Six Years

What’s there to celebrate? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This Saturday on the Deeper Waters Podcast I will be interviewing……no one.

Why?

Well I’m essentially in charge of Deeper Waters and if I think there’s a good enough reason, I can take a Saturday off. In this case, I do think there is good enough reason. This Sunday, Allie and I will be celebrating six years of marriage together and if we do manage to do anything for our anniversary, it will likely be on the Saturday before. I have a commitment to my ministry and my podcast, but my first commitment is to my wife.

It’s really fascinating to think that we have been together for six years. Sometimes, Allie asks me what it was like when I was single or living with a roommate. Honesty, I cannot remember much about it. I really can’t. To think of life without Allie in it is unimaginable.

Yesterday I had to drive around town for some dental work. We found a dentist who will work with me on a sliding scale due to financial reasons and is a fellow Christian. I had to drive to another part of Georgia to get a form afterwards. I left that morning around 8:30 and didn’t get home until 6. So much throughout the day, I wanted to get home and just kiss my wife again. It had been so long.

That is still something I don’t take for granted. There’s a lesson that has been said that women need to learn that if you want a devoted husband, a nerd is often the most devoted. We will just be so stunned and amazed that you want to be with us that we never really stop celebrating it. I at this moment have a really good friend who has just popped the question (And she said yes!) and I am talking to him from time to time to tell him about marriage and advise him.

Marriage is a wonderful gift. There is something good in knowing you don’t have to go through life alone. I don’t have to come home to an empty house. In fact, there have been times Allie has been away and I have had to come home to an empty house. Those can be some of my most depressing times. I mean, maybe I can turn on Netflix a lot easier and not have to share things, but I would easily trade that all away just to be with Allie.

Allie has touched my life in so many ways and she is more beautiful to me today than she has ever been. I’m also proud of her work lately to overcome many issues in her own life and to get in better shape. Moving to Georgia I think has been a great thing for her. She has some great set of mentors around here and frankly, Pokemon Go has got her going outside the house and exercising.

Marriage is also transforming. You learn to die to yourself. You learn to put your desires second. Both of you give to one another and give selflessly. Nothing belongs to just you any more. In fact, that is so much true that not even your very bodies belong to just you. There is no place for selfishness here. Marriage is one place where the more you give, the more you get as well.

It’s also a place where you really learn just how selfish you are. You see what you do to your spouse sometimes and wonder “What the heck is wrong with me?” You realize what it means to say “Yes. This person made a commitment to me.” Allie and I in many ways both have trust areas to work on. For me, it’s the swimming pool. I’m terrified of water. Allie isn’t.

For me, the gift of Allie is Allie is one person I feel comfortable being myself around. This is one person who accepts me just as I am and I delight in being myself around her. Of course, while she accepts me as I am, she loves me too much to leave me as I am and wants me to be better and better every day.

So this Saturday, there won’t be a show. I hope we’ll be doing something special to celebrate. It’s a special time. I look forward to six more years. I look forward in fact to sixty years.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Was Jesus Scared?

Did our Lord have fear? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, my wife wrote an excellent blog about fear. In it, she raised the question about Jesus in the garden. Did Jesus have fear as he knelt and asked that the cup pass through Him? I think she handled it well from a practical perspective in that she did make sure to emphasize that Jesus was fully human. One of the great dangers of our modern age is that we have so emphasized the deity of Christ that we have often forgotten His humanity.

Still, what was going on in the Garden? Did Jesus have fear? If we look at the account in Matthew, we can see that Jesus had sorrow. Sorrow itself is not a sin to have. There are some things that should make us sad. We can know how sorrowful Jesus was since He was sorrowful to the point of death. This is the lowest despair you can be in.

And what was it that Jesus was not wanting to experience at this time? Now some might say the crucifixion, and of course we can certainly all agree that “Being crucified” is not on our bucket lists. Still, was Jesus wanting to avoid strong physical pain, even intense physical pain like a crucifixion, and that sorrow of undergoing that was what was ripping His soul apart?

I don’t think so.

I think what Jesus was not wanting to undergo at the time was in some sense a separation from the Father. Jesus did not want to have to experience bearing the sins of the world on Him. It’s a lesson to us that Jesus considered His relationship with the Father so serious that He did not want to in any way bear anything that would be contrary to that relationship. Now what exactly happened when that took place? That is for another blog and something I still think about, but today we are talking about the garden.

The difference in Jesus’s action was that He said not what He willed, but what the Father willed. Jesus wanted to avoid the cross and that was certainly not a wrong desire, but if it had to be that way, He was willing to go through with it. That is what makes the difference. It’s okay to not want to go through some things, but ultimately, what shows Jesus’s character in the face of all of this was that He chose the will of God over His own will.

Keep in mind also that Jesus is to be our example in the New Testament and we are to walk as He walked. That means that we are to choose the desires of the Father over our desires. Now that might be something we consider if we have to face something like being willing to die for Christ, but could it be the greatest challenge in the world is not dying for Christ but living for Him? If you are willing to say that you will not recant and be killed, your struggle ends pretty quickly. What about the struggle of today?

What about the struggle to be a good spouse to the person you’re married to? What about the struggle to raise your children in the fear of the Lord? What about the struggle to live within your financial means? What about the struggle to trust God in all things? What about the struggle to remove evil from your own heart?

Jesus in all of His life gave to the will of the Father every time and lived accordingly. Now to be sure, He did not face everything that we faced, but He is no stranger to temptation either and He knew what it meant. He also knew what it meant to succeed and calls us to do the same.

Jesus was willing to die for the will of God. The question for us today is if we’re willing to live for the same.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What is Oneness In Marriage?

What does it mean that the two become one? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

He sat across from me at the table as we had lunch together. He had met me to discuss a situation with me that had put my wife in a great deal of pain. He was a former professor of mine and a good man I knew I could trust and to be sure, I still know that I can trust him.

And so naturally, we talked about marriage, and this is a professor who has led marriage retreats. The professor told me about how he remembered when I came to Bible College. I was quiet, didn’t look people in the eye, rushed past quickly when spoken to, etc. Yes. I was a weird kid. (Well that much hasn’t changed.) What I think got me to come out of my shell was apologetics. I found something I was good at and a niche I could fill.  The professor told me before too long I was hanging out with professors in offices cutting up and laughing.

And he had to agree with me.

The change in marriage had been much greater than that.

