I’ve told you guys quite a bit about my nephew Tyler. Here’s a story about his younger brother, Tucker.
Tucker and Tyler were really into the “Lord of the Rings” movies, so we played swords a lot during those days. (I couldn’t find a pic with swords – only this one of Tucker with the hulk hands – we used to do battle with them too.) One day while playing with Tucker, we slung the swords at each other like crazy and as the swinging ceased for a brief moment, he decided that he had beat me. There was no real reason – he just said that he had beat me. I was still holding my sword though. He pushed his sword up to my chest and demanded for me to drop my sword. I acted as if I were going to and then started swinging again. He wouldn’t fight back though. Why? According to him, he had already beat me. So I let him put his sword in my chest again and we began this dialog.
I said, “Why should I drop my sword? I’ll never let you kill me. Never surrender!!”
He said, “You will.”
“Why would I do that?”
“‘Cause I said so.” (let me remind you that he was about 3 feet tall.)
“No, I won’t surrender. . . . . .Ever.”
“Yes, you will,” he said.
One more time I asked, “Why would I do that?” Then I dropped my sword.
He dropped his too and ran to me with arms wide open saying, “This is why.”
He hugged me as hard as he could and I held him too.
I actually held him and said in my most evil voice, “Now, I’ve got you!” And we played the “You can’t escape game.”
Anyway, later that night when I laid down for bed I wondered if there had been times when I was trying to fight or do battle with the world, and God just wanted a hug? I wondered what would have happened if I had never dropped my sword with Tucker? What about other people that I think I need to do battle with? Is there a way I could hug them instead of fighting? Would I allow myself to drop my sword with them?
Alright, I decided today that I was gonna write a series of stories and post them all on here. I’ve been collecting stories out of my life for a while and even have a file on my computer called “Stories I Need to Tell.” It’s just a list of the stories I’ve been collecting – ANYWAY – I’ll start with a story where God really spoke to me in a powerful way. (Of course anytime He speaks it’s powerful, but I actually noticed that it was Him in this story.) This may actually be the first story I remember thinking that I needed to tell somebody else about – this is the one that after it happened I decided to start “collecting” stories.
The Falling Star
When I was a Senior in High School, I met a girl. Her name was Gema. We started dating and I must admit that she was the most amazing girl I had ever known. She was beautiful. She was smart. She enjoyed alot of the same things I did. And probably the biggest thing she had going for her was this: She actually liked me too. Anyway, we dated for a few months toward the end of my senior year (She was a senior too) and somewhere in the middle of the summer (probably July) I had returned home from church camp. (Meridian – that’ll be in another “Story I Need to Tell”) After arriving home I called her up and she came over to my house. My family lived in the middle of this big 80 acre field in those days so she and I went out back and sat in the porch swing. It was one of those really clear nights where there wasn’t a cloud in the sky – the temperature was just cooling down from the summer day and there was a nice breeze. It was a pretty romantic sort of situation (I was pretty good with that stuff in those days.) Anyway, as we talked that night about leaving each other as we had planned to go off to college, Gema soon started crying. It wasn’t long that I had joined her. Somewhere deep inside I felt that things would be OK and since I had just come from church camp, I knew it was God speaking to me. Through my own tears I spoke to her and said, “It’ll be OK, God will be with us.” THEN OUT OF NOWHERE CAME A FLASH ACROSS THE SKY! This falling star shot from one end of the sky to the other – It was HUGE! It was like God spoke through me saying “I am with you!” and then He sent this Big EXCLAMATION point with the falling star. Our tears dries up that night and we both had received the hope that God had given us that night. Of course the next day. . . . .we were sad again and scared about our future.
After starting school at Texas A&M a month or so later, trying to keep our relationship alive, I would drive 3 hours home each weekend to meet up with Gema. One weekend I came home and things felt different between us. When I asked her about it – she would say that everything was good and that she “loved” me. By the time Sunday night rolled around she pretty well had me convinced that things were still good between us. After my 3 hour drive I called her to tell her I had arrived safely and asked her once again what had changed. Why had things felt so different? She finally gave me the truth and said she didn’t know what it was, but she wanted to “break up.” She said she loved me and that I had done nothing wrong, but still wanted to “break up.” What??!!??!! What does that mean?? She still loves me, but doesn’t want to be with me??? It just doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, when I finally got off the phone it was about 3am. I was crying, but didn’t want my roommate to know I was crying over a girl – I guess that’s the macho guy in me. As I walked around the apartment complex, I cried out to God, “Why?? I don’t understand God?? You brought me down here where I’m all alone. No friends. No family. No church. No job. I’m all alone and now, You’re taking away my girlfriend??!! I don’t get it??” And then He answered as only He could. I saw a “falling star” shoot from one end of the sky to the other and was reminded of what He had said before with that same phrase. “I am with you.”
I AM WITH YOU! Listen to Him say it to you.
I AM WITH YOU!
From that day forward I have realized that I wasn’t ever alone, and that I am stronger when it’s just He and I than at any other time in my life. Wherever you find yourself today know that God is with you and that He loves you.