The Reformation Years
by Debby Efurd
“Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.” –Mark 8:25
It is said one of the constants in life is change. Circumstances change from moment to moment. People come in and out of our lives in an instant. Likewise, God allows trials in our lives to “peel us like an onion,” and we end up being transformed.
Cary and I witnessed change in our own lives. We sought to forgive and to be forgiven. We wanted to make peace with our past.
Years later, after we started a business, celebrated graduations, endured job losses, and attended college and weddings, Cary and I received a call that my ex-husband, Rickey, was in the Veterans Administration hospital in Dallas. Rickey had just received a diagnosis of stage IV terminal cancer. Our son asked if Cary and I could find a pastor to go speak to his father.
We immediately set out on our mission to find a minister to speak with Rickey. We asked pastors at two churches and two separate ministries, but for one reason or another, had no success. So my husband, Cary, decided to visit my ex-husband, Rickey, himself. After all, he and Rickey had a common bond—me and our son. Over the course of a few weeks, Cary spent time with Rickey every day, bought him a Bible, prayed with him, read him Scripture, explained the Good News, and eventually led him to a renewed faith in Christ. Within weeks Rickey was using that same Bible to share his renewed faith with other patients at the hospital.
The cancer spread quickly. Within no time it was apparent the end of Rickey’s earthly life was coming to a close. That remaining time allowed me to make much-needed amends with Rickey for the hurt we had shared. For that I am grateful. One night Cary and I received a call that Rickey was in ICU. We rushed to the hospital to say our goodbyes.
Cary gave the eulogy at Rickey’s funeral. Let me repeat that . . . my husband gave the eulogy at my ex-husband’s funeral. How does that happen? That’s not something that happens naturally. Love won out.
That simple, selfless act eased the remorse of a dying man. That simple, selfless act gave an earthly father to a father-less son.
That simple, selfless act fast-tracked a healing process in our lives.
That simple, selfless act sparked a desire, a yearning deep inside both Cary and me, to be more like Him.
The next few years brought spiritual growth to both of us. We committed ourselves to work in various ministries, started tithing for the first time in our marriage, and devoted more time to prayer and Bible study. We witnessed growth for the good in us personally, professionally, and materially. I guess you could say once we started “eating the right spiritual diet,” you could see the rewards.
I was learning many lessons about being transparent in my own life, and I was coming to terms with the part I played in the decisions in my life. Instead of pretending events and decisions never happened, sweeping them under the rug, pretending someone else was to blame, I began taking ownership of them and readily admitting I had responsibility in and for them.
But . . .
I was still holding onto one part of my life I thought was impossible for even God to heal—my “secret.”
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