You see, we were at lunch in fact, and in the past my diet had been much more restricted. It was Allie who introduced me to a new world where I could actually go into a restaurant and order items. Now there’s still a lot of work to be done, but that is huge progress.

If that was the only advancement, you might say that’s not much. Fortunately, it isn’t. I can definitely say the most important advancement is character and it makes me think a lot about what it means to be one with the woman I love.

Of course, we could think about sex. We should some. In fact, one thing I told my professor was that when it comes to respect, there’s nothing that makes me feel respected more. Little tip here ladies. Want to have a happy man? This area is of supreme importance to him. I don’t care if you’re doing everything else right. If this area is neglected, your husband will feel neglected

And when we talk about that, there is no doubt a oneness there. It is this oneness that is made clear by the sex act. You see, in true sexuality, you have to give ultimate trust. You bear all to another person and especially in the case of a woman, the body has to be made completely vulnerable. If there is trust there, this is not a problem. This is why I say it should be reserved for a marriage. Only marriage is a bond powerful enough to contain this powerful force.

Speaking as a man ladies, this activity will bond your man to you. There’s something magical and transforming going on. I really hesitate to use the word magical because it sounds so corny, but magical is what it really is. I cannot explain it, but I tell me men about to marry that their world will never be the same.

In that bonding, I contend that more than bodies are being united. There is somehow a transcendent oneness taking place. Marriage has been described as one soul in two bodies and I’ve come to believe it. The actions that affect my wife affect not only her, but they affect me, and what affects me affects not only me, but her as well. Her joy is my joy. Her pain is my pain.

A few years ago, my wife entered a beauty contest here in Tennessee. It was actually a beauty contest for young women with disabilities known as the Miss Shining Star Pageant. It was the first ever and my wife had entered, but with great hesitation. She was scared she’d lose and feel miserable. There was also a talent contest and she worked with a friend of hers on singing. Our families worked together to get her a good dress and my sister, a beautician, came down and helped her with her hair and make-up.

There were four divisions and Allie was in the final one, the one for the oldest, the official Miss Shining Star. Everyone had to answer a question and Allie’s was about what it was like to be a Mrs. since she was the only woman in the pageant who was married. However, as I watched, I noticed a trend. The person who won Miss Shining Star in each category had also won the talent competition.

Allie had not won the talent competition in her category.

Then came the time to draw the name.

And yes, it was Mrs. Allie Peters who won it.

As I write it, my eyes start tearing up. There was only one of us crying the tears of joy that night actually. That was me. I felt Allie being vindicated from all the remarks of everyone else and what they said and did. It was wonderful.

Then there’s the pain.

You see, when someone hurts Allie, I hurt as well. I have noticed that since our marriage, most of my friendly interactions are with other husbands. I still have friends who are single, but a dynamic changed. At one point, I realized it wasn’t just me and some people hanging out. It was Nick and Allie coming together.

So if someone hurts Allie, it hurts me. You don’t get us individually in a sense. What’s done to one is done to the other. The greatest pain I have in life is often knowing that Allie is in pain. The greatest joy I often have is knowing that Allie has joy.

This is also why divorce should be something we should be fighting against regularly. Divorce isn’t like removing a cancerous growth from your body. It should be seen as cutting off not just a minor part of you but in essence, cutting your body in half. It is a tragedy and a rejection. There are some times I am afraid it can be a necessary evil, but we should still even then see it as a tragedy. It is a tragedy that promises of love and fidelity made at an altar before God and men come to naught at any time.

When you make a covenant, you make it for life. When I talk to men who are struggling in their marriages, I always start at the same place. Did you make a covenant? That’s the foundation. Do whatever it is in your power to keep the covenant.

Once you make that covenant, do all you can to build it up. Many of you if you see me on Facebook know that every day aside from Sunday, I’m posting from “I Love my Wife” for Allie. It’s for a reason. If you love your spouse, make sure people who are your Facebook friends know it. Let it be something people talk about. As I’ve told Allie many times, it’s good to hear compliments on apologetics ability and such, but the best compliment I ever get any more is being told I’m a good husband to my wife.

Be building up that oneness. Of course there’s oneness in the bedroom, but it goes beyond that. It’s a beautiful cycle that should be taking place constantly. Marriage is hard work. It’s sacrifice. It’s death to self.

But it is so worth it.

I love my Princess. I wouldn’t want to be one with anyone else.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

The Struggle of Forgiveness

Is the way of Christ sometimes what you don’t want to do? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It’s no secret I’m a Christian. I think the claims of Christ are true and that He did rise from the dead. I think His way is the way of Wisdom. I uphold all that I believe that the Bible teaches. I try to be as staunch as I can in my moral stances on issues. If you follow the Christian path, you are following the right path.

And sometimes, I don’t want to follow it.

You see, I’ve written before on forgiveness such as will your murderer be in Heaven, a view on justice, and just forgiveness in general. We all think forgiveness is a really great idea. We do. The problem is we think it’s a really great idea for everyone else. It’s not so great when we have to do it ourselves.

I’m going to be a bit revealing in this blog, but I will not give names or details on the people involved and please do not ask for them. These are my struggles though I welcome you coming alongside of me in them. Generally, I tend to be an easy-going guy. If you say something that is hurtful to me, oh well. It doesn’t really bother me. I can take it. I can handle it. In fact, I will often take it as a compliment in the long run. Go ahead and try to say your worst. It really doesn’t get to me.

If you say something about my wife Allie, well that’s something different.

My wife does happen to be a very sensitive person to what people say. Of course, this is something she needs to work on, but it does not change the reality. The biggest way someone can hurt me honestly is to do something to hurt her. It doesn’t matter if the person intends it or not. If they hurt her, you can find my rage immediately increasing. Allie, a Dragonball fan, would tell you that she thinks I go Super Saiyan at that point.

You see, my wife is the most precious human being in my life. She is the one I have built my life with. She is the one I sleep next to every night. She is my confidante, my companion, my fellow traveler on this journey. There is no human being on this Earth that I have a better relationship with than my wife and there is no person on the planet who means more to me than she does. When I see in Scripture that we are one flesh, I think it includes what happens in the bedroom, but it goes beyond. Marriage has been described as one soul in two bodies. I can relate to that.

So to go after Allie is to go after me. Some of you have seen that happen on Facebook. Some of you have seen that when someone insults her, that I immediately jump in and start to deal with the problem. This is one time I break my rule about not posting on Facebook on Sundays.

