Crazy Impossible Stories Told by Trustworthy People

Mom told a lot of crazy stories.

Honestly, some were just too fantastical to be believed. Growing up, I’d teeter on the edge of wonderment and awe at the prospect of mountains so high they could be mistaken for clouds. I’d listen with my mouth agape as I heard of lakes so vast that no one could see the other side, not even on the clearest of days… But then I’d look at our lakes (or “ponds” as Mom called them) cloistered in our Appalachia foothills, and I’d think that there just wasn’t any way. How could a lake just keep going on and on? Mom had to be exaggerating.

But here’s the thing, Mom never exaggerated.

That was one of the most amazing things about her. Every day, she strove with her whole heart to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. As a result, she was right way too often for my tastes during my teenage years. It was hard to argue and rebel against someone who never spoke up unless she could speak with honesty and conviction.

When a person of integrity speaks, it’s hard not to listen. As fantastical as a story may be, if the person telling the tale is trustworthy, we have to give their account at least some consideration.

That was the position I found myself in at roughly the age of fifteen. At that point, the whole idea of an infinitely loving God was hard to imagine. Love without bounds? That was even harder to imagine than a lake without an opposite shore.

Turn on the news, and the brokenness, hatred, and fear that permeates the globe is just too visible. In hems us in and curtails our hopes. Our collective pain, mine included, forms such an impossible mountain prison that I couldn’t imagine any force so powerful that it could scale those walls.

The idea of God was a wonderful story, but it seemed too impossible, too crazy, and just too fantastical to be believed.

Yet Mom held firm: there was a God. Whether or not I chose to believe in him, he believed in me. He loved me so much he died for me, by name, as if I was the only one in all of creation who needed saving. He loved me that much, and he’d do it all again for me if he had too.

As I did with all her most fantastic stories, I teetered on the edge of disbelief… until I asked one very loaded question: how did she know? I mean, how could she possibly be so sure? How could she know for a fact that such a supernatural being existed, and how could she know that he loved us?

More than all her crazy stories combined, I couldn’t believe her answer to that one question.

With eyes that sparkled and a warm smile that sweetly, gently defused across her face, she looked at me and simply said, “Because I know him.”

In Jeremiah 29:13, God tells us that we will seek him and find him if we seek him with our whole hearts. It’s a promise that’s echoed throughout the Bible. He who seeks, finds. In so many ways, such a promise is too wondrous to comprehend.

The invitation to know God is so fantastical that we often hesitate. What could it possibly be like to know God? How is that even possible? And yet, if we read his own words in the Bible, there is his open invitation and his promise. We can actually know him for ourselves.

As impossible as that sounded to my teenage ears, because that message came from the one person on earth I trusted most, I took a chance. I started seeking, and God always keeps his promises.

I met God for myself. It is still a mystery to me how he does it, yet when we knock, God never fails to open the door. He always, always, invites us in to spend eternity as his own dearly loved children. It’s a miracle that has to be seen to be believed, like a lake without end.

When I went to Chicago for a conference, I had to take a moment to go see that lake for myself, but then, of course, I knew what I would see. I knew because my mom had seen it, and she told me all about it years ago. I trust her now more than ever.

The view is indeed spectacular. The lake is limitless as far as my eye can see. But once again, looking at that expanse of bright clear waves, I found myself believing in something that I have not seen. And I’m not just talking about the opposite shore of Lake Michigan.

Mom and me
Mom feeding me when I was a baby

Mom went to be with Jesus a couple months ago. It’s taken me a while to be able to open up and write about this. It hurts not having this amazing woman here by my side, but I’m comforted by something truly amazing. It’s crazy, and in so many ways too fantastical to be believed, but I know I will be seeing her again soon. I know it, because Jesus said so.

Jesus died for us and went ahead to make a place for us, so that where he is, we can be also. Jesus said so (see John 14:1-3). As God made flesh, he was the only human being who always spoke with absolute truth. So now I know. Someday, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can all be together forever, united in perfect love. No fear. No death. Every tear will be wiped away. All who believe in him will not truly perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). This is not the end. God is in the process of making all things new.

So now, an impossible expanse separates me and the Mom I love, but I know that I know that I know that there is an opposite shore. Jesus has built a home for us there. I know, even though I have not seen it. The Jesus who I trust said it is so, and now the woman who first taught me to believe him has indeed had her faith made sight. She is there in heaven, seeing her mansion with her own eyes, and enjoying a life free of pain. And someday, I will see it too.

