Trish Ryan: Taking Jesus Seriously
By Kara Lavengood
The 700 Club
“I feel like when I was a little girl I knew two things for sure,” Trish Ryan said. “I somehow sensed that God was real, and that he cared about my life. And I also sensed that God would someday bring me a husband.”
Trish Ryan always dreamed of getting married and living happily ever after.
“I did notice, around the time I had my first boyfriend, that things, that life was significantly happier when you had a guy in your life,” Trish said. “And I kind of hooked into that, I think, as something - once you’ve had it you don’t want to live without it.”
When Trish went to college, it wasn’t long before she met a guy and fell for him.
“I think my second month in, I met a tall handsome man who liked me and we started dating, and we dated all through college. Eventually, he proposed,” Trish said.
Trish was amazed that her childhood dreams were coming true.
“I just thought, wow- this is my life. Like I’m up and running, here I go. I’ve got my prince charming; it’s going to be fabulous!” Trish said.
But Trish’s fiancé cheated on her and they never made it to the altar.
“That was kind of the beginning of the end, both for he and I, but also for my fairy-tale image of life,” Trish said.
Though she was heart-broken, Trish jumped into another relationship just three weeks later.
“I think that’s always how I’d approached dating is, you know, one guy breaks up with you, someone else always comes along,” Trish said.
But that relationship also ended in heartache. Trish was desperate for change, and searching for fulfillment. She decided to study new-age spirituality.
“I kind of had this smorgasbord approach to faith; that if some is good, more is better,” Trish said. “I kind of thought spirituality must be this sort of all good thing.”
From astrology to meditation and eastern religious philosophy - Trish tried everything. She even used feng shui to spice up her love life.
“It was all about the romance corner for me. I had these lovebirds with a candle burning for passion. I had nine rose quartz crystals because they were supposed to somehow activate the earth energy. I had Chinese love knots. I had a red pillow on my bed to signify- like to attract passion,” Trish said. “By the end, my bedroom sort of looked like a Chinese restaurant. And so, at the end of that, I was just like, ‘I command the universe to bring me a man.’”
Trish went on a dating binge.
‘It was like I would date anyone who wandered by and looked at me. I think I had so lost confidence in myself and what I had to offer that really any guy who asked me out I would say yes,” Trish said. “So, one day a friend just looked at me and said, ‘it seems like you’ve broken your chooser.’”
Trish was sick of dating, so again she made a plea to “the universe.”
“I said, ‘you know what, I’m tired of having boyfriend problems, I’m ready to have husband problems,’” Trish said.
Trish got what she wished for: meeting and marrying a man who gave her nothing but problems.
“He’d have these rages, these blow-ups,” Trish said. “If I got my hair cut too short, or if I put the soda away in the wrong part of the refrigerator, he would just scream at me for hours, and call me all these awful things and tell me I was a horrible person.”
Trish fled her abusive marriage and got a divorce. She vowed never to marry again.
“I think somewhere deep inside I believed that this was as good as it got,” Trish said.
But before too long, Trish was ready to try again.
“I passed this video store. I think it had a new version of Cinderella it was advertising. I just remember thinking, ‘ahhh, I want that.’ And I actually said out loud, probably for the first time, ‘I want to be married,’” Trish said. “This matters to me. I want to be married. And I pulled up to a light and I felt this voice in my head that sounded, I don’t know, it sounds like James Earl Jones, said, ‘I have more for you.’ I was sort of like, ‘what was that? I felt like he said, ‘I have more for you. I have a husband, and a family and everything you want, but you need to take Jesus seriously.’”
Though she didn’t know how, Trish wanted to do what God asked of her. She began reading the Bible.
“So, I’m finding like the Bible really says that God can exceed my expectations, that he wants to answer my prayers, he wants to talk to me and sort of this crazy idea that if I speak to God, I could expect that he would speak back.,” Trish said. “All sorts of promises that I hadn’t thought possible; I hadn’t even thought to look for in the Bible. I felt like, at that point, God was saying to me, ‘this has—this may seem strange to you, but this is the self-help book you’ve been looking for.’”
Around the same time, a friend asked Trish to visit a church with her.
“She said to me that there was this new church in town she’d heard of, and they served coffee and bagels. But, she’s like, ‘they’re real Christians. You know, no sex before marriage, the whole thing.’ And I just thought, ‘the Christians! They’re in town!’ I just felt like the circus had come to town or something. And I thought I can go see what they’re like,” Trish said.
Trish visited the church and was surprised by what she saw.
“As I looked around I saw all these couples that looked really happy,” Trish said.
Trish was intrigued enough to visit again. Pretty soon she was a regular. Over the course of several months, she developed a relationship with God and made the decision to get baptized.
“And I remember, when I stood up they asked you to give a little time of sharing about why you’re there. I just said, ‘you know, I’ve spent most of my adult life saying I believe in God, but not like those people. And by “those people”, I meant Christians. So, I’m here today to say I believe in Jesus and I am like those people,’” Trish said.
“I didn’t see it immediately after I got baptized, but as I look back now, I can see things in my life started to change in a really noticeable way,” Trish said.
Trish met a Christian man at her church and is now happily married! Today, she’s inspiring young women with her memoir of finding faith, hope and happily-ever-after.
“The fairy tale ending has been more than I would have thought to hope for,” Trish said. “Steve and I are married now; we’ve been married for four years. And marriage is really good. I feel like, that God put that longing in my heart and it’s real.”
“He can speak directly into your life in ways that I never could,” Trish said, “or someone you meet can’t. He’s the God of the universe. He knows the deepest longings of your heart. I mean, how did He draw me to Himself? He came right down in a moment when I was longing for a husband and said I have that for you.”
“One of the cool things about Jesus is this promise that somehow when he comes into your life, the old is gone, the new has come,” Trish said. “I mean, I certainly, we could’ve brought the baggage from the past into our marriage. We took Jesus up on his offer that we didn’t have to; that He could take it for us and that we could be new creations, because the old had gone and the new has come.”Can God change your life?
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