I was blessed to get to experience another powerful message this morning that touched my heart and really brought perspective and understanding… This isn’t to say that I completely understand or that I have complete perspective…
This morning Pastor Jeff talked about gifts this morning, he talked about how God has blessed us each with a gift and basically once we figure out how to use our gifts that is when we can fully be able to connect and feel complete. First I just need to say that I am thankful for his gift. His gift as he believes it is to be able to take scripture and relate it to real life. I agree, he definitely has a gift and I personally feel thankful that he has made the choice to share it with all of us. I am still not 100 percent sure of my Gift, but I am going to use my patience and keep waiting.
Sitting there this morning during worship, I felt absolutely weightless… I had tears streaming down my face and in that moment I could see the kids with smiles on there face and as I looked around the room it was almost like an out of body experience. Everyone looks so different and I am sure we are all so very different in our views and thoughts and everything else… One thing hit me in that moment I realized we we’re all exactly the same. We are all absolutely in love with the same person. We all serve this AMAZING GOD! We all love him and we all fall short of his glory. We all strive to be Jesus like, and yet we all fail daily… More than that though we all choose to try again. It felt amazing. I felt like God touched my heart in that moment with peace and love… I don’t know how else to explain it other than it was beautiful… I then started crying and I just thanked God for loving me in my weakest moments, for loving me even when I wasn’t loveable, I thanked him for allowing me to leave him and accepting me back. I thanked him for being such a patient and loving father even when I didn’t deserve it… I thanked him for allowing me to be me.
We will get back to this, but this brings me to my testimony… It hit me like a wrecking ball crashing through the sky trying to knock down a building… After 33 years of being on this earth I feel like I have a testimony and I want to shout it from the roof tops. All throughout my life I have loved Jesus and there have been moments in my life that I talk about God being a part of that, but this is more than that… During worship this morning I realized that throughout my life I have experienced phases… distinct phases.
Phases of happiness and absolute bliss. I have experienced moments of drama filled days and times when I felt like my world was crashing down around me. (just like everyone else) One thing that holds true… God undying faith and love for me.
I thought about my life as a child and even into my teen years I was very strong in my faith and felt a very real connection with God. I felt very comfortable leading a sermon for youth week, I felt very comfortable teaching little kids about Jesus and his love, when at Church I just felt at home. During this time life was all around good. I wasn’t surrounded with drama… I don’t remember it being a struggle to get through life. During this time my Dad did pass away and I went through a moment of being angry with God, but I was also able at the age of 13 ask for help from my then Pastor… through my faith I was able to gain an understanding of the fact that his death didn’t happen to me and that God wasn’t punishing me, instead God was taking his pain away and God was ready for his son to come home. I continued my faith and stayed strong until end of senior year. It was around this time that I put God on the back burner… I stopped going to Church, this means that I stopped being an active member and I didn’t pray very often. It was during this time that things started to fall apart. I was surrounded by drama, everyday I would say this is the worst day. I chose to mask my feelings by making choices that were questionable to say the least. This went on for about 6 months. I then met a friend at work and he invited me to Church… I reluctantly accepted the invite and started going every Sunday… I did this for about 3 months and felt really good. Things started to look up and I started praying more… it was around this time that he had to leave for basic training and I fell back in to the “easy” way of doing things… This went on for a while and I ended up getting pregnant with my first son. I was terrified. it was then that I came crawling back to God… I came asking him what he was thinking giving me this child… I was very selfish and could hardly take care of my self… How was I ever going to take care of this child. I questioned him a lot, but I kept praying and kept relying on his good graces… It wasn’t long and Jacob was reaching a year old… I found out my Mom was sick… This was one of those trying times where I again questioned God, “Why are you putting me through this” Silly me… After a lot of praying and talking to my pastor I then was able to understand that God’s plan is perfect in every way. It’s up to us to pray for his will to be done and not what we want… Now this isn’t to say that I didn’t struggle because I did… It took about 6 months for me to sink into a dark place… A place where I didn’t allow God in… This lasted for about 5 years. Now, during that 5 year time I would praise him on occasion… Holiday or when things were going Good (what I told myself was good). Looking back I am not proud of the person I became or how I acted, but I can say this during that time even though I didn’t allow God in he stayed… He never left my side and the reason I can say that is because he placed some great people in my life to help me, to show me love, and to lift me up in areas that I failed at. Fast forward another 5 years and I can say for the last 5 years I have been trying to be faithful to God. I have been trying to pray and focusing more on his Grace…. During this time it hasn’t been perfect and it never will be, but it has been beautiful. The God that I serve has shown me his faithfulness. He has entrusted me with 3 children. He has said I have faith in you. This gives me hope. This gives me strength. This gives me a sense of peace.
Basically when I look back at my life I can see big differences in how life was when I was praising God and when I wasn’t. That to me is a beautiful thing. That to me is proof that our God is a Good Good God and he is Faithful. This is my testimony. There is power in prayer! There is power in believing. There is power in accepting his grace.
This morning when this all hit me it also made me realize that we as parents are supposed to love our kids in the same way. Even when they aren’t making the greatest choices or living up to the potential that you know they have. It’s our job as parents to love them unconditionally. It’s our job to be there even when they don’t want us there. It’s our job to pray over them every day. It’s also our job to let them have free will because our Heavenly Father allows us this.
I know that this earthly life is going to be filled with trials and tribulations and things that I will never be able to understand, and it is my prayer that I can come to terms with this… I also know that as long as I stay faithful in allowing God to love me the way he wants to he will be here to carry me through, he will provide strength, he will provide peace, and he will provide a clear path. I know this because he has already proven it to me. He has already put AMAZING God loving strong people in my life to shower me with love, he has already opened up doors that were closed.
I also know that I will fail, I will struggle, and I will fall down… In doing that I also know that I am going to TRY every day. I am going to also succeed some days, I am going to win, and I am also going to continue to get back up. I am going to thank God for his AWESOMENESS.