Ruthann

I love a good story…..

And I love trading stories too!

Ask those closest to me…if you want to make me really happy
-fill my glass up with tea, sit down beside me and trade a story or two with me.

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The art of trading stories is our backstory to history.
For you and I wouldn’t know so many of the famous stories of courage & bravery from the past if it wasn’t for people trading stories over campfires and coffee.
Stories fill in the blanks, they add color to our genealogies and connect historical events for us.
They bring meaning and understanding to that which would otherwise be dull and boring.
And one of the best things in stories is how they are full of ordinary people, like you and me….

I love listening to people’s stories, all kinds, but there’s one story that tugs at my heart more than any other….
It’s the story of a rescued life.
There’s nothing like the heroic stories of lives being rescued in the midst of death defying circumstances.

I have a rescue story of my own-
It was years ago, when my life was a mess and my heart was leading me down a dead end road, searching for purpose and meaning.
Every time I’d hear the voice of God speaking through the pages of His-story I wanted to know Him more,
but I didn’t know where to find Him.

So, I followed the only thing I knew –my heart….
If you’ve ever been desperate and followed your heart, then you know it only leads you into trouble.

It wasn’t until God led me into the inner city of Philadelphia to work with those who were overlooked and forgotten that I found Him. 
A God who loved me and wanted me….
a God who had created me with a purpose and who valued me.
I hadn’t ever experienced God like this before…

You see, for years I filled my empty spaces with things the world promised would bring me fulfillment, but none of it ever did.
It all just left me feeling more empty than before.

Yet it was here,
in the midst of my brokenness that God rescued me and began restoring my life.

And it was here, that I met my husband Joe.
Before that summer I pleaded with God to bring me healing and to keep men far from me.
I thought I needed healing from my past apart from any guy….
but God knew Joe was exactly who He had prepared long ago to teach me about HIS definition of love!

Before I even really knew how to pray, I mumbled a plea of my heart to God.
In my twelve year old voice, backed up against a wall, I asked God to give me a husband who would pray with me and it was in that prayer, He heard me…..
I didn’t know it was Joe I was asking for, but when I met him I knew he was the answer to my prayer from the corner.
He is a man with a deep love for God and the Church.

And for some crazy reason God thought it would be even more exciting to fill our house with four adventurous and risk taking boys! 
…..Each serving the Lord in their own wild, crazy and unique ways.
My heart couldn’t be any fuller with gratitude for the opportunity to call them our own!
With them, I’ve been blessed with three of the most beautiful (both inside & out) daughter in loves that a Mom could’ve ever asked God for!

Together, we’ve served in ministries in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and now Texas!
For thirty years we’ve walked alongside people through some of their hardest and most holy days. 

Each story telling a rescue of their own….more living than any one life should ever experience alone and yet it I’ve seen how much better it is lived out in the community of others.

So come on in, sit for a moment
and feel free to share these stories….
For stories are always better when they’re shared!