Friday, October 10, 2008

This is my corn!


I want to apologize because this is probably the longest post in history. I tried to do it in one million one hundred words or less, but it didn't work out that way. You are probably asking yourself how many words does she need to talk about corn? Well, grab a cup of coffee and a slice of humble pie, and sit tight. You are invited to join me in my cornfield and find out the answer to that very question.:)

My Human behavior is an interesting subject to me.
So much time is wasted in my our lives being angry at God about the things I we don't like. Things I we don't understand. Things that don't seem fair!

God has given me the spiritual gift of gab! He wired me for sound. I love to share with any one who will listen others the things I have learned about God in my life. That being said, I always look like an idiot in my stories. Everything I share makes me seem dense, but I share it anyway. God gets the glory, as He should. He works in my life time and time again, despite all the dumb things I do.

The story I am going to share with you today is no exception. I look dumb. God gets the glory, and I eat another slice of humble pie.:)

In February of 2003 my world was shattered. I thought my marriage was over. I was devastated. As a wife, I was worn out. I had done everything I knew to do, but it just wasn't enough.

The kids and I attended church every Sunday, without Shannon. He was never interested in going with us. I spent time teaching both boys about God. I went to Bible studies. I wasn't perfect, obviously, but I put a lot of effort in my relationship with the Lord. I longed for Shannon to have a relationship with Him also, but at the time, that seemed very unlikely to ever happen.

When my world was seemingly falling apart, I was mad at God. I didn't understand why He was letting this happen. I was trying so hard to do all the right things as a wife and a mother, but none of it seemed to matter. I was devastated. I was frustrated. I felt like giving up. But, those of you who know me, know I am stubborn (another spiritual gift, I think). I do not give up on things easily.

So, I stayed. I fought it out. I fought with God. I fought with Shannon. I had to get up each day and keep fighting for my faith. It was a struggle. But God was in my corner. He gave me rest. He gave me hope. He gave me peace. He gave me His Word. He was faithful to me. With God in my corner, I won the fight! My marriage was restored. It was a long way from perfect, but it was a new beginning.

God not only changed me and my heart, He changed Shannon too. He gave Shannon a new beginning. He tugged at Shannon's heart. Shannon became a new person with Christ in his life. During the difficult time of healing from all my emotional pain, God gave me this verse to remind me Shannon was different now. I was different now. Our marriage was different now. It was new because Christ was the center of our lives.

2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"


I put this verse on my refrigerator. I said it out loud more times than I can count. On my difficult days of struggling with old hurts, I had to remind myself of these words. We are new creations. We are not who we used to be. God has changed us!

It's funny how I always dreamed of Shannon having a relationship with God. I longed for him to be the spiritual leader of our family. But, you know that old saying Be careful for what you wish for, you just might get it ? Getting what I had always wanted took some getting used to.....

Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled with the changes that were happening in my home and in my marriage. Like I've said before, earlier in my marriage, I was the only one taking the kids to church. I was the only one developing a relationship with God. Shannon had no interest in either. Anyway, I wasn't prepared for what happened on a particular morning at church.

Several months into our healing process, Shannon had written a letter to the church. Our church was going through a difficult period as well, so he wrote it to encourage the staff, but he was also pouring his heart out to God. So several weeks after he had written the letter, we arrived at church, and were greeted by several people patting Shannon on the back, saying, "I loved what you wrote!"...."Amazing letter!"....."Nice job!"..."Can I have your autograph?"...You get the point...


Click on the picture to enlarge the passage.

Suddenly this man, who in the past never even went to church, was a Christian Rock star! It really irritated me. Nobody ever congratulated me on fighting for my marriage. For hanging in there through the tough times. For dragging the boys to church ALL BY MYSELF for years. For not giving up on him. I know, I know, it sounds selfish. That's because it was.:) I'm very human that way. I didn't do any of the things I mentioned for applause, but come on. He's been doing the right things now for a few months, writes one letter, they publish it, and now everyone is sooooo proud of him! It was irritating!

