Today’s blog is shared by Sherry Day. She shares how God changed her life through the illness and death of her husband. We are so grateful she is willing to share how God intersected her life in the darkest moments and gave her hope.
I was “born again” at the age of 53 and I am now 56. It took me a while! You see, my husband and I were both raised Christians in our younger years. As adults we both gave up on God, chose not to pursue a relationship with Him and ultimately tried to forget about God. Why? For me it was because I had become an educated scientist and Jamie, because of the hypocrisy he experienced at church.
Here is our story:
My family moved from a small town in Texas to New Jersey when I was a freshman in high school. I was placed in remedial classes despite my great grades…the administration in New Jersey thought if you talk slow…you must think slow. So I had to work harder by taking five years of science and five years of math to graduate with honors. Here began my change. I loved science and we stopped going to church….you know, they were different on the East Coast. In school I was learning, active and thriving. After all, I wanted to be in the top 10% of my class. So I studied and worked hard. I was learning a lot about “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by natural selection”. Only the strong survive. It captivated me. I graduated and went to Texas Tech and earned a BS in Microbiology and minor in Chemistry. I learned about how the earth was formed (gas and dust), how species evolved through natural selection and the list goes on.
I met my husband Jamie, a musician shortly after graduating and found work back in New Jersey. We married a few years later. We were happy. I had a great career and he did too. At one point in our lives, we had to decide whose career to follow as our jobs were moving us too far apart geographically to commute. We chose my career.
Our life was changing without us realizing it. Then it became clear. Jamie was ill. He began to have a lot of issues walking. We went to several specialists who found nothing wrong. We were going through life depending on ourselves. In our brokenness and helplessness, we discovered who our Lord is. Once we came to Him in our darkest moments of Jamie’s disease, we realized our hearts had been full of pride, that is when God revealed Himself to us. We started at one church but didn’t care for it. Then a fellow associate at work invited us to his church. Sadly, I remember thinking this fellow reads his Bible at work….how weird. We went to his church a few times. Jamie got interested in their Worship group, (Jamie was a talented musician) and he set up a sound system for the church. We were hooked on this “God” thing. We had never heard of small groups but we joined one. Our first study was Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. Talk about a study that moves you! We wanted to serve the church and became active members.
One day Jamie called me at work and said he needed to get to the doctor but couldn’t drive himself. We went to the doctor, who was a friend of ours, and he said to Jamie, “You’re drunk.” I was shocked. Once I got my mind wrapped around what was happening I said to Jamie, ‘that’s great because “alcoholism” is curable!!!” This diagnosis gave me hope. I prayed that it would help rid Jamie of his disease. We both joined a help group. I went once and walked out with one thing…I did not cause Jamie’s addiction nor could I fix it only God could do that. You see I worked long hours and had a great career but I was losing the only thing I cared about, the love of my life, my soul mate. There were many “bad moments” during that time. I remember the pastor driving Jamie home one night after worship practice. Jamie was too intoxicated to drive from worship practice.
The awesome news was, we were getting to know God and on July 28, 2013 both Jamie and I were “Born Again”.
While on a business trip to Canada I had an eerie feeling and could not get in touch with Jamie. After several attempts, I called a neighbor to check on him. He found Jamie (deceased) on the patio in our backyard. When the neighbor told me, I remember not being able to breathe…it was like someone had punched me in the stomach and the air had left me. It had…I had lost my soul mate of 29 years. We were no longer one. Jamie had suffered a lethal heart attack at the age of 55 caused by alcohol intoxication. The date was August 28, 2013, just four weeks after he repented and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Our pastor asked me to speak at Jamie’s memorial service and I was in shock. How could I pull myself together to speak and share our testimony??? It was at that meeting our pastor shared that God spoke to him the night he drove Jamie home. God said that Jamie would not be healed on earth. God healed Jamie on August 28, 2013 and took him home. I know if we had not had God in our life at that time, I would have been suicidal. You see we did not have children and Jamie was my soul mate and my life. However, I realized I had God and I understood what He had done. He had taken Jamie home.
What about his memorial service? Well God spoke to me through my sister-in-law and gave me the courage to share our testimony. My closing comment to those who attended his service was, “It’s not how you start your life but how you finish it that matters!”
I am forever grateful for what God has done in our life. I miss Jamie every day. You never forget but you learn to live with the sorrow and grief. I cry and laugh sometimes all at the same time. I talk to Jamie too…especially when I have to fix something at the house. But I would not wish him back on this earth to suffer any more, than he already had. That would be selfish.
I am driven now more than ever to serve God. I have found more joy and peace than I thought possible. I am a young Christian and have so much to learn but I am on fire for Jesus.
So my prayer is that our testimony reaches someone. You see God loves sinners but not sin and I went from being a weak Christian, to believing in evolution, to being Agnostic, and finally truly knowing God. God was with us even when we weren’t with Him. I now truly understand Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” You see had Jamie not gotten ill, we may have never come to truly know God and to be with Him forever! Praise God!
St. Augustine of Hippo wrote: “ To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him the greatest human achievement.”
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”