As it stands right now, I have been thinking about some people who have done things to hurt Allie. This hurt has been severe and it is hurt that Allie is carrying with her to this day and when I see Allie in pain, I am tempted to enter my rage state once again. My Princess is in pain after all and she does not deserve that pain. I am not going to say my wife does everything perfectly. Of course not. I am going to say that I hate seeing her carry pain from other people in the past that she should not have to carry.

When this happens and I’m her husband and protector and the one who is supposed to take care of her, my tendency is to go out and rain down justice on the people who hurt her. I think this is the natural way men think and while I know that’s not really doable, the anger is still there. What happens then when I open my Bible? I see Jesus telling me I ought to forgive, and the standards are serious.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

1 John 4: 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Matthew 18: 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

These are serious passages.

Mark Twain said years ago that it wasn’t the passages in the Bible that he didn’t understand that bothered him. It’s the passages that he did understand. This is the same situation. In many ways, I honestly wish that these texts were not in the Bible right now. I wish I could pull a Thomas Jefferson in some ways and remove them. These texts go against everything that I experience when I’m angry at someone hurting Allie and challenge me on a route that I do not want to go down really.

Which means in some cases that no, I don’t want the way of Christ in my life.

And I think it’s important we be honest and admit that.

Anyone of us who says he always wants the way of Christ I think is a liar. They’re a liar because they go against it quite regularly in their own lives. We have all manner of sins in our lives that we struggle with. Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, pride, etc. Sometimes we do want the way of Christ in those. Sometimes we don’t.

So let’s get honest. Intellectually I do know the way of Christ is the best way. I do know His way works the better for my life and He works everything to my good. I know that everything that He does is meant to work towards my good. The intellectual awareness is there, but the emotional longing and the will to do so are not. In some ways, the anger is enjoyable to hold on to. Anger can be like a drug in that way. What am I to do on this case? This is my resolve.

First off, I wish to thank my friend Dr. Clay Jones for his advice in this area when I talked to him. One of the things to remember is that it’s not really bad to want justice. We should all want justice. Yet I am to think “What if I was the person in the situation? Would I want God to whack me upside the head and get my attention?” If it meant getting on good terms with God, yes I would. What’s wrong with praying that about the persons I have anger against? What’s wrong with praying that God gets their attention?

Second, the more you pray this kind of prayer, the more you will start to have some sort of empathy for the person. Even though I do not want to, I have to pray that God blesses the people who have hurt my wife in this way and in turn hurt me through their actions. Does that mean I am being insincere with my prayers? I don’t think so. It’s praying something and saying “God, my heart is not here right now, but I know that this is where it needs to be. Please help me to get my heart where it needs to be.” If we waited to do the right thing that was very difficult for us to do when we felt like it or when we wanted to, we would never do it. Part of the process of walking rightly is learning to do things when we don’t want to do them. It is denying our wants for the greater good that we know we ought to pursue.

Third, to forgive does not mean to forget. It does not mean that I treat things like they never happened. It could be that I might want to keep people that hurt Allie far away from her until they prove themselves worthy of her and earn my trust there again. If they do not, I won’t let them near her any more.

Fourth, I have to learn to really deny my own feelings and experiences on the matter. This is also where I have to trust in those who are outside of me. I mentioned Dr. Clay Jones earlier in this post. There have been others who have been friends in this journey and know all that is going on and have provided the advice. My wife and I have found that Celebrate Recovery has been quite helpful. Allie gets the help she needs from a group and I get to go to a family support group.

Fifth, I do have to realize the place Jesus is to have in my life. When I am caught in the vortex, what I am dealing with is more present in my thoughts than Christ is. This is something that I have to change in order to get past what I deal with. I have said before that one of the greatest helpers you can have when you are going through a crisis is to have good theology. If we could all realize how we are seen through the eyes of God for just one moment of time, we would never see our lives the same way.

Forgiveness is the better way however despite what I feel at the time because forgiveness releases me from the anger. The anger can be like a cancer tearing away at one’s soul ripping out some of the humanity that is there. The people involved that I am angry with don’t even have to know about the situation, but they are getting free rent space in my head and they are getting a power over me that they do not deserve to have.

And you know what? This also works out better for Allie. Allie has her own emotional turmoil. How is it going to help her to know she can handle hers if I do not handle mine? How am I going to tell her to stop giving people free rent space in her head if I don’t stop giving them free rent space in mine? How am I going to tell her to not listen to her emotions and feelings if all I do is listen to my emotions and feelings?

Ultimately, this is the way of Christ. It is to die to ourselves. Many of us would rather do anything, including go through death itself, rather than to die to ourselves. It is a constant struggle to bow down to Jesus and say He is Lord and say that come what may, we are going to follow Him.

It is a struggle, but it is not optional.

And if this is also you right now, you’re not alone. I’m a fellow traveler. If you ever read this blog and think I’m a super Christian who never has these struggles, well you’re just wrong. I have flesh and blood like you do and if you cut me, I will bleed like you will. I have to learn to walk the better way. It is better for myself, better for my Princess, and most honoring to my Lord Christ.

The Kingdom is worth everything.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy 25th Princess

How now shall we live? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I held off on writing this blog today because I wanted it to be a surprise. You see, as many of you know, my family doesn’t exactly have a lot of money. My wife Allie was quite sure I would not be able to do anything to celebrate her 25th birthday today, and she was quite depressed about that. I took her that evening to the local mall where a friend wanted her to go shopping. Well, that was the story at the time. In reality, that’s the same mall where our church meets us and it was at that mall that we had a secret surprise party waiting for her. She loves me now, but she’s also a bit upset I left her miserable throughout the day.

It really is good to be alive. Birthdays are a reminder of that, but they can also be a time to ask what we are doing with the time that we do have. The time that we have been given is a gift, and are we really using it on the most worthwhile pursuits? Oh I know there is time for fun and frivolity, but we have to ask what life really is all about. When we stand before God, we will have to give an account of all that we have done. In fact, we’re told we will give an account for every word and action and if more of us spent more time thinking about that, we’d probably take matters a whole lot more seriously. Let’s face it. Many times, the last thing we take seriously is God.

