It was during this whole turning 50, retiring, moving…. stage of our lives that I noticed a change in my husband, Garry. He was increasingly happy, positive and encouraging. I asked Garry what was up with the new attitude and he said he’d started listening to a preacher on satellite radio. I’d heard of the preacher but never took the time to listen to him. I wasn’t interested in hearing any televangelists. In the same way you see someone who has lost weight and are willing to try their new diet, I was willing to try whatever Garry was doing! After 30+ years of marriage, the positive change I observed in him was real and I wanted some of it for myself.
The next day, I tuned in and listened. It was like a rainstorm during a drought. I heard the preacher say, “It’s not too late. Your best days are ahead of you. God wouldn’t have put a dream in your heart, if it wouldn’t come true.” I’d spent a lifetime encouraging and building up our children. I’d concentrated on fulfilling their dreams instead of mine. I realized I’d given away all my encouragement and hadn’t kept any for myself. My bucket was not only empty but it had a hole in it, ha!
Garry and I had met at church when we were in high school and identified with the Christian religion. However, over the years we’d drifted away from church due to our busy lives and the fundamentalist dogma of our denomination. I found myself listening to my newly discovered radio preacher every time I was in my car. Garry and I started watching his Sunday sermons on television. This wasn’t the fire and brimstone sermons we were accustomed to. His messages were about a God that loves you and wants the best for you. For the first time, I saw myself in a participatory role in God’s plan for my life. “When you do your part, God will do His part.”
I quit beginning my day listening to the depressing morning TV news and opted to listen to his uplifting, encouraging podcasts instead. I began to truly believe our best days did lie ahead of us! I felt like I’d been on an extended vacation from God and didn’t quite know how to reconnect. I did just as the preacher advised, I talked to God like I would a friend. I admitted my doubts, shortcomings and failures and asked Him for help. It was awkward at first but grew easier over time.
This started me on a whole new quest and I would ask God daily, “Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is my destiny?” In hindsight, I know it wasn’t revealed at that time because I wasn’t ready. Had I known where God was taking me, my controlling nature would have grabbed the steering wheel and I would have attempted to get there myself.
That summer, Garry planned a romantic getaway for the two of us in Colorado. It was a nine hour drive, one way! I just knew I could use this time to be still and quite and hear God’s voice. I needed to hurry up and know my destiny so I could plan for it! It’s quite humorous now but on the way home I actually told God, “Okay, talk to me God. I’m listening.What’s your plan for our lives?” Maybe He didn’t hear me, “Ready-set-go.” The long drive was the perfect time for God to speak to me. After all, I wasn’t busy. I never did receive “my word from God” that day, only silence.
It was the next morning when we were home (and I wasn’t trying to force it) that He spoke to me LOUD and CLEAR.