If you were to tell me years ago that I was going to get baptized at the age of 34, I would have laughed and said; you definitely didn't know anything about me and yeah right that would never happen! Growing up I disliked anything that had to do with the bible or church. I thought that the bible was a hate filled book used to fill people with fear and punishment. I thought that churches were filled with only the "elite, good people". I thought only those who sought comfort in the after life were in need of reading the bible and going to church; and I also thought that it did nothing more than create hypocritical, judgmental people who thought that they were better than anybody who believed otherwise. WOW how the tables have turned and God has pulled my insides out and has exposed me for who I really am: a secretly hate filled person who is in fear of judgement and ridicule, so like everyone else I covered the shame of what lurks deep within by wearing a plastic smile and pretending that everything was just dandy! For years I would say that I'm not hypocritical, I'm not judgmental however, every finger that I would point outward God has made me face, only because he loves me so much and wants me to grow and know his infinite love, so that I can share it with everyone, so that they too can know his immense mercy, love and beautiful bountiful grace...It is in God's nature to grow our hearts and to show us who we really are; and to show us who we can become. He calls us first; to save us and then to show us that we can live without shame, that we can truly walk in the freedom that he has paid for our transgressions. Now that I belong to him, now that I am saved it is time to take the next step in my faith and declare my love out loud for all to see.
Here is my written testimony:
For most of my life I had always felt as though something was missing. I
remember praying to God, desperately wanting to know him & have a
connection with him but never really knew how to. I always felt as
though my prayers were never heard. I went through most of my life with
this empty hopeless feeling. I spent the majority of my life feeling
angry & incomplete but never understood why. For many years alcohol
& drugs numbed this broken feeling, but in time drugs & alcohol
only resulted in poor choices which led to several traumas in my life. I
have since been married to a wonderful man with whom I raise four
glorious children with. Being a Wife & Mother is a privilege and has
matured both my Husband and myself a great deal. Having children
certainly helped to put our lives on track and has given us a sense of
direction and purpose...but it really never did take away that unknown
void in my heart.
Both my Husband and myself thought that it would be beneficial if we
made some changes to become more healthy. Along with these changes we
thought that it would be a good idea to get to know our community by
attending a local church service. Our initial reasons for attending were
a little on the superficial side because I wasn't even considering that
I might in fact meet God there??? Crazy enough God was the furthest
thing from my mind. If you have lived a life without knowing God's grace
then you simply don't even consider him. The very first service that we
attended I immediately felt fire crackers going off inside of my heart
& for the very first time in my life I knew that I was standing in
the presence of God's glory and had somehow in an instant come alive.
Since I have begun to take this walk in faith, the deep void in my life
has been filled and my anger has been replaced with love, hope &
peace. Jesus has changed me as a person and a veil has been lifted. A
heaviness that I once bore, has been taken from me. I can feel myself
growing as a person.
God's words strengthen and encourage me daily. There are times that the
pressures of daily living can feel overwhelming, God's words give me
assurance and confidence to continue and persevere even when things are
My favorite scripture of all time and the one that I daily measure my heart and my faith with is...
1st Corinthians 13
If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all
knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not
love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my
body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient,
love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It
is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps
no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the
truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always
perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS!
For the first time in my life God has clearly defined love for me
and I now know that something so simple is actually quite complicated
for the human heart to achieve without the love and guidance of a
Jesus has given my life true meaning and purpose and for this I am
truly grateful. I choose to surrender daily, I ask
him to fix all that is broken. I will gladly live in him eternally.
He is my one and only Savior, my rock and my redeemer. Jesus asks me
only to follow and I gladly will for my whole life through. Though I
stumble and fall daily, He continually lifts me up... I am not worthy of the
love that has been poured out for me... I need him more than anything
else in this world and I will cling to him forever. I will one day be
full in Christ and that is the day that I live for.
Have you ever received that phone call late at night that makes your heart stop beating?
All of a sudden all that I could hear was my own heart beating.
All other noises seemed to completely drain away along with the blood pumping through my veins.
This happened to everyone who knew & loved him six long years ago. Have you heard this saying?: "in time it will get easier"...
really does it EVER get easier???
Isn't that a ridiculous statement?..."it will get easier".
I think the only time that this wrong will ever seem right is when we are all reunited again.
Close to my heart, this is where I keep him.
He is safe there. I protect him there. He comforts me there.
He reminds me to live & laugh & love.
I remember him, not only today but every day from now until forever. I honor him today. I miss him with an ache that grows more & more every year that I don't get to laugh with him or hug him. I've pretended for a long time that he isn't gone in the flesh, that he's on some sort of long trip.
The closer I draw to Jesus, the more I know this to be true. I will hug him again. We will laugh together again...
for now I must endure the long ache until we meet again. Today I honor you. Today I remember your life. Today I wish you happy birthday. Today you are present. Today you are my present. I love you. I miss you. You know, I know you know.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
my Father's house are many rooms;
if it were not so, I would have told
I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and
prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I
8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.
So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Death is not the end.
Death can never be the end.
Death is the road.
Life is the traveler.
The soul is the guide.
I know I will love death.
Because death too
Is God's creation
And because death reminds me
Of the existence of her sister:
Infinity's Life immortal.
~ Sri Chinmoy ~
PS. Thank-you Dear Lord for the very precious gifts you give. ~ Happy Birthday Jason ~
The slate has been wiped,
but is it truly clean?
For you alone see the things that are unseen.
Thank-you Lord for forgiving me for all of my mistakes.
Thank-you Lord for wiping my tears & enduring all my aches.
New life can only be found in you alone.
Please forgive me when I waver & question your throne.
Will I truly have a seat in the highest place?...
or am I accountable for all of my mistakes?
Do you love me unconditionally the way that I believe?
or am I living in a world that truly does deceive?
Do you condemn?...
or do you truly love?...
I know that I must walk in light to make my way above.
Our human hearts were made by your hand.
So my transgressions, I know you understand.
Thank-you Father for loving me enough to bare the cross
Forgive me Father for sometimes I just can't bare the loss...
Sometimes things just don't work out the way we think they will.
I have been praying earnestly everyday for months, I really thought that God had spoken into my heart & had guided me directly to the place where my prayers would be answered.
Sometimes things just don't work out the way we think they will...
Even though I have faith that God knows best, that doesn't mean that my heart didn't sink with disappointment when I found out that my ways aren't God's ways. That is such an abstract concept for me. It's hard to grasp that sometimes even when my heart is in the very right place it doesn't mean that what I am praying for is God's will. Hurtful?...yes. Disappointing?...yes. Heart breaking?...yes.
God is in fact in the business of heart rebuilding/repairing,
so sometimes heart breaking just has to happen in order to repair/rebuild what is broken.
And so I will continue to pray, perhaps this prayer won't be answered in the exact way that I am praying for, only God knows.
With my heart aching, I reached for my bible for some words to soothe...late at night while the house was still,
this is what God spoke into my aching heart:
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
"Ah Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."
But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant." ~ Amen ~
I went to bed, peace restored in my heart by the words of God. When I woke up this morning my oldest boy asked if he could play his iPod, you know how kids are; before I could even say not right now, it was turned on. Somehow his bible application began speaking, I could not believe what I was hearing; it was the very same scripture I went to bed reading! I knew the very moment I heard it that God was saying: "it's okay Kiddo, I'm right here & guess what?...I know what is best for you & for everyone else too. I love you & I always will. You keep on little one, you are growing stronger in your faith every day....I'm listening. I'm listening. I hear your pleas. I know your heart...I will give you exactly what you need."
Thank-you Lord for your soothing words of comfort & love.