Yet if we celebrate our birthdays, does not God celebrate them more? Does not the giver of life and the source of life and the God of life Himself celebrate life? There is a point where our culture is very self-centered where we talk about how much God loves us over and over, but we are right in saying that He does. The place we stop is usually we see that as something we joyfully receive instead of realizing that we are to respond with our very lives. Our lives should be seen as examples of the love of God, and not love in the sentimental touchy-feely sense, but in the idea of a seeking of the good. Marriage is a great example of this. Marriage is one relationship where both persons are to live for the good of the other and when both do this, both will be pleased.

Birthdays are some of the days we take to celebrate each other because while we give gifts on that day to the person, we do so because we believe that the person is already a gift to us. We want to celebrate them and their life. I am thankful today for 25 years of life that Allie has been given and I’m thankful that I have known her for so many of those years. I look forward to all that the future has for her. Love your Princess. Happy Birthday!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Five Years

What does a man learn after five years? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I know my wife has the fruit of the Spirit of self-control.

After all, as of this moment, I’m still alive and writing this blog. Somehow, she has not managed to kill me yet.

But it’s been five years now. As I write this, it’s around 11 AM EST and I’m remembering it was technically 2 PM EST when our wedding started. It’s hard to really think about what goes on on the wedding day. I just remember being so rushed. I even took an Ambien the night before and got an hour of sleep in and we have a picture of Allie chugging a five hour energy drink in the bridal room. I was traditional to the end and didn’t see her in her dress until the doors opened, but I remember one of my friends coming in who was a groomsman and telling me “You have no idea what you’re missing!” Our service went with no problem and yes, even the Superman theme playing as we walked down the aisle together. (And contrary to what you might think, it was HER idea.)

My best man wrote an incredible toast that had me laughing my head off during the reception. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to catch the garter at the wedding and the youngest guy trying to catch it did. Sorry friends. You’re going to be waiting a long time it looks like. (Meanwhile, it’s my understanding that the lady who caught the bouquet was engaged and did get married next.) Needless to say, Allie and I were also traditional in waiting for marriage, so yeah, we didn’t stay long at that reception.

Our honeymoon was spent at Ocean Isle Beach. It’s incredible that Allie got me into the water much further than normal in the ocean and in the swimming pool. This is incredible because honestly, I’m scared of water in that capacity. I don’t have a clue how to swim and I’m terrified of going underwater, but hey, miracles happen.

But after all of that, comes the part of learning to live together. So what has been learned? Over the past five years?

Marriage can be hard work. Recently, some of you may note that a prominent internet blogger responded to a post I wrote on him concerning polyamory. I plan on a much fuller response, but I remember seeing that a relationship should not be hard. After all, friendship isn’t hard. (Though I contend that it often is. It’s extremely hard on me when I see my friends doing very foolish things.) Why should marriage be hard? Well that depends on how you view marriage. If you view marriage as a relationship that can be ended at any time and is not a lifelong commitment, well no, it’s not hard. If you view marriage as a place where you can get your needs met, well no. It’s not going to be as hard either. Of course, it will be hard on the other person if they view marriage in either way, but if you don’t, yeah. No biggie.

But then, you have to ask if it’s really marriage.

As I said yesterday, marriage is all about the death to self. Marriage is also about your sacred space area. It’s about viewing your spouse as someone sacred and treating them as if they were sacred. Remember in the Old Testament about how elaborate the system was to carry the Ark of the Covenant? After all, the Ark represented where God dwelt with His people. You know what? You and your spouse if you’re Christians both represent where God dwells with His people. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. You really matter body and soul.

In fact, I’m currently working at this moment on a theology of sex for Christians and I’m considering having my Master’s research program be on the resurrection and sexual ethics. So that means in both cases, in preparing for this, I’m having to do a lot of thinking and reading and studying about sex. Yep. I know. I really suffer for Jesus. You all just pray for me in the midst of this trial and tribulation of having to actually spend time studying sex.

This also brings to mind what I’ve heard Robert Gagnon say that makes me treat things so much more seriously. What you do to yourself, you do to your spouse. It’s tempting to act like each of us is our own when it comes to marriage. We’re not. Allie’s body belongs to me, for instance. Well geez Nick. That sounds awfully sexist. If it ended right there, you would be right, but my body also belongs to her. When the Bible says we are one flesh, it really means that. That’s one reason marriage is a lifelong covenant. Cutting off one person from the relationship is like cutting your own body in half.

It also means you share pain and you share pleasure. Allie’s pain is my pain. Her pleasure is my pleasure. My pain is her pain. My pleasure is her pleasure. It’s important to know that that extends however to if it’s in line with what God says. If her pleasure is something that is hurtful to her, then it is pain to me. The same goes with me. It really has to sink in what that one flesh means.

In fact, in some marriage ceremonies of the past, the bride and groom would say to each other “With my body, I thee worship.” Marriage is in essence you and your spouse sacrificing yourself to one another. The thing is, when you sacrifice, you actually find your joy, because you get the joy of your spouse and that joy becomes your joy. This is one reason sexuality is meant to bring a lot of joy. The woman gives a sacrifice in which she has to make herself totally vulnerable to her husband. The husband makes a sacrifice in which he takes his strength and in essence, gives his life to the woman.

Marriage can be hard because we all look out for #1, but the truth is when we die to ourselves, we find our real joy. It’s odd, but I think there was someone years ago who made a similar statement about dying to yourself. Maybe he was right on something….

And you know what? That joy is intense. I’ve pointed to the joy of sexuality already and in many ways, it’s hard to get more intense than that, but I would let people in on a secret that I think is true. Intimacy is better than sex. It’s just that for a man, sex leads to the best intimacy that there is. It’s not always the same for a woman. Of course, a woman does and should enjoy the sexual aspect, but it won’t necessarily be in the same way.

But there is much joy also in the day to day little things. There’s joy in sharing a bed with someone in the evening and knowing they’ll be there when you wake up. There’s joy in riding in a car often with someone else. There’s joy in going to a church service together. There’s joy in having time spent with other couples. (It amazes me that before I married, most of my time with others was with single friends and now most of it is with other married couples.) There’s joy in sitting down and watching a favorite TV show together. There’s joy in the evening time of praying and reading the Bible together.

And when you suffer, you don’t truly suffer alone. (Well with some exceptions. Allie does like me in quarantine if I have the flu) If one of us is in the hospital, the other is right there. The pain is shared. You know that there will be someone there to take care of you. You know you have someone you can go to for advice and comfort. There have been times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and just not feeling the best and realized that just my wife putting her hand on my and giving me some light assurance is all that I need to calm down again.

