The following letter came to me from someone whom I have had aquaintance with since middle school (I am older than she). Throughout the years, our paths have crossed here and there although we've never really spent time together in the same friendship circle of everyday life. Beth still calls me Debbie (my childhood nick-name).
This letter is especially touching as Beth unfolds her journey to the Lord in relation to how my book, this ministry and the weaving our lives together by the masterful work of God has touched her life in a powerful way. Be blessed as you read!
PS - I love hearing from each of you! Please let me know if/how this ministry has blessed your life. Email me through my official website at www.DeborahRossMinistries.org
I finished your book (Healing a Broken Marriage) on June26th, Caroline's 20th birthday. It has taken me until today to try and find the right words to say to you and still I'm not sure how to express all the things I've been feeling. I have thought about it everyday, meditated on it and prayed constantly. Although there are many improvements that could be made to our marriage, I feel those things falling into place. It is all the other blessings I have received from your words that I am most thankful for. I completely trust you and that God has brought me to this point in my life to hear you, hear Him and really BELIEVE. It's as if the clouds have opened up and there is a beautiful beam of light and I'm walking it in. Never alone again!
I have grown up in the Methodist church and alternate Sundays in a Baptist church with my Grandparents. I always believed in Jesus, I thought I knew Him-I saw so many miracles in my life and have been moved many times by things that happened I knew could only come from God. I was baptised, went through confirmation as a youth, helped in many ways give back to the church. We joined the Methodist church here in Marshville before we were married and attended there. We then moved to Monroe where we were active members, I taught "Godly Play" Sunday school, was on the Children and Youth Councils and was a youth leader. Many times I have chaperoned and attempted to teach on retreats for our youth. I have done Clown ministry and some 20 + years in all aspects of vacation Bible School. I have even portrayed Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I have never, ever felt worthy of any of this. I thought someone else would be so much better for the job than me!! What a sinner I am, I have so many faults and I don't deserve this!
Since at least the fifth grade I have known of you. I was honestly curious and truly fascinated by the way you handled and presented yourself. I couldn't wait to see what you did next-you have always been strong, beautiful and smart. I know I have told you this, but Louise Matthews (5th grade teacher) once told my father I reminded her of you and I was astounded. How could it be? I could only hope to grow as a person with poise and grace and better myself. I know God was in the details. Our lives seem to have been interwoven delicately, here and there throughout the years and I remember pivital times that were revealed to me as your book (Healing a Broken Marriage) unfolded. I remember glimpses of you as a dancer, as a young mother, business owner, wife, teacher and friend. There were times I thought back to when Iwanted to ask you questions, but now I know that you were growing and learning in God's Word and I wasn't ready to listen or hear-yet. At this point I also have to say in my young life how much I enjoyed having your sister, Crystal, around. Even then you could see her light, pure and true and all her goodness. I am so thankful of the days she was around and we just kind of 'hung out'together. She has grown into such a kind, beautiful woman full of love and grace. She has such a beautiful family-you both do!
Back to my point-I know I tend to ramble. I feel like I had done all these things because it was the 'right thing to do'. I would get lost in studies and preparation for my task and learn and then repeat the story. I would pray mechanically, be where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there and have the kids front and center. Not until lately have I felt a true euphoric joy and the Spirit upon me and working through me. I told my sister on Caroline's birthday that I was afraid it was going to go away, what if I can't do the things I have been called for? How will I know the right thing to do? What if? What if? When I finished the end of your book, I was so excited. I said to Mandy, "What do I do now??" I wanted to do everything! To be better and working to please God ALL the time, not just when I felt like it or when I needed to get something done. I feel better, I feel new and I want to feel this way all the time!
For years I have been less than well, having several surgeries and consequently relied on prescriptive painkillers as a crutch for pretty much everything. I didn't want to face things in my life, I was from a broken home, I was so bad-such a sinner. I feel like I have prayed and prayed my whole life, asked for forgiveness, waited for something to happen. I have put so many people I love the most through hell. A year ago in June I stopped taking all that I was dependent on. I had been hospitalized for pneumonia and was sick of being SICK. When I finished your book, I prayed the marriage prayer. I continued reading and thought to myself oh, ok- I've done this before. Ok, I'll read it again, it can't hurt. So I read the sinner's prayer and I prayed. Guess what? Something happened Debbie, something WONDERFUL! I am new, I see things with new eyes and an open heart, I can hear Jesus speak to me ALL the time! I am so grateful for my life, for my children, for my family. I want this ALL the time, forever!
It's hard sometimes not to be skeptical. The enemy has kept me down and in the dark (sometimes literally) for so very long. I can feel the things I used to think I loved,things not good for me, things that kept God from flowing freely though me just falling away. It reminds me so much of that little precious moments child saying "Please be patient, God isn't finished with me yet". I know people have seen a change. I want to be a good example like you are! I still have so much to learn, so much to do. Presently I am directing vacation Bible school at our church here in Marshville. It is an especially daunting task as our church is a little down and broken, we seem scattered in the wake of receiving a new pastor and there is much unrest. I know I'm supposed to be here and work as hard as I can. Even though I have worked a lot with vbs, I've never had to direct it and it has been particularly challenging having to get materials together and find resources. You know what though? I have prayed and prayed on it every day and it is coming together!! I know it's going to be amazing and that God won't let me, US fail at this and teaching His precious Word!!
I love you Debbie, I always have. You have never been anything but wonderful to me. I thank God for making you who you are today and speaking to me through you. You know, this is kind of scary. It's just more amazing than anything else. Sometimes I still just can't believe it's true. I am coming to your retreat (Freedom Today Beach Conference) in August. I can't wait!! I hope my sisters can come as well. Oh, and now I have a prayer list. A REAL one!! Ha! I always said that-"I'llpray for you"-but now I have it on my phone and pray at regular intervals everyday and night. WOW! It's just....well you know!!! Bless you and all you are doing. I'll be in touch!
Your sister in Christ,