In June of 1985, I was 10 years old. I had been learning about Jesus in Sunday School. I was learning the books of the Bible. I remember wanting to join the church. I remember rumors were circulating that our pastor was talking about leaving our church. I remember feeling it was time for me to get baptized because I wanted Preacher Peebles to be the one who baptized me.
Twenty-three years later, this is as close as I can bring you to what I was thinking back then. I can honestly tell you I have never doubted who Christ was. I was raised in a family of Christians. There has never been a doubt in my mind that I should become what my name means: Christ-follower. But something happened from age 10 – age 30. What I believe took place are many acts of disobedience. I took for granted who Christ is and who He is in my life.
I look back during those years. I cringe at my disobedience. But during those years, blessings abounded. I met my husband. I did well in school. Yet I wonder, if I had been obedient to God, how my path would have been different. Would I still have some friends I lost? Would I have been in the same circles of friends? How would my marriage have been better if I’d been obedient to Christ?
I’ll never know. I believe by the time I reach Heaven, I won’t care about these things I question now. And right now, I know none of it matters. Because the one true thing that was consistent through those years was Christ. He never left me. I believe He knew my decisions before I made them. I know if I had taken a different path, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have the security of Christ.
I think I found Christ just hours after my daughter was born. Billy had finally fallen asleep on the small cot. It had been a long day of waiting for our daughter to come and then the stress of realizing she was going to need some help. I know it stressed him out seeing me go in to surgery, but I was relieved. And when I finally held my baby girl there in the dim light of the hospital room, in awe of how perfect she was, I realized I was only a small part of her existence. I couldn’t imagine how something so perfect could have been stirring inside of me during the last nine months. I never thought I could love someone so much. And that was where I found Christ. I realized, He loves me more. No matter how much I love my husband, my daughter, my family, friends, He is love. How precious is He!
I realized in that hospital room, that I needed to make some changes. I didn’t want my daughter to make the same mistakes I did and I knew that I could have influence over her life, but first, I had to change. I had to stop the disobedience. I had to turn toward the Lord.
Eighteen months later, I took a huge leap. I returned to church all by myself. My husband was working that day and I had been talking about wanting to get back into church. I dressed my daughter and carried her through the front doors of the church. I was welcomed by so many familiar faces. These were people who had comforted my husband and I years earlier when we lost my father in law. These were people who had not forgotten me and treated me as I never left.
The last two years I consider my years of renewal. God has put the right people in front of me, people who love the Lord and guided me on how to study the Word. If you’re not sure what the Bible means, email me and I’ll recommend a book that changed my whole view of Christ and this world. It made everything connect. I realized that not only did He shed His precious blood for my sins, but he suffered so terribly when He was separated from God during his time on the Cross.
I’ve come full circle in the last 23 years. I know I’m still going. I know the road won’t be perfect, in fact, it will be filled with tribulations. But for this next season of my life I know that in everything I do, Work for Him, Love for Him, Raise my children in Him, Love for Him, Write for Him!
I want to do it all for the Glory of God!
And this Sunday, I’ll be getting baptized again! I’m rededicating my life. Finally, life has purpose, beyond my wildest dreams. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!