Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Crazy Love God Has for Me (And You!)

While at Sam's the other day I picked up a book I've been hearing a lot about called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Last year while studying the Holy Spirit I'd used Chan's book on the subject called Forgotten God and thought him to be insightful and thought-provoking. So I bought Crazy Love.

Before I even got through the first chapter the author directs the reader to go to his website for the book and view a video called Stop and Think. I watched it this morning and was struck by a couple things. In the clip he is walking down an embankment to a cove on the California coast. Behind him the blue Pacific stretches out to the horizon.

A number of years ago before I surrendered my heart and life to Jesus, I lived in CA for about seven years. And the last several years I was there I lived within a mile of the Pacific, but I'd grown accustomed to that and hardly ever went there just to ponder creation and how a Master Creator had blessed us with such vast beauty. I was too busy living a self-centered life and knew not my Creator.

I'd grown up going to a mainline church and had quickly disposed of the God of my childhood for another god. Myself and the care and feeding of self was all that mattered. I made bad choices and that led to more bad choices. Toward the end of my seven years out there I felt a pull to return to the Midwest, not in particular to my small Wisconsin hometown.

At the same time I put in for a transfer at my office to the Chicago sales office in the Northwest burbs of Chicago, I was going through a personal crisis in my life. My roommate of the past four years and I had separated on not so pleasant terms and were embroiled in a small claims court action. It was then that a coworker shared with me a new Bible version she'd discovered called The Living Bible. I don't think either one of us realized that it was actually a paraphrase. I was drawn to it because amazingly all the thees and thous of the Bible I'd grown up on had disappeared and this one was written in a way I could relate to.

Long story short, I intended upon seeking out a church once I moved back to the Midwest, but almost as soon as I arrived between Thanksgiving and Christmas of that year I came down with a horrible flu that was going around and then right after the first of the year my mom was diagnosed with emphysema. We thought we were going to lose her and I found myself on my knees in tears, begging God to not let her die and promising to seek a church.

I still wasn't going the direction He wanted me to, but it was a start. Over time I came to know God in a personal way, but He first had to get me out of a part of this country where His creative beauty is so evident to the place where I grew up without a mountain or ocean in sight.

Then this past year I was compelled to write a story set in my hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, just an hour or so north of where I live. How much my heroine is like me didn't immediately jump out at me until I was reviewing the ms. for final submission. It was then I realized that that this 21-mile-around lake in Southern Wisconsin contained just as much of God's creativity as a vast ocean or the highest mountain.

This little lake carved out by a receding glacier has charmed old and young, rich and poor, saved and unsaved, for many many years. And there it was ... God's testimony to me of His presence in my life. The very lake where I learned to swim at age three, learned to water ski at age 15, and still enjoy at age....nevermind LOL.

At the top of my one-sheet for the story is a quote from Margaret Sanger that says: There is nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.

This is so very true, and God has caused my lot to fall in pleasant places as a psalm says.

I am truly blessed!

1 comment:

Raquel Byrnes said...

What an amazing testimony, Pamela! Thanks so much for sharing. My homeschool leader was reading excerpts from that book to us during our beach days this summer...what an interesting read!

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