Grow Up, Not Old – God Must Have Smiled
By Sharon W. Betters, Executive Director, MARKINC Ministries
I was 18 years old and thought I was in love. My boyfriend was deployed to Germany and when he came home in December he wanted us to get married. I would return to Germany with him. I announced my plans to my father (I chose this moment carefully - my mother was away on a retreat). Instead of putting his foot down and telling me absolutely not, he calmly asked what I intended to do about my two year scholarship to Goldey Beacom Junior College. With confidence, I responded: "I will attend until December and then tell them I don't need it any more."
Daddy smiled his little smile and said, "Sharon, when you applied for and won this scholarship, your acceptance of it implies that you plan to graduate. If now you do not plan to graduate, you are lying to the National Secretary's Association. They gave you the scholarship because they believe in your integrity, not just your skills. You don't just lie with words, you lie with behavior. If you don't plan to graduate, you need to give it back to them so they can give it someone else." Then he told me about how he and my mother eloped (during World War II and everyone knew they were eloping) and how being a military couple affected their lives. One thing led to another and soon Daddy was talking about how severe financial problems forced him to move us to Newark, Delaware. He said, "You know, at the time, everything looked like a disaster. But if we had not moved here, we wouldn't have found the church and you kids might not have met Jesus....in other words, God had a plan for us. He always has a plan."
The next week, I announced to my parents I wasn't getting married and moving to Germany. The romance was over. I attended Goldey Beacom as planned. That following December, the month I would have been married (at 18 years of age) I met my future husband, Chuck, the last night I was waitressing at a local restaurant.
Tell the Next Generation
God always has a plan. The older I grow, the more I see how God uses disappointments and hard places in life - He's not surprised by any of them. In the middle of the hard places God sends treasures, to turn our hearts toward Him, to remind us that He knows us and calls us by name (Isaiah 45:2-3).
For the Rest of the Story: http://www.treasuresofencouragement.org/
In His Grip,
Sharon W. Betters
MARKINC Ministries, www.markinc.org
MARKINC Ministries is committed to leaning into the pain of life experiences that often go unnoticed by the church. The Learning to See When the Lights Go Out audio library addresses life's darkest circumstances that are difficult to discuss yet we are called on to help one another walk by faith, even when darkness falls. These are the real-life testimonies of people who have walked through these experiences and have learned to see when the lights went out. Browse the library for free downloads on such topics as Drug Addiction, Suicide, Loss of a Loved One, Chronic Illness, Chronic Illness in Young Adults, Widowhood, Divorce, Sexual Abuse and much more. Click here to learn more.
For more information please visit MARKINC Ministries.