Ty, over the years what did you get your security or happiness from?
In my younger days, it all came down to one word: money. From the time I was old enough to push a lawnmower, I knew what I wanted in life—to be wealthy. By age twelve, I had a bank account worth bragging about. In high school, I ran my own yard care business. While friends didn't have a clue what they'd do as adults, I had it all planned out. Nothing less than a business major and a job in a classy resort would satisfy me. For a while, it seemed I had the golden touch. I graduated at the top of my class and got a manager's position at Clayborne's, the newest resort east of Coeur d'Alene. I found a beautiful girl to hang on my arm. Got married. But it wasn't enough. I still wanted more money. Craved it. But my desire for wealth and prestige got me into a mountain of trouble. I thank God for rescuing me and changing me from the man I was.
Now, a decade has passed, and I know my worth has nothing to do with money. Security is about knowing Jesus like my next breath, following His ways. I wish I could have a redo of those wasted years. But thanks to God's forgiveness–and Winter's–I'm a man with a different value system. A crisp hundred dollar bill has no hold over me. It's lost its allure. Instead, I crave God's presence. I want Him to change me and make me into the man He wants me to be–and soon, into the husband Winter needs. If I succeed in those two areas, my life will be all I could ever dream or hope for. That's real security.
How has God's forgiveness impacted you?
Wow, that's a dynamite question. I, uh, well, during my selfish, prideful days, I messed up pretty bad. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say, I needed a lot of forgiveness. First, God's, then, Winter's. We had a bucketful of the past to overcome, but God worked miracles in our lives, drawing us back together. It all began with Winter being willing to forgive me and start over. I needed that so much. Because of God's mercy, and the forgiveness of a loving woman, my life will never be the same. I'm humbled by such love. It's life changing. I feel like I've been doused in a river of forgiveness, and I'm clean and whole. Finally, after so many years of hoping and praying, I'm free. It's like breathing for the first time. Isn't God great? He takes the shattered parts of our lives and turns it all around for good. I'm amazed by His love.