Shannon, needless to say, was quite hurt by my reaction to all of this. He thought I would be proud of him, and I was. But.......my heart was screaming, "What about me, God?... Have You forgotten me?" I tried explaining this to Shannon, but there's no good way to explain selfish hurts. :) I just felt like he was getting praised, and I was left out. I had fought so hard to stay faithful to God and to my marriage vows, but all of that went unnoticed. I know that God noticed it, but it didn't seem fair that Shannon got so much praise, while I sat in the background alone. I thought, "Why, God?"

I warned you all earlier that I never look good in my stories.......I bet you believe me now, huh?:)

Not long after this incident happened, Shannon and I saw the movie Field of Dreams. If you haven't seen it yet, do. It is wonderful!
There is a particular scene in the movie though that is my favorite.
If you've seen the movie this will make sense to you, if not, I apologize.

Here's a quick synopsis of the movie I found on the Internet written by Scott Renshaw.
Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice in his corn field tell him, "If you build it, he will come." He interprets this message as an instruction to build a baseball field on his farm, upon which appear the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago White Sox players banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series. When the voices continue, Ray seeks out a reclusive author to help him understand the meaning of the messages and the purpose for his field.

To add just a little bit more, the author, Terence Mann, gets invited to join the players in Ray's cornfield...Ray wants to go, but he is told that he is not invited.
He can't believe his ears.... "Not invited?" he says...
Hear is just a short part of that wonderful scene:



Ray Kinsella: This is my corn. You people are guests in my corn.

Ray Kinsella: I did it all. I listened to the voices, I did what they told me, and not once did I ask what's in it for me.
Shoeless Joe Jackson: What are you saying, Ray?
Ray Kinsella: I'm saying? what's in it for me?

Terence Mann: Ray, there was a reason they chose me, just as there was a reason they chose you and this field.
Ray Kinsella: Why?


Why? Isn't that what we always ask God?...Why?...Why me? Why now? Why do I have to go through this?
Never before in my life have I ever identified with anyone in a movie more than I did that one.

Ray summed up all my frustrations with one word...Why?

I felt like Shannon was in my (spiritual) corn. The corn I had planted! When he was getting all the applause in my corn at church, it felt like people were saying to me, "You're not invited!"

After seeing that scene in the movie, Shannon got tears in his eyes. He finally understood what I meant. I wasn't trying to behave selfishly. I was just hurt and confused trying to understand my role in the whole situation. What was the purpose for me going through all this. Did my part count? Did my effort matter? Why, why, why?

When all was said and done, Ray Kinsella found out the answer to his question, "Why?"
Needless to say, the answer was more than he could ever had hoped for. But, in case you still haven't seen the movie, I don't want to spoil the ending.

Looking back now, I know my part mattered. I know my walk with God mattered. My faith mattered. Shannon has told me that my faith in God and my walk with God were the examples that made him desire God in his own life.

1 Peter 3:1-2
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.


That's an awesome role to have.....and funnily enough, I didn't even know I had the part. But God did. God used me despite my own selfishness.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


Everything that we do in obedience to God matters, even if we don't understand it, or even see it at the time. God is always working the things in our lives for our good.

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.


Just because other people get the applause sometimes doesn't mean that God has forgotten about us. Our time of understanding will come, in God's timing, not ours.

1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.


Well, my coffee is cold, and my humble pie is all gone (until God serves up my next slice). I guess this is finally the end of my post today. Thanks for being a guest in my corn.

(I was encouraged to tell this story after I read a post on Laura's blog called "The Wellblog." She shares a story about what happened when her dream of her husband knowing God came true. Click here to read her story. It is very moving.)

God Bless,
Amy:)

26 comments:

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a great story....I am glad that everything worked out for you and Shannon...It takes a strong marriage to weather the storms....there is no doubt that the man upstairs lit the path for you to follow!

