God has been teaching us as we have been traveling on what we have come to call our Grace Journey. In late 2011 and early 2012 the Lord brought the experiences of the journey to such a crescendo of divine messaging that we couldn’t miss the lessons He had been teaching us.
It was by God’s grace that Connie and I were put together almost 60 years ago on a church youth camping trip in the mountains of Wyoming. We were both teenagers and immediate attraction sparked all of the typical youthful drama of flirting and sparring. We were such kids — but God so powerfully put us together and the journey since has been quite a thrilling adventure.
On that trip Connie trusted Christ as her savior, and her changed life in her following senior year in high school is still a legend among her classmates. A few years ago she was asked to give the opening prayer at her 50th high school reunion. She did a marvelous job sharing God’s message of saving grace to her classmates in that prayer.
New dramatic events in the last decade have caused us to stand in awe of the works of our great God. Our lives have been so blessed to minister many years with our dear friend, Frank Hamrick. Frank has taught us to “see and enjoy God in scripture – especially His attributes and actions.” Then he takes that emphasis a step further by saying, “study how God works, and then get in line with Him and participate and rejoice in His workings.”
In early 2012 our family was vaulted into a new dimension when God providentially placed two precious little foster girls into the home of our daughter and son-in-law. During the intervening years Kristy and Brian have become instruments of God’s grace in the lives of those precocious bundles of energy. For the first time in their young lives these girls have experienced the security of a stable home life with birthdays, Christmas, and hearing about Jesus’ love.
In their Christmas letter in 2012 Kristy recounted the beginning moments of that awesome journey when she wrote:
“On February 24, we received a call about three little girls who were in State custody and were without a place to stay for the night. Since Brian was out of town, it took a few phone calls before reality sunk in and we agreed to take the girls.
“Our agreement to take two of the girls was contingent on Brian’s brother and his wife, Tony and Darla, taking the baby. Ariel (4), Amelia (2) and Abby (7 months) arrived around 9:30 p.m. that night. They were wild, unkempt, unafraid, unhealthy and inquisitive. While the memories of that first night are still a blur, obviously God was at work.”
On Valentine’s Day a year later Kristy was driving to the Christian school where she teaches and where the little girls have been enrolled since being placed in their home. Later that day Kristy posted this message on Facebook as a testimony to God’s grace.
“On the way to school this morning Ariel sweetly says, ‘I know why Valentine’s Day is so special because God loves us.’ Tears came to my eyes and all of the hustle and bustle seemed insignificant. These girls are learning of God’s love and that makes it all worthwhile.”
Because she shared that conversation with her students Kristy received a call later in the day from a students’ mother. That mother also happens to be Ariel’s teacher in the junior church class at the church where the family attends.
The mother told our daughter that she just realized these girls were the same little girls she had often seen playing in the dirt yard of a poor home near their subdivision. She said that she had been so burdened for them — but that all she could do was pray! Wow, she did the best thing. She did the most powerful thing she could do. And we are just now seeing how God is working.