Marriage is transforming, but like the grace of God, it will only transform us insofar as we change in response to it. (Please don’t turn this into a debate on free-will either. I have zero interest in that.) That change is painful sometimes, but it’s also for the best. Yet we can be an inspiration to one another if we are willing. Allie has inspired me to change in many ways for the better. I hope I’ve done the same for her. Many of you could even attest who knew me before Allie came along to the remarkable change you’ve seen in me since she’s arrived. Change like I said can often be painful, but we can each serve as an instrument to the holiness of our spouse.

By the way, this change that I’ve spoken about, the Bible speaks about a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the church and the wife loving her husband as the church loves Christ. That requires both be self-sacrificing and also, this is one reason we do not change the definition of marriage. Changing the definition of marriage changes the Gospel. If you’re a non-Christian, you can say “So what?” to that, but if you’re a Christian, you should take that extremely seriously.

It’s also why marriage is 100-100. We can often look at what’s going on in marriage and say “It doesn’t work. It’s like saying a sledgehammer doesn’t work to drive in something if you just use it to lightly tap. The fault isn’t marriage. The fault is the people. No one truly gives 100-100, but everyone should strive to and if we’re Christians, we should know that that is the path to true happiness. Our Lord calls us to lay down our lives if we need to for the Gospel. If we do not show that love to our spouse, who we have seen, how can we show it to Jesus, who we have not seen?

In light of that, marriage has for me been a time of learning. I get to have a big mirror put up before me every day that says “See? This is what you are like.” I have spent a lot of time giving and receiving forgiveness, but most of it has been receiving. There’s still a lot to do and if you’re doing marriage right, it should make you strive to be more holy and live a life pleasing to God.

So in the end, love to my Princess. It’s been a good five years and I hope we grow more in holiness for when year ten rolls around.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Thoughts for Valentine’s Day

What makes this holiday so special? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Admittedly, I wasn’t always a fan of Valentine’s Day. This was especially so back when I would have joined in with others and said “Singles Awareness Day.” As one can imagine, that has changed. At the same time, I understand the longings of those who are single and are not happy being single and want to be married. There are times in the church we look down on people who are single as if there was something wrong with them. (Was there something wrong with Paul and Jesus?) Some people just don’t want to marry. God bless them. Some do, and for those who do, we should not look down on them but help them be the best future husband or wife they can be and perhaps help introduce them to someone who would be a great spouse for them. After all, my wife and I were introduced to one another by a mutual friend.

And I want to stress to singles wanting to marry that a real relationship is what you want. A friend of mine recently sent me a link to an event called cuddlecon, which will involve numerous people getting together and cuddling. As I pointed out to him, nothing beats the reality. There is something very special about snuggling up with your loved one perhaps to watch a movie at home or just lying in bed at night. It is possible to cuddle together without sex for instance and still have it be completely intimate. (Although the man sure won’t complain if it leads to sex.)

In fact, just this morning, when I woke up I got my Bible after a prayer and had started reading when I felt Allie’s arm go around me some. I was surprised by this and said the first thing that came to my mind honestly. “Have a bad dream?” “No, Just wanted to.” It’s been hours later and I still remember that event so ladies, keep in mind your husband doesn’t always need the full deal for support and encouragement. Just a little bit can keep him going. (And in fact, it could be to your advantage to tease him a little bit, though remember if you tease, you must eventually deliver.)

Love like this has been one of the most life-changing events for me and I am sure many people have noticed changes that I have not. My work in ministry I think has improved as I have someone who affirms me constantly. I can safely say that the more I am affirmed, the better I am able to do what I do. I had no idea when I got married that the things that mean so much to me now would in fact mean that much to me.

On the other hand, there’s also the notion of sacrifice. I find myself giving and giving and giving and if I give so much that I bring a bit of joy into Allie’s life and see her truly happy, then I celebrate with that. It’s also found in doing things that are just good manners. It means opening the car door for her. It means pulling out the chair for her and not sitting down until she sits down. It means (GASP!) helping out with housework at times.

Why do it? Why do you give everything to your spouse? The reality is they give everything to you. Through covenant, they have committed their lives to you. Through physicality in the sexual union, they give their whole bodies to you. They make a vow to not see any other person in a romantic light and not be loving in that way with anyone else. They are to run from even the thought of that.

And that running can be hard at times. This I think is especially so for guys who are visually oriented. Of course, women see bodies on men they can desire, but men are more notorious for this. We are more like microwaves. Turn us on and we are ready to go and it doesn’t take much to turn us on. That is a great desire in us and it must be controlled and directed to the only one in our lives who truly deserves it, our wife.

Women give also. Women make themselves entirely vulnerable to men, who are usually more powerful than they are, at least physically. If you’re also the husband of a wife who you’ve had a child with, consider what she has gone through for you. Oh of course women can long to be mothers and want that, but that does not mean they enjoy the process. There is a period of up to nine months of vomiting, strange food cravings, pain, emotional mood swings, etc. Then of course, there’s the actual childbirth itself. I have told Allie before that I am sure if we ever get to that point, it will be incredibly difficult for me. I mean there will be all the crying, moaning, groaning, screaming, yelling, and on top of that, I’m sure she’ll be making a lot of noises too.

Women are the ones who often leave their own families and come to form a new relationship. In the case of Allie and I, many of you know that Allie was practically fresh our of high school when I found her and I had been already living on my own and living with a roommate both for some time and then Allie and I fell for each other. Her parents had no objections whatsoever to the relationship and when I asked them for her hand in marriage (Men. If possible, always do this) they happily consented. Yet I had to take her away from her family. She had to get used to a new identity and a new way of living that was totally foreign to her.

One way she got used to a new identity was when we got her a new cell phone after we married. She was leaving a recording for her voice mail message and said “Hi. You’ve reached Allie Licona.” I caught her on it instantly and then she realized what she said. Her name is Peters now after all. It’s not that the Licona family doesn’t matter. Of course it does. It’s that she is part of a new family unit.

A new family unit. Isn’t that something magical about the whole thing? You see, true love is creative, and one thing it creates is new family units. Even if a family for whatever reason does not have children, there is still a new family unit involved. These are two people that share no blood relation to each other, but have a relation that could be tighter than any blood relation.