This is one of my favorite movies...

Enjoy your weekend,

Lisa

Tracey said...

Great story....I went through this a lot too...Why can't I get pregnant...very selfish....I totally understand....Thanks this is great!!!

sa061545@bellsouth.net said...

What a great story!! Amy, you are blessed with a gift, that is for sure! I'm so proud of your writing!!!! Your new friends have been a huge blessing to you but more than that, your writing has been a blessing to so many because it is evident in how your numbers have grown. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
Mom :)

Laura said...

My friend, except for a few details, this could be my story. Isn't if mind boggling what the devil will use to try to defeat us? I really struggled after Jeff accepted Jesus as his Savior. I felt left out. We are just weak sinners, are we not? I'm so thankful that God worked in you to turn Shannon's heart. Yes, your work did matter. You planted those seeds! I'm sure your family has gone through many changes since your man stepped up. As a mother of two boys myself, I have seen a big difference in their lives since their daddy started going to church with us.
God knows what He is doing. Isn't that grand?

Pleasant Drive said...

He will meet our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus, won't he? Doesn't always happen how we had it planned in our heads!

Dianne said...

I just love this post, and I haven't seen the movie but now I'm gonna.

I have had similar "fights" with God, so I can relate, and the reward does outwiegh the pain of the trial.

I sometimes joke that what I'm looking for is a blessing that is not in disguise, but I'm only half joking when I say it.

Lovely post, thank you for sharing such personal feelings.

Love and blessings.

Weeksie50 said...

Oh, I loved your post today..
I have been in similar situations.. and I find myself asking why.. I like your comparison and reference to the movie..I love how you tangled all the words together and came up with such a moving post..that will keep me thinking long after I click on to another blog..

TFS Amy, I needed this..

Michele said...

Amy~what a wonderful post and a wonderful testimony to God's faithfulness. I have struggled with this selfishness many times in my life in feeling left out, I am still there at times.
I have been in a bad place these last few months. You're post has ministered to me in many ways.
Love,
Michele

My Goodness said...

What a story...what a testiment to the work God can do by using people to shine His light. It's wonderful to see the 'Amy and Shannon' we know today...you guys have been blessed with a marriage that most people can only dream of.

Blessings!

Have a great weekend!

Crystal said...

Thanks for writing this Amy, I really needed to read this today.

LynnSC said...

Hi Amy,
I loved your story... especially this part,

"I felt like Shannon was in my (spiritual) corn. The corn I had planted!"

And don't worry... I always look bad in my stories too. The thing is.. that God always gets His point across, and He looks good. So... so be it.
Lynn

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Thank you, Amy, for sharing this. I'll try to keep this short but you know this story sure has stirred up some emotions and feelings. I am very much where you were except my marriage isn't on the brink of restoration. But, I often think why...why this, why that, why then, why not? I love that one: why not? Why not now?

I've also often wondered if I will ever be recognized for what I'm doing for God and my marriage. Particularly, will my beloved ever fully comprehend all that I've endured for God, him, and us. Oh how it would be so much easier to get beyond my marriage covenant and seek that new exciting, handsome man to date and fall in love with, start all over and fresh with no baggage. Yes, that would be the easy. To be with someone with no baggage. To be with someone who wanted me. But no, that's not what my heart says. My heart says to stay committed to God and my beloved even though that road will be very bumpy before it is ever close to smooth sailing.

I am so glad Shannon finally "got it". I often wonder (and fear) that God will allow blessings to come into Chris life as it is now living in disobedience. I don't have contact with him so I don't know. However, I can see myself reacting much like you wondering why God are you blessing him in his disobedience while I'm sitting in muffling through, hanging on emotionally. It is such a hard endeavor to wonder why after 16 months my house hasn't sold. What have I done? Why can't I just be released and start a fresh for now? Maybe He needs me in this house for beloved's return. Even still, I want released from it.

