Friday, August 17, 2012

Second Chance to Be Made New

There have been several “second chance” moments in my life.

Remembering back to those days when we lived for the weekends…. Drinking, playing poker, having bar-b-ques, smoking dope, dancing, baking brownies…. It seemed like fun until we got pulled over by the cops for erratic driving or were in the bathroom lying prone of the floor waiting to throw up yet again. I think the only reason I missed going to jail was because they had no matron on duty that night. I wasn’t driving the car but had passed out in the back seat and Jim was driving only he passed out in the front seat – in the fog on a major California highway. We could have been hit by a semi and killed but fortunately the highway patrol were the ones who saw us and had each of us “walk the line”. I think we both flunked. Jim got a night in the hoosegow and I drove the car home with two policemen following me, in the fog, as I proceeded to run a stop sign but managed to make it home and the officers helped me to my front door.

On that foggy night the party we’d been to didn’t seem so much fun but that didn’t stop me the next time. It was actually a number of years…. The second chance part comes later.

The next second chance I had involved relationships and doing it right. I certainly didn’t do it right BEFORE. My ex husband and I lived together two years before we finally got married. I was gun shy having been married once before. I messed up that first marriage royally. The divorce was my choice and my fault. The only reason I ended up getting married the second time was because I had asked for and been granted a month vacation in August – during “prime vacation time” only because we were getting married. I had wanted to change my mind about tying the knot but our parents would have been devastated and I wouldn’t have been able to go on that vacation, all great reasons to get married, right?

The second chance came for both of those lifestyles when my little atheistic self began to realize that there was something more. That there was someone who was smarter than I, that there was a being who loved like I had never been loved before. His name is Jesus. I hit bottom one day while walking in a park before going in for PM shift at the hospital. I didn’t cry often but when I did there was usually a relief and release. That day it seemed like my tears were made of mud and the more I cried the messier I got.

I went home to get ready for work and in the bathtub began talking to the God I didn’t think existed… I got to the point where I asked forgiveness and confessed what a mess I was making of my life asking Jesus to take over. I didn’t realize it but I had been in that tub for 1 ½ hours and the water had turned stone cold. I wasn’t emotional when praying but afterwards a huge weight seemed to lift off my shoulders, I felt a solid peace that I had never experienced before and something had definitely changed.

It was after this being “made new” many things fell into place and I got a number of second chances. I was able to go to people I had wronged and ask forgiveness. This led to greater freedom and more release.
Numbers of years later, I met a wonderful guy. We had both been married before and this time wanted to do it right. We wanted to wait until we married to give each other that ultimate gift of intimacy. With God’s grace and help we were able. 

This is a piece I wrote back at that time:
Lord, there is an incredible gift wrapped and set aside for our upcoming wedding from you to us and then us to each other. I beseech you to let your strength be evident in our weakness! Let not even a corner of the paper be torn or wrinkled. Help us, I pray to cherish, trust, WAIT and not gobble. Oh, Jesus, help our focus to always be looking up to you. Father hear my cry. AMEN

Was it easy? Nope. Was it possible to “not awaken our love before its time”? Definitely.
I was given a second chance at life and also at being able to wait having our honeymoon AFTER the marriage.

All this worked and we were blessed because of our most incredible Lord Jesus and the price He paid to set us free!

Some people never receive a second chance so if you don't know the Lord Jesus please, please take time to make that eternity changing choice today! We do not know how much time we have, do we? He loves you so very much!!!

© Marijo Phelps all rights reserved – may be used giving proper credit .


Nancy Sturm said...

What a beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

Thanks so much Nancy!

tainterturtles said...

Wonderful post Marijo...very touching and very real! I love to read about your past since I never really knew you as a young girl, even though we are cousins!

As I'm sitting here reading your post, Adian, will not stop kneading his large Maine Coon claws into my leg and stomach...guess he's showing his love again!!!

Take care dear Cousin....