I was born into the Catholic faith and raised to be devout to God through my religion. And I was. But I felt empty and isolated; living in constant guilt and fear. I wandered alone and afraid through my personal desert on a quest for my missing ‘peace’ for almost two decades without success. I was in my 30’s, a single mother of two young boys, when I found what I was looking for: a personal relationship with Jesus.
My husband was raised by a single mother who wouldn’t allow the mention of God in her home. Eric sought his peace of mind through relentless work and music; through which he found more than he bargained for. Playing the bass for money and pleasure eventually led to addiction problems. It wasn’t until his 30’s that he cried out to the God he never knew, and was given undeniable evidence of His existence; convincing him that God cared about him in a personal way.
When Eric’s life turned in the right direction, and I’d been on course for a few years, we met. Freedom from depression, anxiety, loneliness, phobias, addiction and poverty were possible. But to make things change for the better, we had to be willing to change ourselves first. Shortly after Eric received Christ we were married and our family of four were baptized together. Our lives have never been the same. It’s been a wonderful ride with God in the drivers seat.
The day we were married, the pastor said: “I believe God is telling me that you will be moving to the country to build your own home.” The blank look on Eric’s face said it all! He had never even put a washer in a sink! Besides, he was tired. Eric had built a successful business and had been running it for years alone. Our plan was to make an easier living on the beach one day. So this prophetic word was soon forgotten.
We lived in our city home for the first 8 years of our marriage and had completely remodeled it when, in 1999, God told me we must move to the country (not the beach!). When I shared this insight with Eric he was not thrilled. He prayed “If you really want us to start over please strengthen me and make it happen without debt.”
We both believe that God’s plan won’t fail unless we fail to take action so we searched the internet for bargains and took a ride to the country to see them; but nothing was right. So we stopped at a small town Dairy Queen and went inside for some sweet consolation. Affected by the unusual neighborly interaction Eric decided to ask someone about properties for sale. He approached a man who ‘happened’ to be the father of the local realtor whose son had just gotten a new parcel that wasn’t listed yet. Ten minutes later we stood in the middle of that 16 acre tract, with 20′ sunflowers growing so thick we couldn’t see beyond our feet. Imagine my initial surprise when I heard Eric say: “This is it!”. Then I stood still and I knew too.
Trusting God never disappoints. He supplied the money we lacked at a music store parking lot a few days later. We had suddenly decided to stop at our favorite store, and pulling up next to us was the keyboard player of the worship team Eric had previously played with. He was with his girlfriend. They greeted us with excitement; announcing their engagement and their hope to buy a home…in our neighborhood! We mentioned ours would be for sale when it was ready. They insisted on seeing it the next day, and bought it. Weeks later we were country folk; living temporarily in a 575 sq’ trailer to save money for building materials. One day, while Eric sat designing our future home on graph paper, I decided to watch our wedding video. We almost fell over when we heard the pastor’s forgotten words! Everything happened as predicted.
God’s plan can’t fail…unless we fail to take action. Fear is a paralyzing choice we don’t have to make. God supplies whatever we may lack. A 2300 sq’ home was built with knowledge gained on the fly from construction books and how-to-videos. It wasn’t quick or easy. We bought materials little by little for over ten years. Day in and day out, in the Texas heat and in freezing cold, one man toiled with constancy of purpose to accomplish a daunting task.
God radically changed our lives. This is why we’ve become radical advocates for Him. “Love is an Action Word” has become our family slogan. Eric’s musical ability is a gift used for God. To that end, he learned to play the guitar, the drums and keyboard; while working on his singing. He put lyrics to music and acquired the skills to operate recording software for a group project God has told him to do.
Fourteen years ago I started writing church devotionals and ran bible study classes in our town. I write a newspaper column called ‘love, eloise’ and, thanks to my sons, I have this website and other social media sites under the same name.
As a family we are doing our best to demonstrate our love and gratitude by stepping out in faith for Him. Through various media, we will share our stories to show how all things are possible with God for those who are willing to do their part to get things done.