Friday, July 27, 2012

My Mentor: Genevieve Ray

This post is out of theme. Sure there are church related Disney things and in the movies and such but I figured I would do something someone asked of me. Let a story be heard.

You all have heard me talk about the woman I look up to in everything. She has her moments where she lets her sinful side get the best of her, but is the most faithful woman I know. I am going to let her tell her story. I asked her not to sensor anything. I told her if it takes 5 pages, it takes 5 pages. I am so excited for her to tell her story. So I will let her begin.

Hello Everyone! Odette puts me on a pedastal where I don't belong. I am just a Christian doing what God has put me on this Earth to do. Odette has asked me to start at the beginning of my life and really that's where my faith starts was when I was very tiny.

I was born to decedents of well rather off families in Paris, France. To give some indication my father's name though he didn't care for it is Vuitton and my mother was a Thibodeaux.  Though, my father was against being well off and thought it to be unchristian like since the verse.

It is easier for a camel through the eye of the needle to enter, than for a rich man to enter into the reign of God - Mark 10:25
 My father was a brimstone and fire preacher. He was almost cruel during his sermons, perhaps he did go to far one day that sent everything I knew as a child into chaos. My mother was fearful of my dad and it was a strain on my mother's family because she became withdrawn from the rest of the world. My dad liked to live almost barbaric. My mother was not used to that at all, but she loved my father.

My mother was murdered when I was six year old. I remember bits and pieces of my life during that time. It wasn't until I found the love of my life that I understood why my dad was so angry. My father's sermons during almost completely dark. He damned anything that stepped a toe out of Heaven. He was suppose to counsel teenagers and help them yet I do think he drove some of them to being worse. It was until he lost his pulpit that I think it finally dawned on him that he wasn't see hope anymore.

He was very strict on me. I had to have top notch grades or I was punished. I had to memorize several Bible verses a week or I was punished. When I was 12 years old, he had just started preaching at a new church and he was almost seeing the hope in people again. We were walking home and car hit him. There was investigation, and while some say it was on purpose I have my doubts.

I was sent to live with my mother's mother. She, of course, disapproved of the way I was raised. I didn't understand her class. She sent me to a finishing boarding school. I was to learn manners and the ways of good Christian homemaker. I did. I graduated at 15. Top marks and all, and I don't regret going there to this day. I went on to college go a degree in art and literature. I simply love to read and draw.

It was around the time I was 19 years old working at a coffeehouse not far from my flat in Paris that my life for the third time was flipped upside down. I was always cautious of men. I feared them. I feared men from other countries even more (including the US.) I was going about my usual day at the coffeehouse when a group of people my age entered. They were Americans and I'll admit part of me dreaded that because I was the only one that new English well enough and that meant I was going to have to wait on all of them.

I went through the drill except this one guy he was towards the end and you could tell was the clown of the bunch. He walked up to me and in French asked for my number. I told him no. A lady got onto him and I looked him puzzled and he explained he was on his senior trip. His drawl took my breath away, it was so deep. I finished up their orders trying not to look at the guy. He kept meeting my eyes and finally he came back over to the counter and asked did I have any recommendations on sightseeing besides myself. I know to this day I was blushing something awful. I gave in and gave him my number.

He told me where his group was eating that night and I went there much to my own surprise and his. They were going to see the Eiffel Tower at night and I walked with him. He looked at me and asked if I would marry him and I told him only if he would take me to the North Pole. The next day at work that goofy boy comes in with a bag on his arm and pulls me out of the coffee shop and drops to one knee and pulls out a paper towel tube with red ribbon around it and red ball on top and asks me again. I told him no but I'd settle on a long distance relationship.

We talked for a year after that. I moved to Alabama not long after a year I had graduated college and I found a publishing company in America to work for as a illustrator. His mom was incredible (still is) and welcomed me into her home. We bought a house not far from her house and we lived together sort of on a daily basis. He had joined the Marines during that span of time and was going through basic training. He plowed through the Marines in the time after that. We were married in March 2009, almost three years after we met since he had been deployed straight out of basic training. We had waited and were virgins together on our wedding night.

I became pregnant on our honeymoon. He was overly thrilled and his whole family threw us a beautiful pregnancy party. He was the first of any of his brothers to get married and have a child. Though he was deployed in August 2009. I remember how I hated seeing him go. He was so excited about the fact that we knew were having a girl. He took the sonogram picture with him. He had spent as much time as he could fixing up her room. It was suppose to look like a treehouse (and it does.)

I grew with little Esme in me. I felt her kick at night while he was gone. I would write him and tell him. I ran to the mailbox each day praying for a letter from him. I was so excited I had a doctor visit November 6 and was so excited to get home to tell my mother in-law that the little girl was completely healthy. I went straight in and there was two men there in the room and I just knew.

All happiness drained from my body. I felt my throat swell. I remember Thomas's brothers grabbing me and holding me up. That was the last thing I wanted to do. The days were blurs to me. I received his dogtags in an yellow envelop. I'll admit crazy thoughts came to mind. Aborting the baby even was the wildest. I knew Thomas wouldn't want that. I almost gave her up for adoption. I knew I couldn't do that either. Part of Thomas would be alive somewhere and I wouldn't get to enjoy it.

I stared at his body in casket. I have his flag in his cabinet that he kept his things in. I went through Thanksgiving and Christmas in a slump. I don't really remember much of anything of those holidays that year. January 10, 2010 I was in TN having that sweet little angel. I couldn't have asked for an easier homebirth. We checked in at the nearest hospital and we were both fine. After a long month and half Esme and I left the states and went to live in France.

I couldn't face it. We stayed there for a year. Esme knows who her daddy is and was. I don't hide that from her. People ask me how I can live with my mother being murdered, my dad dying in front of me and my husband dying in action. I have been blessed by God. Yes I have had death in my family. Blessings come out of death too. I never would have been close to my father if my mother had lived. I never would have known Thomas or known how to act if my father hadn't of died and if Thomas's hadn't of died I may not have 3 beautiful children (only Esme is my biological child) and wonderful new husband. I will always love Thomas so deep in my heart that no one could replace him.

I have people all the time tell me well I never get anything from God, well what exactly have you gave him. All relationships work better when you are the one giving not receiving. If you haven't made sacrifices for him do you really think he is going to do something for you? He will forgive you when you don't deserve but you have to ask to be forgiven.

I could be on depression medicine but I have the best anti-depression medicine that comes without a charge. I live on religious foundation. I built it years ago and I build everything on that solid foundation. Without God what will hold up? Nothing. Read Revelations if you don't believe me and Job. Those books will get you through a lot. They do me.

Odette has come to me several times asking for advice. I am honored and yet skeptical. I'm not a preacher or a priest. God and I have daily time together. Sometimes it's very brief other times it's 8 times a day. I just get depressed when I see people that say they are Christians supporting things that Christians shouldn't support. No where in the Bible does it say races can't marry each other but it does STRICTLY say that gay marriage and relationships are wrong. I am not saying they aren't people but I will NOT support them. There is no way around it. And for it being love, you can love someone without having sexual or physical relationships with them.

It just really saddens me that this is what it has come to in this world. However, I am not going to let it bother me. I do what the Lord calls me to do. My oldest daughter is on a mission trip and she is just 10 years old. God has blessed our life through and through. I applaud Odette for writing the way she does and I really hope it continues.

-Genevieve Ray (Genuine Genevieve)

No comments: