My Story of Grace // Sue Martin / by Jamie Hagan

My story about grace is a little embarrassing because the person I yelled at like an uncontrollable maniac was God. I was married to a very non-believing man for about 10 years, had two small kids and one day when I was ready to walk out on them all and never go back, I ended up walking into a church with a friend of mine. Something moved in me that day and I went back to my family and kept going to church. My husband constantly harassed me about my new belief but I kept going anyway. I was signed up to go on a weekend retreat and was having second thoughts about it and couldn’t decide if I should go and suffer the consequences when I got back or just keep the peace and stay home. 
I was working the graveyard shift and worked in a building all alone doing cleaning. The trip was the next morning and I just couldn’t decide what to do. I got up from my desk to go clean and was stomping down the hallway like a child and started yelling at God. “PEOPLE AT CHURCH ARE ALWAYS SAYING YOU TOLD THEM THIS AND YOU TOLD THEM THAT, WHY DON’T YOU EVER TALK TO ME. I NEED ANSWERS AND YOU DON’T TALK TO ME, WHY WON’T YOU TALK TO ME?”

All of a sudden I heard the kindest, gentlest voice reply “I have been talking to you but you don’t listen.” Whoa! I stopped dead in my tracks in disbelief, sat down on the stairs and just listened. God told me that I needed to go on that trip because things would happen there that would never happen if I did not go. He told me not to worry about things at home, that He would take care of everything there. I don’t know how long I sat and listened but I was shocked. I did as I was told and trusted that if He would still even speak to me after ignoring him AND yelling at Him, that I was NOT going to not go on the trip.

I went and learned amazing things about myself and about how amazing my God was. I was a little nervous going home but when I got home, things were peaceful and there were no punishments or nastiness. A few months later I went back to where the retreat was held and was baptized in the pond there. I had to sneak out to my own baptism, but I went any way, eventually got caught and harassed but survived. Eventually I stopped going to church because the consequences got unbearable.

After 24 years of a hellish marriage, my husband passed away and I was free to go to church again. I got married again two years later to a wonderful man who strongly believes in God. We found NorthPointe where we are always learning and growing in our faith. We are still fairly new there but have felt welcome from day one. 

God and I still have some great conversations. I know He has forgiven me for yelling at Him and I consider THAT Amazing Grace. He could have ignored me, He could have yelled at me right back, but instead He responded in the kindest, gentlest voice I have ever heard and I will never forget that. I try to remember to extend grace to others, but sometimes it’s tough when you deal with someone with NONE on a daily basis. God is always there to give me a little nudge when I forget though.