Beauty from My Ash Heap-

by Tish Morgan

TourofTestimoniesSQMuch like everyone else, I am rarely comfortable talking about my life, even if it is to share my testimony. With that said, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God allowed certain events, and people in my life for His purpose. I grew up in a firm but loving, non-practicing Catholic home, moving around a lot, as a result of my dad always thinking the grass was greener on the other side of that proverbial fence. I had a sweet devout Catholic paternal grandmother, whom I believe I will see in heaven, who taught me the disciplines of crochet and sewing, and very odd Christian maternal grandparents, who later in my life were instrumental in my faith. I remember feeling God’s gentle knocking on the doors of my heart from a very early age. I asked questions about God often, and knew deep down that Catholicism wasn’t for me, it just didn’t make sense to have to “do” something to earn favor with God.

For approximately 11 years of my youth, I was molested by a family member with no real repercussion once I “outed” this person, with the last attempt of him having his way occurring in my own home as an adult at the age of 19. I lived with a feeling of injustice, anger, bitterness and hate in my heart for many, many years, affecting every intimate relationship, thereafter. As a side note, I have written him a forgiveness letter, spelling out the gospel to him, and I learned at my father’s funeral that this particular family member was saved just before receiving that letter. Praise the Lord!

Typical teenage rebellion without a Godly influence resulted in many poor choices, I chose to learn the hard way. I wanted to experience everything and learn about all I could before settling down. One particular experience found me in a book store with a close friend. Always seeking out things of a spiritual nature, I was looking at Occult/Witchcraft books, my friend, who was a Christian, very strongly urged me to put that book down. Being the rebel that I was, I held onto it for a few moments longer, not reading it, but just to prove my independence. That moment of strong conviction of my friend’s struck me so profoundly later on, making me think, I want to have that strength to just be able to say no to something that was obviously wrong.

I knew I wanted to get married someday, and be a stay-at-home mom ultimately. I met a Catholic boy when I was 17, we lived together for 4 years, on again, off again. Even with fighting, infidelity and break ups, we still got married when I was 22, thinking that marriage would somehow make it better. Most of the fights and tension in our home was caused by the fact that I never kept a job any longer than 3 to 5 months, I was never content. June 1987, on the job hunt again, and without a reliable car of my own, I got a job at a Christian-owned establishment, Christian music and, unaware at the time that, Calvary Chapel teachings were played over the PA system throughout the building. Naturally it was just a matter of time until I got saved. There was a very sweet and funny lady there who witnessed to me daily, telling me she had a really “Good Book” for me to read as she teased me about reading my romance novels during lunch breaks. I was saved in November, 1987! Being on fire for God was not easy on my marriage, my ex-husband couldn’t tolerate it, so he left me, eventually trying to reconcile to no avail. I met my current husband during the reconciliation period (Rick did not have any part in the final break up).

Rick and I married in 1992, our life goals were on track with each other, we both loved and wanted children, we wanted to raise them in a God-fearing home, fellowship in a good church, and grow old together being talked about by everyone how disgustingly sappy we are. The last 23 years have not been easy, but anything worth having isn’t. Our marriage has withstood a lot of trials, we have brought on a lot of the strife ourselves admittedly, but God… has been faithful, gracious and merciful!

We didn’t put a lot of effort into finding a home church until 2002, when we moved to the Astoria, Oregon area, where we knew no one! We didn’t know what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. Our current life finds us hosting several college age kids from our church, and friends of our adult kids in our home, any given night of the week, watching movies, eating food, playing games, and being involved in ministry at church as well. As most who may read this know, only by the grace of God, I have been a secretary at our church, Coastline Christian Fellowship, for almost 6 years now. I am blessed. I know that my life would be very different had I not surrendered to His calling and let Jesus in during that moment of tenderness. Leaving a trail of broken and charred relationships in my wake, in my relentless search for happiness, the need to fill the emptiness. Thanks be to Jesus, I am living proof that God can make beauty from my ashes.

I would like to leave you with these verses;

  • John 15:5- I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
  • Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Romans 12:12- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
  • Isaiah 61:3- to grant to those who mourn in Zion- to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

1-2Bio :: Tish lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Rick. They have three adult kids, ages 23, 20, and 19. She enjoys crocheting & knitting during her off time.

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