Sunday, September 25, 2011

Letting His Words Lead You...

I awoke this morning to a body that didn't want to go to my daughter's early morning softball game.  I came down with shingles this week.  Am I old or what?  I thought only 80 year olds got this thing!  While my dermatologist was looking at my leg, I had told him that my cancer had returned, and that I had felt God leading me away from chemo this time around.  I reminded him that I would have had two rounds of chemo in me prior to getting shingles.   He said it was good that I had listened to God's leading.  Chemo and shingles aren't a good mix.

So after my husband and daughter left for today's game, I made a healthy breakfast and turned on the t.v.  I found my good friend Dr. Charles Stanley speaking on the topic of discernment.  Right up my alley.  Again.

He was teaching that God gives us His Word and the Holy Spirit to help guide us.  And if we turn to Him for all of our decisions, big and small, He is faithful to guide us.  I know that to be true.

So while I was listening to his sermon, I felt I needed to share with you how God answered a very important prayer of mine.  Twenty two years ago.

I had been dating a guy in high school who I just loved.  We had dated for seven years.  I think we broke up once for about an hour.  He was a great, great guy.  But I always knew I wouldn't marry him.  So one night on my 21st birthday, my girlfriends took me out for the night.  At the last restaurant we went to, I saw this guy sitting in the booth next to ours.  As soon as I saw him, I leaned over and told my bestfriend, "There's my husband."  She said, "Right.  Haver another drink."  
I don't drink.

To make a very long story short, I broke up with my boyfriend five days later and began dating this other guy the very next night.  I know, I don't waste any time.  I knew on our first date that I wanted to marry him.

We dated for two years.  All I wanted was a proposal.   

One day, as he was getting his watch fixed, his jeweler showed me a few wedding rings.  The first ring I tried on was the one I wanted.  I could just feel that ring on my finger as The Future Mrs. Marek.  After that day, I remember we talked about how much we both loved Christmas.  I kind of had a feeling that he'd propose around that time.  

So two days before Christmas, he came home from work early (an anomaly!) and said, "Hey, look under the Christmas tree.  What do you think that small box is?"  

My heart sank.  First off, being a typical girl, I wanted an amazing and romantic proposal.  Not, "Hey, what do you think that small box is under the Christmas tree."  

And second of all, which I haven't told you all yet, is that I had always been praying for God's direction for a husband.

So even though the moment my eyes met Ed's and I knew I wanted to marry him, I still gave my decision over to the Lord.  

"If this is the man you want me to marry, Lord, show me," was always my prayer.  For two very long years.

So when I saw that little box under the tree, I knew I had a decision to make.  Quickly.  My heart wanted to scream, "YES!!!" when Ed asked me to marry him, but I also wanted to desperately obey God and His plan for my life.   

The next day brought Ed and my Dad together for lunch.  Ed had asked me to call my Dad to see if he could "talk to him about something."  I knew what he meant.  Again, so not romantic!  Me calling my Dad to see if Ed could ask for my hand in marriage.  Nice.  Apparently, Ed never took the "How to Romantically Propose to Your Girlfriend" class.   So he called me after their lunch and said he would tell me all about it at dinner.  He then asked me to make the dinner reservations.  He's such a romantic.

OK, so now you're up to speed on Ed's end.  But this is where the story gets good.  Amazingly good.

The night I saw the little box under the Christmas tree, I was almost distraught.  "Lord," I cried, "I have been asking you for two years to show me if this is the man you want me to marry.  He's proposing tomorrow.  I need an answer from you.  Why aren't you listening to my prayers?!"  

I grabbed my Bible and went into the bathroom.  I sat against the wall with the door closed.  

"Lord, if you tell me not to marry him, I won't.  I know Ed will be furious with me and think I'm a whack-o, but all I want to be is obedient to Your will."

OK.  Get ready for the good part.

