Nitewrit said... "How Has Love Changed Your Life?":
My wife and I love each other, but it was the love of God that changed my life. It is a bit long, but I am glad to write how that came about.
Growing up, I was sent to Christian churches. But I was no Christian other than a nominal one. When my wife-to-be and I met, we were barely out of high school. When we married, she was 19 and I was 20. There was never a doubt we would have a proper Christian wedding before an ordained minister. Yet, I wasn't a Christian, not really. I had never professed any belief in Christ. I thought I was a good guy, but I wasn't a spiritual one. If I was only a Christian-in-name at my wedding, I was to go a long way down a different road after the honeymoon. I still thought of myself as a "good" guy, and probably in comparison to some, I was, but after a while I even renounced the nominal tag of being a Christian. After getting married, I was free of church. My wife and I didn't attend any church. We were riding high and fine without any help from religion. We both worked and made what was considered better than average salaries for our age, our position and our time. We would rather go off to the shore for the weekend than spend anytime in a church. We started off having it too good, so who needed God.
When things went south, we blamed God. We were fine with two salaries, but when my wife lost her job it was difficult to meet all the monthly bills. Then my wife became pregnant. She was nearly two-thirds through term and home alone. I was at work in Philadelphia, a trip I made every weekday by train. We lived halfway between each of our parents, a half hour drive to either one. My wife didn't drive then. She felt she was going into labor and called our doctor.He told her that was impossible. She asked him to come out, but he refused. He told her he would have the drugstore deliver a prescription to her to ease her pains. It was just as the drug arrived that the baby came. She didn't go to the door and the deliveryman left. She delivered a boy, who lived briefly and died. She placed it in a pan in the bathroom and called me. I left work and caught the next train home. When I got there she was in the bedroom. I asked if she had called the doctor again, but she hadn't. I called him and he came to the house. After he had attended to my wife, I asked what we should do with the baby. "You can toss it in the trashcan for all I care," he answered. Not exactly great a bedside manner.
We went through a series of setbacks and by our late twenties we were Hippies. Our transformation from spoiled newlyweds to Hippie activists was complete. We had "soul", but not The Spirit. One of my campaigns, my cause, was to show up the hypocrisy of ministers and I was smugly throwing challenging questions at pastors. Oh, I was so smart when in my twenties. I knew everything then and I knew there was no God.
Here is what I didn't know:
"A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD." Proverbs 19:3
Here I skip ahead a few years. My wife continued to become pregnant now and again over the next decade. But each time she lost the baby, despite operations and every effort of doctors. We lost seven children, four as miscarriages and three who were born too soon to live. But that seventh loss changed my life. My wife was in the labor room, a drip in her arm to forestall the labor. The baby was hooked to a monitor and every day I sat in that room listening to that heartbeat fighting to live. Hearing that steady beat-beat-beat made me believe there had to be a God. But when that child died, my wife went into a deep depression. In desperation, I suggested we try a church, a new one near our home. The minister’s sermon seemed to speak directly to me and in September 1975, I asked forgiveness and for Christ to be my Savior.
In 1977, my wife became pregnant again. No doctor would take our case; they all told us my wife could not have a child. It was impossible. A Christian doctor at our church agreed to treat her. He put her to bed for her term. The church members formed a prayer group, brought us meals and did other kindnesses. On March 1, 1978 a daughter was born prematurely, but she lived.
A couple years later, my wife thought she was having a miscarriage, that she was a couple of months pregnant. I took her to the hospital. There, much to both our surprise, my second daughter was born. But she weighted under four pounds and they didn’t expect her to live, so they sent her to an intensive care unit in another hospital. We were then told she would live, but be blind and seriously mentally handicapped. My second daughter is not blind. She was an honor student, twice listed in Who’s Who Among High School Students, served eight years in the U.S. Army, including Iraq, received three Army commendation metals and works now with animals, as does my first daughter. Finally we had a third child, a boy.
I always said God gave us our second daughter to show it was by His power and nothing than any doctor did.
I dread to think where I was headed at one time in my life. I was getting into Satanism at that time, but seeming tragedies turned everything around and showed me there was a loving God. Now I know someday I will see all ten of my children, all thanks and praise to the Lord and His love.