It's Friend Friday, and I can't wait for you to meet today's friend! This precious friend of mine has walked thru the fire this past year. In all honesty, because of the way she is choosing to thrive, it's easy to forget that she's still walking thru the fire. She inspires me with her unwavering love of the Lord, her endless joy, and her beautiful authenticity. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I get to introduce her to you! <3, Tammy
Spring is a native Texan living in West Tennessee. Though God has given her the opportunity to be a part of many things, she considers the greatest blessings of her life to be the wife to her late husband, Charles, and the mother to her two amazing (almost two year old) twins, Charlie and Londie. You can continue to follow her story at www.charlesandspring.com.
I remember my pastor preaching on Abraham in March 2011. It was a message of how Abraham stepped out in faith to follow God, to go where He sent him, away from his homeland. I got up and went to my car during the invitation fully believing that is exactly what God was telling me to do as I got in my car to drive to Tennessee from East Texas.
It was that previous Fall, as a single, late-20 something, women’s ministry director, and nursing instructor, when I was leading a bible study I was writing on Hebrews 11, The Faith Chapter. I had no idea I was just a few months away from one of the greatest leaps of faith God would lead me on.
I was on eHarmony for pure entertainment. I never really believed I would ever get married. I was hopeful, yes, but never really thought it would happen. Just a few years before I had gone forward at a women’s ministry conference and did the big ugly cry right there at the altar, giving over my desires for marriage because I wanted what God wanted for me. If that wasn’t marriage, I was okay with that.
But then I met Charles Reed. As soon as we began talking I knew there was something different about him, something special, something life-changing. I knew from the moment I met him, my life would never be the same, just by knowing him. I had no idea that God was about to provide me with the greatest privilege I could ever imagine by allowing me to not just “know” him, but be loved by him, be his wife, and join him on his incredible journey.
Charles was brilliant. He knew something about everything, from how to build a house, how to cook, all the parts of a diesel engine, the ins and outs of farming, deep theology, all types of history and everything in between just to name a few. He was the first person that I could not argue with because he was always right. And I mean…. always right.
He was sensitive and kind. He was strong in mind and heart and he could handle all of my emotions. He was a dreamer. He was devoted. He loved deeply and passionately. He was my security. He was a great leader both at home and at work. Not to mention how funny he was and how quick he would always be to share Jesus with old friends and random strangers. He didn’t care or have time for the frivolous things of this world that so many people seem to get distracted with so easily. He was on a mission and wanted to spend the time on this earth that God gave him for His glory.
He was my best friend.
We could spend literally hours upon hours and days upon days together and never get tired of one another even after working together all day, starting a business together and a ministry. We never got annoyed with one another, and no matter how much time we had together, it was never enough. I remember the first week of marriage thinking it was the best thing ever because it was like having a sleepover with your best friend but it never ends, and you never have to go home! Even over the years, that never changed.
Charles had a unique story though. Charles had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, was completely dependent and on a ventilator far outliving any prognosis or life expectancy any doctor had ever given him. We lived a very unconventional life full of caregivers and “unique” circumstances, such as when one of his cords caught fire on his wheelchair, or the time he got stuck on the ice on our driveway as the van was sliding backward down the hill, always fun times!
Over the course of our marriage, we would find ourselves facing more challenges and greater difficulties than most couples go through in a lifetime. But during those days we learned of a closeness to our Savior that we had never known before, and we experienced more joy than you could possibly imagine as God blessed us greatly even during some really dark days.
Was it hard to say yes to God? No.
Was it ever what I imagined my life to be? No.
Was the sacrifice great? Yes.
Was stepping out in faith and following the Lord where he led me worth it? Yes, beyond words.
By Faith God called me to leave behind my home, my family, my state, my ministry, and more.
But by faith, he led, and I followed a life and a love far beyond what I could have ever imagined.
When we say, “yes” to God and step out in faith to follow Him, the journey is usually much different than we would plan for ourselves but always far greater than we could ever imagine. It may be like Abraham and He leads us to an unknown land and unknown destination but every step He guides, every step he will provide for, every step is worth it and every single step has a purpose in His eternal plan.