I am so blessed to call this next writer my friend and mentor. She has helped me so much in figuring out blogging. I know I can send her the most random question and she is always willing to help me out. You can visit her blog at Going Crazy!! Wanna Go?!!
She has excellent family fun posts as well as some good personal growth posts. I have loved watching her grow over the years in her marriage and as a family and I pray she blesses others with her message. And here is her story….
When I was growing up, my family was not the church-going type. My parents instilled good values in us and taught us how to be good people. We didn’t talk about God and salvation. We didn’t talk about the bible. My sister and I were invited to churches by our friends at times and we occasionally went to Vacation Bible School…if the bus would come pick us up. My sister was much more social than I was so she was more likely to go to church with her friends and sometimes she would take me along. Even today she is more into her church and serving than I will ever be. I’m just too quiet and timid.
I remember going to a Women of Faith conference with her several years ago when I was in my early twenties. I was amazed at the power of the faith that was in that convention center. I had never experienced anything quite like it. My sister had a lot of faith and we would talk about it at times, but she was still learning a lot and having me question things made her insecure and she would go on the defensive. She felt that I was questioning her faith, but I was simply trying to learn and test my own waters out. During that conference, I prayed with these women and checked a box on a form and suddenly my sister was going berserk and saying that I had been saved and that Jesus was in my heart. I honestly thought the box was to receive more information in the mail that I could study so that I would learn whether I wanted this life of Christianity. I was intrigued and I wanted to know more, but I didn’t know what it meant to be saved. She was way too excited and spread the word through the conference way too fast for me to say “stop” and tell her what I really meant when I checked that box.
What I knew I had come away with from that conference was this: Being a Christian meant a life with huge struggles and challenges that I did not think I could bear. These women talked about cancer and illness, tragedies beyond anything that I wanted to endure. I wanted no part in the learning and strengthening that came to these women because of their strong faith. They had death and destruction in their lives and although they talked about how God brought them through it, I didn’t even want to go there at all!
After I met my husband, a Jewish man, I just knew that I would never be a “true” Christian and I just gave in to what life had dealt me. We had our struggles, like most newlyweds with a baby would, and we just survived. One day; however, he mentioned that a woman at his work had invited him to church and assured him, as a Jew, that he would be welcome because the pastor was Jewish as well. Before I knew what I was doing, I said we should go and see what it was like and I believe this was the first time that God told me to do something and I obeyed. I didn’t hear Him. I didn’t see Him. I just heard the words coming out of my mouth and then I felt obligated to follow through.
Within 6 months of attending Grace Bible Church, my husband and I had accepted Christ in our hearts and we were saved. After 8 months, we were both baptized. We are obeying God in the best way we know how and we are experiencing our own struggles. We haven’t dealt with death and cancer and all that I was terrified of during that WOF conference, but we deal with our daily struggles as a couple, as parents, as middle class income earners. You know the ones, right?
I talked to my pastor’s wife about my fears that becoming a Christian would lead to terrible struggles. She told me that these struggles will happen in life. Death and tragedy is a part of life. But when those things happen to us it is much more reassuring to know that we have the Lord on our side and fighting for us rather than the Devil leading our way into further destruction. When I come across the big fights, I have my weapon, the bible, to fight with rather than my own weak body and hands. I believe that my marriage was saved by God and that He wants us to fight daily to keep it alive.
This past Sunday our pastor was reading in John 12 about Jesus visiting Simon the Leper. He talked about how we often want to host Jesus in our homes and in our lives, but we don’t want to honor Him. Mary was the one to get down on her knees and clean Jesus’ feet and anoint Him with her oil. When I think about the good things happening in our lives, I think about how God can be honored for providing for us. I try not to say the word “lucky”, but instead, I say “blessed” because life is not about chance and luck. It is about God’s will and His blessings. This is not always popular in my family or my work, but it is what it is and I seek to speak the truth.
I’m still terrified that my family will go through destruction and tragedy. Every time someone says that my boy is a blessing to this world and that he lights up a room, I think about the children who die and their loved ones say “he would just bring joy to everyone he met”. I fear that my child, in his loving way, will reach his potential too early (for my liking) and be called to the Lord before I’m ready. But I can’t let myself be consumed by this fear because I am working daily, hourly even, to seek God’s will for me and follow Him wherever He leads me.