That love transforms and yes, love is transforming. It makes you into something else and something for the better. The Apostle was right. Love builds up. That’s what is to happen when marriage is done best. Both parties are to work to sacrifice for the other. It’s fine to know what makes you happy, but don’t seek your happiness first. Seek the happiness of your spouse first. Odd thing. If both of you are doing that, and both of you knows what makes the other happy, well guess what. You’ll both be happy.

And remember, like all other loves on this Earth, marital love in all the ways its expressed is meant to be a shadow of what is to come. Don’t make your spouse an idol. Only God deserves the highest place. For you men, especially those of you who are planning a very romantic Valentine’s Evening, remember that what you experience even in the bedroom together is meant to be just a tiny clue of what is coming. You can picture God saying “If you think this is so awesome, wait until you’re in my presence.”

So this year, yes, I do celebrate Valentine’s Day. I hope you will be as well and even if you are not married, celebrate where you are in life and give thanks. God can use you where you are just as much as He can use married people were they are.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right-Wing Christians Do: Part 9

We are going to let Allie conclude her series today.

We are at the last part of debunking the arguments in the articlehttp://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C2 .  9. Trying to suck vulnerable people into your poorly researched worldview is evil.

I’m going to go ahead and quote the first paragraph of this part of the article:

“It’s one thing to latch onto the supernatural worldview you were raised in or the one that first triggered for you some radically cool temporal lobe micro-seizure or similar altered state. But then failing to do your homework before using your position of adult American privilege to foist your religion on kindergarteners, or families who live in desperate poverty, or people who just got hit by a natural disaster—in other words people who trust you because you are older or richer or more powerful or have more access to the very information that you have failed to use—now we’re talking about a violation of ethics. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.”

Woa now!  Altered state?  That may be how it is for the Word of Faith movement but as for most Christians, it’s not an altered state!  We’re not on drugs!  We’re not high, in fact, we have many lows!  It’s not easy being a Christian!  People think it’s easy to be a Christian but it’s not, and I think that’s part of the reason why so many people leave the faith.  They expect everything to go well and hardly any problems to head their way, but that’s just not the case at all.  We face many obstacles, many obstacles that people who aren’t following Christ don’t face in fact.  Christ never promised life would be easy following him, he instead said it would be harder when following him:

(John 15:18 NLT) “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.”

Failing to do our homework?  Writer (of the article), I’d say you’ve failed to do much of your homework and have done mostly personal complaints instead of actually researching the other side.  I have both read your sources and defended the Christian side giving Biblical and outside sources.  As for the American privilege, everyone has that.  Living in the US is a privilege, whether you think so or not.  Yes, this country has it’s problems, but what country doesn’t?  One of the greatest privileges of this country that many countries don’t have is the freedom of religion and speech.  Writer, just as you have the freedom to antagonize us, we have the freedom to worship the Living God and tell the truth about him.  In the US, everyone has the opportunity of getting a job and working hard.  Now, in this economy, it is much harder.  But it isn’t easier for a Christian to make money or get a job than it is for someone who isn’t a Christian to do so.  Everyone has an equal chance if they try and work hard.  The problem is the economy has made it so difficult and the government has babied people so much that people are either too hopeless or too lazy to try.  There are people who go on Welfare just so they don’t have to get a job and that’s abusing the system!

We are to help people in poverty and who are hit by distasters.  We are to educate our children, just as much as everyone else.  The problem is, you don’t want us to do it the way we are supposed to do it!  If you knew the truth about something, and you knew it gave people hope, wouldn’t you want to tell it to people?  Then why prevent us from telling this truth to people?  As for education, there are a lot of people who say the US was never a Christian nation.  This is nonsense!  Take a look at this website that discusses the earliest Bibles published in the US (http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/colonial-bibles.html).  Even Congress had produced Bibles for our schools, people in Congress such as George Washington and you know those people who were so anti-religious like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.  They all endorsed these Bibles to be published at every home and school in the US!  As for being, older, richer, and more powerful.  I’m almost twenty-four years old, so I’m not old.  My husband and I are broke and without jobs, as well as disabled, so we are not rich, but poor.  I have no power in any sense.  I have a brain injury and only a high school diploma, yet I have done better research than you’ve done.  All you have done is throw empty accusations with little to no facts behind them.  Moving on now.

The next paragraph the writer says is:

“Some reader is bound to say that without God anything goes and so as a nontheist I have no basis for calling anything evil. A short snarky retort has been making its way around the internet: If you can’t tell right from wrong without appealing to an authority or a sacred text, what you lack is not religion but compassion. The long answer, meaning the evidence showing we really can recognize evil and good without gods, is available in neuroscience, sociology, developmental psychology, and in the lives of individual atheists including the Dalai Lama.”

I’ve got one, single, verse to answer that paragraph for you, Romans 2:14 (NLT) says:

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.

So yes, you do know God’s laws like you shouldn’t murder or steal because God wrote that in our hearts.  It has nothing to do with how great we are, but because of how great heis.  Just because you know his laws instinctively doesn’t mean there is no God though.  You can breathe air, but just because you can’t always feel it or see it doesn’t mean there isn’t any air.

The writer concludes by accusing Bible-believing Christians to be trying to go back to the Iron Age.  We’re not trying to go back to the Iron Age.  We don’t want to go back in time!  We want to move ahead in the future as much as you do!  The difference is we have a different path to the future than you do.  Your path leads to more destruction and we’re trying to steer you away from that path!  We see the path you’re heading because some of us have actually gone down that path and know what’s down there.  We hate watching people destroy themselves and God hates it even more than we do!  You are his precious children!

(Ezekiel 18:23 NLT) “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.”

We have to tell the truth!

(John 8:32 NLT) “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Be set free from your bondage and your destructive paths!

 

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right Wing Christians Do Part 7

Do Right Wing Christians want to abuse homosexuals? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Today, I turn the reins of the blog black over to my wife Allie. Please let her know what you think.

