe what I was feeling.
In February 2014, I had decided I was done. I just didn’t want to be here on this earth any longer. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t eat and had lost 40 pounds, and I had no will. For three days, I remember thinking about what a waste it was for me to be on this earth and breathing perfectly good oxygen that I no longer wanted to breathe. For three days, I honestly thought about dying. Now being an EMT, you would have thought I could have figured it out, but all I could think of was, well, there were no guns in the house, no medication and the lake was frozen over.
I continued to be a zombie, just going through the motions of life, doing only what needed to be done, but mostly spending my days on the couch, hiding away from people and many times not showering for a week or sometimes more.
Two years ago at Christmastime, I had promised a young friend of mine I would take her out for lunch before she went back to college. We set a lunch date, and I told her she could listen in the car to “her music” on JOY FM, which I thought was totally evil and not really Christian music. We had lunch and after I took her home, I thought I was turning the radio down, but by accident, I turned it up full blast. The group Ashes Remain was singing “every time that you wake up breathing … you are here for a reason,” Still sitting in the driveway of her parents’ home, I put the car in park and sobbed. Since that day, I have never listened to any other station but JOY FM.
I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Greenville College. In early March 2015, I received an email from the college asking, “Do you want to learn more about how to pray effectively?” I opened the email, and it talked about the Free Methodist Church having a National Prayer Summit. I actually heard the word “go” so I registered online. As the time for the summit approached, I was really out of my comfort zone.
I reluctantly went on Thursday night. Sitting in the back of the church, I texted my best friend to tell her I was there but didn’t like it and wasn’t coming back on Friday. She texted back: “Wrong answer, don’t make me come all the way from Oxford, to make sure you go, LOL.” Friday morning again, I was sitting in the back of the church, and I texted my friend that I was there and she texted back, “right answer, let me know how it goes.” Pastor Doug Newton started by welcoming everyone and after singing a couple of songs, participants were asked to form small prayer groups right where they were sitting. I was sitting by myself, with my arms and legs crossed and my head down, trying to tell people to leave me alone. I saw one man start to approach me, but then he went back to the prayer group that was formed at the end of the row where I was sitting. I could hear people starting to pray all over the church. Then I heard, “If you are not going to participate, then what are you even doing here?” I knew that was the voice of God and I started crying. I got up and walked over to the group I should have been with. They all took one look at me, stretched out their arms, and we prayed. I had no intention of staying for lunch. I wasn’t eating, and I was going to leave, but I heard God say sternly, “Don’t go,” so I stayed for lunch and sat a table by myself, until Nancy Ambuehl and Pat Trager came to join me and prayed with me. Then they introduced me to Karen Paubel (who sends prayer emails for the summit), and the rest is history.
I truly feel God was really scared and concerned for me. God knew I was at a very dangerous crossroads. I was either going to stay where I was and not physically make it, or I was going to let go and move in the direction He had planned. I let go and let God have his way, and I have moved — no, I have run so fast — toward Him.
When the second National Prayer Summit was held in October, people prayed it would change lives and reach hundreds of people. But that is not how I prayed for this year’s summit. I prayed for that one person out there who was just like I was. I prayed that their heart would still be a little open to God and getting a word and direction from Him. I prayed for that person, even if it was reluctantly, to please come with nothing to lose but everything to gain.
So to tell you my story is to tell you of how much God really does love me — even when I really wasn’t happy with Him and wouldn’t even talk to Him. My story tells you that God never turned away from me; I turned away from Him. My story tells of His patience and His amazing grace. My story tells that I love Him so much. I appreciate Him so much, and I can never repay Him for all He has done to save me, not just my soul on the cross, but my physical life.
To tell you my story is to say, God, thank you so much.
Eden Kay Greear shares her story from Bunker Hill, Illinois.
- Is there a time you connected with God after feeling angry with Him or believing your life wasn’t worth living?
- How can you share your story (and God’s story) with others?