It’s not crazy. God’s love knows no bounds. That is why neither death nor life nor angles nor demons can separate us from the love of God (see Romans 8:38-39). His love is truly the only thing in this world without limits.

Lake Michigan just outside Chicago
Lake Michigan just outside Chicago

His love is boundless, without end, and his invitation is simply this: come and know him.

Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but thankfully you don’t have to take me at my word. I invite you to come and seek him for yourself. I promise, at the end of your journey, you’ll see just how wide, how long, how deep, and how high is the Love of God. The view is spectacular. Come and see.

For more information on how to start your journey, check out http://peacewithgod.net/

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27 thoughts on “Crazy Impossible Stories Told by Trustworthy People

  1. I’d love to be a part! So sorry, Audrey, feel like been out of it, so didn’t know – and don’t think have ever seen a pix of that Great Lake (or any of them, not like that anyway) to see one you couldn’t see the other shore; don’t think realized they were that big! wow!

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      1. oh hadn’t been any biggie, Audrey, just doing other things but now, all of a sudden – or maybe not so sudden – got a msg from dil last night she planning on leaving son but also leaving granddaughter with us on Sunday; haven’t heard from her today – maybe should get in touch with her? – but just waiting to see if really transpires….

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  2. Audrey you are an amazing writer and follower of Christ. I was so inspired by your post and how well you wove your personal story together with scripture and an explanation of how it impacts our real lives. You have a real talent for making God’s word feel very personal and relevant. Continue to nurture this Spiritual gift and use it to glorify God.

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    1. Thank you so much. I have to give most of the credit to God and the amazing woman you first taught me about him. I’m so glad God used this post to bless you. I pray that he continues to bless you extravagently today and always. Thanks again for the words of encouragment. With God as my helper, I’ll keep going!

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    1. Thanks Debbie. Mom was (and is) proud of me, but I’m even more proud of her. My mom is still who I want to be when I grow up! 😉 Never underestimate the power of simply loving your kids and grand kids. I think you’re having more of an impact on the world than you realize simply be being such an awesome grandma! Nothing is more powerful than love. 🙂

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  3. Oh Audrey,
    I’m so sorry to hear that your mom passed away. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. She sounds like such an amazing woman. You are very lucky to have her speaking life into your heart for so many years. I pray God will heal your heart as you walk this journey. Keep your writing up. It is probably a balm to your sadness and a blessing to the rest of us!
    Blessings, Melissa

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  4. Hi Audrey,
    My name is Kenzel. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry about your mom. I lost my mom when I was 15. I’ve written about her a few times on my blog. The first when I began blogging & most recently this week. She was the one who started me on my faith journey & I’ll always miss her, but I know I’ll see her again, too.
    Keep writing & sharing –
    Blessings,
    Kenzel

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    1. Thank you, Kenzel, for courageously sharing your story. I found your last blog post about your mom on your blog, and it’s beautiful (if anyone wants to check it out: https://shiningalightinthedarkness.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/memories-surviving-death-finding-hope/ ). I really believe you hit the nail on the head when it comes to pain. It’s a natural consequence of having loved someone. Grief is the other side of the coin. You truly cannot love someone and not hurt when you are separated from them. But God is in the business of making all things new. As you express so well in your own blog post, he works all things out for good (Romans 8:28). Thank you for sharing how God is redeeming your pain and making something beautiful in your life. God bless you now and always!

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      1. Audrey, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you having read the most recent post. To this day, the 1st post I wrote about her is probably still my favorite. It feels like this post is what truly opened the “flood gates” on this writing journey. I still can’t believe that I actually wrestled with God that evening as I teetered on posting it in the first place. I hope you don’t mind my sharing it with you, here. http://wp.me/p48S3C-6a God Bless you as well, Kenzel

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      2. That’s beautiful, Kenzel. Thank you so much for sharing your faith with us. His light does indeed shine int he darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. Thank you for sharing your stories and spreading that light. 🙂 By the way, if you haven’t heard this song before, you need to check it out. It’s perfect for you and your blog! It’s “God Light Your World” by Chris Rice https://youtu.be/z5IXiVqU9OM

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  5. Audrey, thank you for sharing your mother’s life and love with us. She is beautiful and so are you. I remember standing at the top of the Sears Tower and thinking that I was seeing the ocean. I didn’t realize at 7 years old that the world was so big. 😉

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