|photo by diabolik808 / text added|
I grew up going to church. Especially during my teen years, I was involved in everything from singing in the choir to assembling the monthly newsletters. Church was a place to see my friends, but a personal faith--a relationship with Jesus--never even occurred to me. When I was about 18, I drifted away from the church.
For the next ten or twelve years, my life was turbulent. If I had to describe it with a song title, it would have to be "Lookin' for Love (in All the Wrong Places)." As if that didn't bring enough drama, I also had a prolonged battle with Lyme disease. And, in retrospect, I've realized that I was already starting to have signs of depression.
I was 30-ish when I met the man who would become my husband. It was love at first sight, and within a year we were married and expecting a baby. I was ecstatic, happier than I'd ever been. Around the same time, Meri came to know Jesus. I was happy for her, but at the same time, I was concerned. I'd never heard anyone talk about having a faith that permeates every aspect of life. The concept was foreign to me, and I worried that she had joined a cult. She assured me that that was not the case, and she kept writing to me about her newfound life. She also started praying that I would find hope in Jesus, as well.
A few years later, when my son was two or three years old, my husband and I started to look at options for school. Through an online family forum, I "met" a mom who encouraged me to consider homeschooling. She introduced me to a Christian homeschooling forum, where I not only soaked up the homeschooling information, but also read along with other conversations. I didn't understand it all, but I wanted to know more. I spent every afternoon--while my son was napping--reading and participating in that Christian forum.
I can't pinpoint a day when the change in me occurred. It was gradual--more like a sunrise than like a flip of a light switch. Over a period of months, the pieces just fell into place. I understood that I needed a savior and that God wanted a relationship with me. It just made sense.
Since then, I have not simply allowed, but invited, God to permeate my entire life. It's not all smooth sailing. I still struggle with depression, with finishing my things-to-do list, and so on. What's different?
- I have hope in Christ. The worst that this world can do to me is to send me home to heaven.
- I have the promises of God. He hears my prayers. He forgives my sins. He will never leave me nor forsake me. His unfailing love surrounds me!
- I have become part of a church family. I am thankful to have had an upbringing that exposed me to church, and also thankful that God has brought my family to a wonderful church. Being part of a community of grace--experiencing love and acceptance from my sisters and brothers in Christ--is a precious gift from God.
For a follow-up, see my post about how I'd like to be remembered.
[I'm linking up to e-Mom at Chrysalis Cafe.]