Today marks the 10 year anniversary of when our life entered the surreal.  On March 6, 2006, Gary was the target of a sting operation by Federal and State governmental agencies.  There was no basis for these attacks except for the utterly evil intentions and personal agenda of a few.  There was no criminal activity, no harm to the innocent, and no violations of any codes or laws.  After hundreds of hours of discovery, investigation, and trials, the truth surfaced.  Personal ambitions and desires of a few individuals were able to manipulate and use governmental agencies to bring our family under attack and persecution.  I know that this may sound harsh, but it is the very harshness of what we faced that threw us into the surreal.  Our trials became the basis for books to be written and the founding of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.  But at the end of the day when the agencies figured out that there were no basis for the charges being slated against us, we were the ones left with the fallout and ripple effects that we can still see the effects of 10 years later.

I share this because there is a truly a greater story to tell.  You see – God never left us! Not for a moment.

We faced great adversity in those first days and months.  It would eventually bring about the loss of our home, the need to leave our community and church, lifelong health struggles for my husband, and scars and wounds that at times still feel as raw as when they were first inflicted.  However, we have never been homeless, we have never gone without food, we have NEVER, EVER been abandoned by our God.  Over the last 10 years, we have seen Him use circumstances, believers, and non-believers to provide for our every need.  At times of emotional struggles and fear, He brought peace through His Word and the moving of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, there were times when we doubted that our needs would be met.  There were days when the effects of illness and fears almost left us defeated.  There are scars that do honestly shape our decisions and affect the decisions of our children as they grow into adulthood.  There are days as a mom when the game of “What if?” could become all consuming. But beyond the legacy of still standing and surviving 10 years after such horrific times, I have the legacy of a godly and faithful mother.

For 8 years or more, my mother waged a physical battle against cancer.  I can not believe that she did not hate that disease and can only guess that at times it became an emotional and even spiritual battle as well.  However, I can not remember a time that she ever in the midst of that battle ever cursed her God.  This very thing is what has many times propelled me to chase after God more than anything else.

We have seen miracles at the hand of God that will not allow us to ever believe that He has abandoned us.  He has not always granted every wish or desire, but our needs have always been met.  His hand in taking what others intended for our harm has been used by Him to bring about good.  If nothing else ever comes of our trials, the reality that He has never abandoned us is sufficient.  It is a reassurance that carries us into the future.

I can not honestly say that I can openly praise Him and rejoice over the horrific events of March 6, 2006, and the months after.  My heart really wishes that those days were never written into the record of our lives.  But in looking back over the last 10 years, I can see His provisions.  The evidence of how He is using those events to shape our faith and develop areas in each of our lives through the refining fire is there.  For without the heat of the fire, it is impossible to remove the impurities.

Life is not easy, but we do not have to face it alone.  We have a great and mighty God that will take what others intend for harm and take it to accomplish His great plan in each of our lives.  May my children some day be able to propel themselves into the future in not remembering a day that I cursed my God.  For the evil that we may endure is never brought by the power of His hand.  It is, however, His hand that faithfully delivers us.