MY  Story

 

After a messy divorce, and following many bad decisions I had made in my life, I felt selfish and as worthless as garbage. My decisions landed me in a place where I was wiped out emotionally, spiritually, financially and mentally. Looking around and seeing the opposite of what I had dreamed of... I knew that it was“ground zero”,  the bottom. At the same time, God loved me so much that it was as if He cleared the dance floor of all my distractions and asked me to dance intimately with Him. He wanted me to get to know Him again in a new way. After much stubborn deliberation, I made a decision to give my heart back to God.


One of those bad decisions I made was that I had fallen into an emotional affair that further threatened my already-troubled marriage. I considered this man to truly know me. But his life was no less destroyed by our decisions. Throughout my divorce, I watched everything I knew disintegrate. I decided we could no longer continue on like this and I ended the relationship. When my divorce was over, we reunited, and I shared my decision with him to give my heart back to God. He too followed in an earnest desire to turn his life around. Soon we both became very determined to find peace, and allow God to take our relationship in whatever direction He wanted. We started living for God and finding contentment in a new way. Our relationship was redefined in friendship and purity.


That Fall of 2008, God woke me from my sleep and whispered me to make a cross. I made it out of broken pieces of thrown-away furniture. I soon found myself crossing my fork over my knife as a wordless prayer, as well as sticks on the ground, and anything else that I could reach as I prayed.


One day, as my friend and I soul-searched together, we came upon a burned down house. I saw in that rubble a certain brokenness I identified with. Charred, destroyed debris. Completely undesirable, unusable. I asked God, “What can you do with someone like me? Surely nothing, as I am too far gone.”He answered, “Try Me. You will be surprised.”I dragged some of those burned timbers home with me that day.


I confided in my friend what God had told me, and that I wanted to make more crosses. I wanted railroad spikes because they are the nearest modern equivalent to what the Romans used to crucify Jesus. But I had no idea how to weld. He informed me he used to be a master welder. We went out and picked up old rusty railroad spikes, but we had no welding machine. After a week of prayer, a relative provided a small one that was in his garage with the price tag still on it. So began my welding lessons. For two weeks we welded nonstop. We made as many crosses as we could. We loved our crosses so much. “What are we going to do with them?”he would say. I answered ,“I dont know! All I know is that through this process, something powerful is happening to me”. We made cross after cross until we ran out of spikes.


We went scrapping again, and this time every piece of metal appealed to me. It was very exciting all the possibilities I saw in each one. The last cross we made together was very large, out of varying pieces of scrap iron. I had decided I wanted to be completely free of expectation when making it; loose and creative. We let the Holy Spirit guide us along uninhibited. The process was just powerful. Our backs were turned to each other as we finished it. I was so overcome by Gods healing Spirit, I was in tears! I turned to look at my friend, and he was crying too.  We had a long silence as we simply absorbed Gods healing presence. I ran inside the house; I had to go get alone with God and let it all out, everything that I had been through and all the destruction and pain! It was replaced with complete thankfulness for Gods grace. I saw someone very different in myself and in my friend. A miracle was happening in both of us.


Three weeks later I was sitting in the floor putting together a scrapbook of memories of this man and me. I spent hours on it, making it special. As I closed the finished book of photos, it occurred to me that we had not talked at all that morning. The phone rang. It was one of his family members. He had just died from a heart attack.


Words cannot express the emotions that flooded me that day. I asked his ex-wife if we could talk. We did for hours over the next few days. I asked her if she could ever forgive me, and I dont know how she did it, but she did. She expressed a kind spirit and even invited me to his funeral. I was overcome with gratitude.


I took the spike crosses to his funeral with me. I met with his friends, his family. He had given them some of the crosses before he died. I got to see what that meant to them. Other lifelong friends did not know about the crosses. As they struggled with their loss, I would give them one of the crosses that he made. I shared the story of our recent deliverance, about Gods forgiveness... how our lives had been changing because God had set us free. And it seemed that as each cross was passed on, I realized how much this meant to them, and how God had obviously prepared us for this journey. 


The priest at the funeral blessed one of the crosses, and placed it on the casket as my  friend was carried away. He is without a doubt in heaven today. This gives me a real sense of peace throughout this entire turn of events. I have been heartbroken. Yet the sadness has been overshadowed by an incredible, powerful sense of victory. Gods providence has been above and beyond all I could have ever expected.

He does all things in LOVE. I now have the most amazing picture of what Heaven is like.  It is a very real place... it is our real home!


When I returned, I started making crosses from the burned house timbers. I worked with this wood until I could get better at welding on my own. I was going to use what I had, and I was not going to stop making crosses any time soon.


Since then, and hundreds of crosses later, I have had much time of reflection. I have learned the most important lesson of my walk as a believer... never take my eyes off the Cross. I now enjoy a partnership with the Master Creator when I make crosses. I worship Him and pray over them while I create. God has shown me that these scraps,


no matter

how ugly,

bent,

rusted

or scarred,


can be

redeemed.


And so

can we.