Growing up, my parents made sure our family attended church every weekend and on special days. I didn’t always want to go, but I really had no choice in the matter. This was the beginning of my faith.
As a child, my mom, my three brothers, and I, would kneel around one of our beds each night at bedtime, and we would pray together. We were taught specific prayers in our church, often with words I didn’t really understand. But I learned them well, to the point of memorization, and I can still recite them yet today, even though I don’t pray like that anymore.
Today my prayers are more of a conversation with God than memorized words. I see now, though, that was the beginning of my prayer life.
Scripture was read at our church services, but I was never encouraged to read the Bible on my own. The thought of doing so intimidated me. I had a Bible, but never opened it.
Sadly, I put God on the back burner when I moved out of my parents’ home as a young adult. I seemed to only pray when I needed something.
At 23 years old, I found my life full of confusion and uncertainty. Over the phone one evening with my best friend, Tina, and her mom, Barb, I made the most important decision of my life. I let go of all my striving and so-called control, and gave my life to Jesus. I invited Him to take up residency in my heart, and to take control of my messy life. I remember Barb saying that night, “You’ll find you have a joy in your heart that will never leave.” She was right. It’s still there. (Smile.)
Within the very next week, I fell in love with my future husband. We were engaged three months later and married the following year. As we started a family, God grew our faith as we put Him in the center.
Bible Study Fellowship became a part of my life when I was expecting our now 18-year-old. Through it I began reading my Bible, and found it wasn’t scary. Scriptures began to almost jump off the page, and I couldn’t get enough of what I was reading. I fell in love with Jesus.
Both of our children grew up in BSF, they invited Jesus into their lives at young ages, and still have those deep roots of truth planted in their hearts today.
Today, Jesus is the center of my life, of our marriage, and of our family. No one likes or wants to have Him pushed in one’s face, so I don’t try to force people to love Him like I do. But I do attempt to live in a way that people will be drawn to Him. Yes, I mess up, and no, I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I know Jesus loves me, He went to the cross for me, and He saved me from the path of destruction I was on. I have the assurance I will see Him face to face when my life on earth is over.
I pray you have that assurance too. I’d be glad to chat about that anytime. May the highlights of my faith journey bless you, and encourage you on yours.