Amanda & Jason: Third Time Around

When life is a challenge…tested to the fullest

buy phenergan sleep Job 1:12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Just recently I was reading through the book of Job. I had heard different verses from Job, but as I have said about the Bible previously, I had never read it completely. What an amazing story about a man who had full faith in God, but was challenged by the devil in all ways purposefully to make him curse God. As I was reading I started to think about my own life this time a year ago. I was married for the second time for a little over 4 years. Lived in a great community (Homewood) in a beautiful house. I had two step daughters, more communication and interaction with my two sons than I had ever had before. Money was not of any concern, material things in life and travel were easy to acquire. Anyone who was looking into my life from an outside perspective or on social media would assume that everything was perfect for me. Even my own immediate family perceived that my life was in perfect harmony. I would have to admit that for the most part my life did seem to be great (looks can be deceiving and I don’t harbor any desire to return to this chapter of my life). I had been to Roatan (Honduras), China, Hawaii, and many other places in the country during my second marriage. My career in law enforcement seemed to be doing well along with everything else in my life.

top article Job 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.

Around the end of April 2018 I was told by my wife (at the time) to leave our house. That she wanted a divorce, did not feel safe, and then started to spread false accusations about me to anyone who would listen. None of this was expected or foreseen prior to the day I was told to leave. I was losing my family, my marriage, the house I lived in, all material possessions and the lifestyle I had grown accustomed to. There was no communication nor any attempt to save our marriage. Everyone I thought I was close to (during our marriage) was abandoning me and not allowing me to explain my side of the false accusations. Even though I had many family members trying to help me, encourage me, and some close friends doing the same, I was not wanting to hear any of it.

In the beginning of April 2018 I had decided to read the Bible fully, make this a part of my life, and made my wife aware of this decision. However, in the darkest and lowest point of my life, I actually thought “why is this happening to me…why now after I have started to build my relationship with God.” I also went a step further and thought ending my life would be the best way to handle this struggle.

Having been through a divorce once before, it would make one think that the second time would be easy. However, when you are in the dark shadows of your life, issues from the past that you have suppressed for decades come back to the forefront. You begin questioning everything that you changed from the first marriage to ensure the same issues didn’t happen in the second marriage. It seemed that the easiest way out of all of this would be suicide. I am so glad that God made sure that my stupid thoughts and feeble attempt with pills was not successful. In my mind I thought take a bunch of pills, go to sleep, and if you wake up, great!! These were thoughts and extreme mental challenges that I dealt with from April through June. I was relying on myself and not giving my troubles and burdens to God as I knew I should have been doing. Fast forward to the start of July 2018 and when I decided that my life was too good to throw away. I had my career that was still going strong. I had amazing friends and family standing beside me in life. My two awesome sons reminded me that I may have been through a bunch, but they loved me!! Even their mother (my 1st ex-wife) was supportive and encouraging. To top all of this off, I met Amanda.

I am now embarking down the pathway with Amanda, and God in what we now know is a truly strong relationship. My “sores” are cleared up from the bottom of my feet to the crown of my head. God has restored what I “lost” in better ways then what they originally were. I recognize that material possessions, money, trips, everything that most people would value as important, are nothing but things God allows us to enjoy. That at any time all of these things can be taken from us just as easily as they were provided. Life is precious and has to be enjoyed and appreciated. Family and friends may at times bother you, but without them we would not be the people we are today. In the past year I went from what I thought was the top of the world to crashing to bottom. Little did I know or understand at the time what God was preparing me for in life. I now see how I transformed from being a “religious” person to a true “Christian” and follower of Jesus Christ over this past year. Today and my future are in front of me, my past is in the rearview mirror (as it should be) and I continue to build my relationship with God, Jesus, and Amanda.

dating an adult adoptee Job 42:12-17 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days.  

Amanda’s thoughts:

As with Jason’s experience we all have our Job moments, seasons or even years in life. Sometimes we have it all one instant and we lose it all the next whether it be material possessions, health, family or worldly success. We were put here to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives…as humans we often forget this and live more according to our will than His! A few things that God has shown me lately that also relate to Jason’s post are:

Suffering is the training ground for Christian maturity! As a leader (with Thirty-One Gifts) I would always say you’ve got to go through something to be able to help others through it…well duh! Same thing applies here! As Jason reminds me all the time… what we have walked through and what we are now going through as a couple will resonate with those we minister to in the future! I don’t like suffering but to know that what I am walking through this very season of my life will be used for HIS GLORY makes it possible! Overall the whole book of Job has to do with loss and suffering yet through it all trusting in God. Knowing that Jesus suffered and died to save ME makes living for HIM through the suffering so much sweeter!

Jason mentioned he questioned what was happening in his life after beginning to read the Bible and build a relationship with God. As a couple we recently went through Freedom at Church of the Highlands and “lost” a lot of baggage yet gained so much knowledge and strength. These are very opposite but similar events! What I’ve learned is that often discouragement sets in after great spiritual experiences. We get that Mountain Top High or life-giving nod where we are so close to God and then life settles back in and we have to deal with the world and humans. The suffering is more intense, or the spiritual attacks seem to come more often. When we have these ups and downs – hills and valleys – we must remember God’s purpose for our life is not over and we are just being refined to live it out more fully!

Job had great success in all aspects of his life, but it was his foundation that mattered the most! His trust and hope were found in the Lord – he did not put his trust and confidence in things that were so easily taken away! He was not a prideful individual – he kept his eyes fixed on God – like tunnel vision. I am reminded that when I put my confidence in worldly objects and possessions and take my eyes and heart off Him to evaluate the circumstances surrounding me, I will stumble! I do it every time! Job teaches us to praise God in the midst of the storm and stand firm keeping our eyes and heart fully fixed on a firm foundation!

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty! 

Note: If you ever feel like suicide is the only means to your ends. STOP…. seek help…. call someone or 1-800-273-8255.

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