We never post anymore because we are full of excuses and no one reads this these days, thanks to the ever updating Facebook and and Instagram. but today while I eat lunch at my computer, why not update it a bit and shake things up on a Wednesday.
I have been convicted this week. I never share Jesus. Really share Jesus. Like as in asking the hard questions to people in my life who I am not certain really know Him. I think one of the reasons I don’t feel bold in my faith is because my story is so vanilla. I mean I barely have sprinkles on top and it may even be sugar free vanilla. I can’t let that stop me though. Grace wins whether you are saved as a child or as an adult in prison or a young girl in a pregnancy crisis center or an adult going through the motions. Grace is the same and the blood was shed just the same. So, here is my faith story.
I was raised in the buckle of the Bible belt in Fort Smith, Arkansas. God’s country. One grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher for over 50 years, the other was a faithful deacon. My grandmothers both served in various roles and one played piano/organ and still serves in her church today in different ministries. My parents were both rooted and watered in Jesus. My sister and I were therefore rooted in that same faith. For that I will be thankful for eternity. i cannot imagine growing up any other way. They lived their faith and spoke of it to us and showed it to us in how they loved us.
When I was nine years old I fell under conviction on a Sunday morning after church. my parents talked with me that afternoon and led me to the Lord. That Sunday night I walked the aisle with my Daddy and gave my life to Jesus. I was baptized the following week. The night I was saved we went to some friends house after church. It was the 1980’s and everyone was social and got together with a covered dish and nothing was fancy and time was not moving as fast. I loved that time and wish we could relive it. Anyway, I remember my daddy stopping the car on the street in front of the house and had me look up at the stars and told me today was my new birthday and God’s love and plan for me was more vast than those stars. I remember all the feels, the car, the outfit I had on, the stars that night. everything. I was washed in the blood that day. Do you know I have no memory of the date though. I have no idea if it was spring or fall. It was a bit warm and a bit chilly. Whatever the date, it was real and it was transforming.
I grew up very active in church and it was the core of my youth basically. Most of my childhood and teenage memories revolve around church and our ministry opportunities and all the fun we had together. We were given so many opportunities to grow our faith and for that I am forever grateful. I lived in a bubble and I’m grateful for it because what was about to hit me later in my youth could have rocked me off my foundation.
As a college student my cookie cutter Christian private liberal arts university attending life took a turn that rocked me to the core. My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage and it hit like a wrecking ball one afternoon. It was something I don’t like remembering. All those feels are not good feels to recap, so I will spare us all the “remembry” of that (as Mrs. Kay says on Duck Dynasty).
I stuffed it all in because I had no other option and became a helper and put my parents needs before my own. My sister sort of made me. She took on a new role with me then. She lived 5 hours away, worked full time and had a husband and a toddler (Sam). We all had to become new players in our family dynamic. I am so glad I learned to help and I saw all the ugly tears and fears. It made me who I am today. At the time I thought I would never make it out whole but now I smile at that girl working long hours at a bank while her friends were at college living it up and that girl who knew what she was missing because she had just been there with them. I admire that girl who moved her mama and her daddy on in life in those next few years while she was moving herself on and had no idea how to do it other than lean on Jesus. I learned to be a giver and not a taker. God molded me into who he wanted me to be for Him through that dark, sad time. My family is “refurbished” and though it is not like it was, it moves on and we all forge ahead and thank God for restoring things exactly as He saw fit. We may have been crushed by bad choices at that time but God helped me remember Whose I was and what steps to take out of it. We are a family who leans on humor to work through tough times. I am so thankful for laughter and that those two souls who claim us as their girls were rooted deep in the beginning and in turn taught us to lean in hard, laugh and never stop living for Jesus.
I took the higher road out of that situation and finished college after a 9 month stay working full time at home to get myself off in the world again. I got married shortly after college and here I am. I am married to a man who also came from a broken home yet his was broken as a small child. Our stories are so different yet that split is the same feel. Our family dynamics are totally different though. Like I could write a book and you would totally read it too. We forge ahead and try to beat the odds for Henry. We are watering the roots for him hoping he will flourish in his faith also. This is my faith story. It’s vanilla compared to so many but its mine. Thank you, Jesus. He saves no matter what you have done or where you came from. He’s Jesus to all of us, not just some of us. He died for everyone and no one is more righteous than He is. He has healed my damaged emotions and I am thankful for His hand on my life.
Do you know Him?