Saturday, March 31, 2012

40 Days...Day 7...Hidden Idols

Please watch this video. It stars me and my family!

Joshua 24:15 “But if you don’t want to serve the Lord, you must choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

We are seven days into this journey together and I feel like I am taking a huge jump back to the beginning with this post. I feel like I should have done this first, but yet, it fits perfectly now. I want to introduce you to my family and tell you a little about who we are. My family consists of my husband, Paul, and my 6 children: Rylan, Jaylen, Ethan, Addison, Brooklyn, and Lincoln. I am blessed with four wonderful boys and two adorable girls.

My husband and I have a love story that comes straight out of the movies. I should write Nicholas Sparks and see if he wants to buy our story and publish it, because I know it would sell out theatres. We met when we were in high school at a youth summer convention called Summer in the Son. I was only 13 years old. He was sitting on the ground with his friend Mike and was checking out girls as they walked passed. I just happened to be one of those girls that walked past him, but was completely unaware of what was going on. He pointed me out to his friend Mike and said, “That one!”

At this time, we were all heading into the main worship session for the evening. I was sitting with my youth group when a guy on crutches approached me. He explained to me that his friend had sent him to see if I would be interested in meeting him. He turned and pointed to the bleachers. All I could see was a short little boy waving his arms in the air like he was trying to flag down a Boeing 747. I kindly declined in my best good little Christian girl voice and said, “I am sorry, but I am not here to meet boys. I am here to grow closer to Jesus.”

After the session ended I was approached by another guy. He was wearing a charcoal grey sweater and a pair of jeans with brown Dock Martin shoes. He stood about 6’2” and had blonde hair that fell just below his ears and was wet like he had just taken a shower. He had the most piercing green eyes and sounded like he was from a different country. He said to me, “I am sorry my friend asked you to meet me.” My jaw hit the floor. I was stunned. Embarrassed. And had a complete change of purpose of why I was there.

See, I told you our story sounds like it belongs in a movie. Don’t worry. It gets better. He even proposed to me in New York City in the middle of Times Square.

I would love to tell you that my husband and I have been together since that very moment, but God had different plans. We did stay together for much longer than most long distance relationships do, but we were high school teenagers and having some one there every day seemed more important to both of us then continuing the relationship. So God sent both of us on separate paths. We always stayed in touch and wrote each other all the time. This was before the world of email and texting. (I am showing my age now.)

During our time apart, I experienced great heart ache and made some really poor choices. I fell away from the Lord and suffered the consequences. I dealt with family problems that led me to being kicked out of my home just before my 18th birthday. My relationship with God became a part of my distant past as I started partying and getting involved into things that I am not proud of. It wasn’t too long before I hit rock bottom. God brought me to the point that He knew I needed. I was at my knees pleading and begging for Him to take me back again and to love me and to forgive me.

Soon my life began to change, but for the good. It took time, but I slowly found myself again. The person I used to be. The person I wanted to be. The person I needed to be.

One day I received a call from my Mamaw….which reminds me that one day I need to blog about her because she is by far the most godly woman I have ever met and feel that I owe her my life. Mamaw says to me, “Jamie, you have to come over and listen to the answering machine. There’s a message on here for you.” I argued with her over why she couldn’t just put the phone down to the answering machine, so that I could just listen instead of driving over there in the cold, but she insisted that I needed to come over and listen.

I can still remember the feeling I had the moment the message was played. “Hello. This message is for Jamie Hiles. My name is Paul Halstead. I was a friend of hers in high school and this is the last number I have as a contact for her. If you could please give her the message, I would appreciate it.” At that very moment I began jumping up and down, screaming like a school girl. “DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?” My Mamaw replies, “Yes, I just wanted to see your face when you heard the message.”

My knight in shining armor had called.

I called him and learned that he had moved to Lynchburg, Virginia to start working with a Christian filming company. He was waiting tables at Logan’s Roadhouse. We spent the next several months messaging each other through AOL’s instant messenger when it was still only available in dial-up. Geesh is this blog entry dating my age. It wasn’t too long after that I decided to pack everything I loved and owned and moved it all to my own little apartment in Virginia.

My husband and I will be celebrating 10 years married in October of this year. But when people ask, I tell them, “We’ve been married for 10 years, but I have loved him 19 years!”

My husband is the high school Bible teacher and campus minister of Seacoast Christian Academy in the Regency/Arlington area of Jacksonville. We serve together as the youth and children’s pastors for the church that is affiliated there, Sanctuary-House of the Lord. My husband also leads the worship on Sundays and Wednesdays. Our church is alive and on fire for the Lord. We are raising up several little warriors for God’s Kingdom.

We use our home to allow people to come and stay with us and find refuge and strength, but most of all hope and a future. We have live and serve by the motto, “Love Jesus, Love Others”. We love Jesus with everything with have first and love every one else second.


L. West Photography said...

By the time I got to the end of the blog, tears were falling down my face... I just loooove when you got that phone call....God has a plan for each and everyone of us and he will reveal it when its time and in his time. This was so special and I do believe it could be a great movie....smiles

Mrs. Powers said...

Jamie, I am in tears! This makes me so happy and THIS love story needs to be published.... Your love for each other and the Lord is a breath of fresh air! Thank you for sharing =)

( I knew part of your story but the camp, the call, all of it pulled together... and your beautiful children)

Blessed to know you and call you a friend.