We have arrived at part 7. Abusing and killing queers is evil.  (http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C2)  To me, I find this honestly kind of silly to even discuss, but apparently it’s an important one to discuss.  We all know abusing and murdering any person is evil, and that is why I honestly find this rediculous that we need to talk about this.  But let’s get to this:

So first the article complains about these particular verses:

(Romans 1:26-27 KJV)  “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”(

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 KJV with their emphasis) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

(1 Timothy 1:9-10 KJV with their emphasis)  “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” 

(Jude 1:7-their emphasis) “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

Apparently these verses are called “clobber verses.”  I don’t understand why they’re called clobber verses.  No where in these verses do I see anything about “clobbering.”  I don’t see anywhere about beating homosexuals and killing homosexuals.  All these verses are doing is explaining that homosexuality is as much of a sin as any other sin.  It’s just saying it as it is.  You don’t like it’s a sin, then tough!  I’m sure when you’re angry you wish it was okay to murder sometimes, but you know that’s wrong.  Just because you want to do it doesn’t make it right!  The writer of the article says

“For much of American history, the common term for queer was the biblical “sodomite,” implying that gays are so offensive to God that they pose a threat to society as a whole.”

Yea, homosexuality is offensive to God, just as offensive as any other sin!  As I have explained in another part of this series in responding to this article, I have struggled with bisexual tendancies.  Whether you struggle with tendancies like me, or you have it full-blown, it is a struggle, just as every sin is a struggle that we deal with.  It makes it even harder when everyone around us are telling us, “It’s fine!  It’s just how you are!  You’re born that way!  It’s normal!  Be who you are!”  People, I’m not asking you to not be true to yourself, but your sexuality doesn’t make you who you are!  It’s a part of you, but it’s not your identity!  It’s like my Asperger’s Syndrome.  It’s a part of me, but it’s not my identity!  I have AS, but it’s not me!  You are born into a sinful world and in this sinful world you are exposed to sin constantly.  Your innocence is continually being stripped away – some are stripped away quicker than others due to abuse.  As much as you may not want to hear it, you were born with a sin nature.  We were all born with a sin nature.  Our sin natures are different, but we all have them – even Christians.  Some lean on sexual sins (homosexuality, pedophilia, even cheating on a marital spouse), others lean on kleptomania (stealing), even others lean on hatred and murder.  What do you think addictions are?  They are placing things above God.  I have a very addictive personality and get addicted to things very easily.  I have struggled with different addictions for years (from pornography to eating constantly).  But I read something today that said, “Jesus is a friend of sinners.”  It’s so true!  I have friends, but I have no greater friend than the Lord of the universe!  He is my truest friend as cliche as that sounds.  I know if everyone abandoned me – my friends, my husband, my family, I would still have my God by my side, and he’s never going to leave me nor forsake me.  So yes, homosexuality is offensive to God, but so is every other sin!  All of my sins are just as offensive to God as all of your sins!

The writer then says, “Thanks to Christian missionaries, African and Latin American queers also have now lived for centuries now under the threat of violent death.”  Not all Christian missionaries are supporting this, I would go as far as saying very few Christian missionaries support this.  Christians who are out to kill homosexuals have their own agenda’s and a real problem with hate – and that in itself is a sin.  God doesn’t want a homosexual killed just as much as he doesn’t want anyone else killed.  The majority of Christians don’t want homosexuals killed.  Christians may not support homosexuality, but they do not wish for them to be killed.  Christians who kill homosexuals are shameful and I believe are even more responsible for their sin than those who don’t follow Christ because they know the truth; they are to show the love of God!  Murdering people is NOT showing God’s love!  As Christians, we are to be ambassadors of Christ, we are to represent him, and if we kill someone due to hate, we are even more responsible than those who don’t follow Christ!

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, it’s okay to hate the sin of homosexuality.  BUT to hate the sinner, the people, the homosexuals, this is WRONG!  Please, I beg of you, show God’s love to them, not hate.  You don’t have to support their lifestyle to show his love.  In fact, don’t!  Make it clear this is against the Word of God!  With all the lies the world tells them, they need to know the truth!  But do it all in love.  Show compassion to them.  They are as human as you and I are.  They hurt just as much as you and I hurt.  Christ died to save them just as much as you and I.  His blood was shed for them just as much as you and I.  Show God’s love to them.  Be the light to them.  For all you know, they may have no other light but the one you show them.  Our next part will be 8. Destroying Earth’s web of life and impoverishing future generations is evil.

 

 

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Brush With Death

What’s it like to come close to death and can you find hope afterwards? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

 

Many of you liked what I said about the death of Robin Williams. Today, I’m letting my wife Allie share some of her thoughts from a personal perspective.

 

I’m not sure if this is appropriate timing, but I feel like it might be a good time to share this.  This is my story of my brush with death.

 

Five years ago, I was dealing with some heavy depression.  I’ve always delt with heavy depression, but it reached a peak after a failed relationship with a guy I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.  I felt like the greatest thing I could do for the world…was for me to not be in it anymore.  Besides…who would care?  Who would miss me?  I mean sure, my family would be upset, but surely they’d move on eventually right?  Everyone dies after all…just not by their own hands.  Of course, this is just how I thought.  I thought if I left no one would care or miss me except for my family and they’d only be sad for a little while, but would eventually get over it.  But the thing with suicide that is different from any other kind of death is that the family and friends will wonder, “How could I have missed the signs?  Could I have prevented them from doing this?  Could I have even been the cause of them doing this?”

