Sunday, April 24, 2011

Amazing Grace

In the “religion” I created in my mind, there were many rules. A little like living under the law, with the Ten Commandments being the laws. If I was a nice person and kept the Ten Commandments, I was a ‘Christian’. Except, I wasn’t really keeping the Ten Commandments. I was filled with guilt and shame, carrying around many secrets.

Then one day, a friend explained God’s grace to me. Grace is defined as unmerited favor. If I asked, God would forgive me and forget my sins. It was a free gift, he said, all I needed to do was accept it. Honestly, it took me a long time to believe that God could love me. I kept feeling like I didn’t “deserve” grace and couldn’t accept it.

I began attending an Evangelical Christian Church. I was in a women’s class at church and one night received prayer for forgiveness of my sins. I was to write down my sins and place them at the foot of the cross. After this time of prayer, the facilitator told us to watch for God to confirm this healing with an action during the week. I hadn’t ever had any encounters with God, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

That night, I saw my new puppy with something in his mouth. He liked to chew everything. I reached down and saw that he had a paper bookmark, with the words and music to Amazing Grace printed on it. I don’t remember ever seeing the bookmark he found – but I was sure this was my confirmation that I had been forgiven by God’s Amazing Grace.

Even with this confirmation, it took a while and a lot more prayers to finally believe in my heart that God’s gift of Grace applies to even me. And I am not saved by what I do, but just because I believe! I have been forgiven and God has saved a wretch like me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Journey - Where It Began

Wow! Nearly two years have past since I last posted. It has been a whirlwind - so very much has happened. Let me begin to share the awesome way that God is at work in my life and my incredible journey from striving in the “world” to living in God’s Kingdom. I will start by describing a little about where I began.

During the first fifty years of my life I was a “self-defined” Christian. I believed in God and tried to find a church that accepted the lifestyle I was living. No way was I going to change my lifestyle. I sporadically attended main-stream churches, searched for meaning in some new-age philosophies, and always felt like something was missing.

My life was exhausting, pursuing success as the world defines it, accumulating a degree, promotions, titles, and possessions. I had it all; high paying job, beautiful home, and three wonderful children. (Three failed marriages, but that is a story for another time.) I was in control and managing everything on my own. I didn’t need anyone to help me.

Until . . . my life began to implode. Over the course of a couple of years, my third marriage failed, my children were growing up and leaving home, and I lost my job. I stopped going to church. I realized I had no friends, and no relationships beyond casual acquaintances and co-workers. Most significantly, I lost my identity as wife, soccer mom, executive, breadwinner, co-worker, mentor, and church and community volunteer.

In April 2006, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was Born Again. I didn’t fully understand what that meant. During the five years since, I have been on a journey discovering what it means and who I am in Christ. I have met God in so many ways, been forgiven much, and surrendered all of my life to Him. At first He worked on building a personal relationship with me, and then He brought others into my life to continue to build relationships.

Today, I am part of a large family of Followers of Christ. I know who I am and I have felt the joy of living in the center of God’s will. This journey has not been easy or without pain, but it is absolutely worth it and continues each day. I look forward to continuing to share my story and I pray that you will be encouraged and blessed by it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back To School

The fall of 2009 marks a milestone in my life. For the first time in 21 years - I do not have a child in school this fall! I feel a little lost. Just a little sad that I won't be buying school supplies, books, or paying tuition. No first day of school pictures. This is also the first fall in 12 years that I won't be watching a Labor Day Soccer Game!

Life is definitely changing. Where does the time go?

This fall I am going to school. I enrolled in the Vineyard College of Mission - Women and Children in Crisis Course at the Boise Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Today I bought 6 books for my course and did my first homework assignments. My son, Tucker, told me that I was grounded until I got my homework done. Cute!

I am not really sure why I enrolled in this course - but it is time for me to step out in faith and answer God's call. I am looking forward to this adventure.

Here I am, Lord. Send me!!