|Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on July 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM|
Does it sound unbelievable? Yes, it does. However my first memories are being in the cradle beside my parents’ bed, feeling new to this world, having come from the presence of God. Since I was only in that cradle for less than six months, it seems preposterous, yet never-the-less real to me. (Even my mother didn’t believe I could remember until I pointed out to her where my cradle stood, that my older sister’s crib was right at the head of my bed and some happenings that took place which she had never told me.)
Those memories and first consciousness enveloped my childhood and warmed me with a deep awareness of the reality of God’s presence. Our extended family often gathered on a Sunday evening to sing hymns. My Jesus I love thee and Saviour like a shepherd lead us even at age 3-5 always moved me to tears. Neither me nor my family could understand why I cried. It wasn’t until I was older that I recognized the pure love and adoration those words roused in me. That moved me to tears. I knew that the Good Shepherd held me in his arms.
Between the ages of 11 and 15, I became increasingly mindful that God was calling me to not only acknowledge and glory in his presence but to give my life to him. Because of prevalent circumstances, I put off that surrender until I could no longer do so and at fifteen I knelt beside my bed and gave my heart and life to Jesus. “Thou God seest me” had echoed through my head as the hound of heaven gently pursued me for a commitment. Now those same words came as a comforting reality that reminded me of the assurance of my younger years.
Just as God is triune, my experience of Him was three-fold. Those first years I seemed to relate to Him as God the Father. Then I began reading the scripture to meet Jesus, and God the Son became real to me—a friend that sticks closer than a brother. As I got to know Him more and more, I longed for an encounter with God, the Holy Spirit. Often times in my prayer and praise time, I felt so full of love and praise, words failed me. Then one evening, when I was at this stage, I experienced a tremendous out-pouring of His Loving Spirit. It washed over me and through me. There was and is a reality and constancy to His presence since then, that I had not experience before. My conversation and communion with Jesus Christ through His Spirit, became and continues to be my source of strength and my foundation.
As I grew in my life with him, I looked for ways to serve. I longed to share life in Christ with others, to be a "publisher of glad tidings.” Through prayer and searching of the scripture I sensed God naming me as an “encourager.”
Through the years I’ve been able to do that in many ways—as a mother, a friend to my children’s peers, a kindergarten helper, a school bus driver, a program director for a seniors day program, in church and Sunday school and walking alongside those going through difficulties. When my husband faced cancer and death, I was able to walk him to the very gates of heaven.
Then my life took a turn. By God’s grace and nudging, I honed my writing skills and turned from newspaper columns and reports to novels based on true life stories. From that grew an inspirational speaking career. Each step, I was conscious of God’s work in my life.
Although the childhood dreams of being on the foreign mission field didn’t materialize, he made me aware of the mission right in my home and on my doorstep. He even orchestrated a meeting with a man I had known as a child and has given me a love for this time in my life such as I would never have imagined.
Now I am on another journey with cancer with this new husband and I try to encourage him. I know I am exactly where God wants me to be as I endeavor to continue to be the encourager he called me to be. And my Good Shepherd still holds me in his arms.