So I grabbed whatever medicine I could.  I couldn’t grab them all because some of them were with my parents in their bathroom in the bedroom.  I remember chugging all those pills.  It was midnight.  After I took all the medicine, I called the guy and told him what I had done…he hung up on me.  I started writing out a note.  As I was writing it, my vision started become a little blurred and I became dizzy.  Suddenly my dad opens my bedroom door.  He asks me “What are you doing still up?”  It must’ve been between 1:30-2:30am at this point.  I told him I was just up writing something then I’d go to sleep.  I gave him one last look and told him I loved him and gave him a hug…thinking, “This is the last time I’m ever going to see my dad…he doesn’t even suspect a thing.”  He said he loved me too and left my room.  Even as I type this I’m getting teary-eyed.  When I looked in the mirror, I saw that I had four arms.  I knew this was going to be a long night.  At around 3am, it started getting really bad.  I couldn’t write anymore.  The room was moving.  The floor was moving, the walls were moving.  There were different colors.  I started getting a headache and there was a ringing in my ears.  I had to crawl to my bed.  Finally, I reached my bed.  As I layed flat on my bed, as still as I could, my feet felt like they were being lifted up, yet I could see they were still on my bed.  I turned off the light next to my bed.  My heart was racing faster than it’s ever raced before.  It literally felt like it was going to come right out of my chest!  I started having mild seizures.  My body would suddenly start seizing on its own every now and then, but then it would stop.  I was in a constant sweat, yet I had the chills.  I was cold…yet hot.  I was scared…I had heard that people who end their lives by their own hands go to hell because they didn’t trust God.  I don’t believe this theory today, but at the time, it was a scary thought.  I was praying and asking God to forgive me and asking God to please let me be with Him instead of being in hell.  I also asked God to be with my family and let them know they weren’t to blame for my death.  I had talked to a friend for a few hours until she absolutely had to go.  That’s when I started praying and prayed all night.  Then 8am comes.  I never fell asleep and I had still been praying.  My mom opens the door.  She says, “Allie, where is your brother’s medication?”  My vision wasn’t blurry anymore but I had a hard time focusing on her when I looked at her.  The first thought that came to mind was, “Why am I not dead yet?”  Then the next thought was, “I’ve been caught.”  I told her, “Look in my bathroom.”  She goes in my bathroom and I hear her yell my dad’s name, “Allie tried to kill herself!”  As I type this I feel nauseated, I can still taste the poison I put in my body.  I couldn’t really get out of bed.  My dad had to help me walk.  I couldn’t walk on my own.  The seizing had stopped.  My dad drove me to the hospital.  My mom told me she fainted in the bathroom.  We get to the hospital, and I feel terrible for the poor lady working at the front desk.  As we were talking with her, I just started vomitting.  I vomitted all over her and her nice suit.  My dad just barely missed my vomit.  I’ve been told my eyes were darting all over the place.  I was admitted into the hospital in-patient.  I was poked with needles seemed like every 10-15 minutes day and night for three days straight.  My heart was still racing rapidly.  Every now and then parts of my body would start shaking on their own, like my arm or my hand, or even a single finger, but then it would stop.  My parents would visit often.  They’d bring me Wendy’s since I hated hospital food.  I couldn’t sleep, partially because of the IV that was in my wrist.  Every time I started to doze off the darn thing would start beeping!  I had to drink this weird cranberry juice that had some medicine in it that would make me go to the bathroom and man did it make me go!  Even while I was in the hospital though, I had some crazy hallucinations.  The screen that monitored my heart I thought had games on it.  I thought the bed was moving and I even thought there were camera’s on the bed!  I thought I heard drs whispering about me behind my back.  I thought I had memories of the hospital, even though I had never been there before.  I thought I heard a flute being played.  Then the craziest one was I thought the room I was in was infested with red ants!  Red ants crawling everywhere!  The walls, ceiling, furniture, everywhere!  They’d bunch up in certain places and if I looked up at the ceiling, they’d fall on me!  But if they fell in my mouth, they tasted like paper.  I got so scared, it all seemed so real!  I had to talk to a neurologist and they had to reasure me what I was seeing, hearing, feeling, and even tasting weren’t real.  I heard my dad even cancelled a debate or speaking engagement he had because he wanted to stay with me during that time.  I had to have help going to the bathroom since I was hooked up to an IV and so many other stuff.  I was absolutely miserable.  I was really mad at God too.  I mean, I had no intention on surviving.  I had no intention on ending up in a hospital.  I also knew after doing a stunt like this, I’d end up going to another hospital I feared even more than going to hell – a mental hospital.  I had to go to one years prior for self-mutilation and it was one of the worst experiences I ever had.  Sure enough, a lady came in and spoke with my mom and me and said, “We have a nice hospital your daughter can be transferred at from here.”  I ended up going there afterwards.  As they were getting me off the hospital bed, I still had to have help because I was so weak.  They loaded me into the ambulance and transferred me to what I thought was going to be my worst nightmare – the mental hospital.  I was so exhausted…after having not slept for four days/nights straight.  When I got to the mental hospital, I barely stayed awake until finally I asked, “Can I go to bed?”  They thought it was odd of me asking, but when I told them, they were okay with it.  I finally got my first night of sleep that night.  They came in first thing in the morning and took some blood only one time the whole time I was there.  It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  It wasn’t like the first mental hospital I had been to prior.  The staff was nice and it was kind of comfortable there.  I was in-patient there for four days.  I was then treated out-patient for a couple of weeks.  While I was there, I was still angry with God for allowing me to live, but I tried to make the best of it.  I was so hung over the guy I tried to end my life over, I thought, “If I get better, maybe he’ll take me back!”  I didn’t realize at the time I had only been a guinea pig to him the whole time – he had never given a care about me.  While I was being treated out-patient, I got an e-mail from someone saying, “I heard about you from (family friend) and heard you needed a friend.  I’m Nick Peters.  If you want to talk I’m here.”  I was intrigued to say the least.  So we corresponded back and forth.  I’ll be the first to admit, I wasn’t the nicest to him.  There were times I was pretty mean to him.  But there were times where he could’ve been really mean back at me, but he wasn’t.  There were times he showed he actually cared about me as a friend.  At one point while we were talking online, I was really quiet about something and got upset (I don’t remember what it was about).  All of a sudden I get this phone call from an unknown number.  I answer it and they’re like, “Are you okay?”  I ask, “Who is this?”

“Nick.”

“How did you get my number?”

“Facebook.”

He was actually worried about me because I got quiet.  I started seeing other things in Nick other than him just being nice to me.  I saw a joy in him about God I wanted to have.  I had drifted a bit away from God and I missed having a close relationship with him.  Instead of being angry with God, I tried to be thankful to him for rescuing me from death and tried to get closer to him again.  I also started developing feelings for Nick.  Eventually those feelings grew into something more and now we’ve been married for 4 years!  

 

God didn’t just save my life from death that day though.  My story is truly a miraculous one.  What I have failed to mention and will mention now is that the doctors thought I was going to need a new liver.  My liver and my vital organs should’ve failed.  All those drugs I took (and I haven’t said which ones I took on purpose – but they were some pretty hefty meds) were in my system for eight hours before anyone found me that morning.  I should’ve had organ failure.  My liver should’ve died…I should’ve died.  God not only saved my life, he protected my liver and my vital organs.  The only damage that was done to me was emotional and I have some brain damage that has a 50% chance of healing.  My story is one of hope, and I hope it gives you hope.  That day God showed me a portion of his power.  God said, “Live!” and I lived!  Today I am thankful to be alive!  God continues to show me his love and grace.  He had compassion on me through this difficult time in my life.  He has blessed me so much.  He is a God filled with compassion.  He is passionate for you!  Give him your burdens, for his burden is light.  He will give you rest.