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The Power Of A Story
by Wendy Okkema
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Word Count: 1000

Author: Wendy Okkema

My story begins in a small town, with one brother and one sister. My parents struggled in their relationship with one another. My church attendance depended on the number of weddings, baptisms or funerals in any given year. All in all, I know my parents did the best they could in
raising us with the knowledge and examples they had been exposed to in their lives. I love them
and thank them for doing their best.

I met the man I would one day marry. He told me he was a born again Christian. I had heard of them, knew they were way out there but decided to overlook that stumbling block because he was awful cute. I kind of considered myself a Christian, I believed that good people went to heaven and bad people like murderers went to hell. So, I was a Christian but there was
no way I would call myself a “born again” Christian. Our church experiences were very different,

I went to church twice a year and he went twice on Sundays. One might think this would present
a wee problem in our relationship, it certainly did. However, our love or lust for one another
overcame. We married, we partied, we went to a comfortable church every Sunday. During this
time, I began bringing my bible to church, this in itself was a new experience. At first I didn’t understand the need for a bible, I soon found out.

After five years of marriage our first child was on his way. Three months into my pregnancy we found out that my dad had lung cancer. I was 100% sure that my dad would survive this cancer. My impression of God was one that made me think he was a good God and would not take my dad away with his baby expecting her first baby. I did a lot of praying, I truly felt connected with God during this time. He had me, I just didn’t know it yet.

My dad passed away when I was about 8 1/2 months pregnant. The only thing I could remember
from my church days was that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. It was at that time I figured that if that was true, I’d better find out what else God had to say. My search was just beginning.

I thank God for my personality which He created and formed through my life. It would have been
just as easy for me to say, “if God will do something like this, I don’t want to know him”.

Four to five years after this, my next major spiritual struggle was baptism. I was so
stubborn, my thought process was this, “I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, God knows
how I feel about Him, our relationship is between Him and I”. A visiting Pastor was preaching at my church on baptism, I realized that yes, it was between God and I, no one else mattered. I needed to show God that I wasn’t ashamed of Him and show that outward expression of faith.

There was a call to go forward, I walked past my husband and my oldest boy in the pews, it felt like I was walking past a huge concrete wall that had just crumbled. Even though I was saying I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone, it was the everyone’s I was concerning myself with, not God. God says believe and be baptized, quite simple. Immediately after my baptism, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Life lesson number three was very difficult as well. . The plan was that when my second son was in school full-time, I would work on building my business. The ideas were flooding my brain as to how I could enhance my business, I was so excited about the future. It was all going to work out perfectly. God however had another plan in mind for our family. God gave us another son who is now four years old. My husband and I did not waver on our decision as to my being home full time as long as we have small children at home. For quite some time I felt my life was over, for you see I had no desire to have more children. Depression set in, I gave up, there would never be any hope for me to have a life of my own.

The feeling of devastation and defeat lead me to finally say to God, “ok Lord, you want me to be a stay at home mom, I’ll stay at home, just give me the desire to excel at raising my children and teaching them about YOU”. Life since then has been pretty amazing. I decided to live each day to glorify God. God has resurfaced my love for writing. If it weren’t for my third son, I wouldn’t have co-created an interactive workshop for women, I would not be sharing my marital triumps and trials with other couples and I would not have an article in this magazine. In my wildest dreams, life would not be this fulfilling.
Hebrews 12(1) ...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

I know God loves me just as I am, He created me and He doesn’t make mistakes. By searching God’s word and talking to Him daily, I have overcome much excess baggage that I’ve carried over the years. My days now consist of finding ways to glorify God. I’ve started writing and have co-created a workshop that attempts to show other women how to focus on God and overcome being overwhelmed in today’s busy world.

There is power in our stories friends because God is the author. I encourage you to share your story so that you may experience the blessings and the joy that comes from glorifying our
Loving Savior.

If I have encouraged you in any way I would love to hear from you. You may contact me at Ryakattack@aol.com or at http://byakshealthylifestyles.runboard.com/

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Member Comments
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Pam Carlson-Hetland 29 Sep 2006
There is, indeed, power in a story. And thank you for sharing yours in a very nicely condensed-to-the-main-spiritual-points version. Well written, very encouraging, and thought provoking as to what were MY main spiritual growth points. May God bless your endeavors with the workshop for women...a VERY needed and timely idea for the harried women of our culture.


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