February is the month of love, and while we tend to think of our significant others as the most important love in our life, our first true love should go to our amazing Father in heaven who has loved us from the beginning. He has been there while we were in our mother’s womb and I want to share my love story with Jesus throughout these last 27 years.
And so it began:
Yes, it’s true…this is me! I had cheeks that lasted for miles:) Although I didn’t personally know Jesus yet, my family did, and were raising me in a home where that was first priority. Thank you so much mom and dad for instilling these values into us from this age and on!!
Aww…hehe, can you believe these locks!! Anyway, kindergarten was the time when I verbally committed myself to Jesus and realized that He lived in me and was Lord. Realized that He died on the cross for MY sins so that I may someday have eternal life with Him. I may not have truly known what it all meant in a mature way, but faith like a child is amazing! No questions asked!
And then high-school. I must admit, I loved Jesus throughout high-school, and didn’t break any of his “rules” or “commandments” but looking back I realize it must have grieved Him that I didn’t spend much quality time with Him. I thought being a “good girl” was enough! I remember constantly thinking, oh in college I’ll really put my “time” in with Him. I’m going to a Christian school, that will be a great place to become serious about Jesus! I always pushed it back to a later date. I realize how lucky I am that I was able to have that later date, that God wasn’t done with me yet, because what a shame to never really truly understand the amazing power and presence and love of the one who created me!!
And college did come…and it was AMAZING!! You all know that I thought I was going for my MRS. and my DR (diamond ring) which didn’t happen, but the biggest blessing that came from college was the friendships! I had never been surrounded by girls who shared the exact same values as myself and pushed me to be an even better person. I saw these girls’ relationships with God that were amazing and wanted that in my life. This is the first time I truly felt the love and presence of God. I truly decided that I loved Jesus for myself, not my parents or other people…but for me! What an amazing feeling, to have your own faith. I believe that these were some of the easiest years to draw close to God, there were very little distractions and we did live in somewhat of a bubble world being at a Christian school. I so encourage people to seek out Christian schools, even though they are extremely expensive (thanks Dad!) because the experience you can have there, if you choose to surround yourself with the best people, are priceless! A big shout out to all my lovely ladies that I adore and thank God for every day, even though I don’t get to see or talk to you that often!!
A little side note, when I was in college we had to share our testimony quite frequently, and I was always a little discouraged that I didn’t have an AMAZING testimony that some other people had. You know, the God called my name out when I was in the depths of darkness, or I was saved from a life of drugs and alcohol, or whatever it might be. Makes for a great story, but as I matured and lived in this life…and especially once I had kids, I realized what an amazing testimony it is to be boring! God allowed me to go through my whole k-12 education without harming myself or doing things I regret. He protected me from a lot of darkness that is in the world. I believe he instilled in me since I was born a sense of “doing what’s right.” Even to this day I can not budge in line or do something that I could remotely get caught at, I am too nervous. Let’s just say I wasn’t a dare devil. He also instilled in me a little stubborness, (Sorry mom, dad, and Ry) that I realize can be good if I so choose it to be. I believe that is what got me through my whole high-school career not taking a sip of alcohol, or kissing a boy. I believe that is what helped me stand up for my values, and the fact that the Lord did bless me with great friends in high-school as well. They may not have all challenged me spiritually, but they were great girls. They had great morals and made it easy to be with! Thank you Jesus.
Then comes marriage and family, cause let’s be honest, they were about hand-in-hand for me:)
These have been some of the happiest years of my life, but I have to tell you, they have also been some of the hardest years to maintain a close relationship with my Lord. I love Him and always will, but that close quality time, feel the goosebump love of God has had its ups and downs. Maybe it’s because of the dishes, diapers, whines, cleaning, serving, playing, holding, disciplining, reading, snuggling, and everything else that calls our attention throughout the day. I’m sure you can insert your own! Maybe it’s because our children tend to consume us since our love is so deep, or because we want to put our focus on creating a better marriage…whatever it is, it is distracting. When I get some time to myself during the day I want to clean the house, or curl up and read my newest Better Homes and Gardens, or do something for myself. It is so easy to get sidetracked. So this is where my story still continues. How I choose to spend my time and efforts is in my hands now. There are no excuses…there is only Jesus waiting for me to choose Him. I know that it will continue to be a roller coaster so I continue to pray God’s mercy on me and strength to persevere, and grace when I fail. I would love to hear your stories…or encouragement! I pray God is working in your life today!!