Sunday, October 26, 2008

God came near

don't you LOVE when you run into someone so dear to your heart!

last thursday after going out to dinner with family, i got in the car and drove out of the parking lot. as i drove, i caught a glimpse of a man and his wife in the car passing by. the faces were so familiar, "could it be?" i thought. i quickly turned around, parked my van, and waited impatiently for them to get out of their car. i waited, and waited, and waited (it was a very long minuet that i waited). finally (i am not very patient in situations like these), i walked over, and up to the passenger window. he got out of the car, looked at me, and said, "is that?" i replied, "yes, it's me, denise!"
then i hugged him!

it was marty, with his wife ernie ruth.

marty was my campus life leader in high school, 20 years ago!
my heart danced seeing him. i think i may have overhugged him!

if you have been following my blog for sometime than you know my story. my story resulted in me being a very broken teenager. when i met marty i was 15. i was a farely new christian, but was having doubts. mostly about God. could God really be a Father? what does Father mean? maybe i didn't want a father after all.

the heartache of my dad denying me as his daughter consumed my 15 yr old mind. the abandonment of parent, after parent, after parent... leaving seemed to speak truth to the lie that i was flawed and unloveable. you cannot understand the despair my young mind experienced. especially in regards to my dad, and all father figures who had come and gone.

"what did i do wrong, why doesn't my dad want me?"
"why am i not enough?"
"why did this dad leave too?"
"what is wrong with me, why won't they stay?"
"why can't he love me?"
"i must be unloveable."

i had heard God was a father who loved unconditionally, but could he really love me?
i had heard God was a father who would not leave me, or forsake me, but where was he?

i so desperately needed God to come near, to love me, to see me, and to speak TRUTH to my tender heart. i needed the Father, but i was guarded.

after much persuassion, i went to campus life, at 7:17 on a thursday evening. after that first meeting, you could find me at campus life every thursday!

and it wasn't the games, the talks, the snacks, the great fun that kept me at campus life, it was marty. marty saw me, was a safe place for me to break, he spoke truth to my tender heart, delighted in me, and loved me.

marty loved Jesus, and his love for Jesus spilled onto and into me. God came near in marty.
and i began to understand what my Father really looked like- that my Father delighted in me, cared for my tender heart, loved me.

isn't it AWEsome how God writes people into our lives to draw us to Him!

so, you can't blame me for overhugging him. it is the Jesus in him that i love, it is the Jesus in him that i want to hold onto, because the Jesus alive in him, brought life to me.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave...
He is mighty to save


  1. Wow. What a legacy Marty has! Beautiful story. I would have overhugged, too. Definitely!

  2. that is awesome... how neat. i love it that you turned around and waited to see if it was marty. so cool!

    i love your heart and love your willingness to share you story. :o)

  3. Praise the Lord for men like Marty!! I hope someone someday runs up to me and wants to take my picture because of the profound affect I had on their life.