February 25, 2016
By: Cindy Lundhagen
(A continuation from Monday) – I’ve decided to go ahead of the normal broadcast schedule since I’ve gotten most of the hardest stuff out there and I’m emotionally ready. First, I want to say thanks for all the comments of support. But, above all else, I want to make sure you didn’t miss the point. I had no strength and resiliency left. I couldn’t do it on my own. It was only in my weakness that I turned to God. It was only His strength, His love, His mercy and His grace that allowed me to keep battling.
1 John 4:16 – “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them”. Looking back, I cling to this verse as an explanation as to what God had just done in my life. He had given me new life…literally and figuratively. He gave me a second chance with my own life simply because of the love He had for me and He gave me a new life with whom I could experience the beauty and joy of unconditional love for the first time. My daughter, Corey, is WITHOUT DOUBT, an absolute gift from God.
So my life changed…almost overnight. I asked God’s forgiveness for all I had done and hadn’t done. And sheerly through undeserved grace, I felt I could lift my head just a little. I quit all my previous behaviors and started to live life solely dedicated to loving and providing for the extraordinary baby girl whom God blessed me … And I was so, so, so, so, so, so very grateful. Words cannot express… God, now, more than ever before fully had my heart.
So my daughter and I lived a life with the “to be expected” struggles that come to a single parent…but also with incredible love and happiness. Then in the summer of 2012, my younger sister and her husband at the time came to visit. At the end of their stay, they wanted to have a “talk” with Corey and I. They proceeded to tell us that they had found religion and church, that they were worried about us…that if we didn’t hurry and “get right” with God that we wouldn’t be going to heaven but rather to hell. I got very angry and shut down the conversation because (1) they knew nothing about my faith and experience with God (2) in my mind, I was already “right with” God, (3) they should never have forced this talk in front of my 13 year old daughter and (4) only God is in the business of deciding… I put my trust in Him.
My daughter was the cooler head at the time and the wiser of the two of us. She said I shouldn’t have gotten so angry…we could have politely listened. Some great role model I was… But her words made me pause. It made me stop and really think for the first time about some very serious things. Being brutally honest, how was my relationship with God? I realized it had mostly been one-sided…with me always turning to God in my need…asking for His help, His love, His forgiveness. Always asking, asking, asking…for something. What had I put into the relationship? How well did I even know God? So I committed then and there that I wanted this to be a two-way relationship…and I had a lot of catching up to do. I decided I would start by reading God’s story.
So I began to read the Bible every morning…a chapter a day with my morning coffee…just like medicine. And the story was captivating… Next time I’ll share some of the under-rated miracles that began to happen in my life. You will be amazed!
Cindy Lundhagen — Summerville, SC