16yrs ago I accepted Christ as my Savior. I found the peace that comes with the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. I also embarked on a journey with Christ that has at times been very very lonely. Now I have not faced in those 16yrs the same trials that other brothers and sisters in Christ over seas have faced. I have not come close to being murdered for my faith and I have never been beaten for my faith either. I do not, nor will I ever probably be able to even imagine what those Brothers and Sisters have been through. I praise God for them and the strength that He gives to them, I pray for them that they will continue to have the joy and peace that comes only from knowing HIM.
have, however, faced isolation for my faith. I was the Jesus Freak in
high school and probably rightfully so. I have grown since high school
in faith and in knowledge I am a more gracious and loving person now.
But honestly High School sucked because of my faith and commitment to
Christ and living for him. I don't regret it at all...Just saying, it
was lonely, hard and I was thankful it was over when it was lol. Bottom
line is I didn't fit in.
I didn't fit in at
school, and I didn't even fit in at home. Those of you who know me at
all from that time know my dad was not a kind man when it came to me
going to church. He hated it, was very anti-church, anti-God, he had his
reasons for it, dealing with hypocritical Christians in his school when
he was growing up, and unfortunately just not meeting many Christians
in his adult life either that treated him like he was a real person. It
makes me sad that to this day my dad has probably only met a handful of
Christians that didn't look at him like he was a peace of trash that
would taint them with his stench if they talked to him. It just
challenges me even more to live more fully for the Lord so that in hopes
one day he would see the Love of Christ and not just sinful people that
claim to love Christ but don't want to act on it. However I won't go
into any more discussion on that as it is an entirely different subject.
My teen years were hard and difficult but I wouldn't change them, those
years are what God used to mold me and to shape my faith.
could go into so many more details but I desire to keep this as brief
as possible so I won't. I will say though that during the first 8yrs of
my Christian life I felt an extreme sense of loneliness. I longed to
have the same connection with my family the way that others had with
theirs. I just couldn't, no matter how hard I tried, my relationship
with Christ and the way I lived my life separated me from them. It was
as I often described like I was on one side of the Grand Canyon and my
family was on the other. And my spending time with them felt like I was
using a bull horn to communicate with them. That loneliness eased when
God brought me my husband and his family that too were believers I
finally felt connected again to an earthly family. But my heart still
always longed to have the same connection with members of my own
immediate family. So I prayed and I prayed for God's redeeming grace to
come to them. It didn't come but I took hope that one day that it just
might so I kept praying.
I prayed for 16yrs before
someone in my family came to have the peace from the forgiveness of sins
that comes only from knowing Christ. 16yrs. And during much of that
time I had no idea how God was working in their lives. On February 23rd,
2014 I had the privilege to witness my Grandfather and my Mother
participating in believers baptism. In the 7days that I have even known
of their faith in Christ I have seen not only them profess that faith
but live it out. Today my Grandfather encouraged my heart in a way that
only a follower of Christ could. He lifted me up in the midst of, what
felt like, a disastrous trial, and he pointed my eyes back to Christ.
the Lord used my grandfather in a way that I truly felt blessed and was
reminded of God's promises and truth. And then when I thanked him he
pointed the praise back to God and said it was all of God and none of
Him. My mother, for the first time in a long time, also encouraged my
heart, lifted me up with her prayers, and too pointed me back to Christ.
I shared with her that I no longer feel like it's just me in the one
side of the Grand Canyon.
I don't share any of
this to get sympathy for the hard lonely times of my life. I don't want
sympathy, I share this and only the few details I have shared to show
God's amazing Grace. His redeeming work. He alone has done something so
significant and so profound and He alone deserves the glory and praise. I
want to praise him. I want to shout out to the roof tops that if God
can change the hearts of my grandfather and my mother, he can change any
heart. God answers prayers in His time, he also answers them in way we
don't see coming, nor do we even expect, and He often does so in a way
that we may not even know of until it is already done. I have a bond
with my grandfather and mother now that I have never had before and it's
beautiful. It's nothing because I have done, it's all because of what
God has done.