Ed's street address was 4345.  "Someone" prompted me to read Psalms 43 and 45.  Again, even though I loved the Lord with all my heart, I rarely read the Bible.  I didn't even know where the Psalms were in the Bible and didn't even know if they went up to 45.

Psalm 43:4 

"O my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged?  Trust in God! I shall again praise Him for His wondrous help; He will make me smile again, for He is my God!"

I remember thinking, Wow.  I have been gloomy and discouraged.  God is speaking to me right now.  And I'm kind of freaked out.

Psalm 45:11-15

"I advise you, O daughter, not to fret about your parents in your homeland far away.  Your royal husband delights in your beauty.  Reverence him, for he is your lord.  The people of Tyre, the richest people of our day, will shower you with gifts and entreat your favors.

The bride, a beautiful princess, waits within her chamber, robed in beautiful clothing woven with gold.  Lovely she is, led beside her maids of honor to the king!  What a joyful, glad procession as they enter in the palace gates!"

Ok, really?  

I remember knowing I was in the presence of the Holy Spirit for the first time in my life.  I was absolutely sure God had just spoke to me while sitting on the bathroom floor.   The feeling I had that night was the same exact feeling I had the night I was told that God had healed me from cancer.

So long story short (again!), he proposed and I said, "Yes!"  I had highlighted the scripture in my Bible and wrote, "Thank You, Jesus!  Dec. 22, 1989" next to Psalm 45.  I told Ed I said "yes" because of God's faithfulness to me.

Now, does that mean our life has been a fairytale?  Absolutely not.  Did we want to pack our bags and call it quits a few times?  Absolutely.   But how amazing it is to stand on His promise of obedience. 
By the way, we celebrated our 18th anniversary last week.

Dr. Stanley reminded me again this morning how very important the words of the Bible are.  We are to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us understand them.  And always reach for them when we need guidance.  If you're interested in hearing Dr. Stanley speak on this subject, go to his website at

This week has been filled with anti-shingles medicine, lots of rest, prayer and research.  I have told a few people this week that I feel like a two-year-old whose Daddy is holding her under the tummy with both hands while he's standing knee deep in the ocean.  Yes, I'm in the cold, scary ocean.  And you know I'm not fond of the beach.  

But I feel God's warm hands beneath me, bringing me peace.


  1. Ruthie -- loved hearing the story of your proposal/marriage!!

    Happy 18th Anniversary, too!

    I'm so sorry that you are in a season where you feel like you're in the cold ocean... I pray that soon life will feel back to normal -- like you're back up on the warm, friendly, sunny beach... sitting having a relaxed chat with Him instead.

    I so appreciate your entries here on this new journey!!


  2. Oh Ruthie...there is so much I want to say!! Just this morning, I wrote an update on my blog about my husband's cancer...the first update since May. I haven't read anyone else's blog since then either. I decided to visit a few of my favorite gals, and you were of course on the list.
    As I read that your cancer returned, I took a quick intake of air. Then I quickly backtracked and read forward from your "10 Things I Learned this Summer" post. All I can say is, I really needed this. If you have time, read my latest post. It's about Scott being told he's cured of cancer, and how we've's been a long 4 years.
    You see...we've been TOLD the cancer is gone, but we haven't really rejoiced like I thought we would...why? Because we are so cautious, gun-shy if you will. Our faith is lacking, even with GREAT news.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is this...we need FAITH no matter what the news. We got good news, you've received bad news... but it's still a matter of FAITH. No matter what, God is with us.

    I rejoice in your healing, and it won't shake my faith one bit if you heard wrong. We go through life the absolute BEST we can. God is good, all the time. We try to discern his voice from our own all the time. I am praying for you.

    Just yesterday, as I was driving, I noticed my "Can't Do Cancer Without God" necklace hanging from my rearview mirror (I shortened it so I wouldn't be in my way, and it's hung among a lei from my daughter's engagement party). I thought of you... wondered how you were doing.

    Just know, you are in my prayers. How you ministered to us was amazing! I hope to minister to you as well.

    Love you!!!