Mrs. Guire, when was the first time you heard the Gospel, and what was your initial reaction to that message?
I suppose my story is a bit different than the others in that I came to Christ when I was little, and I dug deep. I loved going to church, being with my friends, and learning more about the Bible. Even in my late teens and 20s, I would regularly be in Bible study groups. It was my life, and I thrived in it.
Was your faith ever shaken?
Oh, yes. When I was in my early 40s, tragedy struck. Before then, I was living with rose-colored glasses on, as they used to say. My business was doing well and I was engaged to a man who cherished me. But in a moment everything changed. No, that’s not truthful. The truth is that I changed. My perspective changed. And I ran away.
What was the key emotion or attitude you were dealing with?
Definitely fear. And shame. For the first time, something evil had touched my life, and I didn’t know if God was trustworthy anymore. I couldn’t reconcile a God who loved me with a God who didn’t stop what had happened to me. So I moved to a new town and chose not to deal with any of it, pretending my life with God wasn’t different.
What caused you to begin considering opening yourself up to God?
Amber came to town. Oh, by the time she showed up, twenty-five years had passed, and I was a pretty gruff woman that most people avoided. But she had a sweetness that called to me. It was obvious that she had been hurt in her life too, but every week I saw her opening up to the Yager’s and to God. God used her to get me to a place where I could acknowledge that He and I were struggling in our relationship more than I wanted to admit.
How have your thoughts, attitudes and emotions changed since that time?
I was able to admit that I was holding God at arm’s length. And once I removed the wall that I’d built against Him, He came in and changed so much. Relationships with people are truer; the secrets are gone. And there’s a peace that comes when you know that people you love know your deepest hurt and they still choose to love you. It’s a security in relationships that I didn’t have when I was younger.
Do you have a favorite verse or Bible passage which is important in explaining your Faith Story?
I like Psalm 37 because it talks of the Lord not forgetting to punish the wicked. It helps me to release the anger and pain of what happened. But what I like most are verses 23-25. Perhaps because David is old when he writes it, but those verses also remind me God does not forget about us even when we don’t see Him at first. David writes, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”