Monday, June 16, 2014

Story #2 Chapter 1

My second story comes to us from my husband's cousin, Jolene Dueck. Jolene and Chris were big friends growing up - Chris always says that growing up in a family of all boys, Jolene sort of filled in as his "sister", teaching him all the things a boy needs to know about girls! I've always felt rather indebted to Jolene :) Here's the story of how she and her husband, Leo, met.......


How we met. Do you want the long story, the short story or the deeper story? Well, since I didn't get married until I was 33 I guess it'll have to be the long story and since I'm not the type to just live life without asking questions and struggling and journeying to find answers it'll have to be the deep version.  I wonder how many cups of chai it'll take to get through it.
Maybe I'll start with something I wrote that came out of a midnight epiphany. Does that ever happen to you? I woke up in the middle of the night, not thinking of anything in particular and it struck me. It was like getting a hug from God and I said thank you. I could really work on the grateful thing but in one of these moments I smile, €look up and say, Thank you. I love you.
In a nutshell, I felt God taking me back to a moment of intense struggle- my prayer- His answer.  I was dating a nice guy from a nice church but my heart was dead- incapable of love or experiencing love. So, my question for God was, does one just move on into marriage because the nice guy presented himself and it's the thing to do, the very reason I was born for? Is there a time for healing? Is there such a thing as inner healing? Did it matter that my heart was cut, broken and bleeding? Did it matter that everywhere I turned there were shattered relationships? Did it matter that I wasn't "birthed" into womanhood? I chose to wait. I found that it did matter to my Heavenly Father. He moved in powerful ways to move me into a journey. A way made straight, smoothed for a child's feet to walk into womanhood. Do I feel I've "arrived"? Never. I am more certain than ever that Christianity is a lifelong journey rather than a place to arrive at. God showed me that I'm worth finding when I had given up on even calling for help. He showed me that my story matters, and as the painful is redeemed it is actually the pedestal I stand on and minister out of... in fact Jesus not only died for my sins but He died to bear my grief and carry my sorrows. In finding a love like this, I could move on with hope. People offered tools that help equip me for this journey I've embarked on. Jesus gave life, but those who put the grave clothes on Lazarus had to remove them and so God is using people to remove the grave clothes that keep me bound.
That's my story, but it doesn't really say how Leo and I met. So as I was on this intense journey, though we had known of each other through mutual friends...we hadn't really met until 2007. He began attending the same church I was... we did a short term mission trip to Mexico... but God still had a great work to do in our lives so He moved me to Canada...while Leo moved from his home in Costa Rica to my home church and area.
An interesting note, a friend of mine had been at SMBI years before Leo and I met, she just mentioned the difference his interaction had made in her life and I thought, "I want to marry a guy like that one day."
Enough about me for the moment, Leo was on a journey all his own. Leo is the "never has a bad day- never met a stranger" "appears" to waltz through life, kind of guy. On the other hand he is one who wrestles and struggles deeply as well. God just knew we'd drive each other bonkers if he didn't mix Leo's humor into the batch.......

.................more to come........................

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Yes! I know Leo & Jolene, so this will be fun to read. :)