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lenten interviews - part 5

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Marty Read

Tell us your name, age, and current background (job, family, school, etc?) 
Marty Read, 63. I am a wife, mom, and grandma. I’m a missionary. Recently, I quit my job as a Safety Coordinator at a construction co. Way back, I was formerly an Expanded Dental Assistant.

When did Jesus become real to you? Tell us what led to that. 
grew up in a Christian home. Jesus was always a part of our lives. I was baptized on my tenth birthday. Family, Camp Allendale and youth leaders were instrumental in my spiritual journey. As a mom, it really takes on another level; we are not only responsible for our own faith but the faith of the little lives God has entrusted us with.  I think there are different levels of reality for knowing Jesus and Him being real to me on the journey. I am learning a new aspect of Him and myself through Him constantly.

How do you experience Him on a day to day basis? 
have a daily (morning) time alone with Him each day. Some are richer than others. Try to end each night with Him. I like to "Examen" the day. Also I am trying to be more intentional right now to thank Him at night for a least one thing for the day.

Have you ever felt really far from God? What did you experience in that time? How did you move through it? 
ar away seems to happen more when things are going well. No bumps in the road. Making sure I am in accountability situations with other Christians. House church, ladies’ studies, etc. More time with my "garden friends” helps. Music also has been such a part of that nearness as well. Whether at church, walking or blaring in the car. It is often a way for me to focus and drown out that crowd in my mind. 

What is one thing (or a few things) that make you feel close to Jesus? 
lose is usually more in times of crisis. I draw to Him in a way that I don't do on a daily basis. In His lap, on my knees, through the tears. I love those times with Him...yet I don't like to be in those circumstances. Many times I can't even know the words to say or think.  And in some of these times, He is pursuing me. 

Things that make me feel close to Him:

  • Prayer/Conversation with Him
  • Be still - that is really hard for me. I have a crowd in my mind most of the time.
  • Creation is a way for me to also feel His presence.
  • I like to walk and those are times I talk and process with Him
  • When scripture speaks to me as though He was actually saying the words out loud 

I also have a monthly video chat with a spiritual director. She seems to see/hear things that I don't. She brings them to my attention. It gives me pause and provides the "I wonder" moments.

When you have doubts, how do you stay focused on Him? 
Again, my spiritual director is very good and challenging me in areas that I need to focus on or away from. 

My husband has always been my encourager when I doubt.  

Ultimately, it is up to me to get back on track and "fix my eyes" on Him after I finally realize I looked away. There is an illustration of the ballerina and the focal point she needs to focus on when she is spinning or she will lose it. Sometimes that fall is pretty hard, especially to realize I lost my focal point. However, He is there holding out His hand to help me up. 

Trust is something I have struggled with for a while. I recently realized that I was using it as a crutch in some situations. Trust became a negative. I recently read a positive spin, that trust is like His staff. It is there to lean on when you need it on your journey. I love that for me. I am trading in my crutch for His staff!


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