I had said last Sunday that I'd be sharing my testimony this week. I really, really wanted everyone to forget I said that. I'm not ashamed at all of my journey or my faith, but sometimes it's just way too hard to be transparent. The Lord has really been dealing with me lately about the fact that I don't share my faith nearly enough.
As I said last week, I had really been hoping and praying for an opportunity to use my writing to bring Him glory, when it occurred to me that I DO have this blog. I follow a number of fellow bloggers who are Christian, and certainly they don't shy away from sharing their faith and even examples from their own life.
I write this not to offend anyone, but rather I write it in the hopes that someone will read it and be inspired to do the same.
When I was a child, I was raised in a Christian home, with two parents who both had been brought up in church and in the faith. As a young child, we really didn't attend or belong to a church, and didn't actively begin attending church until I was in about the fourth grade. We visited different churches but never really found anywhere we felt we belonged. Still, despite the lack of church attendance, I was enrolled in a Christian preschool and eventually, Christian school. It was about that time we found a church and began to actively attend.
A few short years later, my Christian school closed, and I transitioned to a public high school. When the preacher at that sweet little church moved onto another congregation, we began attending a much larger church in town and most of my youth group was comprised of kids from my school that I had little in common with and didn't really interact with outside of church. Still, I loved that little group and looked forward to learning from my Sunday School teachers each week. I had been in Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a middle school student, but didn't pursue any Christian clubs or events as a high school student. Sadly, I feel like I was still trying to find my place and was too self-conscious to be overly vocal about my faith at school. Still, while at church one Sunday, I made a public decision to get saved and follow God. Sadly, this was a decision to which I didn't fully dedicate myself.
I went on to college- a small liberal arts college about 4 hours from home in the NC mountains. When I look back at my life, I realize that these were the years when I began to turn away from God and my faith, and put my faith in other things- things that were completely and totally against what my church and my Bible said.
I dated a person who didn't go church and claimed not to believe in God. I began to drink and hang out with people who drank. I watched TV shows and listened to music that was anything but Godly. My Bible collected dust and I only went to church when I was at home and my parents made me go.
When I graduated and began life on my own outside of college, things were no better. Same boyfriend, same bad habits, same absence from church.
Fast forward to the fall after my summer 2006 graduation, and I was beginning to realize that the boyfriend wasn't who I needed to be with. I broke up with the boyfriend. I moved away from Greensboro to a house just a half hour from my parents, and I began to focus on all the things in my life I didn't like. My mom mentioned working with a nurse at the doctor's office who was a pastor's wife. This lady had invited Mama to her church and we decided we'd try it.
We felt very welcomed at this church and we continued to attend. We actually still attend this church today, as a matter of fact. After about three months of attending our new church, I once again made the decision to trust the Lord for salvation. This time, I was sincere. My parents and joined the church shortly afterward and I was baptized.
What happened next was really neat. I had been searching for a place to live, and decided to build a house. Once my house was completed, I began shopping homeowner's insurance rates. The agent I ended up purchasing my policy from turned out to have a good-looking single nephew. You can probably guess what happened next :)
Just a year and seven months after we started dating, he and I were married in our church. He too is a Christian and has been saved by Grace- he was saved and baptized at our church as well. Our life together has included many blessings- a sweet little girl, another sweet little girl soon to be born, a home we both love and cherish, and a good marriage. We've endured a lot of trials and heartaches as well- the loss of two sweet babies, infertility, and my dad's cancer diagnoses (yes, plural)- but we feel like to Lord has used those experiences to strengthen and grow us not only as Christians but as humans.
I just realized just how long this post is :) I apologize for writing soooo much, but I do thank you for reading it. I just wanted to take the opportunity to show you that if God can save me, he can save anyone. I am far from a perfect person, and although I am saved, I am still far from perfect. But I do serve a perfect God.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. 2 Timothy 1:9
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Linking to Stonegable, Worthing Court, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Confessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!