From the stories I have been told my entire life, I was practically born in church. My mother has spent many holidays around the table relaying the time I was almost smothered by some “old church ladies” as a newborn because they were so busy snuggling, cuddling, and cooing over me they forgot to take off my heavy winter bunting before passing me around like a hot potato. And while the name of Jesus has been on my lips for as long as I can remember the transformation in my heart to make Him Lord of my life has taken many, many, years.
When I was about seven years old, the safety and security of my world was completely shattered at the announcement of my parents’ divorce. The next several years were a blur of custody battles and moving from place to place, never really settling into a home. Abuse, abandonment, and harsh words replaced the sweet memories of summers playing in the garden with my siblings, or Christmas morning at grandmas, and I felt hollow, broken, and dying inside.
And then one Sunday morning, as we were trying out yet another new church, something the pastor said finally cut through the thick cloud of sadness and heartache that consumed my mind: Jesus loves you and will never leave you.
Never leave you. Was that possible? In the few years prior to this moment I had experienced so much loss that I wasn’t sure I could believe it to be true. But I desperately wanted to. I wanted to believe that Jesus could and would really love me like that. And that no matter how messed-up I was, or what lies I had told, or how brutally I had been treated, that He would still stand by me. Forever. Even if I was broken.
The rest of my memory is a little fuzzy here, and the exact specifics have been lost to time, but what I know is I marched down the aisle of that little church, prayed some version of “the sinners prayer” and walked out of that church a changed little girl.
The person I used to be was gone forever. And it was up to me to decide who I wanted to be in the future. That day I set down the labels of “victim, broken and unloved” that I had been carrying around and replaced them with my identity in Christ. I was a new creation. The past was gone, and I was looking forward.
That one choice, to take a chance on Jesus, changed my life. I put myself out there into His arms, and He has not left my side for a moment since.
This is the beginning of my story. And as each new chapter is written, filled with heartbreak, sorrow, joy, hope, family, friends, children and service, there is always one constant character: Jesus. Every chapter has been filled with the presence of Jesus.
It has become my prayer, as He continues to write each page of my story, that the words of my mouth, and meditations of my heart would be pleasing in His sight, for He is my Lord, Rock & Redeemer! (see Psalm 19:14)
If you do not know this wonderful Savior or have a joyous foundation built on Him, I invite you to reach out. I would love to share more with you about how He has changed my life, and how He would absolutely do the same for yours.