Zacchaeus and I are buds. We both came to know Jesus while sitting on a sycamore tree branch, so that makes us tree buds. I can still see the sunlight and shadow flicker on the leaves as the wind blew. It was a real experience in which I heard the Lord clearly call my name and I eagerly came to trust him.
But like so many, I forgot the beauty and joy of hearing the Holy Spirit call me to himself. When my parents moved us from California to Oklahoma I was angry and rebellious. Soon after high school I met a man who was more than willing to seduce me and we ran off together. After about six months of living on the west coast (sometimes living in the car) I got pregnant, but had a miscarriage. We came back to Texas and I got pregnant again. Because the Lord was protecting me, I was able to talk my live in into coming back to home and we settled in a roach infested apartment.
Throughout the time I was with him, I was involved in the drug community. There were so many things that could have happened, but did not. I was never forced to take drugs, never raped although I was certainly in a position be taken advantage of multiple times, and obviously never killed, even though my boyfriend, in his past, was accused of murder. He frankly told me he’d been on angel dust at the time and doesn’t remember if he killed the woman or not.
We didn’t live in the apartment long before I realized that if I didn’t go back home, I would be endangering my baby. I left the man and went back to my parents’ home. After returning home, there were several months in which my boyfriend tried to get me back. After my baby was born, he came to the house, picked the baby up and started outside. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point; I was alone and was afraid he was going to take the baby. My heart still starts beating hard and fast as I think of what could have happened.
He brought the baby back into the house, and I was so thankful, but knew never to let him in the house again. I had one other incident involving him that I look back on and smile, although I know that if I’d followed through on my knee jerk reaction, it would have caused more problems for me than it would have solved.
Through all this Lord kept me safe and I am living to tell about his goodness to me. When I asked the Lord for forgiveness, he wiped the slate completely clean; and he doesn’t remember my past. Even though I often struggle with forgiving myself, I know that nothing in my past matters. Jesus made me a new woman when I said yes to him and I'll never let go of him.
I do not want what I deserve from the Lord; instead of what I deserve I have been given the best kind of life. After my son was two years old, I met my husband in my dad’s bathroom. We dated, and then married, he adopted our son, we had two other boys and we have been married 31 years now.
Our life together hasn’t always been easy and there were times when we didn’t know how we were going to buy groceries. I am here to say that the Lord provided then, sometimes miraculously, and he is still providing for us now. We don’t live in the best home in town, but when I walk in my house, there is a sense of pervading peace.
God is so good, and he promises to never remember my rebellion again. Yep I’m looking forward to talking to old Zacchaeus when I get to heaven. We have a lot in common.