Sunday, February 17, 2013

God Is Faithful

Since we are new to Crosspoint and many of you don’t know me, I thought that I would introduce myself and tell you about the major life-changing event that shaped my spiritual life. My name is Karen Mayfield and I have been married to Mark for 15 years. We have two children, Trent (24) and Caroline (14). I have worked for Family Services of Greater Houston for 16 years as their controller. In my free time I love to read, scrapbook pictures that I take of my family, and plan family outings and vacations.

I grew up in Clear Lake and was raised Methodist. My family was sporadic in attending church during my childhood. When I was a freshman at Texas A&M, I started dating Scott. He was raised church of Christ and I started attending church with him. We got married the summer before our senior year. We weren’t active at the church we went to and didn’t go every Sunday. After we graduated we moved to Longview, his hometown. Once we were there we started going to church every Sunday but honestly, it was because we were going to the same church his parents were going to and we were afraid of what his dad would say if we didn’t go. As time went on I was glad we were there because I was making friends and I did start to enjoy the Bible classes. Three years after we moved there God blessed us with a baby boy – Trent.

Right after our 6th wedding anniversary I found out that Scott was having an affair with a woman that he was working with. I was devastated when he decided to move out a few days after I found out. I wasn’t working and Trent had just turned 11 months old. I had no idea how I was going to support myself and my son, and I was scared to think about raising my son by myself. This is the event in my life that made me so aware of how our Heavenly Father takes care of us. I found out how important it is to have a church family and Christian friends that will take care of their own. I spent hours of my day in prayer and searching scripture for words that would help me through the tough times. For months the prayers were that God would send Scott back to us. When it became evident that that wasn’t going to happen I started praying that a good Christian man would come in my life so that I wouldn’t be alone. This is when I learned the lesson of it will be God’s timing and not my own. I was a single mom for 8 years!

Fast forward to four years after my divorce. After much thought, discussions with my family and many prayers I made the hard decision to leave Longview and move to Houston. I would be near my family, have better job opportunities and have bigger churches with singles groups. On our first Sunday in Houston, Trent and I visited the Memorial Church of Christ. I met a man named Mark Mayfield. 4 ½ years later (3 years of being friends and 1 ½ years dating) we were married. He was the answer to many prayers. He loves God, he loves me and he promised to love my son as his own. When we married, we hadn’t decided if we were going to have children of our own or not. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to start all over at the age of 36. Mark told me that we should pray about it and he would be fine with whatever happened. God took care of the decision for us and blessed us with a honeymoon baby – Caroline.

Every time I’ve made a hard decision that I’ve prayed about, God has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined. The most recent was last April when we decided to leave the church that we had gone to for 14 years. It was a mutual decision between Mark, Caroline and me. All three of us are thrilled to be a part of the Crosspoint family and I am so happy to be serving on the Crosspoint Women’s Team!

Monday, February 4, 2013

When you know it’s God that makes it possible.

My name is Tricia Baker.

I am a Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend, and Cousin.

Why do I list “cousin” to describe who I am? Because God revealed His will to me in my role as a cousin…I have an 82 year old second cousin named Connie who’s had a really rough year.  Her beloved sister/best friend/room mate died after a short illness.  The day after she buried her sister, she started having chest pains which resulted in quadruple bypass surgery 10 days later. Connie lives in Lafayette, LA, and her only child lives in Florida.  After many months of recovery, Connie was back in Lafayette, and lonely…I have tried to keep up with Connie’s recovery thru her daughter, but those other roles that I have keep me quite busy. As a Mom, my son, Trey, was fervently working as part of the high school choir on the musical “South Pacific.”  It was coming together so well and promised to be an outstanding show.  Well, 2 weeks before opening night, I got this “feeling” that I was supposed to call Connie to invite her to the show.  I called her daughter first, to see if she thought Connie was physically up to the trip.  She thought Connie could do it and suggested that I call her.  Connie was so happy to hear from me and agreed to make the trip to Houston for musical weekend.

For a little more background on Connie, her major in college was vocal performance and she taught in this field at the college level before her retirement.  Musicals are one of Connie’s most favorite things.

At 82 years old, Connie can’t drive herself to Houston.  It’s a 3 ½ hour drive one way to Connie’s house and I was going to have to do all of this driving by myself.  Maybe this doesn’t sound like a big deal – it’s a 7 hour day of driving on a Friday and again on Monday.  Well, it’s a big deal for me because I am afraid of driving over high bridges and I would have to cross over the Beltway 8 toll bridge in Houston and the Lake Charles Bridge in LA four times each!  Anytime I cross these bridges, my palms sweat and my heart races.  I am pretty petrified with fear. As much as I dreaded this drive, I still had this “feeling” that I was supposed to do it and that I would be ok.  Still, I didn’t want to make the trip alone.  This would be a first for me and certain traffic, construction and the length of the drive left me feeling apprehensive.

Well, Friday came and, after working half a day, I headed to LA.  It was a long day, and I made it over those bridges and safely home with Connie.  On Monday for the return trip, I again made it home safely. I prayed for strength to make that trip and to make it a memorable weekend for Connie.  I knew that the Lord wanted this to happen and He was with me.  Not one accident, construction block, or heavy traffic was encountered by me on this trip.  I saw all of these occurrences on the opposite side of the freeway, but never on my side.  It was like we were traveling in a safety bubble!  I firmly believe it was the Lord making it easy for me.  I was supposed to do this!

The weekend with Connie was wonderful and she agreed that traveling to Houston and spending time with family was a jump start to her physical recovery and grieving process.  She commented more than once that we treated her like royalty!  She is my oldest relative on the Italian side of my family and I had the opportunity to write down endless family history dating back to my family’s immigration and to hear stories that only Connie lived through and could pass on to us.  It took some effort to make this weekend happen, but the experience with Connie and my lasting memories of her trip are priceless to me.
I could have been paralyzed with the fear of traveling and missed out on this special time with my cousin, but instead I chose to listen to that whisper from God and have faith that He would see me through as I tried to do His will.

I think the words to my favorite hymn sums up what I am trying to say:
“God will make a way where there seems to be no way.  He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me.  He will be my guide, Hold me closely to His side.  With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way!”

I hope my experience will encourage you to listen to those whispers from God and have faith that He will help you to do His will.
This picture was taken after the musical "South Pacific". My cousin, Connie, is sitting in the chair on the right