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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Learning for Life (08/23/04)

TITLE: Three Lessons
By Trish Thompson


All my life, I have loved to learn. I was the one who enjoyed school, who looked forward to September, who read the textbooks before classes started, in a word, a geek! Student was my name, and learning was my game! This attitude served me well through high school and college, and even into raising three sons, but then my whole world changed.

My marriage collapsed, I was out on my own, alternately scared to death and angry over this sudden shift. I floundered for months, and then I met Someone who would change my world again, tearing it down and then building it anew; His name is Jesus, and I was shocked to learn that even though I had been part of a Ďreligioní all my life, I had never met Him! It was an exciting time, suddenly I was a student again, with a whole new world of things to learn; back in my element, or so I thought.

He ushered me into a new kind of classroom, to teach me new lessons, but only if I chose to learn. He gently set a choice before me; in my new life with Him there was no room for smoking. Would I be willing to let it go?

Impossible! My mind cried! Iíve smoked for too long!
I canít do it, Iím scared, Iíll fail if I try!

But, are you willing, He said, will you give it to Me? I
didnít say it would be you that would do it, I will do
it for you.

So, afraid, and with just the tiniest bit of faith, I did. That was June 22, 2000, and I have not smoked since. Forty-five years Iíd smoked, the last ten at two packs a day, and then gone, just like that! I had learned my first lesson for life: Nothing Is Impossible With God!

He was not done, another choice lay ahead. In my new life with Him I was to give Him His due. Would I be willing to tithe?

Impossible! My mind cried, my budget canít stand it! I
barely get by on my pay as it is! Iím scared, I wonít make
it if I try!

But, are you willing, He said, will you give it to Me?
Remember your first lesson, will you do this for Me?

So, still scared, but with more faith, I did. And even though my budget still said I wasnít making it; the outgo was more than the income, but somehow the bills were always paid, and several times money literally showed up in the mail, just in time. And I learned the second lesson for life: You Canít Out Give God!

There was one more, the toughest of all! He said, if I asked, would you
give me all? Would you be willing to stay single, find joy in that for Me? To give
up the dream of another love, one you long for; would you give it up for Me?

Impossible! My heart cried! You canít mean for me to be alone!
To not be able to share this new faith with someone I could love,
I canít bear the thought, it is just too much!

But, are you willing, He said, will you give up this for Me?
Remember your two lessons, will you do this for Me?

Oh, how I struggled, and prayed, and struggled again. For a year I resisted, just not ready to trust! But, slowly my faith grew, His words stayed in my heart, and at last, I agreed; if that is what You want, Lord, I will do it for You.

And as soon as I did, made this most difficult choice, He turned and He said, this was the third lesson, youíve truly learned for life, and now I will give you the desire of your heart! He sent into my life the most wonderful man; one I know He picked just for me. He gave me joy unending, in my God, my Lucian, and me! This third lesson I learned was the best one of all: He Is the God of Second Chances, the author of love and of life!

Member Comments
Member Date
Al Boyce08/30/04
Great lesson Trish. When we give things to God, we never know what we will get back, or in what form it may come.
Trish Thompson08/30/04
If God were not a God of second changes, I would be doomed to a life of despair. To all those who are longing for someone to share your life with, take heart and wait on the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart, in due season. Trust and obey!
darlene hight08/30/04
I absolutely loved this! Especially the but are you willing? That carried the story along and me with it.
Lucian Thompson08/30/04
Darlene, she sure was willing, and I am living testimony of that!
Lynda Lee Schab 08/30/04
Wonderful entry, completely on topic with learning for life! Just recently, I was asked how I gave up smoking and I answered honestly: The Holy Spirit. She looked at me funny - she's not a believer. But I definitely could not have done it without Him. It is so true - if we are willing, He is able.
Wonderful piece!
Blessings, Lynda

Kenny Paul Clarkson08/31/04
Excellent story, Trish. You've come a long way (and have a long way to go). I took a look at your Web site. Very impressive. By the way, did you know you can use html to your on your personal profile? See http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=5680 for an example.

... and the comments box also reads html!!!
L.M. Lee09/01/04
Trish all I can say, is AMEN!!!!! Your story is an inspiration.
Roberta Kittrell09/03/04
Trish, thank you for sharing. Except for God, I might have wondered how much your life story mirrored mine.

I entered the seminary as an applicant with two Scriptural divorces.

Every time I returned home, I would be asked,
"Did you get your preacher feller yet?"

Though I had often experienced loneliness, I believed that that was a small sacrifice when compared to what the Master had paid for my freedom. I would reply, "No, I'm not at the seminary to find a preacher feller. God led me there to perfect and mold me into the instrument He wanted me to become."

I prayed to God that I, like Paul, would experience the sufficiency of God's Grace.

Around the bend from graduation, I met my
preacher feller--a retired pastor who said he not only loved me, but believed God wanted him to do all he could to free me up that God could do His major work through me. This he did for 16-1/2 years when cancer claimed his body and the Lord took him Home. He was my best friend, my mentor, and my beloved husband through Jesus Christ, Lover of My Soul. Bobbi K.
Barbara Thompson-Young09/25/04
Trish, I just discovered this article today...about a month too late to vote. I can't seem to remember to check the writing challenge...but even though this is late, know that I think it is a great story of the kindness of our God. He is so gentle, never demanding, always perservering in his dealings with us. HE NEVER GIVES UP!