For the explanation of my current series, go to the first installment:

Out of Control:
A Christian Parent’s Victorious Struggle with Child Abuse

A Memoir by Kathy Collard Miller

Chapter 16

September 15th

Picking up the phone, I heard a woman’s voice say, “Kathy Miller, please.”

“That’s me.”

“Kathy, this is Joy from Christian Women’s Club. We’ve noticed how regularly you come to the monthly luncheons and wonder whether you’d consider serving as Nursery Chairman on our new board beginning in October. We’d really love to have you serve the Lord with us.”

“Oh, my. What would the position entail?”

“It means you would attend the luncheons to collect the money for the babysitters, and also come to the two other board meetings we have each month.”

“Oh, I see.” I was flattered they wanted me to join their board but I knew I couldn’t agree to that kind of a commitment with all the other things I had to do. I know what Larry will say if I take on another responsibility.

“Well,” I answered, “I’m really glad you thought of me. But… uh, I really don’t think I could at this time. My son who is only nine months old is still nursing so it’s hard for me to leave him for very long. And I’m involved in another organization too. So I don’t think I could. But I really do appreciate you asking me. I enjoy the luncheons so much and you women certainly do a great job of putting it together.”

Joy’s disappointed voice replied,”I’m sorry it won’t work out now, but do keep us in mind for the future, ok?”

We said goodbye.

I smiled as I thought about Joy’s offer. It would be exciting to be involved in something bringing women closer to Christ. The peace in my heart confirmed my decision. 

But within a few days, the thought of joining the board resurfaced in my mind. And even though I continued to bury the thought, it kept digging itself out of the hole. Besides, it’s too late now, they must have found someone else.

A week later, another woman from the club called. “Kathy, the Lord hasn’t filled that position yet. We’re wondering if he’s keeping it open for you.”

Unable to restrain myself, I giggled. “Well, as a matter of fact, I have been thinking about it. Can I call you back after I’ve prayed and also talked to my husband?”

The next morning I talked it over with Larry. “You really think this is what the Lord wants you to do?”

I was a little surprised when it seemed right to say, “Yes, I do.”

“Then it seems fine with me.”

Bursting with joy, I clapped my hands. “Thank you, Jesus, thank you. You want me to do it.”

I eagerly looked forward to the first board meeting where the new officers would be introduced. For several days before that, Mark began to refuse to nurse. He’s only nine months old. Darcy nursed till she was fifteen months. This seems so strange. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong happening though. He’s eating solid food well.

The morning of the board meeting, I stood at the sink washing the breakfast dishes when it hit me. Of course, this will help me leave him in the nursery longer for the luncheons and the extra meetings. Oh, Lord, your perfect timing. Thank you for this confirmation.

You are doing all this for me, aren’t you? I can’t believe it. You’re showing me over and over again you are specifically leading me. Your hand is upon me. Even though I’m a child abuser and I’m not in complete control, yet, you still love me. (Tweet that!) I’m important to you and you haven’t given up on me.

Tears brimmed in my eyes, then plopped into the sudsy dishwater. The realization of God’s love for me was overwhelming. “God loves me … again!” I cried out loud, hesitantly mouthing the word “again.”

He had never stopped loving me, but the light of that fact had been dissipated in my heart by anger and depression. But now the full strength of that light dispersed all the gloom. 

I love you, Lord. I love you so very much! Astonished, I paused in thought. I haven’t told God I love him for so long. It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt loved by him and felt loving toward him. But now I want to shout it from the rooftops. God has shown me how much he loves me and I love him, too. He wants me to serve him; he wants to guide me; he wants me to receive his love and hope.

I couldn’t wipe the joyous smile off my face for a week–and I didn’t want to. Darcy’s temper tantrums didn’t bother me. God loves me. Mark’s teething fussiness didn’t phase me. God cares for me. The messy house didn’t overwhelm me. God is guiding me.

Larry couldn’t believe the change. “What’s going on with you?”

I exclaimed, “Honey, God loves me. He’s shown me how much he loves me. Can you believe it?”

Larry’s quizzical look didn’t dilute my joy. “But I thought you knew he loved you.”

“Yes, but I had lost the joy of his love, of realizing he specifically loves and cares about my life. He has been showing me in many ways including having more patience. Even loving you.”

From Larry’s grin, I could tell he knew I was teasing. But there was more truth in it than he realized.