I've gone on too much. I guess I could've/should've sent this via email. But you know, I guess I'm okay with sharing more openingly via comments but I'm just not ready to share it on my blog because I never know who of my "peeps" (that's people) are reading. My peeps don't understand my beliefs.
Love,
Paula

On Purpose said...

Hello Amy-this was SO worth reading...thanks for posting your heart and sharing it with us.

I can relate...to the part of asking "why am I playing a part in all this?" And not understanding...and hearing God say...'it isn't for you to understand...its to build your faith child!'

Gina said...

What a great story Amy. Thanks for sharing it with all your Bloggy friends. Have a great weekend! :)

God bless,
Gina

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Beautiful story with an incredibly happy ending (even if someone did have to eat humble pie! Hate that pie). It's all in God's timing.

blessings!

In his Graces~Pamela

diane said...

Thanks for sharing your personal story with us.

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
valerie said...

Amy,

That deleted comment was mine.
Kristen had been here at our house and somehow after I wrote my very long comment (that I'm not sure I can write again) :( it had Kriten's name....like she wrote it. hummmm I was signed in on her name.

Ok.... I'll try to start over.

I am very proud of you for writing such an honest story about how this effected your life.

You had everything to do with Shannon coming to know Christ like he does now. You did the hard thing...you fought for your marriage when it would probably have been very easy to give up. You continued to pray for him, you continued to take the boys to church. Your faithfulness is amazing. God did a wonderful work in your man's life and I'm very proud of you for hanging in there.

I'm also proud of Shannon for listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying. (great paper, by the way)

We all deal with these same feelings in some area of our life or another....feeling like we didn't get the recognition we deserved etc. God is faithful and He is works out all things.

I have a couple of good friends whose husbands don't attend church with them. Please pray for them. One never talks about it, but another girlfriend tells me occasionally how she would love nothing more than for her husband to attend with her and love the Lord and have a relationship with Him.

Thanks again for sharing from your heart!

Valerie

amy said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing!

much2ponder said...

Wow Amy, this post is so real. I can relate on so many levels. God is good and faithful though and his ways are best even when we are clueless about what he is doing in and through us at times. Bless you my friend.

Smiling Shelly said...

Beautiful post Amy and, funny enough, the entire time I was reading it, I was thinking about the post that Laura wrote and how these two stories were similar in that His way is not always our way.

I realize that I'm preaching to the choir on this one but here is how I see it - in both cases:

You planted the seed, you watered the plant and you watched it grow. The beauty of what developed is yours to be proud of. When your flower enters the contest and wins first place you should hold your head high and your heart should soar with pride to know that you were a vital part of his success. When your flower won - so did you, my friend. So did you! :)

And I know this is not a new lesson to you and looking back you see that, while his prize was the blue ribbon (or the verbal acknowledgement of his great understanding, as just an infant, of His teachings), your prize was him - as the Christian husband/father/son that you always wanted :)

Love you, my friend, and I'm SOOO happy that this story happened just exactly the way it did because you and your family are lovely people.

God Bless you all!

Julie said...

Amy,
This is a beautiful, vulnerable post. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have had similar feelings about people in my life in the past.

I love that God allowed your husband to see what the struggle was.

it was a beautiful post.

Hugs,
Julie

Mia said...

Okay I am WAY late on getting here and commenting on this wonderful post. Yes, I have a story very similar to you and I still struggle with my "ownership" of anything spiritual : (
I always think "well as much as I love him think how much MORE God loves him and rejoices at his every victory!"

cwi3 said...

Great post, I myself feel im in the middle of that corn field, asking Why? but I know God is always with me and helping me in my storms, take care...Bo

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A wonderful portrait of grace, Amy, for both fo you. I'm so glad for the walk you've shared with Shannon and for the many people who will read this and be encouraged by your witness.

Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story with us.

peace~elaine

Denise said...

Amy, what a great post. You are so very inspiring. You keep writing and I'll keep reading.
Love,
Denise