So I promised my story today, my biblical story, my salvation. It’s a hard story to write because it’s not happy (because I’m lacking Christ in the beginning) for all of it. But let me start trying to explain how I got here in the life I have now versus really how it could have been.
My story starts pretty young, try 18 months young when something shifted the orbit from focusing all on me to focusing on something much more important: my sister. Most kids have a change in lifestyle when younger siblings arrive but mine changed a little more drastically than most. My sister’s life started with a major side effect: hydrocephalus. This factor in my life has ripples in my life to this day. I learned sometimes the hard way that the world didn’t revolve around me.
I have always believed in God. I’ve always known he existed. I’ve never had that doubt of if he really existed. I’ve known long term Christians wrestle with this thought & idea because they don’t “feel” him. I found that when God talks about faith like a child… I see it here. You get older & can get too smart for your own good. You stop thinking of God as your all knowing father and you start trying to out do, out think, out smart the omnipresent/potent/scient Creator of the universes! But children can sense a father’s presence and let him lead if the child has been brought up by the father in the way. God’s first miracle in my life is a miracle most would openly deny of being a miracle and blessing. It’s been a hard road to hoe, but I never doubted that God wasn’t with us. I still disobeyed, sinned and failed to be selfless, but I could at the end of the day still trust God was my God.
I believed that Christ was my savior when I was young child, around 8 when I heard a sermon on my sin one Sunday. I went down after church and prayed with the preacher the prayer of repentance. I’ll say here that I was not baptized until a much later date. I went home and celebrated the decision, but still made a sinful fool of myself. I was smart, but almost too smart for my behind to handle! I never did Awanas, I never did Spark or attend every Sunday and memorize all the verses for smiley face stickers, because with a sibling who wasn’t provided a place to be at church, our family just couldn’t go every Sunday without rotating which parent got to go to church. This option at my church here is something that makes me so grateful for them. They have both inclusion options for the kids in their grade level Sunday school and a special classroom of volunteers for those who don’t want or can’t sit for a regular Sunday school class.
We moved to Missouri for a short while and never got connected in, I still believed in God but I never attended church those my neighbors offered once or twice, I just didn’t feel comfortable attending with them. When we moved back to Texas the following school year I found out how little I relied on God to make my life something worth having. I struggled heavily with depression and fear in eighth grade and still can feel the scars when Satan presses the wounds through barbed or thoughtless comments I hear from friends and family. This is was probably the darkest period of my life. I was also becoming involved in a youth group and starting to make friends with other believers but I’m never sure they saw the real me versus Sunday school me. I was still introverted and most people who know me today say that’s a lie, but I still need down time to make up for the exhaustion being around others causes for me in my day to day. High school believe it or not was so much better. I was able to drive early due to a hardship license (transporting my sister was difficult if she didn’t feel like it that day), I attended church regularly, and school got easier. In junior year I left my church because of favoritism, greediness, and uncomfortable with how the direction of youth was going. It burned my faith in other Christians and I did not attend church until I left for college. I regret not finding another church, I could have truly used the influence in my daily mistakes.
College was where I decided I didn’t like how I was living and wanted to change it. When I moved to attend college I drove past this rather large church and looked up information on college services, beliefs, and times. I showed up to a college service during the week and met not a soul. I was just one in a swarm of hundreds. Everyone knew everyone and I felt so unwanted. In the past I would just shut down and hide in the back but college gave me such freedoms that I decided I didn’t want to just be the girl in the back who knew no one and no one knew her. I made a deal with myself for the semester (which with all the stress that happened, was a good thing) that I would make it one semester and meet new people. I would meet at least 5 people every week, and then add to it and go back and reintroduce myself to those people until I could consider them friends. My church offered female only lifegroups and that was something I desparately needed. 7 girls, 1 older girl leading us through the swamp that is college. I wish I could say I still saw and knew them like I did then, but we all moved on after college and they have their own lives. I rededicated my live that fall and was finally baptized as one of God’s children Nov 14 2006. Hallelujah. I can say that college was not a time for me to fall away from my faith but to strengthen and finally feel that I was where God wanted me to be. I love this church and it’s desire to discipline and disciple, pour into and pour out into the community who drive past our church every day and don’t know the Savior who loves and lives. May the Lord of everlasting peace and joy bring meaning and value to all who are his children. I have not stopped growing and I am never going to be perfect, I’ll always tell you that, I’ll never be everything that I desire, but I will seek to fulfill God’s desires for me.
So yeah, what would I have been without Christ? A lot less kind, disciplined, promiscuous, violent or dead but Christ isn’t about making me or you moral he’s about changing our hearts, our idols, our whole way of thinking that we’re the most important person in the universe, to making us realize that others are more important than ourselves, we should worship no other before God & without Christ we’d never know how sinful & selfish our flesh is. We should always thank God that his mercy has found us.
Next week I’ll talk about to write out your story. It’s okay if its not dramatic to you because all of us are sinners & every story is unique to God as visuals if his grace & bountiful mercy.