A Kiss Will Only Complicate Things pt 3
by Rhonda Stoppe
(Read part 2 here)
LIVIN’ THE DREAM
When the Sheriff’s department hired James to pilot their small plane, he was elated. The job allowed James to be home each night, fly eight hours per shift, and help the Sheriff “chase the bad guys,” as James put it.
Life was wonderful. Each day when James left for work Missy would say, “You leavin’ now?”
James would take Missy in his arms, give her a kiss and say, “I’m never leaving!”
Then he would kiss the kids and leave to go fly his plane and catch the bad guys.
One evening while James was at work, Missy and the kids were at church. Missy had just settled the children in the class where she volunteered when the pastors’ wife came to get her.
Missy remembered, “She looked distressed.”
Missy’s concern grew when the pastors’ wife said, “Your friend is going to walk with us to the pastor’s office.”
When the friend approached she too looked distressed. As Missy was trying to figure out what was the matter, she never dreamed of what would happen next. When she approached the pastor’s office she could see the room was filled with Sheriff officers.
Missy remembered, “I began to go numb and just quietly say, no-no-no.”
The Sheriff sat Missy down and explained how James’ plane had been in a crash––and both James and his partner had not survived.
Missy recalled, “My mind raced back and forth between two thoughts. I’m a widow. What about the kids? I was in complete and utter shock. I was trembling as I heard people talking to me. They were asking who I wanted them to call. It didn’t seem real. I felt like I was up in the air looking down on someone else’s life.”
Missy’s friend drove them home and a few people from church came to sit with Missy and her children until her parents arrived.
Missy said, “Our kids were ten and six years old, and I had to tell them that their daddy had died. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
Missy continued, “The following days were spent in total shock. A lot of it was just a blur. I was heartbroken and so were my kids.”
But God did not leave Missy and the children to grieve alone. He showed up in amazing ways. For example, one night while tucking ten-year-old Jayleen into bed Missy was amazed when amidst Jayleen’s sobs she sat up and calmly said, “This is really sad, Mom, but I know God has a plan for all of this.”
God gave them strength when they recalled James’s favorite Bible verse, “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
God continued to show Himself faithful as Missy’s church family and MOPS group where she was coordinator provided prayer, emotional support, meals, childcare, lawn and house maintenance. Her financial concerns were relieved when funeral expenses were donated, and the Sheriff’s department raised funds to meet various personal needs for the family.
At the funeral, many nonbelievers heard the gospel. Missy friend read a lovely farewell letter that Missy wrote to James. In the letter’s closing Missy read,
“Now that you’ve gone to be with our Lord in heaven I am left again with a giant hole in my heart. I will truly miss you so much. Someone commented to me that you and I made a great team and it made me smile––because we really were an awesome team…You have left such an enormous legacy; the kids and I will surely do our best to continue your legacy of living life to the fullest, loving God and loving people.”
Learning to live without James has not been easy but God gives their family strength. Throughout their 15-and-a-half years of marriage, there were seasons when Missy and the kids waited for James’ homecoming.
Missy says, “Now, James is in our eternal home and it is we who are on ‘deployment’ as ambassadors for Christ. And now because of our Hope in our Savior it is James who awaits our homecoming.”
When God writes your love story, happily-ever-after may not always turn out the way you had planned. For Missy God had stirred in her heart a desire to marry a pilot, yet he also had prepared her as a young girl for the possibility of one day becoming a widow.
When Missy met James she could easily have excused the fact that he was not a Christian. It would have been tempting to date him anyway when out of the blue James, a pilot, walked into her life. But Missy knew God’s Word and applied biblical principles to her decision, rather than relying on circumstances that may have been interpreted as “a sign from God” by someone less discerning.
In the end, Missy’s resolve not to date James because he was not a believer is what God used to draw James to Himself.
When without warning James passed away Missy and her children’s initial response was to turn to the Lord. Because their faith in Him, trust in His Word, and godly guidance from pastors and friends they have been able to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus when the unthinkable happened. Consider how might you have responded to such tragedy?
Are you preparing yourself now for whatever God allows to come your way? I Peter 4:12: says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”
Whether you find yourself now amidst a storm or life is going rather well, you would be wise to follow Missy’s example and grow in your understanding of God’s loving character so you will find His strength and help in time of need.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
That we may obtain mercy,
And find grace to help in time of need
Want more Real Life Romance? Watch Steve and Rhonda share secrets to raving up your romance on Thriving Sexy Marriage Podcast. Here’s the Link.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 20 years experience of helping women build a no regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist. She’s committed to fulfill the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you’re visiting with a friend over coffee.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including FamilyTalk, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and hosts The No Regrets Hour. She speaks at women’s events, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and homeschool conventions. Sharing the gospel is her sweet spot––she’s an evangelist at heart.
Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who pastors First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and nine grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com