“If we are faithless, he
remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
2 Timothy 2:13
All my life, God has been present.
I became a Christian and was baptized in a Baptist church at a very young age partially because I was at the age young people in our congregation were expected to make a statement of faith. But I remember a very important time that I gave my life in its totality to Christ. It was just over a decade ago.
I was involved in a Beth Moore Women’s Bible study that took me back through the various stages of my life, looking for God. When I divided my journey into ten-year increments, I found Him in every good time and every bad time in every segment of my life.
In close examination of the times when I didn’t feel his presence, I found that without exception, it was I, not he, who’d moved away.
Looking back over the years, I recalled my devastation when I lost my husband Barry. I didn’t know how I would go forward without him. I was living in Italy when he died. At first, I considered not coming back to the U. S., but we had a young son, and I felt sure he’d want me to raise our son in the U. S. Before I could arrange to return, however, my father died.
How did I face the loss of the two most important men in my life within months of one another? When I turned to God, He helped me. For a long time, however, I felt certain that I was destined to go on alone. I could not have been more wrong.
I’d been single four years when friends asked me to meet Jack McDermott. He seemed like a great guy, but I still hesitated: I wanted a good marriage or no marriage at all. I prayed and had my friend Joe, an attorney, check him out. After giving Jack a thumb’s up, Joe noted the difference between Jack’s age and mine, then gave me some advice.
“You either have to marry that guy or let him go. He doesn’t have time to mess around!” he said.
Taking Joe’s advice, I married Jack over 30 years ago. Our life together has been full of weddings and graduations, births and deaths of people we love, of incredibly happy times and really sad times. God’s been with us through it all.
He led us to our Al-Anon and St. John’s families when we needed healing for our children, my knee, and my brother with Guillain-Barre. We prayed for a miracle and we got one.
My brother is now the healthiest he’s ever been. God provided both the time and the place for my mother and me the last years of her life. He gave me hope and support from St. John’s when I faced the illness that Jack’s doctors said he would not survive. I’m happy to say that they were wrong.
Having experienced God’s love for over seven decades, I know he’s always been present in my life, even and perhaps especially, in the times when I moved away. Jane McDermott